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8.24.2015

Bout of Books 14 Update Hub

Welcome to my Bout of Books 14 Update Hub! I will add my daily reading, BoB participation, and other tidbits here each day this week.

Day 1: Monday
Time spent reading: 40 minutes
Pages read: 36
Books read: Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford
Challenges completed: 0
Books completed: 0
Notes: Not too much time to commit to reading today, had a lot of random things to do around the house and we're currently puppy sitting, which is basically a full time job. Hoping to devote more time tomorrow, and thinking of switching up books because Naked and Marooned is getting to be a bit repetitive.

Day 2: Tuesday
Time spent reading: 30 minutes
Pages read: 25
Books read: Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford
Challenges completed: 1 - book scavenger hunt - find my entry on IG (here and here)
Books completed: 0
Notes: Another busy day, didn't get to read until bed and then I just fell asleep with the book on my face.

Day 3: Wednesday
Time spent reading: 10 minutes
Pages read: 10
Books read: Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford
Challenges completed: 0
Books completed: 0
Notes: Well, so far my Bout of Books reading is amounting to very little...  but last night, Bear was home so we spent some time together since we haven't sen much of one another due to his work schedule this week. Then I tried to read in bed, but fell asleep real quick. Oh well. Hopefully I'll make up some time Thursday and this weekend.

Day 4: Thursday
Time spent reading: 15 min
Pages read: 13
Books read: Naked and Marooned 
Challenges completed: 0
Books completed: 0

Day 5: Friday
Time spent reading: 0
Pages read: 0
Books read: n/a
Challenges completed: 0
Books completed: 0
Notes: today was the last day of teaching summer school... busy day and then after work we all went straight to Missy's house to celebrate.... and by time I got home, reading was not on the agenda for me. 

Day 6: Saturday
Time spent reading: 1hr 35m
Pages read: 80
Books read: Naked and Marooned 
Challenges completed: 1 - book roadtrip
Books completed: 1 -  Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford 
Notes: I finally got some reading in today! Mostly at the very end of the day and then again in bed. My moments reading at the lake were only a few, as every time I got into the book I got distracted then had to reread! Glad to finally be done with this book though. It got repetitive, but I couldn't find the ability to switch off books and move on. I think that also has attributed to my lack luster taking performance this week. Oh well. Time to move on to The Infinite Sea and see what Sunday brings! 

Day 7: Sunday
Time spent reading: 2hr 10m
Pages read: 120
Books read: The Infinite Sea 
Challenges completed: 0
Books completed: 1


write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

8.17.2015

Don Quixote and The Secret Garden for babies??

I think it is pretty safe to say when you think of Don Quixote, your mind doesn't immediately pair it with that of a smiling baby. What about The Secret Garden? You may think of young adolescents with that title, but certainly not wee littles. Well, Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver are here to change that!

Pairing up again, the duo created Don Quixote, a Spanish Language Primer and The Secret Garden, a Flowers Primer for their wildly popular BabyLit series. I've seen a few of the BabyLit titles, and I have always been impressed. They're fun, colorful, and educational. These board books are the perfect gift for geeky Mom's and Dad's everywhere.

Don Quixote: A Spanish Language Primer by Jennifer Adams
Art by Alison Oliver
A BabyLit Book, Gibbs & Smith // April 1, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1423638759
Board Book, 22pgs
source: review copy from author
Don Quixote focuses on the Spanish language. It is a fabulous introduction to the most important of Spanish words... like books,lady, windmills, friends, goat, and bed (to name a few). The illustrations that pair with the side by side images and words (English, followed by Spanish) are adorable. They're bright and bold- exactly what little eyes need.

The Secret Garden: A Flower Primer by Jennifer Adams
Art by Alison Oliver
A BabyLit Book, Gibbs Smith // March 1, 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1423638728
Board Book, 22pgs 
source: review copy from author
The Secret Garden focuses on flowers of all kinds. Featuring beautiful snowdrops, snapdragons, and roses paired with quotes from the classic tale. With bold flowers on one side and a quote on the other, nestled into a simple full page doodle on the opposite, this primer is sure to charm. The quotes don't make sense outside of matching the flower being introduced - BUT that doesn't make it any less lovable. I think lovers of the original story will appreciate the combination of flower and quote.

Both books, in my opinion, are great. As an educator, I can see their value for little eyes and ears, as well as the value for the adults in their lives reading these books with and to those little people. They're both deserving of 5 stars!

Reading these aloud to your babies must be a thrill. Since I have no babies, I will be passing these on to my best friend, Danielle, and her wee one - Maddy. I will fill you in on their take soon.  Danielle and I discovered BabyLit together when she was pregnant. Danielle is a massive Jane Austen fan, so of course she has those. I know that she loves them, as does her daughter. The BabyLit series is a wonderful way to introduce classics, learning, beautiful art, and the love of books.

