Thursday, May 26, 2016

Summer Boutique at DK Canada


Summer is just around the corner and with it DK Canada has cooked up numerous titles that might interest you in their Summer Living Boutique.  There are numerous titles for everyone in this boutique whether you want to try something new or simply learn more on a specific subject.

The first book from the Summer Living Boutique that I requested to review is the Practical Astronomer – Explore the Wonders of the Night Sky.   I always wanted to have a book to help me discover in more details the sky at night.511oSpd8DQL

This book is essentially a complete introduction to observing and understanding the night sky.  It will take you from the basics of stargazing to the skills you need to become an accomplished amateur astronomer.   The guide explains and demystifies the night sky, teaching you to recognize and identify the constellations and comets.  You will find that there are numerous illustrated step-by-step instructions that explain how to set up and use binoculars and telescopes as well as how to take your own pictures of the night sky.  Also included in this book you will find a detailed atlas that shows the night sky month by month as it appears around the world. 

The table of contents is divided into seven sections:

  1. Understanding the universe – universe, naked-eye sky, planets, what is a star?, observing stars, nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, dividing light.
  2. Looking up – motion of the skies, sky as a sphere, navigating the night sky, and observing conditions.
  3. Observing and Recording – preparing to observe, using binoculars, telescope optics, telescopes and mounts, buying and setting up, go-to telescopes, astroimaging.
  4. Pathfinders – the constellations, mapping the constellations, sky maps,
  5. Solar System – our view of the solar system, observing the planets, Mercury and Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, dwarf planets and asteroids, sun, moon, comets and meteors, atmospheric phenomena, other lights in the sky.
  6. Star Charts – using the star charts, monthly star charts.
  7. Reference and glossary

The pathfinders and star charts are very explicit and will help you as you explore the sky.    I wish that they would have put some of these in fluorescent so that you can easily use them when looking at the sky in the dark.   I guess you can always pack a flashlight too!

I find this book to be interesting for homeschoolers because you can use it to develop a new skill during the summer.   It is packed with information on how to start and how to identify the stars, planets and constellations.    It is definitively a must have for anyone who desire to because an amateur astronomer.

51emAOersxLThe second book I received to review from this is Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas which attracted my eye because they are cooked on the BBQ.   Chef Craig Priebe's culinary creativity comes to life through his innovative Italian dishes. Focusing on his award-winning pizzas and piadinas, he uses a variety of ingredient combinations to deliver delectable meals right into the home cook's kitchen.

In this book you will discover mouth-watering recipes for grilled pizza with meat, chicken, seafood, and vegetables comprise the first part of this book, followed by chapters on crispy grilled piadinas, fresh salads, and grilled desserts. A typical recipe of Priebe's calls for smoky, thin, and crispy crusts and vibrant combinations of toppings such as grilled figs, Gorgonzola, and proscuitto.   Doesn’t it sound delicious to you?     The book contains quick and easy instructions for 75 recipes, full-color photographs, step-by-step techniques, and party menus.  Whether you are a  beginner cook or a seasoned chef I think you will be inspired to fire up the grill and cook up some fabulous meal to your family and friends.

The Summer Boutique contains books for adults and children.  In the Adults section you will find book about beeds, smoking meat, photography, cooking, gardening and more.  In the Children section you will see books about bird watching, bugs, food, and much more.   There is something for everyone in the family, so click on the image below to head over to the DK Canada Summer Living Boutique.

Both books are available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and



Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Standing Strong with Fort McMurray

MAPLELEA  which is the Canadian-themed doll company is having a special deal right now on their site.  They will be donating 25% of the revenues from their Canadian-themed Girl & Doll clothing to Save the Children Canada.  These funds will be used for providing essential materials and supplies for families with babies and young children affected by the fires in For McMurray. The funds will also be used by Save the Children to support their multiple Child Friendly Spaces in Edmonton - these spaces provide a sense of normalcy and community, when everything familiar has been disrupted and potentially lost. You can learn more about Save the Children and their efforts in Alberta at

Read more about the deal on this special letter from the president of Maplelea.  Maplelea is also present on facebook and twitter.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Dr. Jay Wile’s Elementary Science Curriculum

As a homeschool parent, I always want the best for my kids no matter what is the subject.   Though we have explore science in the elementary years with products from another well known publisher, I was somewhat dissatisfied with the way things were going using that curriculum.  There was much reading but not enough hands-on I found.    I knew I wasn’t the only one with this sentiment and I was delighted when I learned that Dr. Jay Wile had decided to write a science curriculum for elementary ages – a five book series that will encourage younger students to explore and experience science following the historical timeline we are so familiar when we cover history.


