Category Archives: Business / Money / Education

The Basic Bible Atlas

Title: The Basic Bible Atlas
Author: John A. Beck
Publisher: BakerBooks
ISBN: 978-0-8010-7790-6

“And we will not fully understand this story unless we understand the place from which it has come. That is why you need an atlas. Because some of what the Lord has to say to us, he has said using geography,” John S. Beck writes in the introduction of his book, The Basic Bible Atlas: A Fascinating Guide of the Land of the Bible.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-seventy-six-page paperback targets those who want to have a better understanding of the lands mentioned in the Holy Bible. After a map and illustration list plus acknowledgments, the book is divided into two parts: Introduction to Geography and Putting the Story in Its Place. The ending includes notes, Scripture index, and an index of place names. The New International Version of the Holy Bible is referenced.

In this book that focuses mainly on Israel and its surrounding areas, over sixty maps with illustrations explain the Old and New Testaments’ geographical locations relating to the stories they provide. The first part has an introduction to the atlas and Biblical world that includes the ancient Near East, regions mentioned in the Bible, and Israel’s major cities, towns, roads, zones, rainfall, seasons, culture, soils, and products. The second and larger section of the book is subdivided into eight chapters covering the creation, the exodus, conquests, the kingdom’s establishments, divisions, and exile, and when Jesus was living as well as church stories.

~Why ~
This is is a wonderful read as it is basic and too the point so the reader can pick a topic of the Old or New Testament and pinpoint on a map where it took place. I loved looking at the maps’ notes and learning that Israel covered 6,750 square miles, the Jewish people’s meandering route for forty years in the desert, where Samson lived and died, the travels of the Ark of the Covenant, the expansion of Jerusalem and its Temple, and Elisha’s history. Understanding the distances Jesus traveled and places He performed miracles were interesting as well as Paul’s many journeys.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not be interested in an atlas that shows how God was and is always there, taking care of the beloved Jews and Christians. Others may wish there was more content to the discussions, but it is a basic synopsis.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were more stories of every person’s whereabouts in the Bible, but this would be a major task. Including an index by people’s names would be helpful for quick look-up. By accident, I noticed Susa (Nehemiah and Esther) was not listed in the index. I prefer all pronouns of God to be capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are wondering how far Moses traveled, where Bethlehem is related to Jerusalem, or how the Word of God was spread in the New Testament, this is an excellent source of knowledge that will amaze you.

Thanks to BakerBooks for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2vwG3KE

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The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids

Title: The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids
Author: Ginjer L. Clarke
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-149-7

“The male narwhal’s long, spiral tusk is really a tooth growing out of its top lip. It has only one other tooth inside its mouth,” Ginjer L. Clarke explains in her children’s book, The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-ten-page paperback targets children ages nine to twelve years old who enjoy books about animals and their distinct features. With no profanity or scary scenes, colorful photographs are on every page with several one to two sentences about various animals. The ending includes the author’s biography.

Divided into six chapters of Magnificient Mammals, Creepy Crawlers, Water World, Scaly Things, Amazing Amphibians, and Feathered Friends, this educational book packs tons of information on all types of animals from the quviut, cicada, and the red-lipped batfish to the reticulated python, marsupial frog, and oropendola to name a few.

~ Why ~
I love children’s books that teach young ones, especially if they are about animals and nature. I appreciate how this one not only has some of the common creatures but also the absurd, unusual, or unknown ones. With a six-year-old granddaughter who is fascinated by narwhals, it was great to see them listed in the book.

Some random wild animal facts include:
Virginia opossum babies are so small that up to 20 of them could fit into a teaspoon.
A fishing spider can stay underwater for 30 minutes while it waits for its fish prey.
Sharks never need to visit a dentist. Their teeth never get cavities.
The tuatara has a small, sightless third eye on top of its head.
The wood frog is the only frog that lives in the Arctic Circle.
Malleefowl nests can be 3.3 feet (1m) tall and 16 feet (5m) wide.

