#BookReview Encyclopedia of Insects by Jules Howard

I LOVE learning, so seeing this encyclopedia perked me right up! Sure, insects can be creepy and crawly, but I was down for learning some new stuff about everyone’s “favourite” creatures! And I wasn’t disappointed!

Do keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive collection of bugs, but it is an excellent start for eager minds!!

The pictures in this book are absolute awesome! I really enjoyed the damselfly picture that stared into my soul (hoenstly, it was creepy to stare at my but the art is AMAZE-BALLS).

Here are select things I learned:
1. There’s complete and incomplete metamorphosis? Wait… what? Why did my biology classes skip that information? THAT IS SO COOL.

2. Dragonflies are actually predators, and Damselflies are a thing. Who knew?

3. The Walking Flower Mantis looks super cool and pretty. I even googled them because I didn’t believe they were actually pink. They are gorgeous!! They look like flowers!

4. Toe Biters, Hummingbird Hawkmoth & Slave-Making Ants. That is all.

Things I would like to avoid:
1. Swams of locusts. Kthanxbai.

2. EARWIGS HAVE WINGS. REPEAT: EARWIGS HAVE WINGS. They are way grosser now. Yuck. They can chase me when I run away!

Overall, this book is totally, super amazing! I would absolutely recommend this to young and old readers alike! You’ll learn a whole bunch. I could totally see this book being used for school projects or for nerdy little kids like me (back in the day, of course) who just wanted to soak up knowledge like a sponge. I will definitely be using some of these facts for my useless trivia I spout out at people on a regular basis.

Five out of five stars!

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for giving me an opportunity to read this book!

Check out this marvelous book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Indigo

You can find out more about Jules Howard by clicking the links below:
Goodreads
Twitter @juleslhoward
http://www.juleshoward.co.uk/

Here’s some other non-fiction-y reviews featured on my blog to fill up your TBR shelf:
#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Book Review: Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear

 

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#BookReview Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi by Eugenia Chu

Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子) is a beautiful little story that should be read across the nation!

Jiǎo zi is a dumpling, in case you didn’t know (because I didn’t until the book told me!). Brandon loves dumplings – make them and eat them (mostly eat, obviously). One day, Brandon’s Grandma from China comes to visit and everything becomes super, duper exciting! Mistakes occur along the way, but everything is made to be fun!

Epic positives:
1. The description and quick lesson about Pinyin was super cool! I don’t know much about Chinese characters and Asian languages, so the little lesson was very much appreciated! I’ve always been curious how translations can work, so this totally spiked my interest. I can totally see families bonding over the language barriers, especially if they are learning a new language!

2. This book is really positive. It not only is educational but shows that Brandon could make mistakes and it was able to be fun and not a negative experience. I can totally appreciate that! Kids make mistakes in the kitchen all the time and they should be embraced, not ridiculed!

3. The glossary! I normally am not a super big fan of them, but I liked seeing all of the words used so I could do a little learning myself.

The pictures are also hand drawn and it’s obvious. I think it’s sweet and gives a very homey feel, but this may be a negative for some readers. So – readers beware!

Overall, this is definitely one of my top children’s reads this year! It’s short and sweet, but packed full of adorableness!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Barnes & Noble

Check out the read-through for this book:
YouTube

You can find out more about the author, Eugenia Chu, by clicking the links below:
Goodreads Author Page – Eugenia Chu
http://eugeniachu.com/
Twitter – @chuauthor

 

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#BookReview Incredible Cacao (Miss Tree Tale’s #2) by Deepa Remesh

To misquote the first sentence in this book, it was a beautiful book!

Miss Tree Tales is a wonderful little series all about educating the people about the environment! Last time around we learned about coconuts and sustainability and this time we get to learn about cacao (mmmm…chocolate… cue the Homer Simpson reference).

Our heroes, Mia and Nik, are back yet again to teach the youngings about all the good things that keep this planet spinning! For one, they teach us about the Millenium Seed Bank (which I had NO idea existed, so bonus points to Deepa for teaching me something new!). Then, the duo want to plant some seeds so their Mom recommends finding a new place to plant them (because we don’t want to run out of nitrogen – let that soil sit and ferment a bit!). Suddenly, they are whisked away on an adventure to learn about Cacao trees, seeds and pods! Cherry spitting, soccer, plantains, fermentation, baking, cacao percentages in chocolate and more get discussed in this lovely educational follow-up. There’s more adventure and fun throughout this novel, as if Deepa wanted to amp this book up!

Side Note: How does one join Miss Tree’s Plant Savers Club? I feel like I need honorary membership or something.