The first book of the series is titled Science in the Beginning.  This book uses the days of creation as a way of introducing a wide range of scientific concepts including the nature of light, energy conservation, the properties of air and water, introductory botany, our solar system, basic zoology, and some aspects of human anatomy and physiology.

The second book of the series is titled Science in the Ancient World. The course covers the scientific work of natural philosophers who lived from about 600 BC to the early AD 1500s. It concentrates mostly on what these ancient scientists got right, but it does spend some time discussing what they got wrong, because even the mistakes that scientists make can sometimes advance our understanding of the natural world.

The third book of the series is titled Science in the Scientific Revolution. The book covers the scientific works of natural philosophers from 1543 to the end of the 1600s and discusses a wide range of topics including astronomy, human anatomy, medicine, botany, zoology, heliocentrism, geocentrism, gases, pressure, electricity, fossils, microbiology, binary numbers, gravity, conservation laws, and the laws of motion.

The fourth book of the series is titled Science in the Age of Reason. The book covers the scientific works of natural philosophers from the early 1600s to the early 1800s and discusses a wide range of topics including astronomy, medicine, botany, zoology, chemistry, geology, human physiology, electricity, conservation laws, and weather.

Finally, the fifth book of the series is not yet published as the book is probably being written at this point in time.   However, the book is expected to be titled Science in the Industrial Age and will cover from the end of the book of the Age of Reason to present day.

I really like the fact that these books are written with the perspective of history.   You can easily intertwine them with either Story of the World, Mystery of History, or Tapestry of Grace.  As a matter of fact, Dr. While has provided a comprehensive guide on how to use his books with each of these history curriculum which is very handy to have.  Once all the elementary books are done by a student, it is expected for him/her to be well prepared for junior high school science.

Over the next few months, I will present each of these books in more details.  In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the series written by Dr. Jay Wile for the elementary levels, please visit his blog to read more about them.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Berean Builders 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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dr. Eureka

IMG_4990Dr. Eureka
Blue Orange Games

About the game

The brilliant Dr. Eureka has important experiments for you to complete!  Pick a challenge card, 3 test tubes and 6 colorful balls to solve his scientific formula.  Carefully move your materials from tube to tube without dropping them, and position them as illustrated on the challenge card.  This brain teasing party game can be played solitary or competitively. 

What we thought

First and foremost, the game reminded me of the Tower of Hanoi challenge.   Let’s face it – it is a challenge that can be stressful in a competition mode.   Nevertheless I like the originality of the game as it is a great way to explore the Tower of Hanoi concepts.

The game is for one to four players (a bit disappointing for a family of six but it’s okay because we could always do a mini tournament of three people at a time and compete that way against each other).  

I will admit that my kids were a bit stressed at first – going to fast in trying to complete the challenge.   Balls were rolling on the table and so on.   The game is quite simple to be honest.  You pick a card which illustrate the challenge to complete.  Using your skills you replicate the tubes but moving the balls from one tubes to another.  You can flip the tubes upside down to make it quicker in order to complete a challenge.  Once a challenge is won the card goes to the winner.  The first person who win five points (cards) is the winner.   So the game can be quite fast – about 15-20 minutes of play time.   When you come to think of it, I find this is the perfect game to allow the kids to switch mode between two subjects while homeschooling.  For example, if doing their mathematics has been difficult, this game would allow them to change their thinking a bit before doing something else that might require some attentiveness.

So we setup the game to play and the kids decided to pose before starting the challenges.


There was lots of errors at first but after a while, the kids were able to get the hang of it.  We played on the table which made the balls bounce when it slipped out of the test tubes.   A fellow blogger suggested to play on a carpet on their review but when you house doesn’t have any carpet it is kind of difficult.  Besides, I personally prefer to play at a table where you can be sitting comfortably.   You just have to slowly speed up your technique and make sure you know how to handle the test tubes and the balls to finish first and yell “EUREKA!”


Here’s a close up of the technique of switching the balls from one test tube to another.


Challenge complete!


The game will help you to develop fine motor skills, visual perception, focus and attention as well as processing speed.   And I have seen these being developed the more the kids were playing the game.  For example, the visual perception is essential to make sure you have the same thing as the card… a slight difference came make you loose the challenge and the card.

When my husband came back from work, the kids proceeded to tell him about the game.  He sat down with them and looked at it.  He concluded that the game would be good for dyslexics like himself and two of my kids because it would help them to concentrate and make sure the balls and tubes are place properly in order to win the challenge.