~ Why Not ~
Some children will not like that there is usually only one fact about each creature, yet sometimes there will be a full page describing several kinds in one animal family. Others may prefer less photographs and more information. The book may be too sophomoric for some fourth to seventh graders. Beginner readers may have trouble with some of the three- and four-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
Although I greatly appreciate this book that focuses on God’s creations, I wish there was an index so one could look up the animal’s fact and feature quickly. Due to its limited information per animal, it would be a hard book to use for a school report.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun book about the strange and interesting characteristics of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, this one would be a good option that will keep a child’s attention and offer adults insights to the amazing animal kingdom. I am sure my young grandchildren will enjoy learning a thing or two also.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

Rated 4.5 of 5 stars.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2sLq5LL

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The Art of Writing

Title: The Art of Writing
Author: Peter Yang
Publisher: TCK Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-631-61076-9

“These principles serve as a necessary foundation for anyone wanting to enrich their writing, which will, in turn, enrich their life,” Peter Yang states in the introduction of his book, The Art of Writing: Four Principles for Great Writing that Everyone Needs to Know.

~ What ~
At sixty-six pages, this small paperback that is also available as an ebook targets authors who want to improve their writing skills while maintaining their creativity, individuality, and purpose.

After an introduction, the book is divided into five sections, followed by the author’s biography and information. The chapters cover four principles of economy, transparency, variety, and harmony as well as meditations on writing.

~ Why ~
Great writing life skills are waxing and waning since the digital era autocorrects, offers instant solutions, and formats wording without considering its possible connotations. I appreciate how the author discusses a myriad of topics in a short, concise matter while explaining thoroughly their ramifications. Some included are how to avoid crutches, repetition, and punctuation mistakes while being intentional, describing with purpose, and meticulous with modifiers. By using a variety of sentence and paragraph structures as well as word choices, artistic harmony in language and thoughts clarify excellent writing. The script also adds tips on how reading, making use of time, and conveying the truth play a factor in properly putting the pen to paper.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not care about writing or have no interest in it may have no need for this read. Others may feel they need not be reminded to avoid using filler words, write more actively than passively, and use the Pareto principle to name a few.

~ Wish ~
While Yang does a comprehensive job on what to do or not to do when writing, he did not mention the often incorrect use of the ellipsis or dangling prepositions (which some accept nowadays). Including an index would be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you attain to be an artistic author and want to continually improve your skills, this small but powerful book will encourage and enlighten you in ways you may not have considered while enhancing your writing style.

Thanks to Peter Yang and TCK Publishing for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2R3LXtT

#TheArtofWriting #FourPrinicipalsforGreatWriting #PeterYang #TCKPublishing

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Spies, Code Breakers, and Secret Agents

Title: Spies, Code Breakers, & Secret Agents
Author: Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-101-5

“Spies appeared out of nowhere in many cities during World War II. Where did they come from, and where did they learn to be spies?” begins the second chapter in Carole P. Roman’s children’s book, Spies, Code Breakers, and Secret Agents: A World War II Book for Kids.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets children ages eight to twelve years old who enjoy books about secret intelligence and the rogue side of war that includes spy biographies. With no profanity and a few adult situations, several black and white illustrations are added.

After an introduction, this is a collection of six chapters regarding mostly undercover intelligent agents for the Axis Powers and Allied Forces during World War II. It discusses the spies on both sides, their missions, gear, secret armies, super spies, code breakers, and spies today. It ends with a glossary, resources, bibliography, and index. There are “Did You Know” and “Espionage by the Numbers” sidebars with information. Over fifty words are highlighted in the book and explained in its glossary.

~ Why ~
As the years go by, the sacrificial events of World War II are slowly ignored and forgotten, so this book confirms how spies from opposing viewpoints showed their patriotism by secretly serving their country. I loved how the writer explains the devastating history of the massive war that had over one-million Resistance fighters in underground armies plus over thirty-two-hundred British women, who were often recruited through social and athletic clubs, trained at Camp X in Canada, became code breakers and talkers, and learned how to use coal grenades, limpet mines, and hide maps in playing cards.

Some of the male and female short biographies include:
Josephine Baker
Morris “Moe” Berg
Eddie “Fritz” Chapman
George Dash
Tor Glad & John Moe (Mutt & Jeff)
Christine Granville
Virginia Hall
George Wood
Takeo Yoshikawa

~ Why Not ~
Some of the technical information may be above the reading level for some children. Others may not like the topic of war,  yet the book does not contain too much graphic content about abuse, torture, or death.

