Friday, May 30, 2014


Not too long ago, my husband and I discover the theme of the CHEO telethon this year – “Be a Superhero for CHEO”.    At that moment, an idea germinated in my husband’s head.  He asked me what I thought about possibly doing a Comic Book Fundraising Sale for CHEO.   I thought it was a marvelous idea.

That week, we contacted the CHEO Foundation and didn’t know what to expect from it.   The person quickly contacted us and absolutely loved the idea.  Apparently, all the fundraising organized for CHEO is done by people like us.   So we quickly talked to our four kids who got excited as much as us and we started preparing for spreading the word on this special sale.

Our son Dominic created the poster below and we advertised on kijiji, usedottawa and craiglist.

We emailed comic book stores to ask them if they could promote it.   Then less than two weeks ago, we thought of asking radio stations in town if they could promote the fundraising for CHEO in their event pages.   So far, we have only positive comments from people responding to our request.   This week, we received a call from a reporter with MetroNews because they wanted to do an interview.   She came and took pictures and this morning – KABOOM! – three of my kids made the front page at the newsstand copies near bus stop throughout the city.  A cousin of my husband send me the picture via her cell phone.


And if you go to MetroNews online you can also read the story.   (Thought I much prefer the photos in the paper edition!)

UPDATE (May 31st)  image

Yesterday morning, the phone rang.   It was a reporter from CTVNews asking if we could do an interview for the new that night.  He had seen the MetroNews article and wanted to help to spread the word.

So that afternoon, for 2 hours they prepare the 2 minutes for the news that night.  Needless to say that it was a great homeschooling opportunity for our kids.

The article on the CTVNews website can be found here:

The video can be seen here:


Needless to say the kids are excited.   And we have friends who will come and help.   The CHEO Bear will be there as well as the CHEO lemonade stand.   The League of Super-Heroes are also donating their time and will offer people to take pictures with them for a donation to CHEO.   It’s going to be a great day!

So mark your calendar – June 7th from 9am to 5pm.   Come and buy some comics.  Support CHEO and be a superhero for them!

More details can be viewed at

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Exploring the Middle Ages with DK Canada

This past year, we have been participating to an homeschool coop with other homeschooling families.   We had a blast exploring specific subjects during the year.   We have decided to continue next year and the first subject of studies that we will explore for three weeks as part of history will be the Medieval times.    Fortunately, this summer there is an educational day on things from that period of time in a town near our place.  But to deepen our learning experience, I approached DK Canada and asked if I could review the three Eyewitness book linked to the era of knights, damsels, castles and medieval life.   Each of these DK Eyewitness Books contains a Clip-Art CD and posters.

Let’s explore the three titles I have received:  Medieval Life, Knight, and Castle.


medieval lifeMedieval Life

About the book

The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures. *Now reissued with a CD and wall chart!

Eyewitness: Medieval Life gives the reader an in-depth look at life from the end of the Dark Ages to the Renaissance in the 15th century, in both the town and the country, and for the peasants as well as the aristocracy. Featuring artifacts, costumes, furniture, and historical illustrations, Medieval Life is a unique and compelling introduction to the people and culture of the Middle Ages.

My Thoughts

This specific title will allow you to discover medieval Europe from life in a country manor to the streets of a growing town.   The book covers multiple subjects like the Middles Ages, medieval society, a peasant’s life, tied to the soil, running a manor, a medieval home, from kitchen to table, medieval women, great barons, royal court, medieval soldier, the church, building a cathedral, art of decoration, holy orders, life in a monastery, the written word, saints and pilgrims, the Islamic world, trade and commerce, life in the town, the guild masters, the stonemasons, fairs and feast days, medieval music, plays and parades, death and disease, the birth of new age, and more.

Packed with information and stunning pictures, the book will inform you on all you need to know about the life during the medieval times.     A couple of years ago, we had the privilege to attend Medieval Times in Toronto as part of an educational day.  And through the pages of this book that I am reviewing today, I can recall the information that we received on that special lunch we had at a popular place to visit in Toronto.  


As I am writing this – looking at the picture of the kids and I sitting at the table at Medieval Times, the book is open to the page of setting of the table during the Medieval era.   It’s interesting to see that the banquet was similar to that lunch we had a couple of years ago and that the setting at Medieval Times respected the setting on the Middle Ages table (though with plastic cups and dishes made in China).

image image

This specific book – Medieval Life – is essentially a great way to discover life during the Middle Ages and how people would live and work.   If there was one book that you would like to discover with your kids about the Middle Ages, the eyewitness book on  Medieval Life is the book you would like to get.   It  will inform your on many things from the instruments played to the arts and crafts of that time.  It is a great reference to own if you are interested in history – particularly the era of Middle Ages.


KnightKNIGHT USPLC.qxd (Page 1)

About the book

Some of the most popular selections from the formidable Eyewitness backlist are available with a clip-art CD included.

  • Includes CD with clip-art and wall chart
  • Includes spectacular, detailed full-color photographs and illustrations
  • 72-page format includes 8 bonus pages full of amazing facts

My Thoughts

While studying the Middle Ages, you can’t do that without learning more about knights and their chivalry.    So obviously, the Eyewitness series has a book specifically dedicated to knighthood.  You will learn everything that you wanted to know about the life as a knight with information about the first knights, the Normans, making a knight, iron everywhere, fashion in steel, the armor, the arms, on horseback, the castle, the castle at war, siege warfare, arming for the fight, the enemy, into battle, the castle at peace, the lord of the manor, the lady of the manor, the ideal of chivalry, the tournament, the joust, foot combat, heraldry, hunting and hawking, faith and pilgrimage, the crusades, Knights of Christ, Knights of the Rising Sun, the professionals, the decline of chivalry and much more.

