Category Archives: Business / Money / Education

How to Pack

How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any TripTitle: How to Pack
Author: Hitha Palepu
Illustrator: Kelly Lasserre
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-101-90564-7

“When you understand the motivations behind how to pack, we’ll drive into the nitty-gritty of creating a packing station at home, selecting the perfect travel clothing and accessories, and putting everything together, ready to be put to use at your destination,” Hitha Palepu writes in the introduction to her book, How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-twenty-eight pages, this small hardbound targets those who travel and want to pack their bags efficiently and effectively. After an introduction and how to find your packing personality, the quick read contains six sections regarding travel luggage tips, ending with acknowledgments and blank packing lists.

The six divisions include how to pre-pack, choosing clothes with style, the right accessories for the right look, toiletry needs and beauty must-haves, how to pack for maximum space, and how to survive and thrive in the airport and beyond. The reader first determines if they are the anxious overpacker, forever forgetful, jumbled travel, or impractical daydreamer and applies the packing timeline before he or she learns ways to pack, unpack, and organize a suitcase.

~Why ~
My husband and I travel to see our out-of-state sons and their families so having well-prepared packing is a must. I like how the book helps qualify the type of traveler while explaining in depth the different kinds of luggage, attire for various different trips, folding versus rolling garments, toiletry bags and Dopp kits, and the value of coconut oil and herbal teas. I love that the eight blank packing lists at the back of the book are perforated for easy removal.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not travel will have no need for this book. Others may glean little new information in the book, so it would be best for the novice traveler. Some men may want more details regarding their belongings.

~ Who ~
Having traveled over a half-million miles worldwide, the author is an entrepreneur and writer in the life sciences, travel, and technology fields who lives in New York with her family. No information is given on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were an even balance of both sexes mentioned in the book as it favors women and their accessories more often than men.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book for the beginner traveler, this is a viable option.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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A True Princess of Hawai’i

True Princess of Hawai'i, ATitle: A True Princess of Hawai’i
Author: Beth Greenway
Illustrator: Tammy Yee
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62855-9491

“A true princess is known by her deeds,”Nani is told in the story section of Beth Greenway’s children’s book, A True Princess of Hawai’i.

~ What ~
This thirty-two unnumbered page paperback with a thick folding jacket cover targets children ages five to eight years old who enjoy educational information about Hawaii’s volcanoes. With a couple of scenes of fiery lava encroaching the town that may concern some young ones, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

Based on historical events in the late 1800s, this short story is about a young girl named Nani who wants to be a princess, especially when Princess Luka comes to Hawaii to save the town from an erupting volcano. As Luka asks a goddess who lives in the volcano to stop it, Nani learns how to be kind, generous, and thoughtful even though she may not dress like princess.

The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve information about the Pacific Rim of Fire, the factual story of Princess Luka and Mauna Loa, questions regarding facts and fiction, volcanic vocabulary matching, respecting Hawaii’s natural resources, and a map of its many volcanoes.

~ Why ~
This book is a fictional tale of a historical princess, goddess named Pele, compassionate young girl, and a volcano. I like that the underlying lesson learned is about the girl who freely offers an old lady and horse her candy and the princess part of her clothing. I found the informational data at the back of the book for older readers the most interesting. Any child will enjoy looking at the colorful pictures with plenty of details while understanding mighty volcanoes.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of potentially dangerous volcanoes may steer away from this educational book, but they may learn a thing or two. Others may not like the tale’s inferences to a goddess or princess who tosses a red cloth into the lava, chants, and sprinkles a bottle on the fire. Some of the educational information may be above the suggest age level.

~ Who ~
Having lived in Hawaii for several years while raising her three daughters, Greenway has authored several books and now lives in Mississippi. Artist Yee is a native of Hawaii and has illustrated more than thirty books.

~ Wish ~
Not knowing Hawaiian folklore or history, I wish the story were told more accurately such as the mentioning that the town prayed instead of the volcano being stopped by Luka and Pele.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about a Hawaiian volcano for preschool to early elementary aged children, this may be a viable option, but the story is fictional.

