Posts from the ‘travel’ Category

WHAT TO DO?

Hermione Granger’s Unofficial Life Lessons and Words of Wisdom: What would Hermione (from the Harry Potter series) Say?

Written by Euphemia Pinkerton Noble

This is an interesting read for fans of the Harry Potter series of all ages. The author presents questions written in a journal format. Noble chooses situations that pop up in our everyday lives and then poses the question of how Hermione would answer.

Hermione Granger is the smartest witch at Hogwarts. She is a hard worker, who places a high value on loyalty, friendship and love. Hermione often chooses the more difficult path because she knows it is the right, if not easy, thing to do. At first, the boys ignore or resist her, but eventually come to know she is the one who holds things together.

Noble urges her readers to first read through the book quickly and make a few notes about the questions they find most relevant to themselves. I particularly enjoyed the section on facing challenges and chasing dreams in which so many middle-grade and teen readers will find much to think about. The last section on believing in yourself probably sums up Hermione’s philosophy on life best.

This book could become an asset for preteens and teens who are struggling to develop their own views. Parents, grandparents, and teachers might find this book a good way to open family discussions.

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#MEET THE AUTHOR

I am starting a new feature on my blog. Rather than simply reading and reviewing family-friendly books for my audience, I will be taking a peek behind the scenes at the writer. After all, we all want to know the mysterious person behind the curtain. So without delay, let me introduce you to the talented Eugenia Chu, who has a brand new release tomorrow, September 3.


About the Author:

Eugenia Chu is an attorney, turned stay-at-home mom, turned writer. She lives on a magical beach in Miami with her husband and son, Brandon, who is the inspiration for her stories. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, yoga and drinking too much coffee. She has been a presenter at numerous schools, libraries and book festivals.

When Brandon was very little, the author couldn’t find children’s storybooks to read to him which touched upon Chinese culture and which included some Chinese (Mandarin) words to teach and/or reinforce his Chinese vocabulary, so she started writing her own. Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is her second “Brandon” story and first children’s chapter book. 

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京), a brand new chapter book by author, Eugenia Chu, launches on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2019!As a special bonus, the Kindle Ebook version will be FREE on Amazon that day, too!!! Please download this adorable book and if you like it, please leave a review to thank the author and her illustrator, Eliza Hsu Chen, for all their hard work!

In this story, Brandon and his cousins are on a trip to visit their grandparents in Beijing, China! While bonding with family, practicing Chinese, touring historic sites and feasting on local dishes, Brandon thinks he sees a tiny panda. However, every time he gets close, the panda disappears! Is Brandon imagining this small creature, or is it real? Will Brandon find out before he has to fly back home?

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is a multicultural, multigenerational chapter book. This book includes some Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) with Pinyin pronunciation, adding layers for those learning or interested in the Chinese language and culture. Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) follows Eugenia’s debut picture book, Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子)(a story about a boy and his grandma who bond while making Chinese dumplings, called jiǎo zi (餃子).

For more information about Eugenia or her books:

Website: http://eugeniachu.com

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/eugeniachu

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/eugeniachuauthor/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/eugeniachu8245/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/chuauthor

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AN ACTIVE IMAGINATION

Ronan’s Dinosaur

Written by Nadishka Aloysius

Illustrated by Manoshi de Silva

This chapter book features a five-year-old boy named Ronan who is suddenly moved to join his parents at his Grandmother’s rural home in Sri Lanka. Ronan and his parents lived in the urban area of Colombo.

Ronan is an anxious, lonely boy who does not like change. His parents have moved in temporarily to help his ailing grandmother. Ronan’s parents are kind and caring parents who do their best to assuage his fears. One day while playing in the garden, Ronan finds a lizard named Scoot. Scoot can talk. He explains to Ronan that she is a dinosaur. Ronan is skeptical, but he learns to enjoy exploring with her and making friends with Tryx, her dinosaur friend who lives in the trees.

When Ronan’s parents hear him talking aloud, they think he is talking to himself and become concerned. So, they take him to visit a neighbor next door who has a dog named Spike. Ronan is afraid of the dog, until Scoot talks to the animal. Again, Ronan learns he has nothing to fear.

Ronan’s grandmother has a setback and must visit the hospital. There he confides in his grandmother and reveals his secret. She remembers her own youth spent with Scoot. The time has come to sell the house and move to a nursing home. Ronan is devastated. Will Ronan ever see Scoot again?

This is a wonderful book to share with children who like to be alone or who experience anxieties. It gently explains that change is not necessarily bad and that we grow from personal experiences both real and imaginary. Targeted for children ages seven and older. I would especially recommend it for ages nine through twelve as a portion of the vocabulary is challenging.