Needless to say that while at Medieval Times in Toronto, we saw knights and a tournament during our lunch session.    It was very interesting to see them jousting against each other.


The book is packed with information that will deepen your knowledge on knights.  As you can see on the pages below you will have plenty of photos and illustrations to help you visualize the life of a knight during the Middle Ages.  A timeline as well as a glossary complete the book. 

image  image

image image

Knowing that knights were very active during the Middles Ages, you can’t avoid studying about them when learning about the Medieval era of our history.



About the book

The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures.
DK’s classic look at the history and structure of castles, now reissued with a CD and wall chart!

My Thoughts

Through the pages of this specific Eyewitness book you will discover the mysteries of the medieval castle and what life was like for those living within its walls.  In this book, you will discover the exciting world of the medieval castle, from the dramatic methods used to defend and attack castles to what life was really like for the people living inside its mighty battlements.  More specifically you will learn about what is a castle, what the first castles looked liked, the great tower, concentric castles, castles on the Loire, castles in Germany, the chapel, laying a siege, men and missiles, tricks of defense, the garrison, the castle as prison, crusader castles, castles in Japan, the great hall, the kitchen, at the table, the entertainers, women and children, the lord, fabrics and textiles, in the fields, animals in the castle, the castle builders, the woodworkers, metalwork, castles in decline and much more. 

image  image

The pages are packed with photographs and illustrations about castles and life in a castle.  You will witness how people dressed during the Middle Ages, how the food was prepared, how the builders would think of defending the castle when building it and how castles differ from one country to another.  


Castles were predominant during the Middle Ages and that’s why so many exists still today in Europe.   These structures were part of life during the Middle Ages and I think it is also essential to the study of history during the Medieval era to look at how castles were essentials for  cities.    This book gives a pretty good idea of life in a castle for kids who are studying the Middle Ages.


These three eyewitness books from DK are available at your favourite bookstore, even and




Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned titles for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Total Fishing Manual Canadian Edition

610CyyjutjL._SL500_AA300_The Total Fishing Manual Canadian Edition – 333 Fishing Skills
Written by Joe Cermele with Brad Fenson and the Editors of Field & Stream
Published at WeldonOwen

About the book

When it comes to fishing in Canada and beyond, nobody knows more than the writers and editors at Field & Stream magazine--unless it's the local guides, lifelong ice-fishermen, and other regional experts they interviewed to create this book. With a focus on the fish and fishing techniques Canadians love best, this special edition of the top-selling manual covers everything from flyfishing for tiger trout, splake, and cutbow to special techniques when fishing the Arctic circle, and much, much more. Detailed items break down how to build the ultimate tackle box and the best bait and lures for the wealth of species you’ll find in Canada’s waters, as well as techniques to catch all of the most popular gamefish, and tactics for fishing ponds, rivers, lakes, and oceans in every season and every province. Whether you're a weekend angler looking to hook your kid on fishing or a serious sport fisher looking for the best fishing season ever, this book has the information you need, presented with tons of color photos and handy illustrations.

My Thoughts

As I was at a local grocery store with one of my sons, I saw this book while going back to our vehicle.   I flipped through the pages and saw that my husband will find it very interesting.   So as I walked with my son I decided to try to get the book to review on my blog.   During the summer time, we love to go fishing and my husband loves to learn new tips and tricks.  I have given him other fishing books in the past but this one is the first one that I see the words Canadian Edition on it.   I knew that the book has been adapted for Canadian fishing.

As soon as I got the book, I started flipping through it and let me tell you that ANYONE can learn quite a few tricks from this book – whether you are the fisherman in the family, the wife who enjoys spending time on the boat and fish a bit or the child who is learning alongside dad and mom.   Already I have learned a couple of tricks on catching worms or becoming a worm farmer.   These ideas are inspiring and I think worth trying out.     Every once in a while throughout the book you will be able to find some Know Your sections which present information on specific fish that can be caught in Canada.    

The book is packed with over 333 skills that you can develop while fishing.  Each one of them has a stunning picture and sometimes illustration to show you how to execute the skill.   This book will highlight tools, techniques and tactics to develop while fishing.   From lures to reel as well as how to catch trout and catfish, the book will definitively help you become a better fisherman or fisherwoman in the future.  The tips and tricks found in this book will help you catch numerous kind of fish from bass to walleye as well as trout.    

The more I peruse the book the more I realize that this book is a jewel in itself.   It is packed with wonderful information on fishing in Canada based on the tools used, the techniques to develop and the tactics to take in order to catch amazing fish.   I am quite excited about the book and think it’s a great book to have along with you when you go fishing.   It is perfect for the well-seasoned fisherman or the beginner one.   I know that my husband as well as my boys will devour it with their eyes in order to learn new things about fishing.

