Monday, March 30, 2015

WordUp The Vocab Show

imageWordUP! The Vocab Show – The Best Way to Learn Vocabulary from Latin & Greek Roots
From Compass Classroom

About the product

Dwane Thomas, of Visual Latin fame, stars in a zany new show teaching Latin and Greek roots, as well as hundreds of English vocabulary words. Utilizing a new approach to learning, WordUp! seriously expands a student’s grasp of the vocabulary used in literature, science, and standardized tests.

Each DVD or download set includes:

  • 10 video lessons (12-15 min each)
  • 20 Latin & Greek roots
  • 200+ English words
  • Links to online Vocabulary Flashcards

My Thoughts

I have seen a post about this product on facebook and it picked my curiosity.   So I decided to watch the trailer of the game and see what it consisted.   I was hooked because it was a great way to learn Latin and Greek words for kids of any ages.   So today I am delighted to be able to present you WordUp! The Vocab Show and tell you how we enjoyed it as part of our homeschool.  This DVD is consider as Volume 1 which I suspect will be followed by other titles.   It contains ten video lessons and over 200 words in Quizlet. 

Quizlet is an online quiz which allows your student to learn more word based on the lessons presented on WordUp! which will expand the grasp of the vocabulary used in literature, science and more.  The Quizlet provides cards to learn the words and definition, a section where you get the definition and you have to type the word, a speller which encourage you to type what you hear, a test where you can select the question types (written, matching, multiple choice and true/false), a game which consists in dragging corresponding items onto each other to make them disappear and finally a game where you destroy scrolling words by typing in their corresponding term and pressing enter.    Bottom line, the student has no excuses in learning the vocabulary words presented because there are plenty of fun activities for him/her to strengthen the learning of the words.

The best part of this product is that if you are uncertain of how it would be a good fit for your family, you can download two free lessons and try it out. 

WordUp! The Vocab Show is available for purchase directly from Compass Classroom in DVD format or download format.    Each are regularly priced at 15$ but for a limited time they are both available for 9.99$.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Compass Classroom for sending me the above mentioned product in download format 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.

Mary Poppins 80th Anniversary Collection

imageMary Poppins 80th Anniversary Collection
Written by P.L. Travers
Published at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

About the book

Since the 1934 publication of Mary Poppins, stories of this magical nanny have delighted children and adults the world over. In honor of the book’s 80th anniversary comes this lush collection that includes the first four tales by P. L. Travers, illustrated by Mary Shepard: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, Mary Poppins Opens the Door, and Mary Poppins in the Park. Featuring a gilded cover, a foreword by Gregory Maguire, and an essay by P. L. Travers about the writing of Mary Poppins, this handsome volume will make a lovely gift for fans new and old. Travel on the east wind to Cherry Tree Lane with Mary in these stories that inspired the classic film, the stage show, and young imaginations the world over.

My Thoughts

This special book contains the first four tales of P.L. Travers on the beloved nanny – Mary Poppins.   Though the thickness of the book could be a problem for people who like individual books, I think it is very nice to have a special edition to enjoy as a family.   This 80th anniversary edition contains the stories of Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back, Mary Poppins Opens the Door, and Mary Poppins In the Park.  It also contains an excerpt from an essay written by P.L. Travers and titled “On Not Writing for Children”.

The font used for this edition is a bit bigger than normal books and I suspect it is to make it easier for kids to read it alone if they wish to do so.   I personally prefer discovering the stories of Mary Poppins as a read along where the kids can enjoy it with me.   Through the pages of this book you will also enjoy the drawings of Mary Shepard.

Needless to say that Mary Poppins has been part of the life of many people through the years –whether for those who read the book or those who have enjoyed the movie.   This book could be a wonderful gift for young people who has mastered reading or for new parents to build their personal library of children’s books.   

Mary Poppins 80th Anniversary Collection is available for purchase at your favourite bookstore, even on 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.

Bella’s Gift

imageBella’s Gift – How One Little Girl Transformer Our Family and Inspired A Nation
by Rick and Karen Santorum
Published at Thomas Nelson

About the book

Rick and Karen Santorum share the inspiring story of life with their special-needs youngest child.

On May 13, 2008, the Santorum family welcomed their seventh child into the world. Isabella Maria was born with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome. Only 10 percent of children with Trisomy 18 are born alive, and 90 percent of those children do not make it to their first birthday. Faced with these bleak statistics, doctors told the family to prepare for Bella’s death. Instead, they chose to celebrate her life.

Over the next five miraculous years, the Santorum family adjusted to life with a special needs girl—and watched her transform the lives of everyone around her. In many days of sickness and joy, she became an inspiration to her community and, ultimately, to the nation. Bella’s Gift details the peaks and valleys, the joys and sufferings, and the incredible value of life with a special needs child. In a world that often measures worth according to usefulness, Bella’s story is a reminder that our real value lies in our capacity to love.

My Thoughts

There is one thing I need to tell you about this book – be prepare to be moved by the story of Bella and her family.    The main reason I have requested this book is because I want to lent it to my sister-in-law who raise a special need son – my nephew.  I just know that she would love to read this book.   I read it because of my nephew as well as for learning more about what it means to raise a child with a trisomy.  

I will admit that I have poured tears while reading this book and was appalled at the reaction of some doctors who came in contact with Bella.    I find that she is a very brave little girl and that it take tremendous courage for parents of special need kids to fight for their children when things are not always looking positive.    The book gives you the perspective of Karen and Rick on different chapters.   Sometimes they write about the same event and how each of them reacted on it.  The book also contains photos from the life of Bella so far which personalize the book even more.    Bella seems to be thriving nowadays and should be 7 years old this year.

