Posts from the ‘reference book’ Category

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…

Kids Meal Ideas: 50 Kid-Friendly Recipes

Written by Debbie Madsen

The author places emphasis on ways to produce kid-pleasing meals that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Madsen doesn’t take the approach of cooking separate meals for finicky eaters. Rather, she uses ingredients that kids will recognize as pleasing choices and combines them with healthy options.

The book is divided into sections: chicken, rice and pasta, soups, pork, seafood, eggs, beef, vegetarian, salads, and gluten-free. Within each area, Madsen chooses combinations like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy turned into volcano meatloaf. Pasta becomes much healthier when combined with spinach and bacon. For the child who loves only peanut butter sandwiches, try peanut chicken with rice. Salad recipes include a variety of textures and extras like pumpkin and chia seeds. French fries are elevated to new heights in a skillet dish in which beef and French fries are baked with ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

The recipes are different and just might attract your picky eater as well as introduce the adults in the family to unique combinations.

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ACHIEVING SUCCESS AS AN #AUTHOR

10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book Online: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget

Written by Scott Hughes

Before I begin this review, readers should be aware that the author is the webmaster for Online Book Club, and he does promote and encourage readers to utilize his business. That certainly does not mean that the book is a shameless promotion of his business. The advice he gives is sound and helpful for the self-published authors. I have used the strategies he presents and can verify they do work. The amount of time to achieve success largely depends on your budget and how much work you are willing to put into writing and marketing.

Steps 1 and 2 are the most difficult. Writers need to produce a really good product to compete in today’s market and they must take the time to proofread, correct typos, spelling and content many, many times. Only after then, can the writer send the book out for professional editing.

The rest of the steps involve becoming involved with all platforms on social media, blogging, reading other authors in your genre, interviewing, starting and participating in book clubs. All these things take time to create and build. Writers need to reach out and develop a network of trusted colleagues and friends. I agree with Hughes that twitter is very effective, and that Facebook has steadily become less reliable for marketing. Of course, the value of social media is largely determined by other factors such as personality and genre.

To sum up, the author has presented a concise program of steps to guide a writer through the competitive world of self-publishing if the reader commits the time, dedication and resources to his project.

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STEPPING OUT OF THE RUT

THE POWER OF CREATIVITY: Book 1

Written by BRYAN COLLINS

This is a self-help book that focuses on enabling readers to face the fears that prevent them from pursuing their creativity and achieving a self-fulfilling career. The author takes a realistic approach. He realizes that life goals need balance. One needs to support himself and make a living. While does not necessarily mean being trapped in a profession or job that does not bring a measure of happiness and self-fulfillment.

The book opens on the author’s thirtieth birthday when he realizes he is trapped in a career that he hates. He realizes that he must force himself to move forward. He cites artists like Salvatore Dali and Paul McCartney as examples of artists who were able to support themselves with a day job while they gradually disciplined themselves to achieve a successful artistic career.

He urges his readers to begin by searching for their true passion in life. Next, remove the distractions that eat up wasted time you could spend pursuing them. Then use your job as a safety net and pursue that passion in the remaining time available. Push past your fears and practice the craft

you want to develop each day.

At the end of the book, Collins provides a list of links that offer tools that might accelerate reader success. I enjoyed the author’s positive philosophy and would recommend this book to those who feel stuck in a rut. There is nothing new in the book, just a straightforward common-sense approach. Recommended for young adult and adult readers.

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Mind over Matter

Hello Brain: A Book about Talking to Your Brain

Written by Clarissa Johnson

This book discusses mindfulness for children. It contains six stories about students in a classroom who experience different troubling situations. It begins with Sam, who is terribly shy and afraid to talk with anyone at school. Eve is frustrated because she views herself not smart enough to learn. Jane talks too much in class and can’t concentrate. Nick is grumpy, unhappy and cannot focus. Kate excels in school and sports, but cannot see the worth of other students. Will is a shy boy, who is often the victim of others who take advantage of him with unkind words and acts. In each situation, one of the other students approaches the child with a problem and reminds him that he can talk to his brain and take control of the situation to remedy the problem.

This book can be used by parents or teachers to guide discussions with individual children or a classroom group. It could be an effective resource for elementary and middle school students who are struggling with individual emotions and peer relationships. It is particularly recommended for students in the six to twelve age range.

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A SPLIT DECISION

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Written by Katrina-Jane Bart

Illustrated by Allison Warry

I gave this book the title, A Split Decision because I am of two minds about the book. The book is wonderful for children who are receptive to communicating with the spirit world like the author who is a clairvoyant. The little girl sees her deceased grandmother at the foot of her bed when she goes to bed at night. Her grandmother tells her not to be afraid and that she is there to help. Grandma tells her that seeing her is a special gift.

For children who are receptive to the idea of a spirit world, this is an excellent approach to the subject. The illustrations are drawn as if the little girl were drawing the story from her point of view. On the other hand, some children will find the concept of deceased relatives appearing to them frightening and threatening.

I would give this book five stars for parents and teachers who would use it appropriately with children who are receptive toward the idea of communicating with the spirit world. Those who do not read the book’s summary or reviews may be in for a surprise when they read it to a child. I would recommend it to be used with children ages seven and older.

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LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD

P.I.N.K. BACKPACK GENDER EQUALITY SERIES BOOK 1

Written by Trish Allison

 

P.I.N.K. stands for persistence, intelligence, necessary and kind. The author writes this book as a guide for parents to help daughters become aware of and respond to gender equality bias. She provides suggestions as to how to approach the topic. Parents will need to modify these suggestions depending on the age and individual personality of their child.

Topics discussed include how to navigate online, how to discover appropriate STEM models, how to minimize stress and become successful in science projects, how to create a STEM friendly environment for your daughter at home, how to develop and sustain interest in STEM during the tween and teen years, how to make your daughter comfortable in social settings that empower girls, and how to create a gender bias-free environment in your own household.

This book could become a valuable resource for parents who want to encourage positive self-image and self-confidence in their daughters to succeed in any type of role or career situation.

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ROOM TO GROW

The Scribbles: Inspiring Kids to Draw

Rebecca and James McDonald

This is a charming black and white book that encourages children to learn to draw. Many children feel frustrated because they lack an artistic flair. Readers are introduced to three-line drawings dubbed The Scribbles. Anyone who came across the page thought them a bunch of scribblers. One day a child came along and said hello. The child saw the great potential that each of the scribbles might be. This child could see a sun, a mountain and a tree possibility within their lines. The child was just beginning to learn to draw, but he persisted until he created a sun and a mountain. But when the child approached the third scribble, he became frustrated and disheartened. It was The Scribbles turn to encourage and motivate the child to continue until he succeeded. Soon the child was pushing himself to more complicated drawings.

I like the author’s message that there is potential to succeed if a child has the courage to persist. The amount of talent is not nearly as important as the determination to succeed. Recommended especially for preschoolers and primary grade children as a motivational tool.

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