Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Star Wars The Visual Encyclopedia

A1F9mTlA6zLStar Wars The Visual Encyclopedia
Published at DK

About the book

Covering more than 2,500 characters, creatures, planets, vehicles, Droids™, weapons, technology, and more from the Star Wars™ universe, this visual tour is the ultimate compendium for the epic saga and beyond.

With a full history of the galactic politics, the Jedi Council, and the Empire, Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopediawalks fans through the entire timeline of Star Wars. Galleries of images and information on every page, including lightsabers, languages, clothing, and more, are showcased with fascinating facts and trivia. See the blasters of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope™, look at the stormtroopers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens™, and study the geography of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story™.

Discover the food, architecture, transportation, and more from this galaxy far, far away. Each section of the book focuses on different topics to dedicate special attention and detail to every part of the universe, no matter how small. From the planets in the outer rim to Padmé's bridal wear, nothing is missed.

A celebration of all things Star Wars, this visual museum is the perfect addition to any fan's bookshelf.

My Thoughts

This book is a great resource for anything and everything related to the Star Wars universe.  The reader will discover, through the pages of this book, all the geography, nature, history, culture, science and technology that has made Star Wars popular through the years.    Whether you are a huge fan of Star Wars or just getting introduce to this world that your friend or family member keeps talking about, this book will open up the whole universe and will inform you about all the characters and more.

I am always impressed with DK books but this particular one based on Star Wars is a jewel in itself because of all the details included through the pages.   You will have all the different droids at the thumb of your fingers, you will be able to discover all the helmets, outfits, armor used by the characters, explore the aquatic creatures that can be found on different worlds and discover much more in these pages.




The images in this book are stunning.  The information will provide hours of reading for anyone interested in the Star Wars universe.   Do you have a reluctant reader that is a huge fan of Star Wars – this book is definitively for him or her.   I believe strongly that a child can enjoy reading if we place a book on their interests.  Consequently if a child enjoy Star Wars and desire to learn more about it, this book is definitively the best one to have because it is well designed and contains a ton of information on the Star Wars Universe.

The book not only covers all the movies but also all the other television shows based on Star Wars.  This means that sometimes you will have pictures of cartoons or real life characters.   Seeing that all is linked together, I think it is good that DK has included everything from the galaxy, far, far away.

Star Wars The Visual Encyclopedia is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to DK Canada for allowing me to promote their 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, June 4, 2018

The Curious Nature Guide

CuriousNatureGuide - CopyThe Curious Nature Guide – Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You
By Clare Walker Leslie
Published at Storey Publishing

About the book

With dozens of simple prompts and exercises, best-selling author, naturalist, and artist Clare Walker Leslie invites you to step outside for just a few minutes a day, reignite your sense of wonder about the natural world, and discover the peace and grounding that come from connecting with nature. Using stunning photography as well as the author’s own original illustrations, The Curious Nature Guide will inspire you to use all of your senses to notice the colors, sounds, smells, and textures of the trees, plants, animals, birds, insects, clouds, and other features that can be seen right outside your home, no matter where you live. Sketch or write about one exceptional nature image each day; learn to identify cloud types and the weather they bring; or create a record of what you see each day as you walk your dog. Easy, enjoyable, and enlightening, these simple exercises will transform your view of the world and your place within it.

My Thoughts

I love nature – exploring the woods or walking in the neighborhood is always a fun activity to do whether alone or with family/friends.

So I was curious about this book.  How could it make exploring nature more fun and entertaining.   As soon as I grabbed the book and started reading it I was hooked.  

The author has beautifully reduced the table of contents to three sections – begin, discover, connect.

Begin – first, you need to pause.  Wherever you are, open your senses to the world of nature around you.   This section will give you some tips on how to pause and enjoy what is around you whether you are in the woods or in a park in the downtown area.  There is always something to enjoy.

Discover – This section will help you identify what trigger your curiosity.  Take a closer look at the clouds, the night sky, the plants and animals, rivers, rocks and so on.  This weekend I was doing Uber and a young lady requested a ridesharing.   At some point she simply said “I love the clouds.”   I lifted my eyes and looked at the clouds – they were ok but not the beautiful white puffy ones.  Then she proceeded to tell me that she came to Canada from India back in December.  In India there is so much pollution that they do not see the clouds.  Then it dawned on me…. for us Canadians we probably take the clouds for granted because we see them all the time.   I am thankful for her comment because it made me realize that we are blessed to be able to see clouds on a daily basis.

