Friday, October 31, 2014

KNex Review & Giveaway

K*Nex is a toy that is part of our life.   Every now and then the kids try to create something new with the sets we have.   Other times, they try to recreate the models offered in the box.   We even have a remote control K*Nex sports car that they play with as well as some other ones that can be very colorful when working in the dark.

Since Christmas is coming, K*Nex has sent two sets to promote on my blog.  Continue reading this blog post to see what else they have offered for my readers.

image70 Models Building Set

This fun treasure chest will allow your child to build anything he/she can imagine with instructions for overs 70 unique models.   The creativity of the child will be unleashed and be prepare to be in awe of what this set can produce: cars, places, sea creatures, and much more.  The box is loaded with over 700 K*Nex rods and connectors.   And the best part is that the treasure chest can be use to store the pieces when your child is done playing with them.    This set is ideal for any kids ages seven and up.

My kids have used K*Nex on and off through the years.    But each time, they discover a new way of playing with them.    I love the fact that sometimes, you can also download new projects for the set purchased – especially for the regular building sets like this one.   I find that K*Nex allows your child to be more creative, to follow instructions when building, develop hands and eye coordination and will allow them to play with having too many toys. 

Check out some of the models that can be made with this special set.



I think my favorite one is the flying bird seen above.   I prefers K*Nex sets that promote and cultivate creativity over the ones that are based on specific themes.   But I also know that other people love to get toys based on popular video games for their child so I also received a set based on the Super Mario Bros U to review.

91jmoCp1YsL._SL1500_Super Mario Layer Cake Desert Building Set

Geared for kids ages 8 and more, this specific set will allow the child to go on a brand new adventure with Fire Mario as he journeys through the Layer Cake Desert. This special set feautres K'NEX's all new jump disk and launcher that allow Mario to run and jump, like he does in the game. Unfortunately, we are complete stranger to the new game so it is hard for me to compare the set with the video game.   However, knowing how Mario games works and seeing the flexibility of K*Nex with their specialized theme sets, I am pretty sure that they nailed the Layer Cake Desert adventure.

With this special set from K*Nex your child will be able to build Fire Mario and use the jump launcher to enter the course. He will also be able to use the Stone-Eye Statue which flips back and forth by twisting a white connector .  Mario can to cross to the right and collect the coins on top. But beware of the Waddlewing! Mario will be able to drop through the warp pipe and discover another complete play area on the back.   Finally,it is possible to pop-up the Sand Geysers to cross to the last platform, where Mario will do battle with a spinning Pokey.  The goal it the pop-up the flag in order to complete the course.  

The best past is that this set can be combine with the rest of the K'NEX Super Mario™ building set line to take Mario on an even BIGGER adventure!


9139DYu61WL._SL1500_GREAT NEWS!

K*Nex has graciously offered to bless one of my readers with the 70 Models Building Set.  The contest is open for US and Canadian citizens. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The two above mentioned products are available for purchase at your favorite toy store even on and



Disclaimer: I have received 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, October 30, 2014

Last minute accessories for Halloween

Halloween is this week.  Some of you are probably prepared and others always wait at the last minute to think of a costume.    Did you know that Hasbro has a big selection of masks of superheroes as well as accessories from the most popular movie or television show?

This year as part of the promotion for Halloween, I have received two products from Hasbro Canada

4DF931DA50569047F535AD117DBF1614Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy Star-Lord Battle Gear Set

Halloween wouldn’t be the same if you don’t see some Guardian of the Galaxy characters on the streets.   With the Star-Lord Battle Gear Set your child will be able to lead the battle against interstellar evil.  He will  feel like the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy when he is wearing the Star-Lord Hero Mask and load up the mini blaster with the included dart.   The mini blaster will allow your child to hit targets up to 40 feet away.  

The package is tricky and you have to be careful in cutting the parts.   I am saying this because my 2nd son was going a bit fast and accidentally cut the black elastic that was needed to hold the mask on your head.   The elastic is the same color at the paper thigh on rope that held the mask in the packaging.  Oups.   But super-mom came to the rescue with some elastic band that she has in stock for sewing projects.   All is fixed and Dominic is very happy to have a new costume for Halloween.

