Category Archives: Business / Money / Education

Rewordable: A Uniquely Fragmented Word Game

Game 1Title: Rewordable
Authors: Allison Parish, Adam Simon, & Tim Szetela
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
ISBN: 978-1-5247-6113-4

“Create the largest lexicon of words by the end of the game to become the Rewordable champ” the back of this game board box states.

~ What ~
This small box contains a card game that can be played with two to eight players within a twenty to thirty-minute period. With one-hundred-and-twenty cards and sixteen tokens, the game is meant for those eight years or older of all skill levels.Game 2

The primary object of the standard way to play the game is to get the most reward tokens and points per cards. As the players pick five cards at a time, they build words that can be built upon and expanded, gleaning the tokens that match the word combinations. With the cards being different colors, the point system adds up quickly.

~Why ~
I love words so find this game fun and engaging, especially when I can make up new words. I like that this activity involves creative thinking using letter combinations. With the clear instructions, those who are writers, authors, and editors will find this game easy when played against those who do not excel verbally.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like to play word games will refrain from playing this game as it may seem simplistic to them. The game may be tedious to some who do not like having to think about words.

~ Wish ~
Since I do love words, I wish this game were more challenging for adults as it is sophomoric in its letter combinations. With only one of some common two-letter cards such as CH, CK, ST, and TH, the game needs more blended consonants.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an educational game that is a mix between Scrabble and Uno, this one will keep you and yours entertained, hopefully, able to invent a new word or two that makes sense.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this product that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Mickey’s Found Sounds

Mickey's Found Sounds: A Musical Exploration Storybook Disney Learning (Disney Learning: Disney Mickey & Friends)Title: Mickey’s Found Sounds: A Musical Exploration Storybook
Publisher: Hal Leonard
ISBN: 978-1-4950-6478-4

“Let’s look around and see what we can find that can make sounds. It will be easy and fun!” Mickey tells his friends in the children’s book, Mickey’s Found Sounds: A Musical Exploration Storybook.

~ What ~
Part of the Disney Learning series, this numbered thirty-two-page oversized hardbound targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy books regarding stories about Mickey Mouse and music. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this short tale, Mickey Mouse and his friends decide to go to a parade, but when they arrive, it is canceled due to the rain. Disappointed, the gang goes back home and decides to have an indoor parade of music. The story prompts the reader to turn the page, showing how to make five different instruments such as a bucket drum, oatmeal conga drum, plastic bottle shaker, tube kazoo, and glass jar xylophone. Words to a song are at the end of the book as well as a note to parents and online read and sing along links.

~ Why ~
What makes this book special is it contains a story of Mickey but adds the element of playing musical instruments. I love that our four-year old granddaughter and I can create and make sounds with common household items. Older children will appreciate designing the instruments and experimenting with them.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not care about making music may not appreciate this read that encourages it. Others may find there are too many two and three syllable words that young readers may have trouble deciphering. Some may not like the commercialism the themed book promotes.

~ Wish ~
I wish the book included a CD instead so one does not have to go online to read or sing along. Having a QSR code for a smartphone might be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun gift to give a child who loves Mickey Mouse, this is an educational tool that will be cherished and enjoyed.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Tangled – It’s Better When You Sing It

Tangled - It's Better When You Sing It: A Musical Exploration Storybook Disney LearningTitle: Tangled – It’s Better When You Sing It: A Musical Exploration Storybook
Publisher: Hal Leonard
ISBN: 978-1-4950-6477-7

“Use your voice to speak, whisper, shout, and sing,” prompts the children’s book, Tangled – It’s Better When You Sing It: A Musical Exploration Storybook.

~ What ~
Part of the Disney Learning series, this numbered thirty-two-page oversized hardbound targets children ages four to eight years old who enjoy books regarding the Tangled, the retold story of Rapunzel and how it relates to music. With no scary scenes, it may be best read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this short tale about the princess in a tower who lets herself down by her hair and sees the kingdom for the first time and sings with Finn, the left side of the pages tell the famous story while the right side has a round purple marker about how music. The musical section explains how singing is fun, songs can be sung fast or slow and high or low, listening to sounds around us, playing a hide-and-seek song game, making up songs, expressing feelings in music, echoing, and duets. Words to a song is at the end of the book as well as a glossary, note to parents, and online link.