Connect – This section is interesting to me.   The author encourages you to journal and meditate on nature.  Personally I would prefer just drawing what I see but everyone is different.   I would also bring my faith in my drawings and observations of nature.   But the author encourage you in developing a new way of connecting with what you have observe – could be drawing, writing a story or a poem, using photography, anything.

CuriousNature-Slide-1 CuriousNature-Slide-4 - Copy

CuriousNature-Slide-2 - Copy CuriousNature-Slide-5

Through the pages of this book, the author is slowly expanding your senses and your observation skills in order to help you to be more aware of the nature surrounding you on a daily basis.  This would also be a great book to discover as a family, for homeschoolers, or within a class.

The Curious Nature Guide is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen 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.

Birds of Florida

51uGmMbopxLBirds of Florida
By Fred J. Alsop III
Published at DK

About the book

The most comprehensive series of field guides to North American birds ever. This impressive collection highlights birds from all regions of the United States including localized areas such as the Mid-Atlantic, the Pacific Northwest and New England. Whether birding in the foothills of New England, the prairies of the Midwest, or the beaches of Florida, Smithsonian Handbooks are the most comprehensive field guides to North American birds on the market. Looking for the Great Blue Heron or the Piping Plover while visiting the Great Lakes? Desperate to find the rare Long Billed Curlew or the Marbled Godwit during a hike in the Cascade Mountains? There's no need to look any further! Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution, these amazing guides are an absolute staple for any birder or amateur ornithologist. Each local species receives its own profile, along with descriptions of habitats and annotated photographs that highlight specific characteristics and other points of interest. Take bird watching to new heights!

My Thoughts

As I mentioned in a previous post, our family will be driving to Florida sometime this summer.  And being the kind of person who enjoy learning more about the animals and birds I decided it would be fun to discover some of the birds that we might encounter while there.   This is why I requested the book Birds of Florida which is part of the Smithsonian Handbooks published at DK.

This book is packed with beautiful birds that can be seems in Florida or on the coast of this state.   The first 35 pages of the book will explain how the book works and the visual references within the book.  Then you can discover more about the anatomy of birds along with the different part of a bird on a two-page presentation. The book also highlights the variations within species, how to identify birds, how to identify birds in flight, their silhouettes, behavior, how to do birdwatching and how to be a better birder.   Once you have read these pages, you can start exploring Florida in order to discover the birds in the book.  Make sure you bring binoculars as well when your are going out that way you won’t miss any beautiful specimen that might come across your path.

Each pages included in this book contains photographs, illustrations, a list of similar birds, a distribution map with indication as to if the bird is a permanent resident/summer resident/winter resident, flight patterns, nest identification, habitat, and much more.


This book is definitively the kind of book I would bring when visiting a state.   The fact that is contains specifically the bird found in Florida is particularly nice because that means that the book is easy to carry.  Mind you it contains over 400 pages so it is quite thick but the size is perfect to slip it in a backpack.  No matter where we are, I will bring this book with us at all times.  As a matter of fact, I plan to leave it in the truck so that way we will not forget it when we leave the RV.   That way it will always be available for us to check it.   I also plan to bring it with us when we go on the coasts to go to the beach.  

Needless to say for Floridians or visitors that enjoy birds, this book is definitively a must have.   And even if you go to Florida for a few weeks, you can always leave the book behind for someone else to use it.    I am looking forward to discover the birds of Florida with my family – especially since we will be camping in state parks which I suspect will have some birds to observe.

Birds of Florida is 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.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Coming Soon: Lock Stars

We had the privilege to receive a top secret package from Hasbro and we were asked to to a reveal of what is in the box. 

This secret package contained some new collectable toy that will be release in August 2018 – the Lock Stars


Check out our reveal on Youtube!

The Lock Stars are collectable so you can trade with friends in order to get new ones.  This brand new collection of unique lock figures also contains charms and mini lock pals. Showcase them on backpacks, bracelets, shoelaces, and more. Swap them and collect them for a wide range of Lock Stars.