The Total Fishing Manual Canadian Edition is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to WeldonOwen for sending me the above mentioned titles for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Food and Drink Boutique at DK Canada


Food.  Glorious Food.  I will admit something to you right now – I love new cookbooks.   I find them inspiring to try new recipes, new tastes in my mouth and challenge me to be more creative in our menus.

This month, DK Canada has a mouth watering offer for you in its Food & Drink Boutique with numerous cookbooks and other kitchen related books at a special price of 30% off.  

To highlight this fun boutique, I have received three titles to present you. 


9781465415875HAmerican Cookbook – A Fresh Take on Classic Recipes

About the cookbook

A fresh approach to American fare, The American Cookbook features more than 150 classic recipes with a gourmet twist.

Innovative variations elevate tried-and-true classics like mac and cheese, fried chicken, and apple pie. Modern ingredients spruce up old favorites like meatloaf, chicken soup, and coleslaw. International flavors turn regional cuisine on its head, reflecting the rich culture and history of classic American food.

Perfect for foodies or fans of comfort food looking for interesting alternatives, The American Cookbook uses simple, step- by-step sequences to make cooking classic dishes easy and fun.

My Thoughts

This cookbook is celebrating the eclectic, exciting, and bold flavors of the American cuisine.   We visit the U.S. often with our kids and every once in a while we try to expose them to the particularity of the American cuisine.   But this cookbook will allow us to explore more recipes from our neighbours and discover 150 recipes from the classic American dishes on a new level.   This cookbook will allow you to innovate the tried-and-true classics like mac ‘n’ cheese, fried chicken, and apple pie with variations, explore modern ingredients to spruce up old favorites like meatloaf or chicken soup as well as incorporate international flavors which makes the America cuisine full of rich culture and history.

The table of contents is presented in a way that will allow you to find recipes depending of the meal you want to prepare:

  • Starters, Soups and Salads
  • Breakfast and Light Bites
  • Mains and Sides
  • Desserts
  • Baking, Candy, and Preserves

Throughout the book, you will find pages dedicated to a specific section of the U.S. like the Northeast, the Southeast, the Southwest, the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest.   These pages will provide insightful information about the region, highlight the foods and flavors, and include some of the main recipes of that area.   Also, some recipes in the book will suggests variations on how to make a recipe different for a new meal you might plan.  


The pictures included in this cookbook are mouth watering to the point that you just want to jump in the car and get the ingredients that you are missing at home to make the recipe.   Though this cookbook is presenting American recipes, I think it is a useful resource to have at home particularly during the summer months when you plan barbecues and picnics with the family.   This cookbook will inspire you to try something new whether the traditional way or with the variations suggested in some of the pages.


Vegetables Please – The more vegetables, less meat cookbook9781465402028H

About the cookbook

Vegetarians, meat-lovers, and anyone seeking to add more vegetables to their diet will all find inspiration in this vegetable-centric cookbook.

Vegetables Please: The More Vegetables, Less Meat Cookbook presents more than 200 vegetarian recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, proving that home chefs don't need to include meat to make a delicious and satisfying meal. Readers will also discover helpful produce tips, quick ideas for vegetable basics, and even advice on which meats could pair well with certain dishes.

My Thoughts

When you start thinking about vegetables, you either react badly to it or wonder why you are always stuck on the same veggies all the time.    I used to have an aversion on certain vegetables like brussels sprouts for example.  But that was before I met my husband and he cooked some that were simply delicious.   Besides, everything goes well with salsa. 

Anyhow, when I saw this cookbook in the Food and Drink Boutique at DK Canada, I knew that it would be a good cookbook to have around simply because it was solemnly dedicated to vegetables.    With over 200 delicious and satisfying recipes which put vegetables as the star attraction, I was sure to be able to find some that my family would like to try.  This cookbook is ingenious in a way because not only would it appeal to vegetarians but it give great side dish ideas for those of us who like meat and seafood.  Talking about meat and seafood, this cookbook also suggests the meat, fish or seafood that could be great to accompany the dish you are planning to do.  

The table of content of this cookbook is simple yet very useful:

  • Pantry Essentials – This section will introduce you in all the things that could be useful to make the recipes included in the cookbook.
  • Recipes – In here, you will find the recipes in the following meals: soups and salads, pasta/noodle/rice, pan-fries and fritters,  curries/stews/casseroles, pizzas/wraps/quesadillas, tortillas/frittatas/omelets, tarts/pies/turnovers, grills and bake, pestos/pickles/salsas/dips.
  • Techniques – This section will teach you to slice, dice, seed, peel, pummel, and knead your way to culinary perfection with these essential step-by-step-techniques.   Beautiful photos give you a great visual on how to do things.


You will also find marvelous photos on the final results of some of the recipes.    Also throughout the book you will find pages with the title starting with the words “Four Ways with…” that will introduce new ways of cooking with specific vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus, potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, eggplants, and onions.   I find it is always nice to have new ideas when dealing with vegetables.

So this summer, while celebrating the abundance and diversity of fresh, seasonal produce, why not also explore new recipes like the ones included in the Vegetables Please cookbook?  You can be sure that you will get a balanced diet while trying out new veggies.


9780756662073HCurry Cuisine

About the Cookbook

Curry Cuisine is an authoritative, invitingly illustrated, and completely hands-on guide providing simple cooking methods and tips from some of the world's most celebrated chefs. From mild to fiery hot, and from Malaysia to Northern India, the recipes provide home cooks with authentic and delicious dishes.

