Posts from the ‘homeschooling’ Category


Emilia’s Treasure: How a Mermaid Makes Friends

Written by Anca Niculae

Illustrated by Maria Falie

Emilia, the mermaid, is upset because none of her mermaid friends want to search for pearls with her. She goes off in search of other mermaids, a snail and a school of fish, but none of them seem interested in her project. When a little mermaid loses her seahorse, Emma decides to search with her. As the two new friends continue on their exploration they meet other creatures of the sea. This time the two mermaids stop and listen to what these creatures have to say. They learn the valuable lesson that in seeking friendship listening is more important than seeking to impress others.

At the end of the book, the author supplies a questionnaire to assist children in assessing their own relationships. Children are presented with a list of questions to answer and activities to use that are placed in appropriate age categories. I would particularly recommend this book for beginning readers and shy children who have difficulty with peer relationships. This book has value for children of all ages.

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#Cybils2017 #Finalists

Proudly presenting two more books that were finalists in the contest this year:



My Kite Is Stuck! And Other Stories

Written by Salina Yoon


All three stories feature the same three main characters, Little Duck, Big Duck and Porcupine. In the first story, Big Duck gets his kite stuck in the tree. His two friends try to help, but only make the problem worse. Children will laugh at the silly solutions the characters invent.

The second tale revolves around Porcupine making friends with a bug. Big Duck and Little Duck discuss the qualities needed in a friend and try to persuade Porcupine why he can’t be friends with a bug. There is a surprise ending.

In the third story, the three friends decide to build a lemonade stand. They model cooperation, patience and hard work. Of course, there are a few hiccups and lots of humor when the friends forget about the main ingredient needed for their success.

These stories employ speech balloons with dark text and brilliant digital illustrations that fill the page. I would recommend it to preschoolers and kindergarten beginning readers. Each story can be enjoyed separately for beginning readers with shorter attention spans.



Zoey And Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows

Written by Asia Citro

Illustrated by Marion Lindsay


What a charming way to combine science, a bit of magic and a strong female role model in an interesting story! Zoey is an inquisitive, intelligent, sweet girl. One day she discovers her mother holding a photograph that appears to be glowing. Her mother attempts to hide it, but when Zoey reveals that she can see the glowing creature, her scientist-mother reveals her secret.

As a child, her mother discovered a purple glowing frog that was severely injured. To her amazement, the frog named Pip began talking to her. Ever since that day, Zoey’s mom had been helping other magical creatures who needed assistance. She installed a hidden doorbell in the barn. Zoey’s mom thought she was the only one who had this ability, but now she understands that Zoey also has the gift.

When Zoey’s mom must travel to a scientific conference, Zoey hopes that she will receive a call for help from one of these magical creatures. Zoey studies her mom’s journals, notes, and photos. Sure enough, a few days later, she hears the bell and finds a small reptile near death in the barn. Zoey gets to work, but there is so much to learn. She sets forth a hypothesis and sets out her materials. Like a true scientist, she uses trial and error and controls in her experiments. Together with her cat, Sassafras, they work to save the creature. Who is this creature? Will Zoey be successful?

I found lots to like in this chapter book. Large print, beautiful black and white drawings, and a table of contents that lists the subject of each short chapter. Citro carefully crafts a multicultural, curious and hard-working female protagonist who is empathetic and appealing to young readers. Children quickly become engrossed with the plot, while hardly realizing they are learning about the scientific method and the reptile species. The glossary reinforces understanding of unfamiliar vocabulary. Highly recommended for beginning readers, but certainly challenging enough for middle-grade readers.

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Deadly Animals: 25 Most Deadly Animals in the World That You Should Know!

Written by Hathai Ross


While this book contains a lot of interesting information, I would rate it 3.5 stars because the photos that are included are often undersized and unclear.