Check the whole series of Lock Stars that will be release in August!


And to add to the fun, you can download the Lock Stars stickers from iTunes.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Paul Apostle of Christ

A new movie is out in theater this week – Paul Apostle of Christ will bring you in the Roman Prison at the end of the life of Paul – a life that started in persecuting believers to  finish in being the most outspoken missionary for Christ.   I had the opportunity to visualize the movie in advance in order to be able to write about it.    The movie has also been transformed into a book which I will present to you afterwards.

About the movie 

Affirm Films brings to vivid life on screen the epic story of Paul, the man who went from persecutor of the church to its most powerful and important proponent. Paul suffers alone in a Roman prison, awaiting his execution under Emperor Nero. Mauritius, the ambitious prison prefect, can hardly see what threat this broken man poses. Once he was Saul of Tarsus, the high-ranking and brutal killer of Christians. Now his faith rattles Rome. At great risk, Luke the Physician visits the aged Paul to comfort and tend to him—and to question, to transcribe and to smuggle out Paul’s letters to the growing community of believers. Amid Nero’s inhuman persecution, these men and women will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and change the world. Andrew Hyatt directs, Jim Caviezel stars and James Faulkner plays the title role of Paul.

Paul, Apostle of Christ

My Thoughts

Before I signed up for this opportunity, we had taken the time to watch the trailer and we were interested in watching it.   Though I admire the fact that more and more Christian based movies are created, I have been disappointed with the fact that the movie at times are dragging in the storyline.   As I watched this morning, I had questions – Did Luke really visited Paul during his final days? Did Paul really was accused of starting the fires?  Did all the events in the movie really happened this way?   I had a feeling that some of these  scenes were not truly what happened in reality.   I had questions… and some of the answers were found at the end of the book (more on that later).

Though I ended up with questions after having watched the movie, I was able to appreciate the various scenes.  I could see that great thought have been made to make the décor has realistic as possible.  The scenes I particularly enjoyed were the ones filmed in the prison cell of Paul.  I really like that area and how the movie depicted the darkness surrounding Paul during his imprisonment.  At times I had to turn my eyes for some scenes in the movie are hard to swallow. But at the same time it is historically correct with what Nero has done to believers during that period in the Roman Empire.   The costumes were amazing as well depicting the era where the movie is set.

At times in the movie, the conversations between Paul and Luke brought parts of the letters of Paul – bringing back some of the scriptures found in the Bible.   For example, Paul remind Luke that Love is most important and during that conversation they use the words from 1 Corinthians 13. 

After watching the movie, I have the feeling that it is not only about Paul himself but also the persecution of the believers during the time when Nero’s reign over Rome because the movie allows you to imagine the life of believers during that era which was not an easy one.

Another note, some scenes are very difficult to watch.  My ten years old daughter had wanted to see it but by the time we could do it it was too later for her.  We are glad she did not watch the movie because even my fourteen years old thought that the scenes of believers used as torches were hard to swallow.

The movie will play at certain theaters.  To discover where it will play, please visit the faith films website – Paul Apostle of Christ.  In Ottawa, the movie will be presented at Silvercity Gloucester and Landmark Cinemas 24 Kanata.

Cover ArtThe book
A novel by Angela Hunt
Based on the screenplay by Andrew Hyatt
Published at Bethany House, a Barker Publishing imprint.

About the book

His Story Will Change the World, But Only If It's Shared in Time.

Paul, Apostle of Christ is the story of two men. Luke, as a friend and physician, risks his life every time he ventures into the city of Rome to visit Paul, who is held captive in Nero's bleakest prison cell. Before Paul's execution, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of "the Way" and the birth of what will come to be known as the church. But Nero is determined to rid Rome of Christians.

Paul has survived so much--floggings, shipwreck, starvation, stoning, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure--yet as he waits for his appointment with death, he is haunted by the shadows of his past. He wonders if he has been forgotten . . . and if he has the strength to finish well.

Two men struggle against a determined emperor and the frailties of the human spirit in order to bequeath the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

My Thoughts

As I am writing this, I can honestly say that I enjoy the book more than the movie.    I find there are more details in the book – though I can recall certain scenes of the movie as I read it.  