Yet again, the illustrations perfectly match the story and are quite sweet. They add just enough spice and sass to the story. The scrabble pieces were definitely my favourite.

I was a little disappointed that the chapters didn’t have the extra educational information, but I guess all good things have to come to an end. I know some reviewers didn’t enjoy them as much as I did, but I would have loved to see more of them! It felt like a little lesson packed tight into the book. There is a Seeds for Thought section at the back thought, which kind of makes up for the loss.

Overall, these books hold up really well and are great educational tools! I would love to see more Miss Tree Tales come out ASAP and for more classrooms to utilize these tools.

Four out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Deepa Remesh, in exchange for an honest review.

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Check out the first book in this series:
Mighty Coconuts (Miss Tree Tales #1) by Deepa Remesh
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find more information about Miss Tree Tales:
http://www.misstreetales.com/
Goodreads
Twitter – @misstreetales

If you love this series (or even the review) here’s some other books that might grab your attention:
#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis

 

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#BookReview Mighty Coconuts (Miss Tree Tales #1) by Deepa Remesh

Miss Tree Tales by Deepa Remesh is a wonderful series that is an absolute must read!

Book #1: Mighty Coconuts is a cute, little gem that should be actively sought out by avid readers. This middle grade novel is short but sweet, and delivering all the right messages.

Mia and Nik live in Texas, and boy is it hot! The nine and seven year olds are full of whimsy and adventure. When a storm seems to blow through, a woman appears and begins to teach the children wonderful facts about the local nature (think droughts, growth and greenhouse gases). These intelligent kids can keep up with Miss Tree with ease, and they learn a lot in the process. Miss Tree offers them a gig to help save the planet! Seedcopters, seed apps and lots of fun happen among the pages of this book – all of which is knowledgeable yet packed with fun! If you’re looking for a Green Thumb, this book is just for you!

The illustrations were cute and felt like they fit right into the story. I had an e-copy of the book, but I’m assuming the physical copies would look so much nicer. The quality of the pictures tend to rely on your device these days.

The best part of this book was the “Seeds for Thought” sections at the end of the chapters. These little blurbs provide useful and information and links for curious students to follow. One excellent quote from this book is, “Protect, Sustain, Conserve”, which perfectly sums up the goal of this read.

I know, personally, if I would have had books like this about biology back in my school days then I would have liked biology a lot more. I found the teachers were always bored with these topics and made it impossible for any of us students to learn. Deepa Remesh’s book makes me actually enjoy learning about biology. I’m sure many students and kids would appreciate help from educational books like this one. To top it off, it’s also just a good book in general!

I would recommend kids seven to thirteen read this book. Thirteen might be a little high, but I could see them reading this to their reading buddies. I’d even recommend this book for educational purposes within schools. It’s a different take on biology and conservation that I think would be a great asset and tool!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Deepa Remesh, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find more information about Miss Tree Tales:
http://www.misstreetales.com/
Goodreads
Twitter – @misstreetales

If you liked this review, here’s some other books you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

 

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#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker’s hit The Perfect Fit is an amazingly British story that brightened up my day!

Mary Jayne is one of my newest, most favourite authors around. Her stories are full of romance and comedy, as well as so much British slang and jokes that I can’t help but be addicted to them! My childhood was full of family members from England, so I absolutely dig all of the British-ness packed tight into this story. Let alone, the fact that this story has an awesome plot and continues the story started in A Bicycle Made for Two.

This time around, Becky Finn is putting on a pantomime for charity! She came up with the idea after taking a special little girl to a special little production of Peter Pan (“Why are pirates called pirates? Because they arrrrrrre.” Seriously, this book is a gem, people!). Becky is engaged to a wonderful man but is feeling left out. She wants kids but he wants to get married first and he is always away. In walks Marcus – a friend who she may have some feelings for. Who will she end up with?! Will the pantomime be successful? Will there be more cheesey jokes? You will have to read to find out.

Although, I promise there are LOTS of cheesey jokes. Lots of innuendos too! My gosh, the innuendos were amazing…

This book definitely far exceeded my expectations. I find that most sequels are hit and miss, but this book did the impossible! It grew the story and made me love it just as much as the first one! I definitely want to continue picking up books by Ms. Baker (Mrs. Baker? Dr. Baker? Whatever). I feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside after reading books like this.

You definitely don’t need to read the first book to understand this one. Yes, there are some characters present from the other book in this series, but it doesn’t affect the story. As a reader, you are given all of the information you need to understand and read your little heart out! That being said, I would highly recommend reading the first book because it’s funny and romantic like this one!