The Star-Lord Battle Gear is not the only mask available at Hasbro Canada.  When the movie came out I had the privilege to review another mask from the movie – Rocket Raccoon!   It is an amazing mask worth discovering and that is fun to use.

The boys were very creative in putting their costumes together along with the masks.   Jérémy, our 3rd son, immediately decided to take a big blaster in order to complete his costume.    We couldn’t agree more. 


My two heroes will walk the streets in my neighborhood on Halloween night in hopes to find villains to blast off as well as candies to collect!


Now not only Guardians of the Galaxy is popular but Star Wars is getting more and more popular as the years go by.  What started a generation of young people loving Star Wars in the 70s has splashed onto a new generations of fans with our own kids loving the series whether in movies or television shows.   Did you know that a new cartoon is out right now – Star Wars Rebels.    Hasbro was quick to bring toys based on this new television show. 

AC7F897C50569047F540574FF5F66E54Star Wars Rebels Inquisitor Lightsaber

Want to feel just like your favorite Star Wars villain? Then grab this incredible 3-in-1 lightsaber and battle the Rebels, just like the sinister Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels television show.   This double-bladed lightsaber can break into 2 single lightsabers, and they come with a Force Disc you can throw at the enemy. Each lightsaber’s blade extends with the flick of a button, and you can combine them into one 3-foot blade as well.   Your child will be the most terrifying Jedi hunter in the neighboAC7FAC2850569047F5849E0A615BA424rhood when you battle in your The Inquisitor lightsaber.    It is a great accessory for kids who have opted to become a character from Star Wars Rebels this Halloween.

I find that this accessory is quite versatile since you can split it in part and use what you want at a moments notice.    I really like the disc part which could be use for a game as well.


This Halloween, surprise your kids with new accessories and have a great time on the road.   Be careful when you cross the streets and make sure you bring a flashlight as well.   Have fun with your kids and eat a few treats on your Trick or Treat adventure.

On behalf of my three youngest kids – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Both items are available at your favorite toy 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.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

World History Detective

World History Detective® Book 1World History Detective
Published at Critical Thinking Co.

About the product

World History Detective® can be used as a standards-based, stand-alone textbook, a resource of supplemental activities to enrich another textbook, or as a review course for older students. Students begin by analyzing a lesson. Next, they apply critical thinking skills to answer multiple choice and short essay questions. Finally, students support their answers by identifying evidence learned from the lesson. World History Detective® includes geographical maps, timelines, and concept maps, and develops critical thinking skills in lessons that teach the roles that technology, power, institutions, ideas, and trade play in shaping history.

This book provides teacher and student introductions, list of historical topics, a lesson on identifying evidence, answers, critical thinking skills, identification of evidence, evaluation of evidence, as well as drawing inferences and conclusions.
My Thoughts

I stumbled on a new product from Critical Thinking a couple of months ago.   Since we were going to study the Medieval era as part of our homeschool, I was looking for a curriculum that will encourage my oldest son to read more about the Medieval Times and learn from it.   I had found some interesting novels but this specific product which I had discovered would challenge him in reading on a specific topics, find answers to questions and take the time to draw conclusions on his own.  

The World History Detective allow you child to become a Sherlock Holmes while travelling through historical events from the past.    The first book concentrates mostly on Ancient and Medieval Civilizations.

The table of contents is divided into four historic ages:

