Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Look for the DK Eyewitness Books

The popular series of DK Eyewitness is published in 88 countries.  It is one of the most trusted non-fiction series in classrooms, libraries and home for the past 25 years.

The series has won numerous awards through the years and 2014 becomes the year of a new look.   Now available in paperback edition you can find 12 of the most popular Eyewitness books at at library near you.    And Eyewitness now has a new title available for you:  Wonders of the World.

Let’s explore some of the titles I have received from DK Canada.

About the books
9781465422491HWonders of the World

Highlighting the seven wonders of the world — the Pyramids of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis, the Statue of Zeus, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Wonders of the World, a new title in the Eyewitness series, showcases these architectural feats and the marvels of engineering behind these timeless treasures.

Ancient Greece9781465420497H

Watch the past come to life in Eyewitness: Ancient Greece. From their myths and gods, to the first Olympics to the trial and execution of Socrates — explore the history, daily life, beliefs, and achievements of this amazing civilization, whose influence can still be seen today. See how Greek soldiers fought in battle, discover who the heroes were, and learn about the culture and festivals celebrated throughout this relevant era.


Dive in and discover the watery world covering most of our earth and the amazing wildlife in its depths in Eyewitness: Oceans. Through images, maps and informative text learn about life on the shore to the darkest depths of the ocean floor, including predators and prey, gas and oil exploration, products of the ocean, brave explorers and what the human race can do to help preserve one of the earth's most valuable resources.


In Eyewitness: Titanic young readers will discover the triumphs and tragedies of this "unsinkable" luxury liner. Detailed images and text highlight all aspects of this fateful journey including how the ship was built and equipped, what kind of passengers and crew she carried, what facilities she offered onboard, how she struck an iceberg, why she sank so quickly, how many people were saved, and how many lives were lost.

9781465420589HWorld War I

Updated and revised to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, Eyewitness World War I takes an in-depth look at the battles fought, the weapons used, and the lives lost. From the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, to life in the trenches, and Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points to the Treaty of Versailles, Eyewitness: World War I highlights the highs and lows of this four year battle in a format appropriate for readers from 8-12 years of age.

World War II9781465420596H

Discover the war that shaped the modern world in Eyewitness: World War II. From the pre-war rise of Nazi Germany to the start of the war with the invasion of Poland in 1939 to Japan singing the surrender agreement in 1945, all aspects of the deadliest conflict in human history are covered in great detail with content that is accessible and appropriate for young readers.

My Thoughts

I am absolutely sold out to the Eyewitness series for reference books and learning more about a specific subject.  We are currently learning about Medieval times at home and the DK Eyewitness books give you a pretty good idea of life in a castle, the life a knight and life during the Middles Ages.   Mind you we are not only looking at these books but the DK Eyewitness books are similar to encyclopedia and you can learn quite a bit with them.  Not only can you read but you get a pretty good visualization of that period of time or the theme covered by the book.

Now having them available as paperback is fabulous because they take less space on a bookshelf.    Consequently, you will have more space for other titles in your collection of DK Eyewitness books (or DVDs). 

Each title contains plenty of photographs, illustrations, and text in order to inform you on the subject you have picked.   At the end of the books you will also have a glossary which will give you definition of some of the words found in the text. 

I personally find these books of the highest quality and would recommend them for research and non-fiction reading.    They are a great addition for your home library and can be very useful for homeschoolers.

Other titles available in the paperback edition are Ancient Egypt, Cat, Crystal & Gem, Dinosaur, Dog, Hurricane & Tornado, as well as Rocks & Minerals.  You can explore all the titles published in paperback at DK Canada.

All the titles of DK Eyewitness series published in paperback is available at your favourite bookstore, even amazon.ca and amazon.com.







Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for sending me the above mentioned books 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.

Friday, July 25, 2014

R/C Vehicles from Toy State

imageFor 30 years, Toy State has been an innovator and industry leader in the manufacture of licensed and highly stylized lights & sound and radio controlled vehicles. Founded in 1984, Toy State’s core portfolio includes Road Rippers®, Hot Wheels® and James Bond 007™ lights & sound and radio controlled vehicles, as well as Cat® and Cat® Preschool construction toys. Working in-step with the world’s leading automakers, and Caterpillar, the leading manufacturer of construction equipment, Toy State products provide hours of enjoyment for kids of all ages.


When I was approached to review some of their products, I didn’t hesitate a minute because I knew that the kids will like this.    I received four products from Toy State which I think will place any kids and adults.

First, we received two pack of Hot Wheels RC

One was the 24 ours and the other one was the Baja Truck.   Both can be seen below.