~ Why ~
What makes this book special is it contains the story but adds the element of music through Rapunzel singing. I love that our four-year old granddaughter, whose favorite everything is currently Tangled, can recall the tale as she learns different facets to music. Older children will appreciate learning what words mean such as duet, echo, and tempo.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like to sing or think they have a bad singing voice may not appreciate this read that encourages it. Others may find there are too many two and three syllable words that young readers may have trouble deciphering. Some may not like the commercialism the themed book promotes.

~ Wish ~
I wish the book included a CD instead so one does not have to go online to read or sing along. Having a QSR code for a smartphone might be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun gift to give a child who loves anything to do with Tangled, this is an educational tool that will be cherished and enjoyed.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The In-Case-of-Emergency Workbook

Title: The In-CaThe In-Case-of-Emergency Workbook: An Essential Life Organizer for You and Yoursse-of-Emergency Workbook
Author: Vicki Hinze
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-5107-1810-4

“May this workbook be helpful and comforting to you and yours—and may you have it and not need it for a very long time!” Vicki Hinze writes in the author’s notes at the beginning of her book, The In-Case-of-Emergency Workbook.

~ What ~
At eighty-eight pages, this flexibound targets those who want a safe place to document and organize their personal, medical, and financial information. After the author’s notes and personal information pages to fill out, there are nine sections that cover a myriad of worksheets to complete regarding one’s life in case of an emergency. The ending contains ten tear-out “contact cards” that can be used elsewhere.

~ Why ~
Having one place to keep all information on home, property, finances, medical, legal, automobile, personal property, passwords, and personal requests makes life easier for those around us when we are unable to instruct or inform others. I like that this book is concise and to the point with its large blocked areas to fill in data. Plenty of different topics force the book owner to write down information he or she may not think is important but may be at a later date.

~ Why Not ~
Those who have a living will and/or are in close contact with their adult children who are aware of their issues may not have the need for this workbook. Others may feel many subjects were left out such as contacting specific friends,  pastor, priest, or rabbi to handle end of life situations, There are not many lines available in areas regarding credit cards (for those who have more than 4) and investments (only 6 offered) while there is an ample amount of 10 bank accounts.

~ Wish ~
Since the book seems to be geared more for the person who is unorganized, it did not provide me with any new ideas or information to pass on to my children who are well aware of our wishes. I question stating to put the book in a safe deposit box when the information on where the box location, key, and number are in the book that is to be put inside it.

~ Want ~
For those who are interested in keeping track of their financial, medical, and personal status for others to use in case of an emergency, this is a simple-to-use organizer.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Physics of Everyday Things

The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary DayTitle: The Physics of Everyday Things
Author: James Kakalios
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3773-2

“Each explanation is coupled with a story revealing the interplay of the astonishing visible forces that surround us,” James Kakalios writes in the front flap of his book, The Physics of Everyday Things: The Extraordinary Science Behind an Ordinary Day.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-fifty-six-page hardbound targets those who enjoy learning about science, physics, and how objects work in our world. With no photographs but a few sporadic figures, the book includes seven chapters about the science of physics in a day in the life of a common adult and ends with acknowledgments, notes, figure captions, and an index.

Covering when a person awakens at home in the morning to going to bed at night in a hotel room, the chapters float from beginning the day having coffee and checking a smartphone to driving to the city, going to the doctor and airport, taking a flight, giving a business presentation, and going to a hotel. All involve items that humans depend on and how they use physics to work.

~Why ~
It is fun to know how things are made, especially because we get caught up in using objects without understanding the why and how behind them. I like how the author discussed pendulums, piezoelectric crystals, thermodynamics, electromagnetic and millimeter waves, magnets, and semiconductors to name a few in objects such as a clock, coffee maker, phone, watch, earbuds, toaster, automobile, GPS, radio, elevator, thermometer, MRI and ATM machines, and lithium batteries. Stating why cars still do not fly is also covered.

~ Why Not ~
The main issue I had with this book is it is rather dry. Granted the author’s intention is to call attention to the reader to notice why and how things work around him or her, but the book lacked in detail and excitement as the person goes through a supposedly average day. Not being a scientific person, I did not learn anything substantial in the chapters.