  • Prehistory – dating history, prehistory to Neanderthals, early modern humans, and middle stone age through the new stone age
  • Ancient Civilizations – Fertile Crescent and the Sumerians, Babylonian Empire, Hittites and Phoenicians, religious history of the Hebrews, Ancient Hebrews, Assyrians and Chaldeans, Persian Empire, Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, Ancient India, Ancient Greece, Persian Wars, Peloponnesian Wars, Macedonians and Hellenistic Age, Classical Greece, beginning of the Roman Empire, Roman Republic Government and Law, Roman military, Phoenician Wars, Decline of Roman Republic, beginning of the Roman Empire, Daily Life in the Roman Empire, Ancient Roman Art and Literature, Roman Emperors, Christianity, Fall of the Western Roman Empire, and Ancient Celts.
  • Medieval Civilizations – Medieval Easter Roman Empire, geography of Europe, Barbarian Europe, spread of Christianity and Roman values into Barbarian Europe, founding of Western Europe, founding of England and Ireland, Medieval Russia, feudalism, age of faith, Medieval art and education, Crusades, conflict between kinds and popes, development of individual freedom, Muslims and Jews in Medieval Europe, fall of Medieval Society, geography of Arabia, beginnings of Islam, spread of Islam, Medieval Islamic science, math, business and literature, Medieval Islamic art and architecture, decline of the Islamic Empire, Seljuk and Ottoman Turks, geography of Asia, China, Medieval Japan, Medieval India, Medieval Korea, Medieval Southeast Asia, geography of Africa, Medieval West African Empires and economics, and Medieval East Africa and Zimbabwe.
  • Early American Civilizations – First Americans, geography and Great Civilizations of Mesoamerica and South America, Mayas, Aztecs, Incas, Norteast Tribes, Southeast and Plain Tribes, Great Basin and Plateau Tribes, Soutwest and California Tribes, as well as Nortwest Coastal, Subartic, and Artic Tribes.

To give you an idea of how the lessons are presented, check the images below.



I am impressed with the quality found in the exercises.  There is usually a page and a half of reading to do (sometimes accompanied by maps) and the student has some multiple choice questions to answer as well as some written questions where he/she has to expand on the thinking use to formulate the answer.    These exercises are perfect to discover more about civilizations from the past as well as deepen a better understanding of history.   I am suspecting that more books will be part of this series.   I hope that a World History Detective based on Canadian History would be put together eventually.   I would be great to have something on Canadian History that would stimulate the critical thinking of the student. I am very pleased with World History Detective Book One as we cover the Medieval Civilizations as part of our history lessons.  

If you purchase the World History Detective Book One, you will also get free bonus review lessons which are downloadable from the Critical Thinking website.   Also, the answers are provided in the book.  You also have the authorization to reproduce the pages for your family use. 

The World History Detective Book One is available for purchase directly from Critical Thinking for the price of 34.99$ US.   in 2015, a software edition will also be available.  It is also available on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to The Critical Thinking Co. 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.

Nelson Illustrated Bible Dictionary

_240_360_Book.1387.coverNelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary is the most comprehensive and up-to-date Bible dictionary available. With a fresh new look and updated photographs, this new and enhanced edition is a wealth of basic study information with more than 7,000 entries plus more than 500 full-color photographs, maps, and pronunciation guides.

Features include:

  • Cross-references to major translations
  • More than 7,000 up-to-date entries
  • More than 500 full-color photographs and maps
  • Enlarged type size for easier reading
  • Visual Survey of the Bible from The Open Bible

My Thoughts

I’ve always wanted to have a Bible Dictionary but we never really got one.   We had a kid’s version but I found that it wasn’t complete enough.   So I was delighted to be able to select the new Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary and be able to review it.   I was really excited when it came to our door and quickly opened it to read more about the book of the Bible I was reading at that time – Job.    Essentially, the book of job deals with age-old questions with one being probably the most asked throughout the world – why the righteous suffer? 

This bible dictionary gave me the structure of the book including a study and teaching outline, the authorship and date, the historical setting, the theological contribution as well as a special consideration.   Within the book of Job God takes the time to answer Job at the end.  In Job 39: 13-18 the ostrich is scorned because of its nesting habits.  Tucked in the text concerning the book of Job, you can see two beautiful pictures of ostriches one demonstrating how their nest look like.

Reading about the book of Job in the Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary helped me to grasp a better understanding of the book as well as enjoying he truths presented in a form of poetry.   I have now a new appreciation of the book of Job and see the necessity of returning to it on a regular basis.

