Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Magic Monday - Olympic pigs, Derby cars, and sweet Valentines

It’s a Big World, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi – A sequel to the previous book by Kristi Yamaguchi, in this book, Little Pig explores and makes new friends. Little pig finds that a smile is the same in all languages, so charmingly and learns independence, to dream big, make new friends, and keep them.
Little Pig gets a big opportunity - to participate in the Olympics – she is worried if she can manage but her friends and family encourage her to follow her dreams. She does so and comes out of the experience way richer – in friends – than before.
Rating: B (Only because I did not feel like rereading it too many times compared to other books for some reason)
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 years

Disclaimer: Received a digital ARC from NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book. 

 Franklin’s Valentines: Franklin never fails to charm. This story teaches us that the things of value are really not gifts or cards (material things) but love and friendship. When Franklin realizes that the Valentines he had prepared for his friends are all damaged and that he has none to give to his friends in return for their Valentines, he is sad. But he also sees that his friends still love him. What Franklin does next is cute and shows that no matter what happens, you can always make things better – it just depends on how you respond!
Illustrations in this book, like other Franklin books, are bright and colorful and just plain lovable! Perfect read for your young readers for Valentine’s Day or any day at all (like Franklin says in the book –“And Friendship Day can be any day you want it to be.”)
Rating: B+
Reading Level: Ages 4 and up
Disclaimer: Received a digital ARC from NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book. 

This year’s Pinewood Derby is still fresh in our memories. Though we did not win, it was, as before, great fun and we are looking forward to next year’s Derby already and my son has a pattern picked out along with decoration ideas.
The perfect book for a pinewood derby beginner or even someone who has done it before - this book offers great tips, step-by-step instructions with detailed photos for each step. The Pinewood Derby will be a breeze by the time you are done reading this book. The book is aimed at the scout and a friendly cartoon character called Dash derby guides the young readers through the process of building their very own Pinewood Derby car. The book is divided into helpful, progressive sections making it easy for the young uns’ as well as the parents to understand:
Starting off with a list of basic skills, items needed as well as dos and don’ts (including telling parents to let the boys build!), the book then has seven chapters as below:
  1. Shopping  - A handy, comprehensive shopping list is included here.
   2. Shaping – How to transform the block to a fancy car! Provides a tool list as well as detailed instructions with photos on how to use the tools to do this magical first transformation. Helpful tips are included to make the car a racing machine.
   3. Painting – Tips, tricks, material lists, patterns, and ideas as well as various options to paint and decorate and jazz up your car are all included in this super helpful chapter.
   4. Axle Prep and 5.Wheel Prep – Axle and Wheel prep help the car turn into the race car it is to be soon – proper preparation of these two help speed up the car.
   6. Weighting – This is definitely important since if too heavy (over 5 ounces), then that means disqualification and if too light, then chances are that the car might not be at optimal speed. Again, tips and tricks are provided to get the car to a proper weight.
   7. Test Runs – Last but not the least, this provides an opportunity to do test runs at home and figure out last minute adjustments before doing test runs on the official race track and before the big race!
In addition, patterns are provided along with spaces to jot in precious memories of race day along with your own photographs.
Rating: A
Reading Level: All cub scouts and parents
Disclaimer: Received a digital ARC from NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book. 

Sylvie: This book is short, sweet, colorful, and delightful. In pictures that say a lot, and crisp text, this story teaches us to be happy being ourselves while also telling us that we should learn to love to explore and appreciate differences and new experiences.
How Sattler manages to say so much with so few words and keep us enthralled with eye-popping, vibrant, goofy illustrations is the magic of this book.
Sylvie is a young flamingo who wonders why she is pink and when she learns it it because of the pink shrimp she eats, she decides to experiment. Her experiments are all way too successful with her turning into a vivid palm-green, a yummy chocolate (she does look mmmm..), and also stripes among other colors and patterns. Well, too much of anything is not good, as Sylvie realizes with a tummy ache and decides to be pink again with just a bit of eye-popping lollipop of course!
Rating: A - Loved this book - since I borrowed  the eBook from our local library three days ago, I have already read it many times over for my DD and myself
Reading Level: Perfect for preschoolers but a great read for everyone

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