These full-function r/c custom Hot Wheels vehicles is specifically geared for children age 6 and up.    They possess a light-up engine feature and is packaged in such a way that you can light up the car and use it a a storage container for the remote and the car.  In fact, I definitively find the packaging to be very ingenious as the remote control can be slide at the bottom of it.   That way you can’t loose the remote control when you are done your play time.     The vehicles are about 6 inches long and will provide fun time for your kids.  Both the controller and the vehicle require 2 AAA batteries.  

The other product I have received is a Lights & Sounds Hyper Race.  Geared for kids ages 3 and up, this specific model will include music (which is quite lound) as well as changing colors when it goes in hyper speed.    All you have to do is press on the vehicle so it can zoom toward your destination.  Iconic Hot Wheels vehicles scream (literally) down the road with motorized driving action. With the push of a button, hear the engine kick into ‘Hyper Mode’ and watch as the car body transforms into a completely new color. Driving will never be the same for your child. 

We received the Yur So Fast vehicle seen below.


THe Hyper Racer vehicle include great music and exciting sound effects.  Personally, I could live without this noise but somehow I think kids like it.  The vehicle requires 3 AAA batteries.

Finally, the last item that was in my delivery was one of the Engine Power products.     Geared for kids age 6 and up these Hot Wheels custom vehicles possess full-function R/C driving and a rumbling engine feature.  We received the Baja Boneshaker vehicle see below.


The Engine Power R/C vehicles include working headlights and a light-up engine during the driving action.  The controller requires 3 AAA batteries  while the vehicle requires 4 AA batteries.

Each of these vehicles and many more available on the Toy State website will bring fun entertainment for kids of all ages and even adults!   The detail put into the vehicle is amazing and the fact that each are different in how they work is great too because you can simply collect them if you want.  There is definitively something for anyone in your family on that website and you can find the perfect R/C vehicle for your child in a matter of a few clicks.   

The Toy State vehicles are available at a store near you even on amazon.com.



Disclaimer: Thanks to Toy State for sending me the above mentioned products 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.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cool your Summer with Hasbro Nerf Products

Every year, when summer time pops in and the days gets warmer, the kids wants to stay cool.  One way they do that is by competing against each other and soak themselves using the Nerf Soakers.   This time of the year, you might see new models on the shelves of your favourite stores.  I am here to present you two of the newest models on the market.


D5FC2EBC50569047F58413AAAEDDD26ANERF Rebelle Dolphina Bow Blaster

This new bow blaster has been specifically designed for girls.   It somewhat makes me think of Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games because of the shape of the blaster.    Your girld will step up with strength and style and bow-blasting soakage with the Dolphina Bow Blaster.  This stylish soaker will allow you to fill it with  up to 25 ounces of water.   All the child has to do is to pull the handle back and push it forward to fire a blast of water at your target.   Practice on target or shoot at your siblinngs, you can show off your skill and soak your mark with the Dolphina Bow blaster.   I love the design of the bow and the fact that there is something out there for girls now.   The blue and pink colors make it very attractive.  

However, my only disappointment with it would be the storage capacity of this blaster.   Only 25 ounces of water can be poured in.   Which means that the refilling would happen more often than the regular size soakers.    It would be nice to have a storage capacity a bit bigger than 25 ounces of water.  What is 25 ounces of water? About this much.


So you can easily imagine that this quantity of water will be drained quite rapidly from the NERF Rebelle Dolphina Bow Blaster.  But I have to highlight the fact that I think this is the first time ever that there is a water blaster specifically designed for girls.   And I hope that many more will make their way on the shelves in store in the future (yes even with a bigger storage capacity!).


NERF Super Soaker Barrage Soaker53F73F9E50569047F5395F8FB0CC0712

Presenting the new huge-capacity Barrage soaker! This big drencher can hold up to 84 ounces of water, and it's easy to pump and fire at your opponents.   Turn the nozzle to 1 of 3 soaking modes so you can choose just how to soak your target including a huge stream in Flood mode or the ability to hit multiple targets in Scatter mode.    But if you need to hit targets up to 38 feet away, you will want to use the Distance mode!   Nobody will be able to stand against you when you come armed with the Barrage soaker.

Now with this big soaker you can be certain to drench your opponents no matter where they are hiding.   This soaker is also very versatile as you can use three different soaking modes on it.    Simply switch the nozzle to select the one you prefer.


The NERF Rebelle Dolphina Bow Blaster and the NERF Super Soaker Barrage Soaker are available for purchase at your favourite store.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned products 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.


