Pugnapped! Book Review

Title: Pugnapped!

Author: Marty Kelley

Page Count: 128

Format Reviewed: Paperback

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Pugnapped! by Marty Kelley


Stevie Blunt, a fourth grader, loves Captain Fantastic. He has all of the Captain Fantastic books…. except for the first one. Now, Stevie has the chance to get this beloved first edition, if only he can get the money for it! This is a chapter book, but it also has pictures (some that cover the entire page, similar to what you would see in a graphic novel). There are some moments that will make kids laugh, like when the “Fart of Justice” is mentioned.

Who Might Like This Book

Fans of anything superhero related; Kids that like seeing big illustrations in chapter books


Take Three Girls Book Review

Title: Take Three Girls

Authors: Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell, & Fiona Wood

Page Count: 418

Format Reviewed: Hardback

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Take Three Girls by Crowley, Howell, and Wood

Summary: Ady, Kate, and Clem each attend St. Hilda’s, an all-female private school. Their lives, interests, and hobbies are all different, so there’s really no common ground in between them. That is, until they take a “wellness class” taught by Dr. Peter Malik designed to explore topics such as self-esteem. It is here that we start to see that the three girls might have more common than what first appears.

This book explores some serious issues. The girls at St. Hilda’s deal with a slanderous website called PSST. It lists names of girls, insults their bodies and their personalities, and makes claims of who they have been sexually involved with.

Take Three Girls provides the perspective of each girl. The chapters rotate so Clem, Ady, and Kate take turns providing their own points of view. There are some intense situations in this book, so if you are looking for a read that is innocent or light, this is definitely not the book for you.

Amidst heavy issues and big problems, I found Kate’s best friend, Ben, to be a breath of fresh air with his wit. His interactions with Kate don’t last long, but they’re great when they do happen.

You Might Like It If: You’re interested in feminism, women’s issues, battling bullies


Book Review: Aven Green Baking Machine

Title: Aven Green, Baking Machine

Author: Dusti Bowling

How long is this book? 115 pages

Format reviewed: hardback

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Summary: Third-grader Aven Green decides to enter a baking contest with her friends. Her friends Kayla, Sujata, and Emily are excited to get started, and they each have some ideas about what to bake. Unfortunately, Aven learns the hard way that to work in a team, it can’t be just one person having their own way while the others get left behind. A happy ending is had, but some lessons are learned.

What I Liked About This Book/What You Might Like: Aven Green has a spunky, likeable personality… at one point, she talks about needing strong butt cheeks to cook (because she has no arms), which is sure to give kids a good laugh! Aven’s troubles with her friends are ones that I think lots of young readers will relate to. She doesn’t reach her happy ending easily, and kids can probably learn from her mistakes. Overall, I think young readers will really like this book.


Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue: Book Review

Title: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue

Author: Steve Searfoss

How long is this book? 118 pages

Format reviewed: Paperback

How did you first hear about this book? Twitter

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss

Summary: During the summer, a young boy named Chance wants to buy a new bike. He calls this bike Midnight Blue, after its color. Chance has earned money by cleaning his father’s pool, but still doesn’t have enough money. Chance eventually starts a new pool cleaning business. Eventually, his sister Addie joins him on this adventure. Together, the two face challenges in running a business, and along several milestones, Chance pauses to ask himself what he should do and if it is worth the work.

What I Liked About This Book: This book teaches and entertains. I loved that! It was really good about explaining concepts related to the world of work, business, and entrepreneurship… some things that even adults might not know. Young characters Chance and Addie learn about marketing, profit and loss, risk, and other topics… but these concepts are all explained in an easy way. Overall, I thought this was a great read for kids to not only enjoy, but to learn something from, too!


30,000 Stitches Book Review/Giveaway

On September 11, 2001, a tragedy struck New York City that could not be forgotten by anyone who witnessed it. Young children today can’t comprehend the extent of this tragedy, but it is possible to explain it to them – while retaining some form of hope or love in humanity?

30,000 Stitches is the inspiring story of the National 9/11 flag. You might have remembered the tattered flag over the Twin Towers, but you might not have known (as I did not) that out of this tragedy was a “national flag”.

30,000 Stitches Written by Amanda Davis Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

30,000 Stitches is a highly educational book. Like most people, I remember exactly where I was when the Twin Towers were struck by this horrendous, tragic act. I’ve watched documentaries about it filled with historical footage from different journalists. Before reading this book, though, I didn’t even know that there was a “national flag”, and I knew nothing about where the flag had traveled.