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TRAVELING IN STYLE

Molly Mouse Visits The Seaside: One small mouse expanding her horizons

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

This book is the newest addition to the adventures of The Top of the Wardrobe Gang, a group of talented and proficient stuffed animals. In this tale, Molly Mouse receives a letter from her Uncle Lee and cousins to come and visit them in their lighthouse by the sea. Always up for an adventure, Molly makes travel plans. When she encounters difficulties traveling with humans, Molly discovers a travel agency that caters to mice where they can travel in luxury on buses, trains, and ships.

Molly describes her journey. She learns many new facts from her waiter. Finally, she arrives at the lighthouse where she celebrates time with her family by playing on the beach, watching sailing ships race, learning how to fish, and even spotting a whale offshore. Molly is sad to see her vacation end, but she is happy that her Uncle and cousins plan to visit her soon.

The adventure doesn’t end here. There is a bonus section with puzzles, mazes, and games for readers to enjoy. This book will be particularly enjoyed by readers ages three through six but is appropriate and enjoyable for any reader.

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#LittleMissHISTORY #virtualreality #SANSAR #INTERVIEW with Bernhard Drax

I recently had the opportunity to present Little Miss HISTORY  in animation. Thanks to Silas Merlin, who created the avatar, the character has come to life.

  • Little Miss HISTORY insists, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” On the day of our birth, we become a character in history because each of us has an opportunity to create our story and place our mark on history.

 

  • As we stand here in the twenty-first century, technology allows us to immerse ourselves in history. In 2003, Linden Lab launched a program called Second Life. Its users, who are called residents, use this technology to create virtual representations of themselves. These avatars can explore the virtual world, socialize and participate with other residents in a group or individual activities. Second Life has its own virtual currency that allows residents to create, shop, and trade virtual property with one another.

 

  • In 2014, Linden Lab announced a plan to develop a new virtual world. Content creators began working on the program named Project Sansar. The platform was released in “creator beta” to the public in July 2017. Users create 3D spaces where people can create and share social experiences such as watching videos, playing games, and having conversations. Participants are represented by avatars they create. These avatars contain speech-driven facial animations and motion driven body animations.

 

  • Sansar supports virtual reality headsets but can also be accessed with Windows computers. The program is free to use, but like Second Life Sansar has its own economy. Users can buy and sell their virtual creations with the Sansar dollar.

 

  • HOW DID LITTLE MISS HISTORY GET INVOLVED IN VIRTUAL REALITY? A few months ago, I was approached by Bernhard Drax to appear on his Book Club Radio podcast. When I heard that Little Miss HISTORY would have an opportunity to appear in virtual reality, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

  • Via “draxtor”..and media for all! Drax and his team now offer audio-visual storytelling for many media platforms. Bernhard Drax studied audio engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles and music at the Hochschule fur Musik and Theater Munchen. He is an expert in user-created content in Virtual Reality. His award-winning mixed reality documentary series “The Drax Files: World Makers” is just one of his many video series featured on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/draxtordespres

 

I invite you to join us in a discussion about books, education, and history, past, present, and future!

 

Check out Little Miss HISTORY’s journey into virtual reality!

 

If you would like to read the entire interview on the podcast, please go here:

https://wp.me/p485L9-1N9

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATURE’S BEAUTY

My First Summer in Sierra

Written by John Muir

Published by Digireads.com

This book is a travel diary written by John Muir, in the summer of 1869. After the Civil War when John Muir returned from Canada, he secured a position with Carlo, a shepherd who was moving a herd of 2500 sheep up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Muir, who loved nature and the Yosemite region, jumped at the chance to join the group as a naturalist. He would document the journey, the wildlife, and the scenery along the way.
Readers read Muir’s recollections which are sometimes verbatim details, but also feel the emotion in his voice as he describes the grandeur and majesty of his surroundings. Muir’s love and appreciation of life forms in their natural surroundings come through as he excitedly reports his discoveries. This edition includes maps, drawings, and sketches. For those who appreciate the beauty of the planet, but cannot trek 9,000 feet up into the Sierras, one learns to appreciate the wildlife, the majesty of the sequoias, and the beauty of its pristine waters. Recommended for nature and travel lovers.

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A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS

The Frights of Fiji: (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Series Book 1

Written by Sunayna Prasad

This is the first in a series of fantasy adventures for middle-grade readers. Alyssa is the twelve-year-old protagonist who lost her parents in an accident five years prior. Although her parents had named her Uncle Alex as her guardian, she is now living with her Uncle Bruce and his daughter, Hailey.

Bruce is a stern taskmaster; Alyssa lives a life of unending rules and drudgery. When magic becomes a part of her life, along with some strange-looking wizards and creatures, she believes there is the hope of escape from her plight. But then she learns that an evil wizard intends to capture her and remove Bruce from the picture.

Alyssa has been whisked away to Fiji where her situation goes from bad to worse. She is enslaved with several other children and forced to do the evil wizard’s bidding. Will Alyssa find a way to escape back to the United States and find refuge with her godfather?

There are many fantastical characters and a series of rather far-fetched incidents. Even though this book is a magical fantasy, some of the plot connections don’t come off as genuine.

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