My Thoughts

The main reason why I requested this book to review is because my husband enjoys curry food.   Personally, I don’t favor it as when at a restaurant I would probably take something that is not curry based.   However, I have learned the importance in trying new food and training your taste buds in getting used to certain flavours so why not getting a book where I can experiment from the comfort of my own home new tastes from recipes based on curry.   The recipes of this cookbook will introduce fragrant dishes from India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia.     You will learn the tips and tricks of top chefs and experts on cooking with curry and creating authentic, taste-tingling dishes at home.

Beautiful pictures highlights this cookbook.  However, I am a bit disappointed that not all recipes have a picture of the final product.  When I cook, I like to know what it is supposed to look like.   But even though this cookbook doesn’t meet my criteria on “show me the end result” I have to admit that the cookbook is well organized.   The taste travel of this recipes are organized by country and then regions of the country.   Let’s explore the table of contents so that you can visualize what I mean.

  • North India – In this section of the book, you will explore recipes from Rajasthan, Delhi & Punjab, Lucknow & Awadh as well as Bengal.
  • South India
  • Pakistan
  • Myanmar & Maritime – This section will highlights recipes from Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Mainland Se Asia – This section covers recipes from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
  • Outposts – This section will present recipes from Africa, Caribbean, Britain, and Japan.

image image

Right now the section that is most interesting for me would be Thailand as I just love the meals from that country.  I look forward to try out new recipes from Thailand but I am also willing to explore other countries in order to expand my personal preferences when I go out for supper with my husband.   The pictures included in the book are mouth-watering to say the least and even my own kids are expressing desire to try new recipes from this cookbook.

If you love curries and would like to learn how to cook with these fabulous spices, I strongly recommend the cookbook Curry Cuisine for you. 


food-and-drink-button-185x185These marvelous cookbooks and many more are all available at the Food & Drink Boutique at DK Canada.    With comprehensive wine encyclopedias and clear, easy-to-follow cookbooks – this selection of our illustrated epicurean titles will be sure to please your favorite foodie! All these books are specially priced for a limited time - 30% off.   Click on the icon on the right side to access the Food & Drink Boutique.


All the cookbooks presented in this post are available at your favourite bookstore, even and




Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned titles for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Movie Maniac Boutique @ DK Canada


Every once in a while, we enjoy going to the movies and watch a new release.  Yesterday, my husband and I were able to enjoy the latest Spider-Man movie.   We used to always go to opening nights for comic characters movies but nowadays opening nights is a bit more difficult to catch.  Instead, wBox of red and white popcorn boxe wait a bit and enjoy the movie with a less crowded audience.   Needless to say we came out of there and quickly observed that it was nice that the movie was following the comic books for once (the previous Spider-Man movies were not doing that as much).  

Our visits to the theater have changed as time goes by.  I remember going to opening night to see the Batman with friends – being the first in line to enter the theater at midnight.   Or going to see the newly revamped Star Wars movies when they came out in theater – again with friends.  Those were good times.   My only disappointment nowadays would be how expensive it can be to the movies and that having a family of six people makes it hardly impossible.  

No matter what is your movie habits, DK Canada has plenty of books on movie characters for you to discover.  And right now, for a limited time, they have a special sale for Movie Maniacs – 30% off on selected titles.  For the purpose of this sale, DK Canada has sent me three titles that my kids will enjoy reading.  It’s also a great way to practice the reading skills during the summer time.  I strongly believe that having a subject of interest will encourage the kids to read more.   Consequently, if you have kids who loves superheroes, you might want to continue to read in order to discover three great books that would inform them on three Super-heroes that are often seen on the big screen!


9780756692490H (1)Batman The World of the Dark Knight

About the book

Who hides in the shadows, an often constant but unseen presence? Who strives to rid the city of the evil that lurks through the streets? Who is he? BATMAN.

First appearing in the pages of Detective Comics in 1939, Bruce Wayne vowed to avenge his parents' murder and rid the world of evil by becoming the fearless caped crusader known as Batman.

Follow every punch, kick, twist, and turn of the Dark Knight's story in Batman: The World of the Dark Knight. Tracing Batman's entire career, with full detail of his significant adventures, battles, loves, allies, and enemies, this ultimate guide will leave nothing unexplored. DK's Batman: The World of the Dark Knight includes everything from how Batman came to be created and how the character was developed through the decades to key events in Batman's life that have continued to develop his story over the years. With a new, fresh look featuring intricate full-color comic book art, Batman: The World of the Dark Knight is a comic enthusiast's dream come true!

Cover art by Jim Lee!

My Thoughts

Get to know everything you wanted to know about Batman.  This book will give your child a new perspective of the man behind the mask, the villains he fights regularly as well as the tools he uses.  The book will also highlights the key issues of the comics and present the allies of the Dark Knight.  Your child will be able to go back in time and witness the changes in the batmobile, the costumes, the origins of the Batman, as well as learn some of the wit and wisdom of the Batman. 

The book contains numerous drawings, detailed information on some of the characters, and a detailed timeline on the well-known character from the DC universe.   The book is up-to-date with current comic books as it will bring you up to speed with the New 52 series at DC.   It is a great book to introduce your kids to the Batman and his world. 