Unity is a huge theme in this book – the fact that the national flag involved so many people, and the illustrations capture that as well. The explanation of where the national flag has gone, and the people who worked with it – the book underscores the fact that so many people in so many places have been brought together by this national flag.

I think this book also does a good job of educating on a dark part of American history that may be extremely difficult to teach or talk about. It stays age-appropriate for young kids, and there’s lots of opportunity for educators to expand on the material where they want to or just leave it as it is. All in all, I would highly recommend this book for teachers (or parents) as a great resource.

Thanks to Worthy Kids publishing, I’m hosting a giveaway for this book! Simply comment on this post if you’d like a chance to win a free copy of this book! I will pick one winner at random to win a free copy. If you are the winner, you will be contacted & asked to provide your mailing address (which will be forwarded to the publisher so they can mail you a copy)!


Dozers Don’t Doze Kids Book Review/Giveaway

Want to win a free copy of a new children’s book? I’m reviewing Dozers Don’t Doze, written by Melinda Rathjen and illustrated by Gareth Williams. Directions for this giveaway will be included in this post, after the review.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Check out the fun, colorful cover of Dozers Don’t Doze!

Dozers Don’t Doze Written by Melinda Rathjen Illustrated by Gareth Williams

This is a board book – that is, a picture book for young kids. The pictures are packed full of bright colors that will certainly engage a child’s imagination. Dozers are the main character of this story, and every time dozers are mentioned, they are capitalized. The word is also printed in a different color from the rest of the text. I thought this design choice was smart, fun, and helped make the illustrations more interesting. This book is fun to look at!

The story rhymes, and is full of different characters. There are trains, tractors, semis, and more things to ponder. In other words, lots of opportunities to explain to a child “what is that?” or to just make a child’s vocabulary stronger. The story and its concept made me smile: can a bulldozer not sleep? Read, and you can find out too!

This picture book is a lot of fun, and I can see lots of kids loving it!

Thank you, Worthy Kids, for this giveaway opportunity!

Thanks to Worthy Kids, I’m hosting a giveaway – for one free copy of Dozers Don’t Doze! One winner will be randomly picked… simply comment on this post if you’d like a copy of this book for free! U.S. residents only, please.


Cheap Ways to Prevent Summer Brain Drain

Remember the days of being a kid on summer vacation? Not having a care in the world was the best thing! Perhaps, though, your child has hit that spot where they’re saying they’re bored! I offer up some cheap ways to prevent summer brain drain (and keep your child occupied) at the Shine-a-Light Press website. You can check out my tips here.


Free Book Giveaway

Would you like to win a free book? I’m proud to partner with Worthy Kids to host a free book giveaway! Thanks to Worthy Kids, one free copy of The Night Baafore the First Day of School is up for grabs!

Want to know more about this book? Check out my review here.

Want to win? Comment on this post by Saturday, July 10, 2021, at midnight, Eastern Standard Time. One winner will be selected at random. If you are the winner, you will need to provide me with your mailing address, which then will be forwarded to the publisher. Your mailing address can be provided to me through a Twitter DM or via email. The publisher will then mail you a free copy of the book.

***Giveaway is limited to US residents only.***

Want to enter? Place a comment in the comment section below!


The Night Baafore the First Day of School

Is it too early to start thinking about back-to-school? It’s only July, so it’s not too early to start thinking about books you might want a month from now.

Ever tried to count sheep when you couldn’t sleep? Ever felt nervous the night before a big day? Ever encountered some mischievous sheep? Have a look at The Night Baafore the First Day of School written by Dawn Young and illustrated by Pablo Pino.

This book teases with pictures of sheep on a bright, lime green matte page before you even get to the first page of the story. Three sheep are up to something!

The story starts when we meet the main character, a young child named Bo. Bo isn’t sleeping, because he’s thinking about tomorrow, the first day of school.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Illustrator Pablo Pino adds interest to the story by making sure that this bedtime scene isn’t peaceful – but packed – with images. You can feel the lack of calm that the main character is feeling! And this is where we meet the mischievous crew of sheep.

The sheep embark on their antics, going on throughout Bo’s house. The calm that would have been in the house gets undone!

This is a fun book for any young child about to start school, and I enjoyed reading it.


Book Review- Penguin & Moose Brave the Night

You might remember the old children’s cartoon that featured Rocky and Bullwinkle, the moose and the squirrel… but what about a moose and a penguin? What kind of adventures might a moose and a penguin have together?

Penguin & Moose Brave the Night when the two have a sleepover. Unfortunately for Penguin, Penguin has a little bit of a fear when it comes to the dark. Certainly a fear lots of kids can relate to!