This new and enhanced bible dictionary contains cross-references to major translations with over 7000 entries.   You will also be able to visualize and admired more than 500 full-color photographs and maps.


This bible dictionary is definitively more packed with information than a children version.    With over 1220 pages you can be certain to find the information you want to read when searching through this book.   At the end of the Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, you can discover nine maps linked to the Bible:

  1. The Nations of Genesis 10
  2. The Exodus from Egypt
  3. The Conquest of Canaan
  4. The Kingdom Years
  5. Jerusalem – From David to Christ
  6. Palestine in Christ’s Time
  7. Paul’s First and Second Journeys
  8. Paul’s Third and Fourth Journeys
  9. The Holy Land in Modern Times

The Nelsons’ Illustrated Bible Dictionary can be a beautiful gift for a student who is going to Bible College or a great addition to your personal and homeschool library.    I plan to use this volume in my personal studies and also allow the older kids to use it for sections in Awana or for personal study when they want to learn more about something specific.

The Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson 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.

Pandemic Contagion

1608Pandemic Contagion
From Z-Man Games

Last year I had the privilege to review the game Pandemic from Z-Man Games on my blog.  Since the release of the new edition of the game, two expansion packs were also release: Pandemic in the Lab  and Pandemic on the Brink.  Pandemic is also available as a game on your Apple devices.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t expecting to receive the new version of the game – Pandemic Contagion – which will be release in store later this month.  This time the game has a completely different twist – you are the disease and there is no cure!  Though I will admit that with the various viruses going on right now having this game has mixed feeling…  

The game is described as this on Z-Man Games website:

For too long has the human race assaulted diseases. For too long has mankind found cures and other means to eradicate them from the planet. Now, the diseases are fighting back and humanity doesn’t stand a chance! Will you be the disease that exterminates humanity?
A new, non-cooperative game in the Pandemic line! Become one of the diseases in this new game that reverses the roles and where you must now try to annihilate the human race.

I personally experienced the same sickness twice in my lifetime – once as a child and once as a young adult.   I was told back then that the reason why I caught it a second time was because the sickness has change over a period of 20 something years and because of that many university students were getting the new “version” of it.  Not fun because I had to be very careful in being expose to sunlight for a certain period of time.   So I am not surprised in seeing a game based on the fact that diseases modified themselves in order to take a revenge on humanity.  

The box contains sixty contagion cards, twenty-four city cards, twelve event cards, six WHO cards, five player disease boards, five score markers, five petri dishes, seventy-five disease cubes and one scoring board.  The disease cubes are made of a transparent plastic in five different colors – blue, red, yellow, black and purple.   The cities that will be attacked are: Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Sydney, Seoul, Delhi, Mumbai, Tokyo, Milan, Essen, London, Paris, Cairo, Lagos, Kinshasa, Johannesburg, Bogota, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Montreal, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and New York.  The WHO cards includes events like clean-up, PR program to raise public awareness, the efforts being spread globally, a cure found, deployment of medical teams and vaccines available.   As for the events cards, they are essentially ways for the diseases to spread more rapidly throughout the world like attendance at worldwide festivals, travels, refugees, government collapsing, and more.  The disease boards and the scoring board are made of strong cardboard while the cards are very colorful.  

This game could make a great gift for Christmas for someone in your life who loves to play out-of-the-ordinary board games.   It is definitively not your normal game board and will provide great family time when you play with your kids.

Pandemic Contagion is available for purchase at your favorite games store, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Z-Man Games for sending me the 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.

Deep Relief Ice Cold Spray

Not too long ago, I woke up in the morning with some pain in my shoulder.   Fortunately I had just received the new topical product Deep Relief Ice Cold Spray and decided to try it on that morning as the pain wasn’t going away by itself.    I quickly Ice Cold Spraysprayed the area where my shoulder was hurting and found that the mist coming out from the spray bottle was refreshing and cool on my skin.    At first I really thought that it wasn’t working much but after a few minutes I could feel the cooling formula working on my strained muscles.     It helped to reduces the inflammation and the pain I was experiencing and after a couple of hours it was gone. 