Spider-Man Inside the World of Your Friendly Neighbourhood9780756690892H

About the book

The ultimate web-slinger is back in this exciting and informative ultimate guide. Spider-Man: Inside the World of your Friendly Neighborhood Hero traces Spider-Man's entire career from his high-school beginnings as Peter Parker to his love affair with the enchanting Mary Jane.

With foreword by Stan Lee and full details of Spidey's powers granted from the bite of an irradiated spider, as well as significant adventures, battles, loves, allies, and enemies, this all-inclusive book has a strong focus on storylines and conflicts within Spider-Man's world. Come to find out how your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man came to be created in 1962 and how the character has developed over the years. Full of interesting facts and dynamic comic book art, Spider-Man: Inside the World of your Friendly Neighborhood Hero is the tell-all to the famous Amazing Spider-Man.

My Thoughts

Here’s another great book to introduce your child to a great super-hero this time from the Marvel Universe – Spider-Man.   With the latest movie out in theaters, your child might want to read about this friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man  in order to learn more about him.   This book will allow your child to swing in company of Spider-Man in order to discover the key issues of the comics, the friends and family, the villains he combat all the time, the changes through the years since his creation as well as stunning images included in the book.

You will learn more about his alliances as well as the new events surrounding the stories in the comics. The book is catchy and will inform your child about all that he can know about Spider-Man and the man behind the mask: Peter Parker. A timeline is also included in the book as well as highlights for every ten years since the first appearance of Spider-Man in the comics.

Bottom line, this is a great book for any child who loves Spider-Man.  A perfect reading material for the summer months that are coming!


9780756657499HIron Man Ultimate Guide to the Armored Superhero

About the book

Packed with original comic book art and created in full collaboration with Marvel Comics, Iron Man: The Ultimate Guide to the Armored Hero is essential for comic book and movie fans alike. From his tragic past to becoming a superhero, explore every thrilling twist and turn in the Iron Man story. Fans will get details on Stark's scientific genius, his secret life as a crime fighter, his personal struggles and demons, his involvement in the Avengers, his role in Secret Invasion, his allies, foes, and more!

My Thoughts

Iron Man is another Marvel character that has made its way to the big screen in the recent years.   And with his appearance in theater, a new generation of kids have learned to love this Marvel character.  This book will allow them to read all they want to know about Tony Stark and Iron Man from it’s creation in the comic world to the more recent adventures.

Packed with illustrations that highlights the information contained in this book, the child who reads it will discover the friends, allies, enemies, weapons and much more about Iron Man.   The book will bring the reader through the years from the creation of the character to more recent days.   The reader will discover key issues, important story lines, a detailed timeline and important things that happened in the world of Iron Man through the years.

It’s the perfect book for the child who loves Iron Man and can’t get enough of him.  The book will encourage reading as he discover more about one of the great super-heroes existing in the Marvel universe.


Whether you love Disney princesses, superheroes or Jedis and droids, DK's Visual Guides, Essential Guides and Character Encyclopedias are the perfect way to bring the excitement of your favourite movies home. Full-page profiles of characters, behind-the-scenes information and page after page of fantastic amazing photographs and images from the films make each of these books a must-have for any film fan!  Check out the Movie Maniacs Boutique at DK Canada in order to have a 30% off on selected titles.


These books are also available at and




Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned titles for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Granny Candies


Granny’s Candies
From Super Duper Publications

About the Game

Let Granny treat your students to some old-fashioned fun! Combine the excitement of picking colorful "candy" tokens from Granny's candy jars with hundreds of opportunities to expand vocabulary skills. First, you fill up the "candy jars" with "candy" (soft, foamy, and colorful tokens). Then, players choose question cards from one of eight semantic areas (or mix and match cards). Students answer the questions, roll the die, and pick "candy" from the jars. The player with the most "candy" at the end of the game wins. Sounds yummy! You receive 672 word-meaning cards (3" x 1") (84 for each area below):

  • What belongs in this group?
  • Which one doesn't belong?
  • Give a describing word.
  • How are they alike?
  • What do these have in common?
  • What is this used for?
  • How are they different?
  • Give an action word.

Your extra ingredients include a colorful game board (18" x 18"), 144 "candy" tokens, a lesson/activity book, card holder, and die. Let's cook up some fun!

Our Thoughts

One spring morning, the three youngest kids were wondering what they could do after completing their schoolwork. I suggested that they open the book of Granny’s Candies and play a game of it. They were all excited to discover a new game and promptly set themselves on the living room floor.  It didn’t take long for them to have some fun time and learning at the same time.


What is Granny’s Candies?  Well essentially it is a game that will allow you kids to expand on their vocabulary while having fun doing so.   The goal of the game is to be able to answer the questions in order to be able to select a candy from the jars on the game board.    At the end of the game, the player with the most candies is the winner.

As I mentioned before the fame focuses on semantics (word meanings).   There are eight semantic areas included in the game:

  • What belongs in this group? (What Belongs?)   Example:  holidays
  • What do these have in common? (Name the Category) Example: table, centipede, people
  • Give an action word. (Action Words) Example: A dentist _________.
  • What is this used for? (Object Use/Function) Example: A snorkel is used for…
  • Give a describing word. (Adjectives) Example: _____ town
  • How are they different? (Differences) Example: kazoo – whistle
  • How are they alike? (Similarities) Example: car – bull
  • Which one doesn’t belong? Why? (Which One Doesn’t Belong?) Example: oyster, octopus, shrimp, clam

How do you play?