The book itself goes through the same events depicted in the movie but with more details I find.  However, keep in mind that the book was written based on the screenplay.  The book also contains photos from the movie – either characters, scenes as well as the writer/director with the actors. My only disappointment would be that I wish there would have been a section in the book explaining some of the Roman words used in it like lararium or paterfamilias for example. I could google it mind it but having a description of what it means would be nice.

So I mentioned that I had questions after I watched the movie and some answers were given at the end of the book.  For example was Paul really accused that he was behind the fire of Rome?   Well historically, Nero did blame the Christians for the fire but there is no historical evidence that Paul was accused of the arson.   However you will also find stretched information in the book as well – in one section Paul recall being a young man while studying in Jerusalem and recall a time when a young boy was speaking to the religious leaders in the Temple when his parents came to find him.   He says he didn’t know then that it was Yeshua but now he realize that it was him.   At the end of the book, the author herself says that she guesses Paul’s age and put his timeline alongside the one of Christ.  However, there is no evidence that their paths crossed at the point in time. 

As I mentioned above I personally much prefer the book than the movie even though some scenes in the movie were speaking to me on an artistic level.   However, I am a bit disappointed on how the novel has stretched some of the truth but adding on what the Bible tells us.  It makes me uncomfortable when authors do this because it feels as though it is adding to the events.   There is no proof that Paul was present when young Jesus were speaking to teachers in the Temple.  So why adding this image in the mind of believers who will be reading the book I wonder…

Some people won’t mind have added details (even if not historical) in a book.  Personally when I read a book based on history, I would prefer to have as  much truth as possible.   Just know that this particular book is based on a screenplay and might offer some historical theories that are no proven or verified.

Paul Apostle of Christ – the book – is available at your favorite bookstore, even on and


Disclaimer: Film has been provided courtesy of Sony Entertainment Releasing Canada (Affirm Films) and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 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.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Family Guide Florida

F120c68fc75924bd09f4692bf8d044fb8amily Guide Florida – Where to play, what to see, where to stay
Eyewitness Travel
From DK Canada

About the book

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Florida will lead you straight to the best attractions the Sunshine State has to offer.

Explore the state's history, architecture, wildlife, beaches, and scenic walks. This in-depth guidebook covers all the major cities and sights, from Miami Beach and the Florida Keys to the Everglades, the Gulf Coast, and more. It provides the insider travel tips you need, whether you are making the most of the nightlife or discovering historic towns.

Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Florida.

+ Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.
+ Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.
+ Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.
+ Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.
+ Area maps marked with sights and restaurants.
+ Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.
+ Suggested day trips and itineraries to explore beyond the cities and towns.
+ Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations.

With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Florida truly shows you this state as no one else can.

My Thoughts

This year we have decided to bring our four kids to Florida.  It might be the last “official” family trip we are making – the kids are growing and one is finishing high school next year – and we have decided to bring the kids there for an extended period of time.  My husband and I will also be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this coming June and for us it will be a trip to go back where we had our honeymoon.  Needless to say we are excited about the trip and look forward for our kids to discover Florida and Walt Disney World.

Planning is also a big part of my gifs and for a good plan you need good books.  That’s why I was very interested in reviewing the Family Guide Florida, a book in the Eyewitness Travel series from DK.   This guide will help me to plan a stress-free vacation so I can enjoy the time with my family when we are there.  Oh in case you are wondering we will be driving with our RV in order to save money on the stay portion of the trip.   We have decided to stay at some state parks which are very reasonable price wise even though they are not close to WDW. 

The inside of the book has a map of Florida with color coded sections on it.   Each color correspond to a section of Florida which can be quickly found in the book.  For example, Orlando and the Park is in light orange color while Miami area is in pink.   When you look at the side of the book, you can easily find the Orlando and the Parks section by the color light orange. 



As I mentioned above the book is divided into sections – Miami, The Gold and Treasure Coasts, Orlando and the Parks, The Space Coast, The Northeast, The Panhandle, The Gulf Coast, The Lowed Gulf Coast/Everglades/Keys.  Each section will have an introduction as well as the best things for families to see and do.   A regional map will also indicate where the cities are located.  Each section features a number of destination that will be fun to do with the family.  Each sightseeing page also possess a Kid’s Corner section which highlight special information for them.  The Kid’s Corner sections have been designed to involve children with games, cartoons and fun facts.  You can also find places to stay at the end of each section of the book.   However, I would have very liked to see some campsites that are reasonable in prices as well as maybe highlighting the state parks option.   Finally at the end of the book a whole section can be found with maps from all the areas of Florida.