Thanks to Arbordale Publishing for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Pinterest, Godinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Moonlight Crab Count

Moonlight Crab CountTitle: Moonlight Crab Count
Author: Dr. Neeti Bathala and Jennifer Keats Curtis
Illustrator: Veronica V. Jones
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62855-9316

“Leena counts crabs while Mom writes down the data. Bobie doesn’t even bark once,” Dr. Neeti Bathala and Jennifer Keats Curtis write in the story section of their children’s book, Moonlight Crab Count.

~ What ~
This thirty-two unnumbered page paperback with a thick folding jacket cover targets children ages eight to twelve years old who enjoy educational information about horseshoe crabs. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this short story, Leena and her mom along with their dog, Bobie, live near a bay on the East Coast. In the dark of the night, they take their boat to an island and count the horseshoe crabs they find. After writing down the time, temperature, and wind speed, Leena spots the crabs, reporting if they are male or female as her mom charts the information on a clipboard. Leena turns a few crabs over while the dog silently watches. By morning, the crabs have returned to the sea, and the project is accomplished.

The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve information about the characteristics of horseshoe crabs, where they live and procreate, the writer’s vocation as an ecologist, a step game about citizen scientists, and how to help horseshoe crabs.

~ Why ~
Although I never have heard of horseshoe crabs since I live on America’s West Coast, they are interesting creatures as this book explains. What makes this book fun is not only the tale about counting the tailed creatures, but their medicinal value and facts regarding their ten eyes, bright blue blood, and tiny hairs along with their ability to lay twenty-thousand eggs at a time which are sometimes eaten by red knot birds. Any child will enjoy looking at the pictures while learning about the crabs.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like crabs may steer away from this educational book, but they may learn a thing or two of interest. Others may not like how dark the illustrations are in the book, but it is portrayed as night throughout the story.

~ Who ~
An associate professor in Pennsylvania, Bathala has studied sea creatures around the world. She lives in New Jersey, and this is her debut children’s picture book. Illustrator Curtis is an award-winning author of more than a dozen books about wildlife rescue, animal care, and citizen science and lives in Maryland. Jones is a freelance and children’s illustrator who lives in Virginia; this is her debut picture book.

~ 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 horseshoe crabs for elementary school aged children, this one offers a lot of information that would be helpful for a book report or school discussion, especially if you lived on the East Coast.

Thanks to Arbordale Publishing for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

This review has been posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Honey Girl

Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk SealTitle: Honey Girl
Author: Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrator: Shennen Bersani
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62855-9224

“Hopefully, in the years to come, many more Hawaiian monk seals will be spotted off the islands of Hawai’i,” Jeanne Walker Harvey writes toward the end of her children’s book, Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal.

~ What ~
This thirty-two unnumbered page paperback with a thick folding jacket cover targets children ages five to eight years old who enjoy educational information about seals. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud by adults to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this short book, Honey Girl is a favorite Hawaiian monk seal that is injured by a fishing hook and line. Scientists and veterinarians take her to an aquarium where they remove the hook and nurse her back to health. However, when they release her back into the ocean, they are concerned about her weight. Over time, she gains weight and becomes pregnant. Volunteers keep her and her pup safe on the sand until the mammals return to the sea. Later, Honey Girl has another pup and also becomes a grandmother.

The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve information about the monk seal’s life cycle, fun facts about seals and mammals with maps, a discussion on conservation, and a word scrambler game about rescuing and rehabilitating Honey Girl.

~ Why ~
What makes this book fun is not only the charming story about an injured seal that is taken care of by people, but it also explains the characteristics of a monk seal. I enjoyed the information on their weight, length, and fur while also describing what it eats and where it lives. The illustrations are descriptive and engaging to hold the attention of the age group.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like seals may steer away from this educational book, but they may learn a thing or two of interest. Young ones may have trouble understanding the words and ideas, but it is a good teaching tool for those interested in seals and protecting them.