This new product from Deep Relief is very easy to use and you don’t need the help of someone else to apply it.   All you have to do is to aim on the area that hurts and spray.  Voilà!  You have just applied a nice dose of the new Deep Relief Ice Cold Spray. And the best part is that the touch free continuous spray format offers convenience when you have to treat an hard to reach areas.    Perfect when your spouse is not at home to help you apply it!

Deep Relief Ice Cold Spray is ideal for acute injuries or after an intense workout.   It will help reduce the inflammation just like ice would do.    The product is available at major drug stores as well mass and grocery retailers for the price of 9.99$.   Deep Relief products is a complete line of topical pain relievers that has been trusted by Canadians for over 50 years.

For more information please visit our website:  You can also follow Deep Relief on facebook and twitter.


One of my reader will will a marvelous package from Deep Relief containing:

    · 1 Dual Action Neck, Shoulder, & Back Pain Relief (hands free) value of $14.99

    · Deep Relief Ice Cold Pain Gel 255g value of $8.99

    · Deep Relief Ice Cold Spray value of $9.99

    · Deep Relief Heat spray value of $8.99

    · Deep Relief Yoga Mat value of $25.00

    · Deep Relief cinch bag value of $10.00

    The package has a total value of 75$.  The prize will be shipped directly to the winner from my contact at Mentholatum.  Note:  The prizing may not be exactly as shown as we are sourcing different cinch bags.

    Contest open for Canadians only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Thanks to Mentholatum for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes and offering the giveaway for my readers. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series–180 Daily Teaching Lessons Grade 8

Easy Grammar Ultimate Series: 180 Daily Teaching Lessons – Grade 8
By Easy Grammar Systems

About the curriculum

  • 180 daily teaching lessons
  • 10 minute lessons
  • Concepts presented in an easy, step-by-step manner
  • Building-block approach

Emphasis is placed on phrases (gerund, infinitive, participial, etc.) and concepts at Grade 8 level

The Easy Grammar Ultimate Series texts are similar to both Easy Grammar andDaily GRAMS. The texts are like Easy Grammar in that they are teaching texts. Concepts relating to phrases, clauses, compound-complex sentences, and other higher-level concepts (as well as basics) are presented in a 180 daily lesson format found in Daily GRAMS texts. Concepts are introduced, reintroduced, applied, expanded, etc. throughout each text. See the "Scope and Sequence" for each EGUS level: Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, Grade 11, and Grade 12.

My Thoughts

We have been using Easy Grammar since Alexandre started grade 3.   After seeing the result is has made on him in learning English grammar, we decided to purchase the grade 2 book in order to prepare his siblings to the method of Easy Grammar. 

This year after 5 years of using the methodology of Easy Grammar, Alexandre embarked on a new journey with  the 180 Daily Teaching Lessons from Easy Grammar for upper grades.     The 180 Daily Teaching Lessons consists of the Teacher book, the student workbook and the test booklet.  The presentation is very different to what Easy Grammar was but the concept is still the same.  


Essentially, each day the student will go through exercises that will reinforce his/her knowledge of grammar.  The exercises consist of applying rules for capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech as well as sentence combining.    Each “lesson” will take approximately 10 minutes per day.  Every ten lessons, you can assign a test to your student in order to see if your student has mastered the material covered.   

For the past few weeks, Alexandre has been using the 180 Daily Teaching Lessons from Easy Grammar.   It is very different for him compared to the previous years where he had to learn the rules of grammar.  This time around, he has to complete some exercises while allows him to recall what he has learned in the past.    However, even though he has a strong understand of the grammar rules in English, I find this series will allow him to retain and put in practice all the things he has learned during his elementary years in primary homeschool.    As this point in time, the only issue I can see he has would be in the sentence combining exercises.   Sometimes he forget a part of a sentence while other times his sentence is too long.  However, when the test comes around, he has understood his errors during the exercises and apply it properly.  