The author includes animals found all over the world. Their size varies from the tiny mosquito and tsetse fly to the huge animals like the hippopotamus and polar bear. Habitats range from the sea to the glaciers and arid deserts of the Sahara. Readers will find many familiar names like the lion, rhinoceros, leopard, and elephants, but also more unfamiliar species like the Brazilian Wandering Spider, the Blue-Ringed Octopus, the Cone Snail, and the Cape Buffalo.

Ross describes each animal, its habitat, why it is dangerous, and how it affects humans. Some facts that I found particularly interesting are that the Poison Dart Frog is the most poisonous animal on the planet, the poisonous Puffer Fish is a delicacy eaten by many people, and the cute Polar Bear is not afraid of humans, and when hungry enough will even eat its own cubs.

The book is a collection of individual chapters that provide reference information about each of the twenty-five animals selected. It is useful as a starting point of research on some of the most interesting and dangerous animals with which we share our planet. Recommended for middle-grade, young adult or adult readers interested in animal research.

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The Middle Ages: People of the Middle Ages – Kings, Queens, Minstrels and Merchants, Vikings and Knights – 2nd Edition

Written by Dominique LeBeouf


This book presents a simplified view of the Middle Ages, a period that is often overlooked and misunderstood in history. The author tries to support her view that the period was not stagnant and dark but rather vibrant. LeBeouf discusses each of the main classifications of groups living during this period. There are brief individual studies of a few like Saint Nicholas, Joan of Arc, and Alfred the Great. She discusses major groups of the period such as the Vikings, minstrels, merchants, clergy, vassals, women, and children.

The book is not particularly well-written and there are many editing errors. Its value lies in providing an overview of the entire period and allowing readers to investigate topics further. The book permits readers to choose areas for comparison, contrast, and discussion. Homeschool parents might want to feature particular topics. Classroom teachers might divide the class into groups to launch further study after previewing this summary.

Recommended as an introduction to the Middle Ages, but not as a verifiable historical guide for ages ten and older.

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#ReadYourWorld Multicultural Book Day 2018

I am delighted to have been a part of Multicultural Book Day since its inception. This year,  I received two wonderful books from the publisher and author. If you enjoy reading these reviews, please consider following my blog by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS Feed Button in the upper right-hanc corner of this post.


Pattan’s Pumpkin: A Traditional Flood Story from Southern India

Written by Chitra Soundar

Illustrated by Frané Lessac

I am delighted to share a Southern Indian flood tale story for 2017 Multicultural Book Day. Pattan and his wife, Kanni, lived on their farm alongside the Sahyadri Mountains. They tended goats, bulls, and elephants. Their crops included peppers, rice, nutmeg, and bananas, which they generously shared.

One day Pattan discovered a sickly plant so he decided to care for it next to his hut.  Due to his tender care, the plant miraculously grew into an enormous pumpkin. When a terrifying rainstorm did not abate, the couple decided they must flee with every living thing that lived on their farm. Where could they hide? Pattan made the decision to harvest the pumpkin. All the animals pitched in to hollow out the pumpkin as Kanni filled sacks with food supplies. When they were finished, the animals dove into the pumpkin as Pattan cut the stem holding it in place. Kanni sang a lullaby to soothe the young animals as the storm thrashed outside.

Eventually, the rains let up, and the pumpkin came to a halt. Pattan peeked out and discovered that the sun had appeared. They began their journey home. Pattan had kept one seed from the pumpkin savior. Ever since that day Pattan and his descendants look after their animals and pumpkin crop in the Kerala valley.

This hardcover book is richly illustrated in primitive folk style. The colors are brilliant and rich. I would recommend the book for young readers in preschool and the primary grades who will appreciate the narrative that unfolds through the pictures. Suggested as a bedtime story or read aloud.



Shelly Bean the Sports Queen plays a game of catch

Written by Shelly Biyum-Breen

Illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

Shelly, her brothers, Matt and Ben, and her friends Audrey and Maya, are having fun attending a softball game in which Shelly’s cousin, Olivia is playing. As the game continues Shelly decides that she would like to learn how to play. Shelly eagerly accepts Olivia’s invitation to play catch with other teammates after the game. At first, Shelly throws and catches underhand, but Olivia urges her to progress to overhand throws. Soon Olivia can do both.