Guardians of the Galaxy blasting their way in theaters and toy stores


The month of August is just around the corner and with it comes a much anticipated comic book related movie – The Guardians of the Galaxy which is coming out in theaters on August 1st.  Needless to say that my husband and I are planning to go see this movie as soon as possible.    One of the popular characters of Guardians of the Galaxy is Rocket Raccoon.    Since the movie was announced a few years ago, the comic book fans have been trying to snatch the first appearance of the main characters in the movie.

My oldest son, Alexandre, was quick to check out which comic book had the first appearance of Rocket Raccoon.  Turns out that it is Incredible Hulk #271 and the value of this comic has been increasing in the past year or so simply because of the upcoming movie.


To celebrate the upcoming movie of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Hasbro has a line of toys that would please small and big kids.   From action figure to space ship as well as masks, you will find something that will bring joy in a boy or girl in your life.    I received three items from Hasbro Canada to review and interestingly enough all three items are based on the smallest character of the group – Rocket Raccoon!

49A551F450569047F58BF9D6F22388C7Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon Figure

About the toy

The Guardians of the Galaxy need all the help they can get to save the cosmos from destruction, and this is just the raccoon for the job! This incredible electronic Rocket Raccoon figure has a spinning blaster that lights up in the heat of battle. When you press the button on his leg, the blaster fires, and you can choose the battle sounds you want to hear! The intergalactic action will be epic with your Big Blastin’ Rocket Raccoon figure!
Figure comes with blaster.  Requires 3 "AA" batteries (demo batteries included).  Adult assembly required. No tools needed.

My Thoughts

  This toy is not a small one.   On the contrary, if I put my hands next to it with my middle finger touching the table, the head of Rocket Raccoon is going above my wrist.    This toy will bring numerous noise in your household too as Rocket Raccoon will blast through anything your child will want to knock off.   Mind you it’s only the sound you will hear nothing will be destroyed.   But the blaster is almost as big as the raccoon itself.    But Rocket Raccoon would be himself without his blaster.    When you press the button on the top of the blaster or on his leg, Rocket Raccoon will start shooting or charging his gun.   Sometimes, you might hear him growling or yell and start shooting immediately.   Every time the blaster is shooting, the pressure of the gun with make the raccoon tremble.  In a way the blaster works a bit like a machine gun seen in the gangster movies.   The mouth, head and ears of Rocket Raccoon will move a bit as he blast his way.

Though I personally like this toy for collectors, I am uncertain on how it will be received in household.   I mentioned to my husband that I was thinking he should put it in his office for decorations.   

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon Warbirdimage

About the toy

Blast into battle against interstellar evil with this sweet Rocket Raccoon Warbird vehicle! The included Rocket Raccoon figure pilots it into the fight against the forces of evil. When the dogfight is joined, the its wings pivot up for battle! No enemy will stand against your vehicle when you upgrade it with the included battle gear! The Guardians of the Galaxy will always prevail when your Rocket Raccoon Warbird vehicle is in the fight!
Includes vehicle, Rocket Raccoon figure, projectile launcher and gear.

My Thoughts

I wasn’t expecting this particular vehicle from the Guardians of the Galaxy but I was very surprised and delighted to realized that I received the Rocket Raccoon Warbird instead of the one I was suppose to receive.    This space vehicle is small to be held in your hand.   It comes with everything you need to explore the galaxy – even a small version of Rocket Raccoon!

You can upgrade the space ship with the battle gear that is included in the box.   Also the wings moves up and down and as you may expect it there are cannons on this warbird.  And like Rocket Raccoon will say himself “When you’re facing down whatever nastiness space throws your way, there’s only one thing better than a really big cannon: two really big cannons.”

The Rocket Raccoon Warbird is the perfect item for your child if he/she wants to fight the aliens throughout space.

4DFAE40250569047F5B1E47985764850Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket Raccoon Action Mask

About the toy

Lead the battle against interstellar evil as your favourite Guardian of the Galaxy with this awesome Rocket Raccoon Action Mask! You’ll feel like Rocket Raccoon when you slip this mask on, and you control the action. Do you want to move the mask’s ears, or raise the eyebrows or open the mouth? Just move your jaw to activate it! Will any enemy stand against you? Not when you have the Rocket Raccoon Action Mask on!
My Thoughts

I think this one is my favourite item of the lot.   I just love the look of this mask and the details included in it.     When you wear the mask you can move your jaw to activate the mask.   What?  Yes, when you move your own jaw, the mouth will open, the eyebrows will raise and the ears will move.   Essentially, whoever wears the mask control the action on it.   A blaster is sold separately if you choose to dress yourself as Rocket Raccoon at Halloween.