But… you may be thinking… this review is way too positive! There must be some negatives! And there absolutely are. While I think this book is definitely amazing and worth reading, it falls flat with some of the character development. It felt very stereotypical, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I didn’t come for an Oscar-winning movie-esque book. I came for funny jokes, a splash of romance and lots of British slang. If you’re looking for the next Notebook, you’ve come to the wrong place. This book is all about fun! I was smirking most of my way through it because it was such a treat.

On a side note: I did enjoy that there was a lot of realism in this book despite all of the comedy. This book features a gay couple who adopts a beautiful, little girl named Pip and it felt very fitting. It wasn’t used as a joke or a gag, it just fit right in. Throw in the parenting struggles about adopting to begin with (since a straight couple is also trying to adopt) and having life pass adults by. All of those struggles are super real but addressed very well in this book. I applaud Mary Jayne for adding these. It felt really good to see them.

Overall, this book gets five inflatable boobs out of five inflatable boobs.

If you don’t understand the reference, read the book to find out!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

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#BookReview Mr. Hoopeyloops Saves Christmas by Andi Cann

Kids Books + Christmas Books = My Guilty Pleasure

I was SO PUMPED to find this book for free via Bookbub! I absolutely love a cute children’s book and adding in some holiday spirit just made it all the better!

We open this book with Zoey visiting Mr. Hoopeyloops, and boy is she upset! Didn’t you know?! Christmas is canceled! Santa has a bit of a labour issue (and who doesn’t these days?) which ruins everything! So, Mr. Hoopeyloops grabs his friend Rex and they set off to save Christmas! How could he help, you might ask. Well, turns out Santa Claus is his brother!

While this is a picture book, it’s a little longer than the typical children’s book I’ve been finding lately. It has paragraphs beside the pages, which I absolutely love! I miss the days where children’s books had longer plots! I’d recommend this book for five to twelve year olds, because it’s an absolute delight!

I absolutely love the art style. It’s soft yet busy and fits perfectly with the story. I’d highly recommend reading this book just for the art alone! It’s probably my favourite picture book this year.

At the very end of this book, there’s a little educational moment about the history of glass Christmas ornaments. Having those educational side notes always makes me a very pleased reader, so that only made this book better! This could easily be used in a classroom or for reading buddies!

Overall, this book is absolutely marvelous! I was stunned at how great it is and I would highly recommend it!

Five out of five stars! Spread the Christmas cheer!

I found this book for free via Bookbub.

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

 

Find out more about Andi Cann on: https://www.andicann.com/

 

If you love children’s books, check out some others you might enjoy:
#BookReview Zachary and the Great Potato Catastrophe by Junia Wonders
#BookReview The Boy Who Cried Ghost by Richard Clark
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

 

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#BookReview Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel’s Redemption is the third book in the Gabriel’s Inferno series by Sylvain Reynard.

The first two books in this series were real hits – they were dramatic, full of suspense and tension, and romantic. This book, on the other hand, was mostly full of sex scenes and Gabriel demanding that Julia have a baby.

In all honesty, I really wanted to like this book. I love Sylvain’s writing style and have fallen in love with his words. His stories are smooth as silk and feel like a master class in writing. But, this time around I felt like Gabriel was a giant jerk and Julia was putting up with it. Gabriel wanted a child and Julia didn’t, so they had a child. A woman was hitting on Gabriel and tried to woo him away, and that story line just… ended? I wanted to see more than it just suddenly end. It felt like it could have not been included and the story would have ended the same. Paul pining after Julia was also a story line that didn’t go very far. Rachel wanting a baby also felt like it was cut short. The entire ending felt suddenly rushed too! It felt like there was a lot of wasted potential.

I still loved the writing and I felt connected to this story. I like Gabriel and Julia’s story so I felt like I needed to know how it ended. There’s going to be another book in this series so I’m curious to see how Sylvain will make that story go. This book literally felt like Sylvain was answering some reader’s prayer to continue the story, but didn’t pack the punch that the last two books did. It was just a very long epilogue.

The highlights of this book are as followed: Julia’s Dad’s story arc, Julia’s lecture, the beautiful scenery described and the love story continuing.

That being said, I still liked it. All of the hype built up for this book was probably why it fell so hard for me. My expectations were way too high. This book is the honeymoon for Gabriel and Julia, not the finale. I truly hope the next book finishes off some of the storyline Sylvain opened up. Especially since this book was just one giant cliffhanger.

Three out of five stars.

P.S. The Superman and Lois Lane comments were really funny but felt out of place. I came for the love story and stayed for the comic book references.

 

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Indigo
Kobo

 

Check out some other books you might enjoy:
Quick Book Review: Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Quick Book Review: The Shadow (The Florentine #2) by Sylvain Reynard
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Romance Novels

 

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