To be honest, I almost wish that I would have had these books when I learned English grammar during my primary and high school years.   Being Francophone, I think my English would have greatly flourished if I had used these in the past.  Mind you, I am learning alongside my own kids because I am teaching them using the techniques presented in the Easy Grammar books.   And I have seen the difference it made for a child who learn easily as well as for a child who is learning differently and who takes longer to understand the rule.    All my kids are thriving using Easy Grammar.   I highly recommend it for anyone considering a curriculum to teach English Grammar.  

If you student has not learned the various rules of grammar during his elementary homeschool days, I strongly suggest that you use the Easy Grammar Plus curriculum which will provide the lessons needed in order to understand English Grammar.  Then the transition to the 180 Daily Teaching Lessons can be done easily with more practice throughout the high school years.

Note that the student workbook does not contain the answer key and is to be used in conjunction with the teacher’s guide.  Though technically, since the teacher’s guide allows you to reproduce the pages of the exercises, you might only need the teacher’s book for your own use.  The test booklet will give the parent a way to assess their child’s mastery of the concepts.  The test is reproducible for student use.

The teacher edition of this curriculum is available to purchase in paper or pdf format for the price of 26.95$.  The student workbook is available for purchase in paper format for the price of 13.95$.  The test booklet is available for purchase in paper or pdf format for the price of 5.95$.  (all in US dollar)

These resources are also available as a kit on

Disclaimer: Thanks to Easy Grammar Systems 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.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Star Wars Workbooks

Back in early September, I saw something very interesting while I was at the Shoppers Drug Mart near my home – Star Wars Workbooks for Math and English for various grades.    I was curious and pick one to check it out.   I immediately thought that my daughter, Jasmine, would love working on the English workbooks for reading and writing during our homeschool. 

The series of the Star Wars Workbooks contains over twelve titles from Pre-K to 2nd Grade on core subjects like numbers, ABCs, phonics, and reading for the younger grades to math, reading and writing for the older ones.     The material is designed to reinforce essential concepts and lessons taught. Any child, not just fans of Star Wars—but yes, those fans will be especially delighted (as will reluctant learners)—will love the “A” is for Anakin approach to phonics. Kids will practice learning numbers by counting and circling X-wing starfighters and clone troopers. Master place values by sorting groups of Wookiees. There are math problems—Yoda is holding 7 lightsabers. 5 of the lightsabers are blue. The rest are green. How many green lightsabers is he holding? And Language Arts—Circle the correct homophone in this sentence: Luke is a Jedi knight/night.   Each book is different but all features the favorite characters like Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and other creatures, monsters, Jedi, and Sith.  The workbooks are filled with thousands of original illustrations drawing from all six Star Wars movies and the expanded Star Wars universe.
9780761178118 9780761178101

9780761178132 9780761178125

My sweet Jasmine has started using the Grade 1 reading and writing books in order to introduce her to the way these books are presented.   She was delighted to get them and use them in her homeschool.  The books are well presented, very colorful and will provide enough writing and reading activities for her.   In the first grade reading workbook, she has to read some words and plug them into full sentences.   Since she is having difficulty in reading (we are working on this), I am helping her by reading the sentence.  However, she reads the words herself.   Each exercise also has an image which illustrate the sentences on which she is working on.   This workbook will also present nouns, verbs and adjectives as well as spelling and vocabulary lists.  The first grade writing skills workbook reinforce the writing of the alphabet, the identification of sight words as well as sentence and story construction.  The grade 2 workbooks for reading and writing continue to reinforce these skills by giving slightly more difficult exercises and introducing new notions like adverbs, different genres of reading, main ideas, settings, and characters as well as creative writing and story prompts.



Her older brothers – grades 4 and 5 – wish that there were similar books for them to use.    With these workbooks, learning is fun and like Yoda would say: “Learn well, you will.”.

All these workbooks are available at and









Grade 1




Grade 2




Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen 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.

The Giver Quartet

9780544340978The Giver Quartet
Written by Lois Lowry
Published at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the book

This first-ever Lois Lowry single-volume collection includes unabridged editions of the Newbery Medal-winning The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son. Lois Lowry's groundbreaking dystopian series comes alive in a single portable volume. An affordable addition to the shelves of teen fans and collectors alike.