All these toys and more other ones are available at your favourite toy store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned product 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.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lego Friends Character Encyclopedia

9781465418944H (1)Lego Friends Character Encyclopedia
Published at DK Canada

About the book

Take a trip to Heartlake City and join in on the fun with the LEGO® Friends in the new LEGO® Friends Character Encyclopedia from DK.

Meet Mia, Stephanie, Andrea, Olivia, and Emma-and all the LEGO Friends characters! Find out about their pets, hobbies, vehicles, and favorite places to just hang out. Learn about their likes and dislikes, their cool outfits, and even discover their top secrets!

Featuring tons of images and fascinating facts about the popular LEGO Friends sets and mini-dolls,LEGO Friends Character.  Recommended for 6+.

My Thoughts

If your girl loves everything related to Lego Friends like mine is, you can be certain that this book would be a nice surprise to her.

The first 31 pages of the book will present all the characters that can be found in the Lego Friends products.   Then, the book will present you ALL the animals also found in the boxes of Lego Friends.   Following behind the animals, you will learn about all the different hobbies that the characters enjoy doing.  Living in Heartlake City, the characters have numerous places to go from houses to school without forgetting the places they work or enjoy spending time.  All these locations are also part of the book.  Finally and not the least, you can discover all the vehicles that the characters use to go to various places in the city.

I am very impressed with the design of the Lego Friends and the detailed that was put into each scene available for purchase.   To be honest, I would like to be a girl again and have these cool playthings.   But I am a mom and I enjoy seeing my girl playing with her Lego friends and with the other Lego products that we have (including the ones I used to play with when I was her age!).   The book will provide fun reading material for the girl in your life who enjoys her Lego friends.

image image image

Actually, the book is perfect for practicing reading with your child if she is at the age of being able to read independently.   Each page contains just enough reading material to encourage her to read more in order to learn more about Lego Friends.

Finally, included in the book you will find Naya with an exclusive outfit and accessories.   


In conclusion, the book is perfect for the girl in your life who likes Lego Friends.    It would make the perfect book to offer to a young girl learning to read whether it is for a birthday or for Christmas.

Lego Friends Character Encyclopedia is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even amazon.ca and amazon.com.


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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

NIV Essentials Study Bible

_225_350_Book.1032.coverNIV Essentials Study Bible – Easily Graps the Fundamentals of Scripture Through Lenses from 6 Bestselling NIV Resources
Published at Zondervan

About the Bible

The NIV Essentials Study Bible helps you quickly and easily understand, interpret, and apply God’s Word to your life. The variety of features in this Bible presents a multifaceted, exciting format for studying Scripture. There are many different ways to explore God’s Word: question-and-answer studies; detailed in-text study notes; timelines, photos and charts; helpful devotional insights; and profiles of Bible characters. Now you don’t have to choose, because the NIV Essentials Study Bible provides you the chance to explore the Bible using all these study methods and more. With each of these lenses included in one Bible, you will discover how to best understand the essentials of Scripture.This edition includes the entire NIV Bible text with the world’s best notes for learning. It incorporates the finest content, images, and study tools from the most popular Bibles that are loved and used by Bible readers just like you. It features:

  • Flyover Lens: Start each book of the Bible with the right perspective from easy-to-read introductions from the popular Essential Bible Companion.
  • Unpack Lens: Easily understand and interpret Bible passages with bottom-of-the page study notes and in-text charts from the best-in-class NIV Study Bible.
  • Dig Deep, Look Close Lens: Understand the fascinating historical significance of the Bible with articles and photos from the bestselling NIV Archaeological Study Bible.
  • Q&A Lens: Get concise, easy-to-grasp answers to your most perplexing questions about the Bible with questions and answers from the beloved NIV Quest Study Bible.
  • People Lens: View Scripture from the perspective of the 100 most important people in the Bible with notes for the student of any age excerpted from the timeless NIV Student Bible.
  • Guided Tour Lens: Get a bird’s eyes view of Scripture with a Guided Tour, also excerpted from the category-leading NIV Student Bible.
  • Insight Lens: Find meaning in the Bible by reading these magazine-style call-outs from the NIV Student Bible.
  • R&R Lens: Reflect & Respond with this quick inspirational focus time, which unveils the sweeping narrative of the Bible as seen in the award-winning The Great Rescue, NIV.