~ Who ~
The author of several award-winning books, Harvey has been a language arts teacher who currently gives school tours at a museum. She lives in Northern California with her cat and visits sea lions often in the bay. An award-winning children’s book illustrator, author Bersani loves nature and life lessons for children of all ages. Having illustrated many books with her detailed, realistic designs, the artist lives in Massachusettes.

~ 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, entertaining way.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about monk seals for elementary aged children, this will delight those that like stories and teach those wanting to learn.

Thanks to Arbordale Publishing for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

This review is posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Bat Count

Bat Count: A Citizen Science StoryTitle: Bat Count
Author: Anna Forrester
Illustrator: Susan Detwiler
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62855-8951

“If our barn really is a maternity roost, and our bat has pupped, we’ll have two,” Jojo explains in Anna Forrester’s children’s book, Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story.

~ What ~
This thirty-two unnumbered page paperback with a thick folding jacket cover targets children ages eight to twelve years old who enjoy an informative story about bats. 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 tale’s pages.

In this short story, Jojo and her twin baby brothers and parents have the interesting job of counting bats that nest in their barn every year. As the numbers sadly drop to only one bat, they spend a night outside, waiting for the mother bat to return. When she does, not only is the family happy to see her, but they are excited with the growing count of bats.

The last four pages have more educational tools of learning activities for creative minds that involve information about bat facts, their body parts, white nose syndrome, helping them survive, and how to be a citizen scientist.

~ Why ~
Although I am not one that cares for bats, they are fascinating creatures as this book explains in the story and end. I liked that it told how bats usually birth one pup at a time, can succumb to a deadly illness, and yearly counted. The ending has a plethora of facts regarding mega- and micro-bats, echolocation, body parts such as thumbs and tails, how white nose syndrome is spread, protecting them, and resources for counting.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like bats may steer away from this educational book, but they may learn a thing or two of interest. Others may wish there were puzzles or games about bats included.

~ Who ~
An amateur naturalist, Forrester enjoys writing about nature as she creates gardens and green spaces for children. This is her debut children’s picture book. Detwiler is not only an illustrator of several award-winning children’s books but also an author who lives in Maryland with her husband.

~ 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 bats for elementary-aged children, this will delight many interested in the unique mammal.

Thanks to Arbordale Publishing for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived in … the Ancient Mali Empire

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire (Volume 10)Title: If You Were Me and Lived in … the Ancient Mali Empire
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Mateya Arkova
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1540

“If you were me and lived at the height of the Mali (Mah-lee) Empire, you would have been born in the year 1332,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived in … the Ancient Mali Empire  – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time series, this seventy-eight-page paperback targets elementary to middle school-aged children and readers who like learning about historical eras. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words. Pastel illustrations cover two-thirds of the open pages with a black font wording on the other third of the open pages that have white backgrounds. Six pages at the end of the book list ten famous individuals of the period, followed by an eight-page glossary that also includes pronunciation for each word.

In this book dedicated to Ancient Mali, its history, religion, culture, clothing, and activities are explained. Readers can learn what their names would be, employment, city and home environment, famous buildings, food choices, necessary attire, monetary values, education, hobbies, and important people and what they accomplished.

~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational and detailed account is a way for children to learn about another period in history and how it changed the world. As an adult, I appreciate the information on their houses, mosques, and palace. Learning about Mansa Musa, his throne, duties, army, and accomplishments as well as the classes of people, role of a griot, arranged marriages, and the Muslim way of life were interesting.

~ Why Not ~
While the book contains long paragraphs and three- to four-syllable words, it would have to be read out loud to new readers. Some may think its contents may be too advanced for young children, but the pictures are interesting.

~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written several series for children of books based on countries, eras, and the pirate genre. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren. Illustrator Arkova enjoys creating bright pastel colors and curvy lines in her artwork. She lives in Bulgaria.