Playing is quite simple.   You need to decide who will go first.  In our family, we usually start with the youngest of the family.  You can decide to roll the dice and pick the one who has the biggest roll to start.    The player then takes a card and reads/listens to the question.   The player has to answer the question aloud.   The book included in the box will also provide suggested answers.   All you have to do is check in the book and determine if the answer given is okay.  Once the player has a right answer, he/she has to roll the die and takes the number of candies from any candy jar.   The next player can play now.   The game will end when all the candies have been removed from the board of when the time expires.  

The beauty of this game is that you can play variations of the game as well.   For example, you can give each player the same amount of tokens.  Players roll the die and puts that many candies in the jars after answering each questions.  When a player had put all of his/her candies in the jars he/she is the winner.  Two other suggestions of playing are also mentioned in the rules.

The workbook also contains pages that are reproducible for other activities and games which you can use during your regular lessons of language arts.

Bottom line, this game is a great tool to have when you want them to learn while having fun.  It will deepen their understanding of word meaning and will encourage them to expand on their vocabulary.   The fact that candies are included in the game makes it even more interesting for the kids.   Learning while having fun is a great way to expand your vocabulary!

Granny’s Candies is available for purchase for the price of 54.94$ at Super Duper Publications.  Two add-ons are also available: Set 2 and Set 3.

The game and the add-ons are also available on and




Disclaimer: I received a copy of the game for review purposes from KidStuff PR and Super Duper Publications, Inc. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers

_225_350_Book.1113.coverForgiving Our Fathers and Mothers – Finding Freedom From Hurt & Hate
Written by Leslie Leyland Fields with Dr. Jill Hubbard
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

“If our families are to flourish, we will need to learn and practice ways of forgiving those who have had the greatest impact upon us: our mothers and fathers.”

Do you struggle with the deep pain of a broken relationship with a parent?

Leslie Leyland Fields and Dr. Jill Hubbard invite you to walk with them as they explore the following questions:

  • What does the Bible say about forgiveness? Why must we forgive at all?
  • How do we honor those who act dishonorably toward us, especially when those people are as influential as our parents? * Can we ever break free from the “sins of our fathers”?

What does forgiveness look like in the lives of real parents and children? Does forgiveness mean I have to let an estranged parent back into my life? Is it possible to forgive a parent who has passed away?

Through the authors’ own compelling personal stories combined with a fresh look at the Scriptures,Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers illustrates and instructs in the practice of authentic forgiveness, leading you away from hate and hurt toward healing, hope, and freedom.

My Thoughts

I hesitate before requesting this book.  But deep down I knew that it would be a book I wouldn’t regret to read.  So I requested it and waited for it to arrive.  When the book arrived, I couldn’t touch it for a week or two.   I could see the cover page but I couldn’t get myself to crack the book open.

I finally found the courage to open the book and start reading but for personal reasons that I won’t expand I knew that I had to take it a bit at a time.  So I read, underlined, pondered, prayed about what I have read and pursued my reading.  Slowly and surely with God with me, I am advancing in this book.  The author is authentic – sharing her own personal struggles with her own parents – which makes it even more interesting because you slowly discover her own path to forgiveness.    At the end of each chapter Dr. Jill expands with insights on parenting and how to deal with our issues.   Also, you will find study questions that will allow you to ponder on your parents and your past as you advance in the reading.   These questions might stir emotions and you might want to throw the book at the other end of the room a few times.  But I think they are great questions that will direct you on your own path of healing.

I have walk through the path of healing a couple of years ago.  But I sense that I need to go deeper on this healing journey.  This book helps me to completely forgive and to heal on a new level.   There is hope and freedom and sometimes you need to follow the nudge of the spirit to request a book that you personally don’t want to review even though you know deep down in your soul that it will be beneficial to do so.   Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers is such a book for me.  I was not perfect growing and I still make errors.  I realize that my own parents were not perfect either.   But to personally grow toward my Father in Heaven, I need to take the step of completely forgive them both.   I am on a journey of healing.   Something tells me that it will bring me to new levels of healing as the years go by.

Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


Kindle edition


Children’s Book of the Movies

9781465416629HChildren’s Book of the Movies – Explore the magical, behind-the-scenes world of the movies
Published at DK Canada

About the book

Now kids can explore the magical, behind-the-scenes world of cinema in the Children's Book of the Movies.

Exploring the glamorous world of the movies with child-friendly text and pictures, this definitive guide to cinema reveals how movies work: who makes them, the jobs they have, and the tools and techniques they use. It showcases top movie stars and characters, introduces groundbreaking must-watch films, and covers every genre, including comedy, Westerns, drama, action, animation, CGI, and more, and encourages kids to start capturing their own stories on camera.

The perfect addition to accompany family DVD and Blu-ray collections, Children's Book of the Movies will get two thumbs-up from even the toughest critics.

My Thoughts

After exploring the music world and the art world, here’s a new book that will transport your child in the world of movies.  They will discover the story of the movies from the invention of the first moving pictures to the mind-blowing 3-D blockbusters that captivate us today.  They will explore behind the scenes to discover how the stunts are performed, understand the art of screen writing, and take a closer look at special effects.  Throughout the book, while learning about how movies are made, they will also be introduced to famous actors, producers and directors.  

