Monday, October 23, 2017

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace book #3 by Carolyn Miller

ISBN: 9780825444524|
$14.99 | Paperback
Kregel Publishing
My thoughts: Delving into the pages of Austin style prose of a Carolyn Miller Regency period novel is like journeying back in time where social mores were rigid and social position steeped in tradition and expectations. Miss Clara DeLacey is a young lady born of well placed social standing whose conduct in a previous book in the Legacy of Grace series was dubious and placed her in a position of dishonor. Hence..... The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey.

True that by today's standards her behavior was quite acceptable. In the year 1815 it certainly was not and placed her character in question and her hopes for a grand marriage quite dim.

The story's male lead is quite the honorable and trustworthy hero of military fame. His faith and trust in God is strong just as is his personal strength and character. It is quite interesting to read the exchanges and interactions of Clara and Ben.

The thread of faith was woven beautifully throughout the story as those of strong faith encourage others to exercise faith in God and to be willing to follow God's leading for their lives.

Mention of previous characters in the Legacy of Grace Regency Series - some involved with the story's action in The dishonorable Miss DeLancey and some back story mentions - connects this concluding book in the series nicely to the previous two. It is nice to read the books in correct sequence, but not necessary for the story to be enjoyed.

About the book: Will a damaged reputation and desire for society's approval thwart the legacy of grace?

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She's lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara's society mama is appalled at the new company she's keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won't let him ignore the penniless viscount's daughter--not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they're pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent's Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together--without finances, family support, or royal favor?

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is full of the captivating, flawed characters, fascinating historical details, and masterful writing that Carolyn Miller's fans have come to know in The Elusive Miss Ellison and The Captivating Lady Charlotte. If you love Lori Wick, Georgette Heyer, and other clean, wholesome Regency romance, you'll love this third book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

If You Were Me & Lived in... The Mayan Empire: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time (Volume 4) by Carole P.Roman [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781535046213
My thoughts: This new series of children's books, An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time, is very special. They are geared toward elementary students and perhaps on into the early middle school grades. The Mayan Empire incorporates factual information throughout the story while immersing the reader as the "You" in the story. I found it intriguing to peek into this ancient people's civilization that so little is taught about in schools.

The Mayans were quite advanced mathematically. Their worship was of many gods with one being more important. The Mayan civilization dates back to 1800 BC. That is truly ancient. They left a written record of their civilization.

The reader can place himself right at the center going through what a day in the life of a child during this period was like. I found the daily life and facts surrounding life as a Mayan to be very interesting and well-written by Ms. Roman in a manner easy to understand yet not too simplistic.

The illustrations are very well done and indicative of peoples currently living in the area of the ancient Mayans. The geographic location of the Mayan Empire was that of the Yucatan Peninsular and included today's Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize.

I especially like the sections in the back of the book. There is a section with pictures (stylized drawings that look like carvings from archaeological discoveries) and short biographies of important people during the period, Mayan Contributions to the World, and a wonderful glossary.

This is an excellent resource for the home or classroom library. More sturdily bound editions would be wonderful in children's school libraries and the children's section of public libraries.

About the book: Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series. Learn what kind of food you might eat in Ancient Greece, the clothes you wore in 15th century Renaissance Italy, what your name could be in Viking Europe, and what children who lived during the Han Dynasty did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.
GIVEAWAY
5 winners
Begins October 23
Ends November 14 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author to facilitate this review of my own opinions. I was not compensated nor obligated to give a positive review.

Press Out and Color: Christmas Ornaments (crafting) illustrated by Kate McLelland [Review Giveaway USA/CANADA]

ISBN: 9780763696184
Ages 7-10 years


My thoughts: Children love the make things - especially when they are pretty, can be utilized, and are gift-worthy. This book with press-out pieces that easily become lovely decorations will certainly provide hours of coloring and construction time. The construction would simply be the interlocking (slotting together) of pieces.

The product is a pressed board that is sturdier than cardboard one usually finds in such projects. The pages are white with gold foil - YES! LOVELY GOLD FOIL! Even the drawn lines decorating the ornaments are gold foil. What a treat for brightening wintry days in preparation for the Christmas season.

I highly recommend this for groups of children, families, and just anyone that wants a bit of lovely fun.

About the book/craft: Each of the twenty press-out Christmas decorations in this book can be easily slotted together to create cheerful hanging ornaments to adorn the Christmas tree or to add a festive touch to any space. Perfect for all ages, these gorgeous ornaments look elegant in white and gold, but even more glorious when colored.
GIVEAWAY
Christmas Ornaments (craft)
2 Winners
October 23
November 13 @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA & CANADA
No P.O. Boxes accepted
Disclosure: I received a complimentary book/product from Candlewick to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

BONAPARTE FALLS APART by Margery Cuyler

ISBN: 978-1101937686
My thoughts: As many know, I simply do not participate in Halloween. When I saw the book Bonaparte Falls Apart, I almost skipped past it. I read the promo for the story and decided to give it a try. After reading the story and looking at the pictures, I'm convinced that this is NOT a Halloween story at all. This is simply a story about a fear of going to school when one has physical issues that embarrass.

Told in an unforgettably funny way it recounts the many ways poor bony Bonaparte simply loses one piece (or rather bone) after another. His friends try to help him past this by various means and they all fail. A "service" dog is introduced and becomes the key to Bonaparte's managing to hold it all together.

The puns and play on words are simply hilarious. Of course, young children will most likely miss these but parents will have a truly fun time reading. And it is a good opportunity to help the little ones learn a bit of fun with words, too.

I think the illustrations are fun and well done. Not that I like scary creatures and Frankenstein type characters, even though they are nice and charming. This is simply a fun book and a subtle lesson in helping others and incorporating a helper or "service" dog.