~ Wish ~
I wish more creative books like this one were available that promoted historical events to be used as educational tools for teaching children.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a new series that covers a gambit of historical places and people, this one will teach your children about living in Ancient Mali.

Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived on … Mars

If You Were Me and Lived on...Mars (If You Were Me and Lived in...) (Volume 21)Title: If You Were Me and Lived On … Mars
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Mateya Arkova
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1540869722

“If you were me and lived on Mars, you would be living there many years in the future, perhaps in the year 2054,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived On … Mars – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of the international series, this forty-four-page paperback targets preschool to early elementary school-aged children and readers who like learning about other countries and a planet in our galaxy. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words that usually include pronunciation. Often, colorful, expressive illustrations cover one side of the page with a nicely sized white font wording on the opposite side. Six pages at the end of the book reiterate how to pronounce certain words and their meanings.

Although human beings have not yet been to Mars, it is a fascinating place. In this enjoyable story, the reader learns about a young child who spends three years on the Red Planet, learning about how it got its name, how far way it is from Earth, its unbreathable air, extreme climate temperatures and dust, size, and two moons. A visit to Olympus Mon views the tallest mountain in the solar system. Also discussed are how people would have to learn to live, eat, and survive on the harsh planet.

~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational book is a simple way for children to learn about the Red Plant, especially if they possibly could visit it in the future. I love how the book is creative yet educational with details of how hard it would be to live so far away from earth and where the two moons got their names. Younger ones may have fun looking for the dog in the spacesuit in several drawings.

~ Why Not ~
The book contains many multi-syllable words that may frustrate beginner readers, but it also is a way to learn new words related to Mars.

~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written several series for children of books based on countries, eras, and the pirate genre. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren. Illustrator Arkova enjoys creating bright pastel colors and curvy lines in her artwork. She lives in Bulgaria.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were books like this so children could see and learn about the amazing planet of Mars.

~ Want ~
Readers who want to learn about countries or a far away planet will look forward to future books in the series to learn more about a particular location. Your young Martian-wanna-be may find this one the favorite of them all.

Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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A Squirm of Worms

A Squirm of WormsTitle: A Squirm of Worms
Author: Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 978-1-5246-4409-3

“Everyone had a great time because of the flying worms!” a student exclaims in Dr. Sherry L. Meinberg children’s book,  A Squirm of Worms.

~ What~
This numbered one-hundred-and-twenty-six-page paperback targets children ages six to ten years old who enjoy learning about worms. With no scary scenes, it is a story about a class of third graders who learn about annelids. The ending includes the author’s biography.

In this short educational tale, a school has a musical concert on the knoll where worms appear during the production. The next day, Ms. Matson’s third-grade class begins searching why the long, skinny, and slimy things invaded the concert and why everyone ran away from them.

With the entire class’s participation, they research and learn fascinating tidbits about these creatures using books, worm motels, hunts, word charts, and projects as well as tell some jokes. Fifty numbered characteristics about worms are spread throughout the pages, including their segments, burrows, eating habits, regeneration, and life cycle.

~Why ~
This is a quick read that offers a fun and engaging way to learn about worms. I enjoyed how the chapters discussed the different aspects of them, especially that they have pointed heads, rounded tails, and bristles while humans are their worst enemy, and they hate electricity.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to learn something informative about worms will pass on this book. Young readers may have trouble understanding some complicated words.

~ Who ~
An avid reader and writer, Meinberg has been a teacher, reading, language, and ESL literacy specialist, mentor, librarian, and co-author. She has written seventeen nonfiction books and has received one over one hundred writing awards.

~ Wish ~
Including a glossary at the end of the book would be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s book that focuses on worms, this would be a wonderful choice that has a plethora of information for children. Adults will also glean some interesting facts.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for this book that I am freely evaluating.