~ Wish ~
Although I greatly appreciate this book that focuses on spies and how they were recruited, trained, and served their countries, I wish photographs of the tools and people were added instead of drawings.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a wonderful book that not only teaches young ones about life during World War II as a spy but also has stories and sidebars, this would be the perfect gift for those who are fascinated by the topic or need to write a report about an interesting time in history. I think the author was spot on by ending the book with her teaser that “There are countless numbers of spies out there. If you pay attention, you may spot one yourself!”

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2MaYpGF

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The Story of the Cosmos

Title: The Story of the Cosmos
General Editors: Paul M. Gould & Daniel Ray
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7369-7736-4

“For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, the cosmos does indeed declare the glory of God,” Daniel Ray writes in the first chapter of the book Paul M. Gould and he edited, The Story of the Cosmos: How the Heavens Declare the Glory of God.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-seventy-two-page paperback targets those who want to learn more about the universe that was notably created by the Almighty God. Using mainly the New International Version, other versions referenced are the NASB, RSV, ESV, and NRSV. After an introductory chapter, there are three parts, ending with an afterword, contributors’ biographies, subject and Scripture indexes, and notes. About a dozen full-color photographs and illustrations/diagrams are included.

In this science and faith apologetics read that is a compilation of fourteen authors, the book focuses on how our universe promotes God. The first part is an exploration of the cosmos with six chapters that cover topics such as nature’s intelligibility, meteorites, habitable zones, binary stars, black holes, and the lives of two astronomers, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler. The middle section covers the cosmos through art and literature expressions in three chapters involving well-known painters, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkein. With three chapters in the final section, its concentration is on the evidence of creation involving theology and science, cosmic coincidences, and discarded image rediscovery.

~ Why ~
Anyone who views the heavens on a clear dark night can witness the mystery of God’s creation. I appreciated the many writers’ views on how and when they realized that our universe was not haphazardly put together by chance but engineered beautifully by our Creator. The chapters explain some of cosmology’s history, meteorite studies, living in “the age of astronomical surveys,” that sixty percent of stars are binary, black holes are crucial to the development of the universe, and sometimes cosmic discoveries are unexpected.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not be interested in this read, but it could change their stance on God creating the Heavens and the Earth. Some may find it too technical and dry if they do not know enough about the topic. Others may not like the ending where the writer challenges the reader to see the glory of God through His wonderful displays in space.

~ Wish ~
While I thoroughly enjoyed the chapter by Wayne R. Spencer on Brahe and Kepler and how they were true Christians who searched for cosmic answers, I did not care for Brother Guy Consolmango JS’s writing on meteorites as it often discussed his personal life and unrelated material. I wish the book contained more photographs showing the beauty and magnificence of God’s incredible work. It would be thoughtful to capitalize all pronouns of God for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are interested in connecting the dots between man’s quest to learn about space and how God finely tunes it for the existence and flourishment of humans, this may be of interest to you.

Thanks to Harvest House Publishers, Inc. and the editors for this book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2meglG7

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Animal Skins

Title: Animal Skins
Author/Photographer: Mary Holland
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-64351-3393

“Fur (hair), feathers and scales are animal skin coverings that look very different from each other but do many of the same things,” Mary Holland begins her children’s book, Animal Skins.

~ What ~
A part of the Animal Anatomy and Adaptation series, this oversized thirty-two-unnumbered-page hardbound with a duplicate jacket cover targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy educational information about nature. With no scary scenes, the book may be best read out loud by adults to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this artistically photographed collection, the outer coverings of animals are the focal point. Beginning with the wings of a moth, the pages show a cicada, porcupine, skunk, fawn, birds, frog, salamander, toad, snake, turtle, and little child, explaining what each’s covering is, does, and how it protects them.

The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve a matching skin game, how animals’ skins are used, special skins of a hairy-tailed mole, European honey bee, turkey vulture, and gray treefrog, and animal classes with answers.

~ Why ~
What makes this book fun is not only the full-page, full-color photographs and explanation of skin coverings but also the informational data at the end for older readers. A child will enjoy viewing the animals and insects that show the skin and skin covering differences between species.

~ Why Not ~
Those who have no interest in animal life and their skin may not appreciate this book. Others may prefer more information in chart or comparison format. Beginner readers may struggle with the many two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
To me, skin is usually the epidermis on a human, animal, or some insects, yet this book considers fur, hair, and feathers to be skin while technically these three are coverings on the skin. Thus maybe the book should have been titled “Animal Skin Coverings” or “Animal Covers.”