The book will give you a very good perspective of life with a special need child as well as encourage you to see these people as gift from above.  The Santorum’s story is definitively a priceless story to read that I think every one should take the time to discover.  

Bella’s Gift is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


The book is also available for the Kindle and Kindle app.


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.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bright Ideas Journal

imageBright Ideas Journal
Published at Chronicle Books

About the journal

This vibrant journal with colorful exposed binding will inspire the most brilliant ideas. With ten different colors of paper and plenty of room to record Rosy Outlooks, Evergreen Observations, Sunny Thoughts, and more, the sky's the limit!

My Thoughts

Recently, I discovered a marvelous journal that just popped in colors.   This small journal stumbled in my life as I was embarking on a journey in putting art in my bible.   I love the fact that it had colored sections which I find inspiring and would bring joy in my life.

Essentially this little journal is divided into ten bright colored sections.  Each of these sections has a special name: Red Hot Ideas, Blazing Breakthroughs, Rosy Outlooks, Twilight Insights, Silver Linings, Deep Reflections, Blue Sky Brainstorms, Evergreen Inspirations, FreshlyIMG_2110 Minted Inventions, and Sunny Thoughts.   

This little gem of a journal, which by the way can easily be slid into a purse, can help you jolt down anything that go through your mind.    If you are a writer, you can use it for keeping ideas on your next novel.   But for someone like me who enjoys bible art journaling I plan to use it to sketch ideas on scriptures before doing them in the Bible.   At the same time I could use it for memorization as I find it important to be able to know the scriptures by heart.   As soon as I received the little journal, I immediately sketched an idea I had in my head to see how it would look when I decide to do it in my journaling bible.


What I particularly like about it is the way it has been presented on the side of the journal.  I love seeing the bright colors when I look at it.   Also, as I mentioned before, it is easy to bring it with you to sketch ideas while waiting at appointments (like when I go for my oldest son’s orthodontics appointments).  Then I just need to bring a pencil and my iPad with me.    I was debating what to do when we go to a winter retreat because I didn’t feel like bringing two bibles with me.  So the best way to let my creativity express itself while at the retreat would to bring this bright colored journal with me.   Besides, with the colors of the rainbow tucked in my bag, I can remember God’s promise everywhere I go.


The Bright Ideas Journal is available at your favourite bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Chronicle Books 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, March 2, 2015

Zoology for Kids

imageZoology for Kids: Understanding and Working with Animals with 21 activities.
Written by: Josh and Bethanie Hestermann
Published at Chicago Review Press

About the book

An interactive introduction to working with animals, Zoology for Kids invites the next generation of zoologists to discover the animal kingdom through clear, entertaining information and anecdotes, lush color photos, hands-on activities, and peer-reviewed research. Young minds are introduced to zoology as a science by discussing animals’ forms, functions, and behaviors as well as the different ways they interact with their environments. Related activities include baking edible animal cells, playing a dolphin-echolocation game, and constructing a food chain. Young readers can peek into the world of zookeepers and aquarists, veterinarians, wildlife researchers, and conservationists as they “train” their friends, mold a tiger’s jawbone, and perform field research in their own backyard. This engaging resource provides readers with new knowledge, a healthy respect for the animal kingdom, and the idea that they can pursue animal-related careers and make a difference to preserve and protect the natural world.

My Thoughts

I was recently approached to review the book Zoology for Kids on my blog.  I was hesitant at first because we already have so much book on animal science.  However, this book is very different than the ones we have already.   How you may ask?   Well first they are written by a marine mammal keeper and trainer and his wife.  The Kratt Brothers have taken the time to write the foreword for the book as well.  Finally, the book is essentially teaching the kids how to understand and work with animals.   

Essentially the book will inform and teach your kids (and you as well) about the world of zoology and how people work closely with animals.    Visiting a zoo or an aquarium is easy but have you taken a minute or two to ponder on what needs to be done in these two environments?   This book will allow you to explore not only the jobs behind the scenes but also all you need to know about animals, their behaviors, their environments, the work that needs to be done from everyone involved in caring for these animals.

The book is divided in two major sections:

  • Part I: Zoology for Beginners which covers the form and functions of animals, understanding animal behavior as well as animals and their environments. Activities in this section are bake an edible animal cell, dig up animal bones, play the dolphin echolocation game, explore concealing coloration, test your sense of direction, demonstrate a butterfly’s life cycle, communicate like a deep-sea animal, eat a bat fruit salad, and construct a food chain.
  • Part II: Working on the Wild Side – Zoology in the Real Life which will inform your student on zookeepers, aquarists, and other zoo crew, veterinarians, wildlife researchers, and conservations warriors.  The activities included in this section consist of creating a behavioral enrichment, training animals, plan and draw an exhibit,  mold tiger teeth, build a stethoscope, take your vitals, how animals keep warm, performing a field research, invent a new species, survive habitat loss with a game, make an endangered species flyer, and interview a zoologist.

As you can see the book contains fun activities and lots of information.   Even though the book is recommended for age 9 and up, the book’s target audience would be about 11-14 years of age.      Ideally, the pre-teens and teens will find value in reading this book if they are interested in learning more about real-life zoologist.   

image imageimage

The book is also packed with amazing colored photos, a glossary, as well as a list of resources that could be useful if you use this book as a learning resources. The text can be taken in chunks when reading through it depending of the age of your kids.  I really think that this book could be very useful for a young person interested in learning more about zoologists and work in a zoo or aquarium.  It could be a great resource to go through before going to visit the zoo or the aquarium as well in order for your kids to learn more about animals and what it takes to care for them.

Zoology for Kids is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Chicago Review Press for sending me the above mentioned book 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.