This review will be posted on Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo’s Beemore Breakthru

Title: Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo’s Beemore Breakthru
Author: Oneeka Williams M.D.
Illustrator: Valerie Bouthyette
Publisher: Mascot Books
ISBN: 978-1-68401-061-5

“Maybe, instead of more bees, we need to help the existing ones DO more, BEE more. If the bees can fly faster, can visit and pollinate more plants,” the young surgeon declares as she sews wings on to worker bees in Oneeka Williams’s children’s book, Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo’s Beemore Breakthru.

~ What ~
This numbered thirty-four-page oversized hardbound targets ages six to twelve years old, especially those interested in the life of bees, pollination, and medicine. With no scary or violent scenes, it does contain complicated words that beginner readers will need help understanding or pronouncing.

The story is about a young girl who saves bees on the Island of Positivity after learning the insects are dying. With the aid of her family and friends, she creates robotic wings that can be attached to bees so they can pollinate faster. The governor of the island presents her with a medal, and the bees are happy they are productive again.

Having colorful illustrations, the tale incorporates educational pages regarding the three different types of bees, their role in the hive and life cycle, and how honey is made. Also added are games children can play that correlate to bees and their environment such as a beanbag toss, maze crawl, and the waggle dance. Added at the end are a glossary, dictionary, a dozen discovery questions, math challenge, and resource guide.

~ Why ~
The story contains scientific information on bees and pollination that adults can glean knowledge when reading it to a child. Although the tale is fictitious, it is educational and instructional, teaching young ones about the creative, unique insects and how they live. I love all the information that could be used in a classroom or as a book report about bees, especially the additional data included at the end of the book.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like bees or a story of a girl who does surgery on the insects will pass on this one as some of the pages are for the older children. Young ones or those visually challenged may be overwhelmed with the busyness of its contents, but it offers plenty of information.

~ Who ~
As a practicing surgeon, Dr. Oneeka Williams grew up in the Caribbean and always had a love for medicine. She attended Harvard Medical School and has written several children’s books. Valerie Bouthyette is an award-winning graphic artist, living in upstate New York. Her expressive and easy-to-understand designs cover the pages.

~ Wish ~
I wish more educational books for children were available that taught information while being part of a story, although the surgery mentioned is make-believe.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for another engaging, intellectual children’s book about Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo that offers a plethora of information about bees and how they live, this is an excellent teaching tool for young ones. Check out the additional coloring and activity book about the same topic.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I freely am evaluating.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived In … Israel

If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World (Volume 19)Title: If You Were Me and Lived In … Israel
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Kelsea Wierenga
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1537261997

“If you were me and lived in Israel (Yiz-ra-el), you would call it the State of Israel or Medinat Israel (Me-din-at Iz-ra-el),” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived In … Israel – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of the international series, this thirty-four-page paperback targets preschool to early elementary school-aged children and readers who like learning about other countries. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words that usually include pronunciation. Typically, colorful illustrations cover one side of the page with a nicely sized font wording on the opposite side. Several pages at the end of the book reiterate how to pronounce certain words and their meanings.

Israel is considered the Holy Land to four different faiths. With a wall built in 1538 AD around the city of Jerusalem, it contains four neighborhoods. A famous place to visit is the Dead Sea, which is 1371 feet below sea level.

Favorite foods are falafel, pita, tahini, shwarma, shnitzel, humus, baklava, and fistookeim. The people enjoy participating in the Maccabiah Games, practicing Krav Maga self-defense, and celebrating Purim, a day that remembers Queen Esther.

The reader learns names for mother and father. Also taught are common names for boys and girls, as well as words for doll, money, and school.

~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational book is a simple way for a young child to learn about a foreign land, especially if he or she knows someone living there or is planning a trip to visit.

~ Why Not ~
The book contains many multi-syllable words, some in foreign languages that may frustrate beginner readers, but it also is a way to learn new words from another country.

~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written complete series for children of books based on counties, civilizations, and pirate genre as well as non-fiction for adults. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were books like this on every country so children could see and learn about the vast array of different cultures throughout the world.

~ Want ~
With so many countries on the planet, one looks forward to future books in the series to learn more about a particular location.

Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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