~ Want ~
If your child is interested in an educational series about the different parts of animals such as ears, eyes, legs, mouths, noses, and tails, this one on skin is a good choice.

Thanks to Arbordale Publishing, Bookpleasures, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#ArbordalePublishing #AnimalAnatomyandAdaption #MaryHolland

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2O1pFcg

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The Forest in the Trees

Title: The Forest in the Trees
Author/Illustrator: Connie McLennan
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-64351-3508

“Deep in the woods near a foggy sea, there’s a hidden forest in the trees,” begins Connie McLennan’s children’s book, The Forest in the Trees.

~ What ~
This oversized thirty-two-unnumbered-page hardbound with a duplicated jacket cover targets children ages seven to ten years old who enjoy an informative story about forests. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording. Expressive, colorful illustrations grace both sides of the pages.

In this short rhyming tale that mimics The House that Jack Built in format, the building sentence-upon-sentence story on the left sides of the pages is about a redwood forest with its tall trees, new growth, rich soil, interesting bugs, crawling creatures, abundant ferns, berry bushes, lacey lichen, flying squirrels, spotted owls, leafy laurel, and diving auk. The right sides of the pages include geographical, physical, scientific, and animal/plant facts.

The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve information about the coastal redwoods, a forest vocabulary matching game, animals of the forest and their basic needs, and how new trees are made.

~ Why ~
Since I live in the Pacific Northwest and love trees, this is an ideal book geared for children that teaches about the magnificent redwood trees and how their eco-system protects thriving insects, animals, and plants. The rhyme is cute while the sidebars of interesting facts are educational. I like the attention given to the highlighted words such as reiterations, canopy, humus, crustaceans, epiphytes, fern mats, and lichens. The drawings are detailed and eye-catching.

~ Why Not
Those who do not like an educational read about forest and trees may show no interest in this book. Beginner readers may have issues with some of the two- and three-syllable words. Others may wish there were more puzzles or games included.

~ Wish ~
I wish more books like this were available that had a story yet provided knowledge and information that a young child could learn in a fun, engaging way.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about redwoods for elementary-aged children, this will delight many as they realize how abundant life is in a forest.

Thanks to Arbordale Publishing, Bookpleasures, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#ArbordalePublishing #ConnieMcLennan #CoastalRedwoods #educationalchildren’sbook

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2O4mkJl

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Super Cool Space Facts

Title: Super Cool Space Facts
Author: Bruce Betts PhD
Illustrator: Steve Mack
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64152-521-3

“In this book you’ll find a basic description of each thing we talk about, some awesome pictures, and tons of super cool space facts. And jokes–lots of jokes,” Bruce Betts writes in the introduction to his children’s book, Super Cool Space Facts: A Fun, Fact-Filled Space Book for Kids.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-twenty-four-page paperback states it targets children four to eight years old who want to learn about space. With no scary scenes but colorful illustrations and photographs within circles, there are facts about planets, stars, constellations, black holes, jokes, and more.

After an introduction, there are five chapters that cover the universe, stars and constellations, the solar system, comets, meteors, and other sky shows, and rockets, satellites, astronauts, and more. The ending includes a glossary, resources, index, acknowledgments, and the author’s biography.

Containing limited paragraphs about the related topics in one to two pages each, the chapters are filled with circles that are either colored with white writing or photographs with boxed explanations, diagrams, big word alerts, and jokes.

~ Why ~
Most kids love space, and this is an engaging source for children to learn more about it. I appreciate the many interesting facts written in the different-sized circles and the explanations.

One of my favorites was Stars that discuss how they are giant balls of hot glowing gas. The two photos are of hundreds of stars that make up the Quintuplet star cluster and the colorful Hyades star cluster. The two-colored circles mention different sizes of stars and how some solar systems have more stars orbiting them. The big word alert is plasma, an electrical charge-filled gas, and the joke is What did the cool star say to the hot star? Hey, why are you so blue?

~ Why Not ~
Those who have no interest in space may not like this book or want to take the time to learn about our universe. Those who are creationists like me will cringe about the promotion the earth is 13.8 billion years old. Some may think the content is rudimentary or that the jokes are corny.

