Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back to School with DK Canada


It is the time of the year where children throughout Canada go back to school or restart their homeschool.   And DK Canada has numerous titles that could help you teach your kids or supplement your kids on specific subjects in their Back to School Boutique.

I have received three titles to present on my blog.


61-UNrw4UpLSmithsonian Ocean – A Visual Encyclopedia

A stunning visual encyclopedia for kids, packed with stunning photography and amazing facts on every aspect of ocean life.  From the Arctic to the Caribbean, tiny plankton to giant whales, sandy beaches to the deepest depths, our oceans are brought to life with astonishing images, simple, stylish graphics, and crystal-clear text explanations in Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia. DK's Visual Encyclopedias are the first substantial series of encyclopedias aimed at young children, designed to excite and entertain, while offering a comprehensive overview of core subjects. From science and the human body to animals, ocean, space, and more, each book combines fun facts, amazing pictures, and crystal-clear explanations to take kids into the wonders of our world.

My Thoughts:

Well…. I have a good reason to review this book.  This year at our homeschool coop we will spend three weeks studying the oceans.   I am the leader of this unit and I wanted to have a book that would be a great resource for the kids.   I am not disappointed.  This book is packed with information about everything linked to the oceans.    In the first section of the book, the reader will learn much about the different oceans around the planet.  Then you discover more about our blue planet – how oceans are formed, the ocean floor, the ridges and the depths, and so much more.   In Open Ocean you learn more about the zones, the zooplankton, the jellies, the food chain and various animals living in and from the sea.   In Shallow Seas you will explore the seabed and seaweeds, the seafloor fish, and the animals living in and around the coral reefs.    In Coast and Seashores you are transported in the living areas of cliffs, caves, tide pools, beaches, dunes and more.  Then make sure you are dressed warmly because the book will bring you in the polar seas where you can learn not only about icebergs but the animals living in the colder waters.  Finally, the book concludes with sea exploration and will present how we exploit the oceans in various ways.



This book is perfect for a unit study on oceans.   It will inform you and your child about everything related to the seas around the world.

51ubS6CExkL._SX413_BO1,204,203,200_Help Your Kids with Music

Help Your Kids with Music is a step-by-step visual guide to music theory.  Help Your Kids with Music is the perfect primer to help students gain a solid foundation in music, no matter their age, skill level, or instrument.

Help Your Kids with Music clearly explains key concepts in five step-by-step chapters:

  • The Basics explains the types of instruments, notation for keyboard and stringed instruments, the "musical alphabet," and counting a beat.
  • Rhythm covers the length of notes and rests, as well as basic rhythms and meters, phrasing, syncopation, tempo, and using a metronome.
  • Tone and Melody includes everything a student needs to know about tones and how they work together to build a melody.
  • Chords and Harmony shows how intervals work together and includes examples for horn and woodwind instruments.
  • Form and Interpretation helps students understand how musical form can aid appreciation and interpretation for classical, jazz, blues, and other musical styles.

My Thoughts:

This book is unique in many ways as it can help you as a parent to guide your kids in the world of music.   Essentially, it is a book about the theory behind music.    Being an homeschool mom I thought it would be nice to have something to help me teach the kids about music theory a bit.   I feel rusty since my days of high school playing in the school band.  I used to play clarinet.   Still have it…  So now I want to pass a bit of knowledge to my kids.

This book is divided in nine sections:

  1. Pitch:  where you can learn the difference between high and low pitch, the piano keyboard, the notes on the staff and the clefs.
  2. Rhythm: where you will learn about beats and measures, note values, beams and dots, time signatures, compound time, rests and ties, grouping notes, triplets and tuplets, syncopation and swing, beginnings and endings as well as tempo.
  3. Intervals, scales, and keys: where you learn about sharps and flats, half steps, whole steps, intervals, major scales, minor scales, keys, relative minor, circle of fifths, accidentals, modulation, transposition, other scales, modes, tonality and atonality.
  4. Melody: where you discover what is a tune, phrasing and phrase marks, types of phrases, sequences, ornaments, dynamics, musical expression, musical markings, analyzing melodies, two or more notes, writing your own melody and learning by example.
  5. Chords and harmony: where you learn about harmony, consonance and dissonance, diatonic and chromatic harmony, degrees of the scale, triads, inversions, chord types, other chords, cadences, passing notes, suspension, modal harmony, music for choirs, bass, chord symbols, harmonizing a song melody.
  6. Form: where you learn about repeats, binary form, ternary form, counterpoint, theme and variations, ostinati, loops, riffs, breaks and fills, as well as orchestral forms.
  7. Instruments and voices: where you discover strings, woodwind, brass, keyboards, percussion, the orchestra, the conductor, ensembles, rock bands, voices, what is the score?, as well as words and music.
  8. Styles and genres: where you will learn about musical textures, folk, world, roots, classical music, Baroque period, Classical period, Romantic period, Modern period, dance music, Blues and Jazz as well as popular music.
  9. Reference: where you can find quick references on note-values and rest-values, time signatures, keys and key signatures, chords, scales, musical terms glossary, musical periods, and instrument families.

The book also comes with a CD which demonstrates the music examples indicate throughout the book.

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This book is a great reference to have at home so that you can reconnect with the world of music and even teach your kids about it.

512LCUvIyVLHow to Play the Recorder – A step-by-step guide

How to Play the Recorder is a highly visual and user-friendly guide for learning to play the recorder independently, and also a perfect companion to recorder lessons. Designed to educate without overwhelming, How to Play the Recorder is carefully structured to challenge readers a little at a time. Notes are clearly introduced at appropriate stages, alongside specially selected musical pieces that provide context and a sense of achievement. A range of useful hints and tips offer additional guidance and encouragement throughout. Written with an expert music consultant, How to Play the Recorder also introduces key points of music theory, helping increase general knowledge of music and note reading as practical proficiency grows.

My Thoughts:

I used to play the recorder when I was younger.  Still have my wooden one too!   When I saw this title I though it would be great to teach my younger child to play with my recorder.  Maybe she will like it… 

In this book, you will have a step-by-step guide on how to play the beloved first instrument of many kids.    This book will introduce the child to the recorder itself as well as the family of recorder. Quickly after the introduction, the child will be guide in starting to play, how to read music, learn about the time signatures, how to breath, how to position the tongue, the position of the hands.  Once this is all covered, it is time to learn notes and much more.   At the end of the book you will have a fingering chard and a glossary.



This book is useful if you want to introduce your child to basic music using a recorder.   Once this has been mastered, the child might want to learn a more challenging instrument.

The Back to School Boutique contains numerous titles that could be interesting to your children whether their interest is space, dinosaur, human body or something else.   You will also find books for your in order to help your child with computer coding, music, English, math or science.    Check out the books available on their Back to School boutique.




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.

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