As parents we were impressed with the game as it helps to develop visual perception, focus, attention, and processing speed.   The younger two really enjoyed it but my second born wasn’t too thrilled at first.  However, with time he warmed up to the game and now I think he can see the benefits of playing it especially if it can help him with the attention he needs while doing school.

Dr. Eureka is available for purchase at your favorite gaming store – even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Blue Orange Games for sending me the game. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Risk Captain America Civil War

As may of you know the new Captain America: Civil War movie has come out in theatres. Our children have been looking forward to go see it.  Last Friday, we drove to the theater where the price was the most reasonable for our family of six and we enjoyed watching the latest instalment in the Marvel Universe movies.

imageBut even before the movie came out in theatres many products had found their way on the shelves of stores around you - figurines, clothing, bedding, books and even games.   One of the interesting items I have seen so far is Risk Captain America Civil War Edition.

Essentially this is an updated version of an already popular game with a twist of superheroes.  The game features Captain American, Falcon, Iron Man, and War Machine figures.  

Bottom line the game can be translate like this - Captain America vs. Iron Man in the search for the Winter Soldier.   The battle is set at the airport where you will have to control the most territories, capture the Winter Soldier, and escape with the Quinjet before it reaches the end of the runway.


You can choose to either play as the team of Captain America or the team of Iron Man.   The game also allow 2 different ways to play as you can decide to play with 2 or 4 players.   With 2 players, each person will control either Team Captain America which is composed of Captain America and Falcon or Team Iron Man which includes Iron Man and War Machine.    However, if you decide to play with 4 players each participant will control one hero and works in teams of two people.   No matter which type of play you decide to do, the game is over after five rounds of excitement and strategy.  Whichever team that possess the most points at the end of the game wins!

My husband has played RISK numerous times since he was younger.   Now he find that it is a game that demands lots of time to go through.  Have a limit of rounds is something that he finds really interesting.  He actually prefers having a limited time period when playing games now.    This new edition is something he said he could see himself play – with me or with the kids.    For a family of six, it is a bit disappointing that there isn’t more figures in this board game so we can all play.  After all, each team in the movie is composed of many other characters.  I think it would have been fun to add more figures to this edition of the game in order to make it more realistic.    The scene at the airport is the best scene to have chosen for this game.  I think the game will be really popular within the gaming community and/or comic fans.   

Risk Captain America Civil War Edition is available for purchase at a store near you as well as on and


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May the 4th Be With You–A Star Wars Day

May the 4th is a special day observed by fans of the films throughout the world.   Observance of this special day is highlighted via the internet and social media.      The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, ON back in 2011.    Since then many take the day to highlight the movies, the world of Star Wars and promote products based on the whole universe of Star

Consequently, it is not a surprise that DK Canada offers a special boutique where you can find numerous titles especially dedicated to the Star Wars Universe.


51SOCaQ3PLLStar Wars Complete Vehicles

For any fan who wants to explore the inner workings of the spaceships and vehicles of all six Star Wars™ movies comes this fascinating expanded edition of a fan favorite, now with new cross-section artworks and a wealth of new photos.  This is definitively the book to own if you have a child (or adult) in your life who would enjoy learning about all the various vehicles in the Star Wars universe.  But wait a minute, this book isn’t about only information on the vehicle – you will discover the interior of them like you have never imagine before!

Star Wars®: Complete Cross-Sections is packed with visual explorations of more than fifty essential Star Wars spacecraft and landcraft, including the TIE bomber, Imperial shuttle, A-wing, B-wing, and more. Each full-color cross-section artwork presents in-depth examinations of each craft's weapon systems, engines, hyperdrives, cockpits, and construction secrets, providing a never-before-seen glimpse at the vehicles that drive the Star Wars universe. Star Wars.

Some of the page will open to provide of four-page view of one particular vehicle.  And at the end of the book, you will obtain some vehicle technical data files, a glossary, and a bit of information on the two guys behind this book. 

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With these extensive cross-sections information on the vehicles of the first Star Wars movies, the book would make a great gift to a child who is prone toward mechanics of engineering.   

Ultimate Star Wars512DJyJIBeL

Here is the perfect book to become an expert on the Star Wars galaxy!  Ultimate Star Wars is essentially an in-depth visual feast exploring the characters and storylines from the Star Wars galaxy. This book is a beautifully illustrated guide that is structured chronologically and packed full of information about key characters and storylines from the Star Wars movie saga, The Clone Wars, and Rebels™.