About the book: Bonaparte is having a tough time. It’s hard for this young skeleton to just hang loose when he can’t keep hold of himself. When he plays catch, his throwing arm literally takes a flyer. Eating lunch can be a real jaw-dropping occasion. How can he start school when he has so many screws loose? Luckily, Bonaparte hit the bone-anza with Franky Stein, Black Widow, and Mummicula, three true, bone-a fide friends who all have some boneheaded ideas to help pull him together. But will it be enough to boost his confidence and get him ready for the first day of school?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Book of Gold by Bob Staake

Schwartz & Wade
ISBN: 978-0-553-51077-5
Ages 4-8 years
My thoughts:  I was sent an unbound galley copy  of this interesting children's picture book designed to tell the story of a young boy who is desirous to discover the path to riches. And he learns through various means that there is a book of gold somewhere. Hence he pursues that book by reading all he could get hold of.

He learns a valuable lesson in that the book or books don't turn to gold, but they enable him to have the knowledge he needs to succeed in life and that is worth more than gold.

The illustrations are interesting and really capture the essence of the story and the young boy's path to learning. The pictures utilizing a lot of browns and black with tans and golds with a sprinkling of primary colors are interesting and perhaps digitally created. They are fun to look at. There is a lot of story text for a picture book, but this makes for a good read for the child who listens well or who is an avid reader. The story emphasizes the value of books and education.

About the book: Acclaimed illustrator Bob Staake brings us an emotionally rich picture book about a character who discovers that the search for knowledge is more important than knowledge itself in THE BOOK OF GOLD.

Young Isaac Gutenberg isn't a curious boy . . . that is, until he meets an old shopkeeper who tells him about The Book of Gold, a special book, hidden somewhere in the world, that turns to solid gold when opened. Isaac is determined to find the book—it will make him rich! He opens many books in his search, and quickly closes them when they don't turn to gold. But when a glance at a page makes a question pop into his mind, everything changes, and he begins reading every word. This sweeping picture book asks important questions: Is searching for knowledge better than having it? How important is curiosity? And what makes a life meaningful?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary unbound galley copy from the publisher to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Plume by Isabelle Simler from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

ISBN13: 9780802854926
Hardcover 42 pages 
 Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
My thoughts:  The delicate drawings in beautiful color of the feathers - plumage or plumes, is a real treat to ponder over.

The amazing variety of birds pictured by Isabelle Simler is wonderful and while the feathers are rather detailed and startlingly beautiful, the birds themselves are less natural or detailed. They are quite sufficient to identify the bird and she has imbued them with subtle expressions that indicate their knowledge and fear of black cat which is nearby.

Young children probably won't fully appreciate the delicacy and intricate drawings of the beautiful bird feathers. Nor will they "get" the sneaky, stealth of the black cat. But the cunning black cat is present and creeping up on the birds all through the book.

The "story" is virtually non-existent. Each two-page spread features and names a bird with a bit of Plume the black cat shown. And at the end the "...or Me" ("Me" is cat whose name is Plume). The artist/author is obviously using a play on words to name the cat Plume (definition of plume is "a long, soft feather or arrangement of feathers used by a bird for display or worn by a person for ornament") since he collects feathers.

Who will enjoy this book? I think that guided reading or perusal by parents, teachers, or librarians with children would be appropriate and enjoyable. A rare child might enjoy it on his or her own and grasp the beauty of the feathers and the stealth and character of the black cat, Plume.

About the book: In this lovely book, young readers are introduced to a variety of beautiful birds, from the familiar chicken to the exotic ibis. But lurking in the background of every page is a cat, who also seems very interested in the birds.

With its funny illustrations and engaging concepts, this clever counting book will invite readers to linger over every page.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Eerdmans Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

George Washington's Rules to Live By: How to Sit, Stand, Smile, and Be Cool! A Good Manners Guide From the Father of Our Country by K. M. Kostyal (Adapter) & illustrated by Fred Harper

My thoughts:  I have it straight from a young mother of four girls - "They love it!" My grand-girls simply love George Washington's Rules to Live By and frequently check out a copy from their public library. Our First President lived during a genteel era and he was a gentleman who moved in the higher echelon of his day - socially and politically. He was, of course, cognizant of how his behavior  and those under his care and leadership reflected on who they were and whom they represented. Good manners was not something taken lightly.

Today's youngsters and even their adult leaders don't feel the need for instruction in etiquette, but truly it is very much needed. Parents should start young with this instruction. A book such as George Washington's Rules to Live By is written for children and teens and in such a light hearted, fun, spirited manner and packed with bright funny illustrations that make learning to live the gracious life actually fun.

This would be a superb book to use on a regular basis in the classroom - kind of like a "thought for the day" exercise. The teacher could encourage a team effort watching for "caught you using good manners" for those caught exercising the "Rules to Live By" in their daily life.
 Small bits of the life of President Washington are also part of the text and provide insight into the man he was. I think this is a superb book for homes with children, school libraries, and public libraries.



About the book: This innovative gift book allows kids to peek into the mind of George Washington and the more than 100 lessons by which he lived his life. Modern translations and hilarious caricature illustrations provide a lighthearted and fun way to learn about history and good manners at the same time. Featuring the Rules of Civility that George Washington learned when he was a child, this book focuses on 50 of George's maxims, ranging from table manners to polite conversation to being a good citizen. Because the Rules of Civility are centuries old, this book also includes "translations" of the rules into contemporary and witty kid-friendly explanations that any young reader can relate to. Paired with laugh-out-loud illustrations, this book is a sure-fire guide to amazing etiquette.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of National Geographic Kids publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.