Monday, September 18, 2017

Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash Book Review and Giveaway


I received this book free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash is a hardcover children's book that is by bestselling author Alan C. Fox with illustrations by Eefje Kuijl. This adorable book is the story of a child named Benji's experience of growing a banana squash from start to finish. Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash is based on a real-life event that happened when Alan Fox was eight. It teaches kids about patience, love, dedication, and perseverance and how much fun it is to grow their own foods.

My kids enjoying our harvests.

Our Thoughts:
Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash is a wonderful story of garden-to-table. I love how Benji is so patient even though he sees nothing come from the seed he plants at first. After a while he reaps the reward of his determination and nurturing.

We loved this cute book and its lovely illustrations. The book starts from the beginning where Benji picks the perfect spot in the ground and plants the seed to his family sitting around the table eating the cooked squash with butter and brown sugar. The pictures are fun to look at too. One picture shows Benji trying to dig the hole himself with the shovel and he fell over on his back flinging dirt and earth worms into the air. Another shows his dog bouncing a ball on a small trampoline as Benji carries the large squash inside the house. My kids will treasure this book.

Teela and Zari enjoying the Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash book.

I recommend this sweet and endearing story to anyone. It is perfect for those who want to teach their children about where their food comes from or even help them grasp the concepts of being more patient...because it will certainly pay off in the end. It is wonderful for those city folk that want to give a piece of country life to their kids.

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Purchase the Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash book for $17.95 on Amazon.



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Prize: Win a copy of the Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash Book {US ONLY}

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Please click on this post link if you do not see the script for Rafflecopter below. Also, if there is anything that is wrong with it let me know by emailing me: finamoon AT gmail DOT com I will try my best at fixing it. Thanks for being awesome readers!

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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links can be found in this post. Thank you for your support of this blog!

Barbour Publishing Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich Book Review


My family had the privilege of reading the Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Barbour Publishing is a Christian publisher that has more than 150 new titles per year and nearly one thousand stock titles. They have shipped over one hundred million books since they started in 1981. In one fiscal year they reached fourteen million books sold that shared the message of Christ!

Imagine. . .The Great Flood is a juvenile, middle grade fiction chapter book by Matt Koceich. It is the first book in an epic adventure series for kids ages 8-12 year old. The Imagine series brings the Bible to life for today's children so they can imagine what it would be like to have lived through a massive biblical event. The Great Flood is about a kid that travels back to the time of Noah's Ark to experience the adventure himself and learn an important lesson.

Teela reading the Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
Teela, my nine year old daughter, and I read this book separately. It has 112 pages and 15 chapters. This was a quick, fast paced read for the both of us. We both thought the book held our attention well. It had a lot of action and adventure throughout the whole thing.

Since this is fictitious it does have elements that are not in the Bible. In this story of Noah's Ark the author has taken some of his own liberties with the biblical text to make it more interesting. The main character, Corey, goes back in time and helps Noah and his sons to get the animals on the ark, so of course he was never in the biblical account. Also, there are giants called Nephilim and an evil sorcerer named Elizar that try to thwart Noah's plans to get the animals aboard the ark in the book. The Nephilim are mentioned in the bible, first in Genesis 6:1-4, but after some research of my own I found the Nephilim to be a more complex concept. Some say these are watchers or giants or fallen angels. Some interpret the bible to mean they are descendants of Adam and Eve were "Sons of God" (Seth's line) had children with "Daughters of Man" (Cain's line). The Nephilim are definitely up to interpretation and not entirely explained well in the bible. Elizar isn't even a character in the bible at all as far as I can tell. Even though these added elements make this bible adventure more interesting I had to make sure that my daughter knew they were not in the biblical account. I also thought it silly that in this story Noah and his sons had no clue what a cloud was. I am pretty sure he saw rain and clouds before. I suggest that one reads the actual story of Noah's Ark in the bible to their children before they read Imagine. . .The Great Flood.

There are many things that make this book exciting. From the adventure of Corey going back in time, the Nephilim Giants, the wild animals, to the Great Flood itself...this story grabs you from the beginning all the way to the end. If your kids like adventure books they probably will like this book.

Corey learns an important lesson in this story as well. He learns to put his trust in the Lord. This book has a great parallel of this from his life in the present to him being thrust back into time. The main character grows to understand the importance of trusting God throughout the story.

Teela and I enjoyed reading this book from the Imagine Series. Even though parts of this Christian kids book was fictitious it did have a great lesson. We liked the action and adventure as well. It was a fun book to read.

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Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Barbour Publishing...
Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich {Barbour Publishing}

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kwik Stix Are Now Available at All BJ’s Wholesale Clubs!


For all my eastern US readers, Kwik Stix are now available at all BJ’s Wholesale Clubs! I currently don't have any BJ's Wholesale Clubs near me, but they also have a Kwik Stix Thin Stix Solid Tempera Paint Sticks, 24 pk. on their online store for just $19.99!

These are great! Read my Kwik Stix reviews. I love when you paint with them the paint dries so quickly with no mess and no cleanup. This 24 pk has 12 classic, 6 neon, and 6 metallic colors.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: The Pencil Grip Inc., makers of Kwik Stix, offered to send me a set of Kwik Stix for helping spread the word! My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this post.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Carole P. Roman Books Review


We got to read these books from Carole P. Roman for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

The four books we received are:

Carole P. Roman is the author of many books including the Captain No Beard series, Oh Susannah series, If You Were Me and Lived in... Cultures Around the World series, and the If You Were Me and Lived in... Civilizations Throughout History series. She loves combining her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the grand world all around us. She also loves sharing history and culture with her readers.