Olivia arrives home and proudly adds another “jewel” to her paper sports crown. Olivia sets realistic goals for herself and rewards herself for achieving them. At the end of the tale, the author includes tips on how to throw and catch a softball with a mitt. She also provides a glossary of basic baseball terminology.

The book teaches readers the values of determination and good sportsmanship. It encourages girls to pursue competition in sports.  Colorful and simple pictures with large print text allow primary grade readers to follow along easily. Recommended for girls who want to become players as well as princesses.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board.

2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press


2018 Author Sponsors

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan BernardoAuthor Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne BroylesAuthor Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports QueenAuthor Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party!

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.


Autism: Simple and Inexpensive Natural Autism Therapies to Help Your Autistic Child Live a Calm and Healthy Life

Written by Nancy Perez

The author is a proponent of natural therapies to relieve stress and anxiety. She has used them to treat her own diabetes for years and has written how to employ them to assist in the treatment of autism. In this book, Perez provides an overview of the autism spectrum. While there is a myriad of symptoms and behaviors, all autistic children suffer from communication and socialization issues. Autism appears to have connections with both genetics and the environment.

The heart of the book deals with treatments. While many patients diagnosed with autism require some sort of medication, Perez focuses on more natural treatments. A definite diagnosis is often not made until after age five, but early intervention is important to address a child’s needs. Speech, physical and occupational therapy may be needed as well as special education to address cognition. Depending on the issues the individual faces, music therapy, art therapy, animal therapy, nature therapy, and swing therapy, might be effective interventions. I found the discussion of using horses (hippotherapy) to help a child process sensory movements enlightening. Simpler steps that can be implemented easily in the home include removing chemical products, messaging the child, experimenting with dietary needs, and introducing yoga. Learning each child’s preferences and needs is the most difficult aspect of living and working with a child on the autistic spectrum.

As an educator who has worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team treating autistic children, I would definitely recommend this book to parents and educators who are new to the field of autism as an easy to read introduction to the subject.

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“If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I’d like to wish all my friends and followers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Wherever you are, no matter which way you celebrate with family and friends, I hope that the end of this year brings you joy and happiness. My wish for each of you is that 2018 will bring good health and prosperity to you and those you cherish.

In 2017, I added a Coloring/Activity book to allow readers the opportunity to put their own creative touch to Little Miss HISTORY and become familiar with words of wisdom from historical characters. I listened to teachers and homeschool parents who requested a book that contained multiple adventures in one book so The Adventures of Little Miss HISTORY included her trips to The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. This bargain book offers three books for the price of two individual books. Last, but not least, Little Miss HISTORY journeyed back to The Ice Age in her latest trek to La Brea Tar Pits & Museum in Los Angeles, California.

The Little Miss HISTORY Travels to….picture book series added four new juvenile/nonfiction awards in 2017. A Gold Global EBook Excellence Award, International Book Excellence Award, Independent Author Network Award, and Reader’s Favorite International Book Award.

I closed out the year with a revised one page, one click website. Just hover over my name, book cover or link to preview or purchase a Little Miss HISTORY book, merchandise or to connect. Visit the website at I am eager to meet many more of you in person next year. Simply click on the word CONTACT to message me to schedule school visits, book signings or speaking engagements or we can just chat through email. I will be glad to answer questions or suggest resources if you subscribe to my newsletter.

Looking forward to January, I will again be participating in Multicultural Book Day the week of January 27 and will be busy reading and judging finalists in the EasyReader/Chapter Book Category of the Cybils Awards. Results will be announced in February. My family-friendly book reviews will continue each Wednesday and Sunday on my blog. If you have not subscribed, I urge you to sign up.

Hold on to your hats! Little Miss HISTORY has many surprises in store for 2018, including a trip to The North Pole before next Christmas arrives.

Stay tuned….talk to you in The New Year.


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