My Thoughts

I first discovered the Giver novel when I realized that the book was been made into a movie.   Being the kind of person who prefers to read the book before watching the movie, I found a copy at a second hand store and quickly read through it.  By the time, I read the last line of the book I was hooked and wanted to read the rest of the series.  However, I was having trouble finding the other titles at a second hand store.   Imagine my delight when the four books were offered in a one volume edition.   I was so looking forward to read the rest of the series that I immediately jumped in this book when I received it.

The Giver Quartet includes all the four books that are part of The Give series:  The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.    These four titles are linked through the series though you wouldn’t think so after reading the first and the second installments.  But when you arrive the the third and then the fourth, you realized how intertwined the books are.

The Giver is the story of twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment - world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality.   It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.  In Gathering Blue,  you will follow the life of Kira who, when left orphaned and physically flawed in a civilization that shuns and discards the weak, faces a frighteningly uncertain future. But Kira possesses a gift that the leaders of her village wants to use.  This novel will challenge you to think about community, creativity, and the values that they have learned to accept. Messenger is the story of Matty which was primarily introduced in Gathering Blue.  In this book, you will follow him in quest of a personalized name and in helping bringing life in the midst of death and fear. Finally, Son is the story of Claire who fled her village and is found on the shore.   She is on a quest of finding where she is from and what became of the child she has birth.  This compelling book is the conclusion of the series.

The four books are a delight to read and are different than any other kind of literature.   It is a perfect series to introduce the teen in your life to a different kind of society and how he/she would react if living in it.   Each books are thought provoking and make you realize that having the perfect society is not necessarily the best.  This series is a fabulous read and can open numerous discussions between you and your teen.  

This book is the perfect gift for a teenager this coming Christmas.     

The Giver Quartet is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen 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.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Adventures From the Books of Virtues

Many homeschoolers knows about the Book of Virtues written by  William J. Bennett which contains numerous moral stories for children of all ages.   There is even a FREE 900 pages unit study and lapbook available to dowload for anyone who desire to do so.  But what most families don’t know about isbookofvirtueslogo that there is a series of DVDs available where some cartoons were based on stories found in the popular book.  This DVD series, titles Adventures From the Book of Virtues will allow your kids to get a better understanding of the lesson thought in themes like self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverance, honesty, loyalty, and faith.


The DVD series is produced by Porchlight Entertainment and has received awards since it was created.  It was designed to enlighten, inspire and spark the imagination of families everywhere, while illustrating a central theme through classic international heroes and stories.   Follow Zach and Annie as they learn various life lessons from their friends Plato the bison, Aurora the red-tailed hawk, Aristotle the prairie dog, and Socrates the bobcat. These lessons are told in the form of animated segments based on stories from a variety of sources including the Bible, fairy tales, fables, mythology, and folk stories from different cultures.

This series is available at your favourite store.

Dare U 2 Open This Book

_225_350_Book.1352.coverDare U 2 Open This Book – Draw It, Write It, Dare 2 Live It
Written by Carol McAdams Moore
Published at ZonderKids

About the Book

D-I-R-T. What kind of dirt are you? Eyeballs are on U. U know it. What kind of light R U?

Dare U 2 Open this Book is not your typical 90-day devotional for guys. It’s an all-out open space for you to explore and learn more about yourself and your faith. With prompts to get your mind thinking and your creative ideas flowing, turn your thoughts and emotions into dynamic doodles, fill in the prayer blanks, solve puzzles, and more.

Each of the short, single-page devotions includes a topic, quote, Scripture summary, plus doodles, journal prompts, lists, puzzles, quizzes, fill-in-the-blank prayers, and unique activities that explore Bible truths and ways to apply them—everyday. —Dare U 2 Open this Book challenges guys to follow Jesus. Best. Idea. Ever.

My Thoughts

This devotional book is not your regular type of devotional.   Primarily geared for boys it is specifically designed to be straight to the point and direct all the while given the boy in your life plenty of room to doodle, write thoughts and so on.   The book contains over 90 devotions that will encourage your son – or the boy in your life – to deepen his understanding of the bible, discover how to apply the Scripture in his life and have fun while doing it.