If You Were Me and Lived in... Cultures Around the World Series currently consists of 21 books with more to come later. These softcover books take you to explore different cultures. Discover Mexico, Australia, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, France, India, Portugal, Scotland, Italy, South Korea, Peru, Kenya, China, Russia, Norway, Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Israel, and Germany. These give you an inside look into what culture is like in these countries. You can become a "world traveler" in the comfort of your own home. Recommended for ages 4 to 9.

If You Were Me and Lived in... Civilizations Throughout History Series currently consists of 10 books with more to come later. These softcover books take you back through time to visit different civilizations throughout history. Discover Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy, Elizabethan England, Colonial America, Ancient China: The Han Dynasty, Middle Ages, American West, Viking Europe, Mayan Empire, and Ancient Mali Empire. These follow what it would have been like to live and grow up in these places through the eyes of a young person. This makes the books more relatable to children who read them. These physical books cover occupations, food, clothing, recreation, important people, etc. Recommended for ages 8 to 15.

The Captain No Beard Series currently consists of 10 books with more to come later. These softcover books are about two young cousins, Hallie and Alexander, and their imaginative, swashbuckling adventures that bring their stuffed animals to life as part of the crew of a pirate ship.
These books always have a great message at the end of the story. Recommended for ages 3 to 8.

The Captain No Beard books are as follows:
  1. Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life
  2. Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience
  3. Stuck in the Doldrums: A Lesson in Sharing
  4. Strangers on the High Seas
  5. The Treasure of Snake Island
  6. The Crew Goes Coconuts!
  7. Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis
  8. Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles
  9. A Flag for the Flying Dragon
  10. Being a Captain is Hard Work

The Oh Susannah Series currently consists of 2 books with more to come later. These early chapter reader books are softcover and are all about a little girl by the name of Susannah Maya Logan. In these chapter books Susannah goes through issues that every child can relate to. The first book in the series is Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag and the second book in the series is Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump. These also end with a great message as well. Recommended for ages 7-12.

Zari and Teela enjoying the Carole P. Roman books.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We had been given the option of picking out two books from the ones we were offered to review and then the author would pick out two more from her past knowledge of what we had reviewed from her in the past and the information we gave her about our kids' ages.

I received only one of my picks, If You Were Me and Lived in...Egypt. I initially asked for Egypt and Australia. I was fine with the other books she picked for me though because I didn't have any of them yet. I didn't think at first that The Crew Goes Coconuts! book, part 6 of the Captain No Beard series, was going to be a good fit because I didn't have any of the rest of the series, but it turned out fine. In reading these books to my children I have grown to love Carole P. Roman's writing even more. I was very grateful for the author's painstaking task in preparing different bundles of books for each of the Homeschool Review Crew members that were reviewing and I want to thank her for all her hard work.

If You Were Me and Lived In...Egypt is a softcover book by Carole P. Roman and Illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga. The illustrations are fun and done in dark classic colors. This book has 36 pages with a pronunciation guide in the back. We learned about what the country looks like and a bit about it, about its capital, what the popular names for boys and girls there are, what you would call your mom and dad & grandfather and grandmother there, what money is called, what a favorite treat there is, places to see there, about a sailboat, what food they enjoy there, what sports they enjoy watching, what they like to read about, toys and games they might like to play, and holidays they celebrate. I would love to try the food there, especially the halawa and Kushari. I would love to see the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx and ride on a felucca. We are going to be using this with our unit study of Egypt.

If You Were Me and Lived In...The American West is a softcover book by Carole P. Roman and Illustrated by Paula Tabor. These cartoon like illustrations are more realistic than the other books. This book has 58 pages with a special section on Famous People from the West and Glossary in the back. This focused on life on the Oregon Trail in the 19th century. We thought it interesting: that you could make butter with all the movement of the wagon so you wouldn't have to churn it, that pioneers walked 10-20 miles per day, Indians were mostly friendly with the pioneers to trade, wagons were nicknamed Prairie Schooners, they floated their wagons across the Columbia River (which is neat since this river is right next to where I live in Oregon), and they got 640 acres of free land to farm once they got to Oregon. This would be great to use with a unit study of the Oregon Trail, Pioneers, American West and Wagon Trains.

The Crew Goes Coconuts! is a softcover book by Carole P. Roman. This book has fun colorful illustrations and is part 6 of the Captain No Beard Series. Even though I do not have any of the other books in this series, this one read well on its own. It has a great message of how to deal with bullying and not giving in to peer pressure. My younger kids liked the goat in the story and felt bad for her at first, but everything turned out well in the end. My younger kids were glad the story had a happy ending. I liked the good message and that it has strong male and female characters.

Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag is the first early reader chapter book in the Oh Susannah series. It didn't take my daughter Teela who is 9 years old very long to read. I also read it as well and thought the theme to be very relatable. The little girl, Susannah, in the story is in 3rd grade and having problems...each one she stuffs away in her backpack. My daughter thought the banana in the story was pretty funny. The illustrations are adorable and done by Mateya Arkova. The message at the end is a good one and Susannah learns how to deal with her problems and ask for help when she needs it.

The If You Were Me and Lived In...series are great for use with homeschool unit studies. We love these books. They are very informative. The Captain No Beard Series and Oh Susannah Series is wonderful for the great messages they have. I would highly recommend all of these.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolePRomanAwardWinningAuthorAndBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroleproman/
Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5854108.Carole_P_Roman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/caroleproman  
Hashtags: #hsreviews #childrenshistory #historystorybooks #culturalstudies

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You can purchase these books on Amazon at these links...

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Carole P. Roman...
Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

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