My Thoughts

I recently received the NIV Essentials Study Bible which I considered like a fabulous Bible for youth, young adults as well as not-so-young-anymore adults.  This Bible is packed with fundamentals of Scriptures based on six bestselling NIV resources: NIV Study Bible, NIV Quest Study Bible, NIV Archaeological Study Bible, NIV Student Bible, The Great Rescue Bible, and The Essential Bible Companion.  The goal of this new Bible is to help the reader to explore the Scripture through a multifaceted, exciting format that combines study styles.   Consequently, the best parts of Zondervan’s most popular Bibles and study materials have been inserted in this precious tool which will allow you to study the Bible through a variety of lenses.




From the pages of The Essential Bible Companion, the book introductions will allow you to obtain a quick overview of each book of the Bible through an organized and information format.  You will discover key concepts, verses, teachings and terms for each book as well as maps, photos, and a timeline taken from the NIV Quest Study Bible.

If you want to follow a more traditional approach while studying the Bible, you can spend time in the Unpack Lens which includes study notes from the NIV Study Bible located at the bottom of the pages.  You will find explanations of the text, verse-by-verse and discover how the events and truths of the Bible fit together.

The Dig Deep, Look Close Lens will present the historical significance of the Bible with articles and photos adapted from the NIV Archaeological Study Bible.  In these articles, you will read either about the reliability of the Bible, the artifacts, the archaeology, the history or the people.   Going in hand with this specific lens, I find that the People in Focus Lens will allow you to examine the Scripture through the stories of the most important people in the Bible by adapting the notes found in the NIV Student Bible.

The Q&A lens will guide the reader in finding answers to some of the most perplexing questions found in the NIV Quest Study Bible.  However, the Reflect & Respond Lens will provide an inspirational focus time based on sweeping narrative of the Bible in The Great Rescue NIV.

The Insight Lens will provide articles from the NIV Student Bible that condense the material and provide a better understanding of the meaning of the Scripture.  These articles are written like a magazine article and provide a Life Questions section at the end in order to relate the passage to real-life situations.  Also taken from the NIV Student Bible, The Guided Tour Lens provides a bird’s-eye view of the entire Bible for the reader.  Finally, the Highlights included in the NIV Essentials Study Bible will point our interesting facts and will highlight something in the passage that might get overlooked otherwise.

Also included in this Bible you will found a table of weights and measures, reading plans, a subject index and a concordance.   The reading plans are very interesting because you can pick whichever reading plan that would be better for your time with God.  The reading plans included are: One Year Through the Bible, 60-Day Overview of the Bible, 20 Not-so-Famous Bible Stories, 30 Days of Great Faith, and 30 Days with Jesus.  And to complete the NIV Essentials Study Bible, you will find  photographs, charts, and maps to complete your study of the Word of God.

The NIV Essentials Study Bible is a great tool to have if you want to deepen your relationship with God.  Not only is it good for new followers that wants to discover God in a multi-faceted way but it is also great for older believers who wants to read a different kind of Bible which will allow you to deepen your understanding of Scripture.  This edition not only contains the complete Word of God but also offers essential tools from six proven Bibles version of Zondervan at the same time. 

The NIV Essentials Study Bible would make a wonderful gift for a new believer, a graduate, for someone who is getting baptized, for a youth, for a dear friend or a family member.   If you are looking for a Bible that contains articles and information to deepen your study of the Scripture but don’t want to purchase different versions of the Bible to do so, the NIV Essentials Study Bible will offer lenses from six of the most popular resources from Zondervan.  The NIV Essentials Study Bible is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.


It is also available for the Kindle.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Zondervan for sending me the above mentioned product 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.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Trip at the Kingdom of Osgoode

This coming school year, one of the units that the homeschool coop we are part off will be doing is the Middle Ages.   Well, on July 11th, the kids and I embarked on a discovery journey at the Kingdom of Osgoode as there was an Education Day for their Medieval Festival.image014

The day is specifically designed for children ages 4 to 14 and is packed with games and demonstrations on everything from chivalry and armour to medieval music and archery.   Various stations are installed on the following subjects:

  1. Medieval Dancing
  2. Medieval Drumming
  3. Bow Making
  4. Armour and Chivalry
  5. Arts & Crafts
  6. Juggling
  7. Shield Making
  8. Blacksmith
  9. Archery
  10. Music & Story Telling
  11. Medieval Medicine

My favourite activities were the drumming, the armour and chivalry, and the juggling.    We learned a bit about archery and medieval medicine but it’s wasn’t’ as interesting for the kids.


Here’s some picture of our day.


Games area



Damsel and her knight


More games


Archery game


Medieval Medicine – somewhat new age things said here….








Shield making






Stilt Walking – not an easy thing to do.




Bow Making





I am thankful that the sun was shining but the it wasn’t too warm.  A cool breeze was present as well.  

In all, a beautiful day and we learned a bit about the Middle Ages!