Check out some of the pages found in this devotional book!



Aren’t they amazing?   I seriously wish that some devotional books for adults who have a thing for art could have one similar to this.  And I am pretty sure that girls would enjoy it too!  Nevertheless, this book is simply very artistic and if your son has no incline in drawing well I would suggest that you check out other types of devotional for him.   This particular book will get him engage and will encourage his creativity at 110% and more.

Each devotion is spread on a two page concept which will encourage your boy to think and ask him to interact in the book.  However, a two page concept might be not enough.   Knowing that our boys also read their Bible on a daily basis and learn Scripture with Awana, I think that the devotional book would be more than enough for them.    But if you want your child to grow spiritually, I would also incorporate Bible reading on a regular basis.

I would recommend this book for a grades 3-6 boy.   It is a great stepping stone to encourage him to do devotions on a regular basis.  After the 90 days spent in this book you could easily transition in a devotion that require more reading.

Dare U 2 Open This Book is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


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, October 3, 2014

Gift Boutique with DK Canada

It is the time of the year where you start seriously think about what to give to the people in your life.  In order to get you prepared for the upcoming Christmas season, DK Canada has numerous gift ideas for your loved one in their Gift Boutique


imageI have received LEGO Architecture – The Visual Guide to present you


This interesting book was created in close collaboration with The LEGO Group and Adam Reed Tucker, a LEGO® Architecture visionary.    LEGO Architecture: The Visual Guide takes a deep look at the artists, builders, and inspiration behind the LEGO Architecture series which I find offers many stunning building for you to build at your own leisure at home.   The book is beautifully illustrated and annotated, this visual guide allows you to explore the LEGO team's creative process in building and understand how LEGO artists translated such iconic buildings into these buildable LEGO sets.

Here’s a list of the buildings presented in the book: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Fallingwater, The White House, Farnsworth House, Rockefeller Centre, Robie House, Brandenburg Gate, Sydney Opera House, Big Ben, Villa Savoye, Sungnyemun, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Imperial Hotel, United Nations Headquarters, The Eiffel Tower, Trevi Fountain, John Hancock Center, Willis Tower, Empire State Building, Seattle Space Needle, Burj Khalifa, and Marina Bay Sands.

For each of these buildings, you will get a beautiful presentation of the model itself as well as come up close and personal with the original via photography and information about it.   You will also learn who is behind the architecture of the building, when it was built, where it is located, the construction type, the architecture style, and the kind of building it is.   When the model is presented, you will be able to quickly determine which LEGO Architecture model it is since the model number is provided as well as a photo of the box itself.   Details on how the model was created is also included as well as how the bricks can replicate the building itself.  Finally, you can visualize the original model of the building with photos and read more about it in the last two pages about this model.

Stunning images and in-depth exploration of the real buildings like the Guggenheim™ or the Empire State Building, on which the LEGO Architecture series is based, provide you with a comprehensive look at the creation of these intricate sets. While exploring the various models in the series, you will also learn why the LEGO team chose certain pieces and what particular challenges they faced.   Throughout the book you can read about the inspiration behind the creative processes and what designing and building techniques were used on various sets.  At the beginning of the book itself, you will be able to learn more about the Landmark series and the Architect series as well as when each models were created and available on the market.  Then you can learn more about some of the artists and builders from LEGO.  And if you have the interest in learning how a building gets converted into a LEGO model, you will be able to learn the whole creative process behind it.  

The book is packaged in a sleek protective slipcase, LEGO Architecture: The Visual Guide is the ultimate illustrated tour of the LEGO Architecture series in all its micro-scale detail.   It is the perfect gift for the student in architecture, the child who likes to learn more about how LEGO puts their ideas as a real model to built or the person in your life that is fascinated with buildings.

LEGO Architecture – The Visual Guide is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even and


And if you are interested in getting some of these models click on the links below.

Amazon Canada






Amazon US




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.