~ Wish ~
I wish the details of the objects were more succinct in explaining what would happen if physics were not applied to them or made differently. After reading this book, I now understand why my son and daughter-in-law got their PhDs in chemistry instead of physics as, to me, it seems a lackluster topic.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that may be interesting for a high school or college reader who is into physics in everyday life, this may be good for them, but I found it missed the sparks I expected.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived in … Cuba

If You Were Me an Lived In... Cuba: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World (If You Were Me an Lived In... Culture)Title: If You Were Me and Lived In … Cuba
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Kelsea Wierenga
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1545100769

“If you were me and lived in Cuba (Cue-ba), you would live on an island located in the northern Caribbean (Ka-rih-bee-an) in the western hemisphere,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived On … Cuba – 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.

Although Cuba is a small country, its capital of Havana is well-populated. This book discusses the capital’s bay location, the Castillo del Morro Spanish fort with its ceremonial show, the beaches of Cayo Coco, and the carnival at Santiago de Cuba.

Favorite foods are bocodillo, café con leche, cumpleanos, tostones with garlic and sour orange mojo, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, Moros y Cristianos, papas rellenas, and tres leches cake. The people enjoy participating in baseball games, boxing, and exercising.

The reader learns names for mother and father. Also taught are common names for boys and girls, as well as words for 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. I love how the author explains a country’s characteristic, famous sites, food dishes, and people in an easy to understand manner.

~ 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 countries, 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 in the world, 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.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Gatekeepers

The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every PresidencyTitle: The Gatekeepers
Author: Chris Whipple
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 978-0-8041-3824-6

“Each chief can make or break an administration, and each president reveals himself by the chief he picks,” the front jacket flap states in Chris Whipple’s book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-eighty-four pages, this hardbound targets those interested in the behind the scenes of the highest office in the United States, the presidency. After an introduction, nine chapters cover the different presidential chiefs of staff from 1968 to 2013, followed by an epilog, notes, bibliography, author’s note, acknowledgments, and index.

From Nixon to Obama’s terms in office, the chiefs of staff are dissected in how they got the position, their goals, frustrations, and perspectives, what they did or did not accomplish, and why they were fired or left the position.

~Why ~
I found this read extremely detailed and informative when it came to explaining how the presidential office runs and who helps or hinders history. By reading its contents, I remembered the blaming of Halderman for a causing Watergate, Rumsfield being effective keeping Ford on track, the press core loving Cheney, Baker and Duberstein rescuing Reagan from the Iran-Contra scandal, Panetta bringing discipline into Clinton’s administration, Card not empowered to control Bush’s advisers, and Obama’s Emanuel to name a few. Having written-out audio tapes, memos, and documents show the strengths and weaknesses as well as successes and disasters of both presidents and their top aides. By having to do grunt work and telling it like it is, all chiefs had few moments of peace performing the daunting task of advising their presidents.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like recalling the political turmoil of several of our past presidents may show no interest in reading this book. Others may find its contents sometimes gossipy and name-dropping with the who’s who of politics and Washington D.C. socialites.

~ Who ~
An acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Whipple is also a writer, speaker, and journalist who has won several awards.

~ Wish ~
I wish more photographs were included.

~ Want ~
If you are curious about who has been the United States presidents’ chiefs of staff the past fifty years, this well-written book offers a plethora of differences and similarities of the men holding the second most powerful job in government.

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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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Business / Money / Education, Non-Fiction

Preventing Credit Card Fraud

Preventing Credit Card Fraud: A Complete Guide for Everyone from Merchants to ConsumersTitle: Preventing Credit Card Fraud
Authors: Jen Grondahl Lee and Gini Graham Scott
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 978-0-979174100

“While it may not be possible to protect yourself against all fraudsters, the tips and techniques in this book will help to prevent many fraudsters from taking advantage of you as both a consumer and merchant/provider,” Jen Grondahl Lee and Gini Graham Scott write in the introduction of their book, Preventing Credit Card Fraud: A Complete Guide for Everyone from Merchants to Consumers.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-fifty pages, this hardbound targets those who want to protect their finances when it involves credit cards or identity. After the authors’ biographies, foreword, and introduction, the book is divided into two parts that total fourteen chapters, ending with notes and an index.