Let’s take a look at the table of contents:

  • A journey through film:  The story of movies, moving pictures, from silence to sound, Charlie Chaplin, stranger than fiction, going to the movies, heroes and villains, Walt Disney, glorious technicolor, The Wizard of Oz, Golden Age of the movies, stars of the Golden Age, and moving to the modern age.
  • Behind the scenes: from green light to opening night, Who’s who?, great producers, writing a movie, attention to detail, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, make believe, world of effects, Weta, animation, getting the shot, great directors, Steven Spielberg, bright young screen stars, The Red Balloon, animal actors, The Cave of the Yellow Dog, music on film, spreading the word, the Red Carpet.
  • Stories on screen: telling stories, animated films, Spirited Away, science fiction, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, scary movies, King Kong, martial arts, Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon, choreography, musicals, Bollywood superstars, Amitabh Bachchan, documentaries, actors in action, stunts on set, fairy tale and fantasy, Alice in Wonderland, superheroes, westerns, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, drama, Jodie Foster, comedy, Jacques Tati, detective and spies, James Bond, playing with film, so you want to make a movie!

From black and white movies to the 3-D movies that we can see nowadays, your kids will be expose to numerous movies, actors, directors and more.   It’s a great book to explore the magical, behind-the-scenes world of movies.   If your child likes movies and love to learn how they are made, this book would definitively catch his/her attention.  It’s a great book to enhance the knowledge on how something as fascinating as movies are made.  From monsters to musicals and wizards to westerns, the Children’s Book of the Movies will take your kids on a journey through the fascinating world of film.  

Lights…. Camera…. Action!  Open this book to discover more about

DK Canada has currently a Movie Maniacs Boutique and offer a rebate of 30% off any of the titles included in this special boutique.   Whether you are a fan of Marvel movies, Lego, Disney, Star Wars, Star Trek or James Bond, you will find numerous titles in the Movie Maniacs Boutique that might interest you. 

The Children’s Book of the Movies is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned title for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

My Week Wipe-Off Calendar

2FishKids3My Week Wipe-Off Calendar for Young Children
By 2FishKids

I was approached a while back to review a calendar for young children.   This fun magnetic calendar is very colorful and will introduce your children to the days of the week, the seasons, the weather, the routines and the special events.    The surface can be wiped-off in order to rearrange the calendar from week to week.MyWeekPhoto

The magnets will highlights activities done by kids on a weekly basis: School (x5), playgroup (2x), dress up, cook, games, computer, television, music, art, dance, gymnastics, swim, sports, library, play date, visit, outdoor play, snow play, walk, tidy up, shopping, doctor, dentist, haircut, babysitter, birthday, special event, eat out, vacation, synagogue, church, Christmas, Chanukah, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day as well as two blank ones.    You will also explore the concept of Today, Tomorrow and Yesterday as well as the four seasons and their respective months. 

This calendar is perfect for introducing your child ages 3 and up to a schedule and things that he/she will have to do daily.


Since my own youngest child – my daughter Jasmine – is a bit too old to use this item, I gave the calendar to a friend of mine who has a five year old son.   She used it with her son, Noah,  and told me the following comments.


- It is very handy that it is a magnet.  It was great not to have to put holes in the wall or use tape that could wreck the paint. 

- I also like the size.  I have used calendars that have taken up too much room on the fridge or wall, but this is just the right size.

- I like that it is dry erase so that if they do not have a particular item in the given magnets, you can add your own. That being said, they had a wonderful variety/range of different activities to choose from in planning the week.

- I also like that there is so much information/learning available in such a small space - not only does it have the weekly planner, it has a weather section and teaches what day is 'today,' 'tomorrow.' and 'yesterday.'

- It is also nice that it has bright colors.


- The only 'complaint' I would have, and it's probably just my kid:), is the image they use for the people is a little unusual. I think in an effort to be gender neutral, the character is a little alien-like:). Again, most kids would probably not even notice.  Noah just thought it was a strange looking person:).


Though the packaging is bilingual – the calendar I have received and the magnets inside are only in English.  I am unaware if the product is also available in French.   Another idea for the creators of this calendar would be to do a chores charts with different chores for each kids in the house.   That would be fabulous to have.  Each package contains a magnetic calendar (size 13 1/8” x 8 1/8”), 58 activity magnets, dry erase marker, and a reusable storage bag. 

The calendar can be purchased via 2FishKids for the price of 21.99$ directly from their website.


The people at 2FishKids is offering one calendar to win.   Be sure to follow the instructions in order to have your chance to win.  Click on the icon below to access the giveaway page.


Disclaimer: Thanks to 2FishKids for sending me the above mentioned title for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

National Geographic for Kids

As summer is pointing slowly its nose, you might be wondering how you can encourage your kids to be more active and also read more during the warmer season.   Well, National Geographic for Kids has two books that could be a great thing to have this year.


imageAlmanac 2015

About the book

The world’s best-selling almanac for kids is back.   Targeted to ages 8 and up, this is the only kids’ almanac, with mobile media features that allow kids to download National Geographic videos, photo galleries, and games.  This bestseller is packed with incredible photos tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating articles about animals, science, nature, technology, and more.