The BabyLit series also encompasses other series of books by Jennifer Adams and Allison Oliver, as well as tie in products like puzzles, buttons, and tote bags. They even have digital products too, through the Amazon app store to buy for your techie kiddos!


write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Book images and information from Amazon.com

8.16.2015

Bout of Books 14

Where has the time gone? Is it really time for another Bout of Books?! Hard to believe, but it certainly is! I am once again, joining in for the Bout of Books reading challenge. This is the 14th round of BoB.. I've been joining in the fun since Bout of Books 5.0 (August 2012) and have loved it every time. It is low pressure and full of fun. Here is the official blurb from Bout of Books headquarters:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Once again, I have the unfortunate luck of BoB coinciding with my last week of teaching summer school. While that means I will have some time to devote to BoB, I won't be able to focus full time on it. Thankfully, this time of the school year is pretty darn chill - summer session grades are due by Tuesday, so by time Wednesday rolls around it is just end of summer session fun.

My biggest goal for Bout of Books this time around is to read A LOT. I've gotten pretty behind in my reading this summer since it has been such a busy one... between my wedding, honeymoon, summer school, friends weddings, and lots of weekend excitement, it just hasn't been a very book-filled summer. I am hoping to change all that and do some serious reading this week during Bout of Books 14 and the 2 weeks following, during my summer break.

As for books, I don't have much set for a TBR. I plan to finish Naked and Marooned by Ed Stafford and I want to read the second book in the 5th Wave series, The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. Other than that, I will just pick up whatever suits me at the time.

I hope to see some old and new faces around during BoB14 and I look forward to interacting! You'll find me most active on my Instagram account (found here) and I will post daily updates here on the blog.

See ya soon, and happy reading!!


write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

8.05.2015

Coloring Book Upgrade!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you now that adult coloring books are all the rage right now. I love coloring... and as any teacher will tell you, coloring is a therapeutic tool and a great way to help learn.
Now that the rest of the world has caught up to the secret world of coloring, you've likely seen these beautiful coloring books popping up all over the place.
Well, I'm here to introduce you a serious coloring book upgrade!!
Disclosure: Yes yes, I know this is a "children's activity book" but I am totally counting it towards adult doodling, because, well... it just feels like one that adults can enjoy too!

Doodle Lit by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver
Gibbs Smith // August 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1423635512
paperback, 272 pgs
source: review copy from author

About the book:
Now kids can celebrate classic literature in doodle form! With Doodle Lit, artists can use their imaginations to complement favorites such as Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Jane Eyre, Alice in Wonderland, and many more.
Kids can follow the entertaining prompts provided and put pencils to work doodling such things as:
• Mr. Darcy’s dog
• Bob Cratchit’s Christmas tree
• Tattoos on Queequeg’s arms
• Anna Karenina’s hairdo
• Dress designs for Elinor and Marianne
Sprinkled throughout are also designs with perforated edges, perfect for popping out and crafting! Illustrated in the same colorful and playful style as the acclaimed BabyLit board book series.

My thoughts:
Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver are the creators of Doodle Lit. It is a beautiful mash-up of classic literature and coloring and doodling. Doodle Lit is a large (8 1/2 x 11) thick book full of classic literature icons ready or you to doodle and color with. Pages upon pages of words and illustrations inspired by lit greats like Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and Mark Twain make for a fun and engaging book! The doodles are open for the reader (doodler!) to add on, color, and expand their imagination. It is truly a book that is meant for full user interaction and is definitely an upgrade, in my opinion, from just a coloring book.
I shared the book with my stepdaughter (who is 9)and with my students (who are 12 - 14), thinking they'd get a kick out of it. They certainly did! Not only did they like the idea of coloring and doodling in a book but they also seemed to really like learning about the classics and their authors. They all seemed to know the names and titles, but not much about the actual author or the novels, so this helped me launch into teaching about them. It really was a fun way to experience classic literature.

The pages are full of doodle prompts and plenty of literary goodness to inspire! I absolutely recommend adding this to your coloring book and doodle book shelf... you'll have fun reliving classic literature as well as doodling like a kid again!

About the authors:
Jennifer Adams is the author of more than two dozen books, including titles in the BabyLit series, which introduces children to the world of classic literature. She lives in Salt Lake City. Visit her website at www.jennifer-adams.com

Alison Oliver runs Sugar Design Studio. Alison’s portfolio includes everything from logos to packaging and product design for clients such as Chronicle Books, Citibabes, and Aerie, as well as Gibbs Smith. She lives in New York.



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Cover image, author information, and synopsis from Gibbs Smith website

6.02.2015

Postage Stamp Gardening mini review

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden is a classic gardening book for all levels of gardeners. If you read this when it originally came out in 1999, fear not- this updated and expanded version is even better! It adds more insights, tips, and ideas. The updated cover is also much more appealing than the original 1999 version.
This book is best suited for people who are looking to either begin gardening or people who are looking for easy ways to grow a lot in a small space. I feel that this book is very relevant, even more so now than with its original release. Gardening and growing your own food is now the norm. Saving space is also a necessary evil in our era. Years ago, the only people growing their own food were those who had a ton of space, time, and know-how. Now, The Postage Stamp Garden helps people with little space, little time, and little know-how grow their own food!
Gardening is soothing, entertaining, and practical. This book is a great practical application of small space gardening and is a must have for every level of gardener. Whether you're a backyard gardening, a front porch gardener, or a full on farmer, this book will give you tips, tricks, and ideas to keep your garden looking its best while producing the most in a small space. You can double, triple, quadruple all the ideas in this book to fit into your garden, so even if you don't need to save space, you can learn how to get the most "bang for your buck" in your garden!
Highly recommend this new and updated gardening must-have.



write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review from Blogging for Books.