~ Wish ~
Online it states the book is for preschool to third grade, but its contents may be better geared and understood by ages 8 to 12 years old. I wish somehow God would be given credit for creating the amazing universe where we live.

~ Want ~
If you know a child who is into space and wants to learn more about it, this is an entertaining yet educational book.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#supercoolspacefacts #spacebookforkids #CallistoPublishersClub

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2ZIRKqV

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Extreme Garage Science for Kids

Title: Extreme Garage Science for Kids
Authors: James & Joanna Orgill
Illustrator: Mara Harris
Publisher: Familius
ISBN: 978-1-64170-120-4

“This exciting collection of 30 experiments will be stimulating for budding young scientists as well as seasoned veterans to explore and master,” the back jacket states in James and Joanna Orgill’s children’s book, Extreme Garage Science for Kids.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-forty-four-page paperback targets children ten to twelve years old who want to learn about science through hands-on projects. With no scary scenes but colorful illustrations and photographs, there are thirty explained science projects taken from the popular The Action Lab channel on YouTube.

This is a step-by-step tutorial collection of many fun projects to do at home with young children. After a table of contents and introduction, there are thirty experiments that cover two to four pages each, ending with the authors’ biography and Familius information.

The projects range from Drawing on Water, Helping Sugar Burn, and Bouncing Batteries to Superglue Underwater, Butterfly Coins, and Skittles Waterfall to name a few. Each experiment usually has a description, supplies needed, numerical steps, explanation of what is going on, a closer look, and a fun fact or bonus.

~ Why ~
With two Ph.D. chemists in our family and a young grandson, this book is ideal for learning about the science around us. I appreciate the projects are mostly done with common household supplies. I like the layout of each chapter with graph paper and bright yellow backgrounds, fun illustrations, and color photographs.

One of my favorites was Experiment 9: Taking the Color Out of Strawberries. By putting strawberries in a glass jar or cup of bleach while wearing rubber gloves, the fruit turns white in a twenty-four hour period due to a chemical reaction.

~ Why Not ~
Those who have no interest in science may not like this book or want to take the time to do any of the experiments. All the projects have adults featured in the photos, not children.

~ Wish ~
I wish the time to do the projects were listed to help those doing it.

~ Want ~
If your fourth- to sixth-grader is fascinated in science and wants to learn more of the “why and how” things work, this is an entertaining yet educational book.

Thanks to Familius and the authors for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2YCg5hP

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The Day Punctuation Came to Town

Title: The Day Punctuation Came to Town
Author: Kimberlee Gard
Illustrator: Sandie Sonke
Publisher: Familius
ISBN: 978-1-64170-145-7

“We’re the Punctuation family, and we all work together to help letters and the words they make,” the Period explains in Kimberlee Gard’s children’s book, The Day Punctuation Came to Town.

~ What ~
The second book in the Language is Fun series, this thirty-two-page hardbound targets children five to eight years old who want to learn about using punctuation with writing sentences. With no scary scenes but colorful illustrations, it is about a family of four punctuation symbols who come to town and go to school with alphabet letters that make words. Its jacket cover includes a synopsis of the book, nine habits of happy family life, and biographies of the author and illustrator.

In this charming story, the Punctuation family moves to town and goes to school with a bunch of letters. As each introduces itself to the class, it explains what it does. While the exclamation point explains it adds excitement, the question mark asks questions; the period ends sentences, and the comma keeps the words organized. As the day progresses, the comma feels left out so sneaks out of the room, and the other punctuation marks find it, showing how important it is to letters when making words and sentences.

~ Why ~
I am fanatical about punctuation and sad to see so many people today do not know the correct rules, so it is important to teach young ones the proper way to use the exclamation point, question mark, period, and comma. I appreciate that this story is fun and interesting while educating first and second graders how and when to use them.

~ Why Not ~
The book contains many multi-syllable words that may frustrate beginner readers, but it also is a way to learn new words. The comma is not thoroughly explained, but its simplification makes sense based on the age group targeted for the book.

~ Wish ~
I found the rudimentary illustrations with limited backgrounds may not engage some readers. I hope more books are added to the series that is focused on language.

~ Want ~
If your child is starting to understand the need and purpose of using punctuation, this is an excellent way to teach them about the four symbols in a cute, clever way.

Thanks to Familius and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2FhElyK

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