The table of content is divided into four sections:

  • Characters and Creatures: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Con Jinn, Sheev Palpatine, Padmé Amidala, departure from Tatooine, R2-D2, Darth Maul, Anakin Skywalker, a vote of no confidence, C-3PO, battle of Geonosis, Yoda, Mace Windy, Ahsoka walks away, Clone Trooper, Boba Fett, Yoda’s trials, Count Dooku, Captain Rex, Asajj Ventress, General Grievous, Ahsoka Tano, Liberty Dies, Chewbacca, Death Star escape, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, rescue on Hoth, Stormtrooper, Ezra Bridger, Vader’s Revelation, Lando Calrissian, Han Solo, another Skywalker, Luke redeems his father, behind the scene.
  • Locations: Naboo, the battle of Naboo, Tatooine, Coruscant, Mos Espa Grand Arena, Jedi Temple, Kamino’s Clone Army, Geonosis, Lars Moisture Farm, Geonosis Execution Arena, Jabba’s Palace, Mustafar, Duel on Mustafar, Mos Eisley Spaceport, Death on Mortis, Dagobah, Training on Dagobah, Kashyyyk, the Death Star, Lothal, Yavin 4, Hoth, Cloud City, Cloud City capture, the Great Pit of Carkoon, Endor, behind the scenes
  • Technology: battle droid, super battle droid, faithful droid, behind the scenes
  • Vehicles: Slave 1, the search for Shmi, the battle of Coruscant, Millennium Falcon, Ghost, TIE Fighter, the battle of Yavin, Red Five, the battle of Endor, behind the scenes.

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Bottom line, Ultimate Star Wars will get new and old fans caught up and knowledgeable on all things Star Wars.  The book is packed with stunning pictures and fabulous description on everything related to the Star Wars universe.    It is the perfect book to give to the fan in your life which desire to learn more about Star Wars.   It is a great book to help kids of all ages to read more if their interest is in Star Wars.  Don’t be surprise if they come to you with some interesting fact about a movie or episode of Star Wars because this book will definitively highlight many aspects of the beloved universe.


51hh95sAgaLLEGO Star Wars Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy

When I saw the cover of this book, I knew that my kids would enjoy it – not only because they are fans of Star Wars but because they also enjoy Lego.    I suspect that it will also give them some ideas on how to create fun scenes with their own Star Wars Lego in order to develop their creative side.

This book was created by Finnish photographer Vesa Lehtimäki using his son's favorite toys.  The book features painstaking recreations of classic movie moments and hilarious new takes on fan-favorite characters and themes. You will also find some Informative captions give technical details for each scene, while anecdotes from Lehtimäki offer background insights to his creative process.  It is a book about very original scenes using Lego.  

The book is divided in four sections – Tatooine, Hoth, Endor and behind the scenes.  In the last section, the reader will learn more about how the photograph has created his scenes and the process to get stunning photographs.  

LEGO Star Wars Small Scenes from a Big Galaxy is a breathtaking new look at a timeless icon that allows fans to see their favorite minifigures from the classic saga in an exciting new way.



After visualizing these images, it encourages me to develop of creative side using things like Lego figures.   I suspect it will also stir the creativity of my own kids particularly my son Dominic who is more prone to do things like Lego movie with his iPad.    I would consider this more like a coffee table book – the kid you leave in your living room for people to go through.  It could make a wonderful gift to the child who enjoys Lego Star Wars and that you know he/she would be able to do fun things like this.


Star Wars The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections51Y6Pkuv2gL

When I looked at the book Star Wars Complete Vehicles, I knew that eventually the vehicles of Star Wars: The Force Awaken would get one like this as well.   Well it did not take long for DK to create this stunning book to present the hidden parts of the vehicles in the latest movie of the Star Wars universe.   This book offers an unparalleled detail with this newest addition to the Star Wars Incredible Cross Sections series. Twelve breathtaking artworks bring the new craft to life, showing all of the weapons, engines, and technology, while engaging text explains each vehicle's backstory and key features.



Again it is a perfect book for a child who enjoy mechanics or engineering.   It is packed with stunning details on vehicles used in the latest movie of Star Wars.  

Download your May the 4th Be With You activity kit to help make the most of your Star Wars celebrations with your kids.


The Be a Rebel Read a Book Boutique dedicated to Star Wars contains many more titles.  Check them out by clicking on the image below and May the 4th Be With You!


All these Star Wars titles are available at your favorite bookstore, even on and





Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Heroes and Villains Boutique


Whether you are rooting for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman or Lex Luthor, choosing sides with Captain America or Iron Man in Civil, or making a choice between the light and the dark side of the force, this pop culture fueled boutique from DK Canada should fan the flames of your fandom.   The Heroes & Villains Boutique has all the books you might want to read more about your favorite super-hero or villain. 