The first section discusses in nine chapters how a consumer or client can protect themselves when it comes to credit cards. Topics cover using the new chip credit cards, guarding financial information, inspecting card offers, phishing, and what the victim should do if scammed. The second part contains five chapters from the merchant or service provider’s point of view related to encouraging cash payments, potentials of fraud, avoiding chargeback frauds, and establishing security with barriers.

~ Why ~
Having had our credit cards hacked, we want to be fastidious in protecting our finances and identification. I like how the authors push using cash whenever possible and if you use a credit card, leave a trail of documentation, especially online. Explaining free trial scams, naming phony products, getting your money back, alternatives to using cards, and supplying sample written letters are included. With skimmers, cameras, and flagrant online abuse, we all need to be more careful in how we purchase items, products, or services.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not use credit cards may not be interested in this book; however, they may find some information on how to protect one’s identity. With the book mainly about consumers, the merchants/vendors may wish their section included more.

~ Who ~
Lee is a successful Californian bankruptcy attorney who is dedicated to helping individuals and small business owners deal with debt issues and long-term plans for financial stability. An author of over ninety books, Scott is also a consultant, speaker, and seminar leader.

~ Wish ~
Since the book covers both sides of credit card issues, a consumer may not want to read about the merchant suggestions while the provider may not want to know about fraud from an individual basis. With the amount of book’s content, it could be divided into two separate entities. Since I am aware of credit card protection, I did not glean any new concepts from a consumer’s aspect.

~ Want ~
For those who are interested in protecting their credit card information, both as a consumer or vendor, this is a helpful go-to advice book.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the authors for this book that I freely evaluated.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived in … the Mayan Empire

If You Were Me and Lived in....the Mayan EmpireTitle: If You Were Me and Lived in … the Mayan Empire
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Paula Tabor
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1535046213

“If you were me and lived during the Mayan (My-an) civilization, you would be born around 1500 years ago in the year 572 and would have made your home in one of the many Mayan cities,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived in … the Mayan Empire  – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time series, this sixty-four-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. Full-color illustrations cover the right side of the open pages with black wording against yellow backgrounds on the left side. A dozen pages at the end of the book include Mayan contributions to the world, brief information on eight famous Mayan individuals, and a five-page glossary that also includes pronunciation for each word.

In this book dedicated to the Mayan Empire, 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 the Mayans’ societal hierarchy, communal living, foods eaten, attire worn, and gods worshiped. Learning about why Mayans gave specific names at birth, hunted for agouti and peccary, ate food with obsidian and flint, females wore a huipil, forced-formed babies’ head shapes, and got tattoos 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 Tabor is also a portraitist, caricaturist, and art show award winner who lives in Texas.

~ 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 during the Mayan Empire

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived in … Germany

If You Were Me and Lived in...Germany: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World (Volume 20)Title: If You Were Me and Lived in … Germany
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Kelsea Wierenga
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1539135944

“If you were me and lived in Germany (Ger-man-nee), you would call your country Deutschland (Doytch-land), but the rest of the world would know it as the Republic of Germany,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived in … Germany – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of the international series, this thirty-six-page paperback targets preschool to early elementary school-aged children and readers who like learning about other countries around the world. 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 against a brown background on the opposite side. Four pages at the end of the book reiterate how to pronounce certain words and their meanings.

Readers learn that Germany is part of the European Union, has sixteen states, two rivers, and is located as the crossroads of the continent. In addition to explaining names given to children and relatives, it discusses forms of money, places to visit such as the Neuschwanstein Castle and Miniatur Wonderland, Oktoberfest, favorite foods, and five interesting facts.

~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational book is a simple way for children to learn about Germany. I love reading about the miniature model railway and the marvelous food such as sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel, apfelstrudel, hot brezel, aal, rollmops, and schweinebraten.

~ 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 Germany.

~ 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 Wierenga has a self-publishing background and is a freelance children’s book illustrator who lives in Michigan with her family.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were books like this so children could see and learn about countries around the globe.

~ Want ~
Readers who want to learn about countries will look forward to future books in the series to learn more about a particular location. This is a wonderful, educational series that shows what life is like elsewhere.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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