This book will definitively found it’s place in our luggage when we pack our RV.   I am not leaving our home without it.   It contains a ton of information about the places we are planning to visit – whether beaches or parks. 

Family Guide Florida is 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.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Animal The Definitive Visual Guide

Animal - primary image Smithsonian Animal The Definitive Visual Guide
Published at DK

About the book

With more than 1 million copies sold, this updated and revised celebration of the animal kingdom features photos and descriptions of over 2,000 species and habitats.

Bringing animals, habitats, and up-to-date research to life for readers around the world, Animal explores the creatures that have fascinated and inspired humans for years, from intrepid Emperor penguins to fierce Siberian tigers, to the very intelligent and highly communicative humpback whale. This updated edition introduces the olinguito, the adorable, recently discovered mammal that looks like a cross between a cat and a teddy bear, and the Skywalker gibbon found in the tropical forests of Yunnan Province in southwest China and Myanmar. Perfect for gift-giving.

Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution.

My Thoughts

This is a marvelous book that presents animals found on planet Earth.   From the habitats to the various kind of animals in the animal kingdom, this book will provide information for your personal knowledge.  Whether you desire to learn more about a particular species or simply like to peruse in a book to learn whenever you feel like it, this book is a gem to have in your living room.

For each animal you will discover a map indicating where it is found, some data field highlighting the length, weight and so on as well as habitat symbol and information about the animal.    The book also provide the Latin name as well as the common name of the animal.

Animal - look inside 2 Animal - look inside 3

 Animal - look inside 4 Animal - look inside 5

The book also contains a multitude of illustrations showing the animals in their environment.  Sometimes, you will have the opportunity to read a bit more about a certain animal due to the fact that a species might have different kinds.   For example, the elephants information covers about a page and a half.  The other half of the second page will present the African savanna elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asiatic elephant.   The main information highlights what is common about the three different kinds of elephants and then each section presenting a specific elephant will highlight what is particular for this specific kind.

From as far as I can remember, I always loved looking and reading books about animals.   This book is fabulous in many ways because you can sit by yourself or with your children in order to read from it.   It is a great book to have while researching a particular animal too.   The cover of the book is special too because some of its details is slightly above the regular cover.   Through the pages of this book, you will discover the fabulous world of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates. 

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, February 7, 2018

Julia Child–An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures

imageJulia Child – An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures
Written by Erin Hagar
Published at duopress

About the book

Julia Child knew how to have fun, and she also knew how to whip up a delightful meal. After traveling around the world working for the U.S. government, Julia found her calling in the kitchen and devoted her life to learning, perfecting, and sharing the art of French cuisine. This delicious, illustrated biography is a portrait of the remarkable woman, author, and TV personality who captured our hearts with her sparkling personality. “Bon appétit!”

My Thoughts

Through the pages of this book, you will discover and be immersed in the life of Julia Child and how she became a popular cook on television.  You will learn how she grew up, how she meet the one who will become her husband and how she became passionate about cooking.   In all there are fourteen chapters in this book.   It could easily be use as a study of a woman who did not hesitate to follow her dream even in the midst of stereotypes and discouraging remarks.  

Illustrations throughout the book will help the reader to have a better understand of what is presented through the pages.   No photographs are included in this book but the illustrations seem to be realistic.  If you enjoy the book  you have the possibility of visiting the kitchen of Julia Child in the Smithsonian museum in Washington, DC.   This book is perfect for ages 9 to 12 years old.   It contains 160 pages of information on the life of Julia Child.  The book also highlights other books in the bibliography.   A glossary will help the reader to understand some words found in the book and a timeline will help to visualize the events in the life of Julia Child.

Julia Child is a fun book to have to discover the life of a woman who was not afraid of learning and becoming a person of influence in the world of cooking.

Julia Child is available at your favorite bookstore, even on and

Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen 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.