My Thoughts

I love the National Geographic Kids Almanac.   We have a few from the past years and each time we find interesting information to read.   So it was no surprise that I wanted to review the 2015 version of an already popular book that keeps amaze me every year.   This year, the 2015 Almanac features 40% new content throughout the book, including: cute animals sections, redesigned and updated section about the continents of the world, and much more.

The sections of the book are divided like this:

  • Your World 2015: animal discoveries, sinking of the Lusitania – 100th anniversary, elephant sign language, space balloons, one-way ticket to mars, real-life lightsavers, hot movies in 2015, King Richard III found in parking lot, can dogs sense emotions?, cool events in 2015, sand sculpting championships, sports funnies.
  • Amazing Animals: classification, animal fun, into the water, into the wild, animals in peril, big cats, insects, pets, cute animals, dinosaurs, amazing animal quiz, wildly good animal reports.
  • Going Green: green living, animal survival, our fragile Earth, green inventions, green living, energy, going green quiz, write a letter that gets results.
  • Awesome Adventures: exploration, survival, no limits, awesome adventure quiz, how to write a perfect essay.
  • Super Science: origins of the universe, space, life, human body, all about you, Earth, demolition, inventions & technology, forensic science, super science quiz, research like a pro.
  • Fun and Games: boredom-busting jokes, games, puzzles, mazes, and more fun stuff.
  • Culture Connection: holidays, luck, art, food, language, money, ancient beliefs, religion, culture connection quiz, explore a new culture.
  • Wonders of Nature: weather, turbulent Earth, water, oceans, garden, life zones, wonders of nature quiz, speak naturally: oral reports made easy
  • History Happens: ancient Egypt, life in the past, mystery, international conflicts, United States government, United States history, United States presidents, civil rights, women in history, history happens quiz, brilliant biographies.
  • Geography Rocks: maps, continents, countries, United States, U.S. Territories and the capital, travel, geography rock quiz, finding your way around.

To top it off, this new edition of the National Geographic Kids Almanac is the only kids almanac with mobile media features for iPod Touch and smart phones including videos, photo galleries, and interactive games.  Photographs included in this edition are absolutely stunning and the information share throughout the pages will entertain your kids.

While flipping through the pages of this book, I particularly likes the Sand sculpting championship, 15 cool things about dolphins, the beautiful pictures of the sea turtles, the page on the snowy owls because our area was blessed with these magnificent birds this winter, the handimals pages (stunning and very creative), facts about food we like to eat like tacos and pizzas, to learn more about whether or not I can cook an egg on a sidewalk (I am not telling you….!  *grin*), and some historical facts.  Also, you will find interesting tips on writing assignments for kids.   I have taken the time to highlight these pages for my oldest son in order for him to take the time to read them because I think they contain great insights on how to write reports, biographies and public speaking.

My only negative point is that there is much emphasis on the United States in the history and the geography sections.   But knowing that this book is created in the U.S. I guess it makes sense.  Personally, I would like to have an edition that is Canadian based with Canadian history and geography.  Maybe one of these days, National Geographic Kids will think to make an edition with an emphasis on their northern neighbor – Canada.   But even with the emphasis on the U.S., I think this book is worth getting for your kids.  It is perfect to pack for camp or travel and will provide some interesting reading material for them.

Get Outside Guideimage

About the book

The National Geographic Kids Get Outside Guide inspires kids to get out of the house and explore the great outdoors where they can discover the wonder and amazement of the world around them, whether in their backyard, across the country, or around the world.

From beaches to woods to cities and countryside, kids will be taken on a journey of adventure through outdoor habitats near and far.  In addition, fun activities such a making a backyard bird bath, exploring their local parks, and discovering wildlife will engage the kids all throughout the year.  

My Thoughts

When I was approached to review some National Geographic Kids books, this book was the first one that caught my eyes from the ones offered.  I immediately liked the cover and thought that would be perfect for the RV when we go camping.   Turns out the book is perfect to entertain the kids everywhere we go – whether camping or in the backyard.

This book contains many projects or ideas that they can do and learn during the warmer days.  It contains  fun facts, lists, and sidebars that will supplement the activities to help put information into geographic, scientific, and/or historical context.   In a way it is a great book to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors and explore their surroundings.   There are five sections in the book – each containing numerous activities to do.  The Let’s Get Wet section will offer activities to do near the water.   The Journey Through the Trees will focus on everything that can be done with plants and the animals living in the forest.   The Explore Your Backyard section will encourage your kids to be creative in their own backyard.   The Nature Around Town section will allow your kids to discover nature in your city whether at the park or elsewhere.   We are fortunate to have numerous green spaces in our city as well as lots of walking trails that we can go explore.   Finally, the Let’s Go to the Park will offer activities to do in the parks whether in your town or in your province/state.

Below are some example of the pages found in this book.



Needless to say, when the book arrived in our home, my six year old daughter took it to check out the activities found in it.  She quickly came to me to request some sticky notes in order to mark down some activities she wanted to do this summer.  Her first picks are Make a Leaf or Bark Rubbing and Make Rock Art.   For my part, I personally like the page titled Name that Shell as well as the activity to Make a Solar Oven (which I definitively intend to do with the kids this summer and cook some smores in it…).

This book is definitively packed with fun activities which will spice up your summer time with your kids.  I highly recommend it!

Both the Almanac 2015 and the Get Outside Guide are available at your favourite bookstore, even and



Disclaimer: Thanks to MM Publicity for sending me the above mentioned titles for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.