51m9mv5h8tLCaptain America Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger

If there is one hero we didn’t had a book about him it was definitively Captain America.   One day my son Dominic asked me if DK had a book on Cap, I wasn’t sure about it so I emailed DK and asked them.  Their reply was that a book will be soon available for the Heroes & Villains Boutique.

I  find that the Ultimate Guide books that we have received in the past to be packed with information on a specific hero in the universe of Super-Heroes.   This book will allow you to read quite a bit on the First Avenger – Captain America as it is packed with information about friends, enemies, and storylines, this guide explores the exciting and rich history of the character.  Through the pages of the book you will follow Steve Rogers' journey from the sickly and small Army volunteer to the iconic leader of the Avengers.   Also, you will discover his biggest adventures, battles, allies, and foes. Marvel's Captain America: The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger focuses on some of the character's most famous comic book arcs, starting from the 1941 debut of Captain America Comics #1 to modern day.


When it comes to reading, I find it important to have a book that you enjoy.   This past year, one of my kids had to read a book for Awana and write a little report on it.   It took forever to finish the story and write the report.   But give him a book on a super-hero and he will read it thoroughly non-stop.   If you have something that you enjoy reading, then you can easily go through a book.   And for some boys reading novels is just not appealing but something about super-heroes will trigger their interest.   So if you have a Captain America fan in your family, I suggest that you consider this title as a motivation to practice their reading skill.  

51GJiwPPmGLBatman A Visual History

Batman: A Visual History follows the DC Comics Super Hero from his 1939 beginnings as a crime-fighting vigilante to his present status as a worldwide cultural icon approaching his 75th anniversary.   Essentially, the book celebrates Batman's greatest stories and the writers and artists that created them. It also charts the careers of the Super Heroes and super-villains — Robin, the Justice League, the Joker, Catwoman — associated with Gotham City's Dark Knight. The book will also present the debuts of every key Batman character as well as some details of Batman movie and TV series, both live-action and animated.



The table of content is divided into specific group of years: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Each era will highlight specific covers and information about the famous Dark Knight.  The book comes into a strong slip case and also contains two exclusive prints.   If you have a love one who is a big fan of Batman, this book is definitively a great gift to get.   


6112xRG5LyL._SX405_BO1,204,203,200_DC Comics a Visual History

This fabulous book will trace DC's fascinating story: the company's beginnings as National Allied Publications in the 1934, and its subsequent change to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1937 up until a more recent history. The book literally details all the major DC publishing landmarks and more, displayed clearly, month by month. 

Through the pages of this book you will find highlights of the debuts of iconic super heroes like Superman and Batman, the geniuses that invented them, and the real-life events, like the Vietnam War, the atom bomb, and the Space Race, that shaped the atmosphere of the times.  DC Comics: A Visual History follows the characters' foray into the real world through TV series and blockbuster movies as well.

The table of content is divided into years – 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. It is the perfect gift to give to someone who is a huge fan of DC Comics.   The book comes in a great slip case and contains two new prints. 



61daoEVBv1LMarvel Year by Year

Finally, the last but not the least book I received to review is Marvel Year by Year A Visual Chronicle.   One again a book like this will provide much information about loved characters from the Marvel comics - from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to the uncanny X-Men, Marvel Comics has been entertaining people for over 70 years with its fantastic characters and engaging stories.

Marvel Year by Year outlines the evolution of Marvel Comics from its beginnings to today, including all of Marvel's publishing landmarks, displayed clearly on a month-by-month timeline. It highlights the debuts of key characters, the comic geniuses that created them, and the real-life events that inspired them, like the Vietnam War, the atom bomb, and the Space Race.

The book is packed with original comic book art featuring numerous classic covers.   This is a fully revised and updated edition which includes 32 new pages that cover the years since its original edition.  Thought the pages of this book you will find in-depth, unparalleled information about this remarkable institution, its characters, and the creators.  

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The book also comes in a slip case and contains two stunning exclusive prints.   The book would also make a great gift for someone who is a Marvel fan and who desires to learn more about the history of the company and the evolution of its comics.

As you can see these books can be a beautiful gift for someone you love who likes either DC or Marvel.  The art through these books is stunning and it is very interesting to see the difference in how comics were designed back in the 1940s compared to nowadays.  I know my own kids really enjoy reading more about their favorite super-heroes and comic companies.   And these books will definitively bring more reading opportunity for them.

The Heroes & Villains Boutique has a lot more to offer.  Check it out today!

All these books are available for purchase at a bookstore near you, even on and





Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote these books. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.