Thanks to the publisher of this book for providing me with a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Moose, being a great friend, tries everything in his bag of tricks he can to help his friend beat his fear. Illustrator Stacy Curtis fills the book with fun pictures that match the story and compliment it well. This book is a cute, charming story for young readers to enjoy over and over again.


The Woman’s Book Of Courage – Book Review

Ever feel like you need some courage? Ever feeling a bit less than brave? Everyone, if they’re honest, can probably relate to that feeling.

Maybe you can’t relate to the feeling of picking a book to read based on the cover, but check this out!

I couldn’t say no to this book with its cosmic-looking cover, with colors that I absolutely love. I had to say yes when I had the opportunity to read it.

Thank you, Mango Publishing! I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The cover is somewhat misleading… but not in a bad way. Here’s what I mean. When I look at the cover and see the word “meditations,” my thoughts instantly go to religion or spirituality. Perhaps yours would too, but this book is not about religion or prayer.

This book is written by Sue Patton Thoele, and she was a psychotherapist. You might be someone who thinks of self-help as being a spiritual journey, and if so, you might really like this book! For me though, I would not describe this as a book of meditations, but more like stories or conversations between the reader and the author.

And good conversations they are. I haven’t finished reading the book yet, because I’m savoring it, you might say. Each page is short, and it doesn’t take long, but this isn’t the kind of book you want to rush through. This book is all about self-empowerment. Patton Thoele wants you to be kind to yourself, think positive thoughts to yourself, and to grow in your life.

And isn’t that a great message we could all use?


Book Review: God’s Always Loving You

Have you ever read a children’s book that seemed to have a message that adults could also relate to? I’ve started reading/reviewing children’s books, and I’m noticing that the best kinds of children’s books are written for kids, but the grown-ups can get something out of it too (if they search for it).

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

God’s Always Loving You

This charming book, God’s Always Loving You, is published by Worthy Kids. Writer Janna Matthies and Illustrator Airin O’Callaghan have teamed up to create a charming board book. Its perfect for those little hands that need something sturdy to hold on to. I’ve been missing the beach lately, so I love/loved the back cover.

This book is full of situations meant to show kids that no matter what’s going on, God is always loving them. Seems a simple enough lesson, right? Children’s books can be a great reminder of the simple truths that we learned as children, yet, struggle to hold on to (or remember).

God’s Always Loving You shows typical childhood fears- fear at bedtime, fear of thunderstorms. It also shows some good times – helping a neighbor, or fun on the playground – and shows that God is there too.

I thought this was a great book for young kids and that the scenarios were realistic and relatable. This would be a great book for the young child in your life.


Promo Code for Lemi Shine Cleaning Products

Need to do some cleaning? Looking for a different type of disinfecting wipe or spray?

Disclosure: I received free coupons from Lemi Shine to try their products – and I loved them!

Lemi Shine now has a special: you can “unlock” 20% off your first order if you provide them with your cell phone number to sign up for text messages. Check it out here if you want to sign up to get a discount on your first online order.


Buffalo Sauce with Avocado Oil

Nothing goes with game night better than wings! If you’re making your own, you know you gotta have the right buffalo sauce. Did you know you can make your wings a little bit healthier if you pick the right sauce? Check out this buffalo sauce made with avocado oil! Avocado oil has health benefits that you might not know about, and this medium-heat sauce is sure to crank up the flavor! Use promo code HEALTHNOW to get 10% off your order at the Primal Kitchen store!

Disclosure: I am a Primal Kitchen Affiliate and as such I receive a small commission on products purchased through the link above.


Love This Laundry Detergent!

Have you ever used a plant-based laundry detergent? How about a biodegradable laundry detergent? Maybe it’s not something you really think about. I know when I do my laundry, I’m really just thinking about how to get my clothes clean as quickly as possible, in the easiest way possible. Can you relate?

Doing the laundry and having it being a “relaxing experience” probably doesn’t sound quite right either. Typically, I go with the no-frills, plain, unscented liquid detergent, because it gets the job done.

Disclosure: I’m a member of Seventh Generation’s Generation Good Advocates Community. I received free product samples and a free product coupon.

Enter Seventh Generation laundry detergent. This liquid laundry detergent was lavender scented. Ahh, lavender, my favorite scent for busting stress. I tear open the pack, and the scent hits me. Wow! As I mentioned before, I usually don’t buy scented detergent. One of my reasons for not buying scented detergent is my concern for what’s in the product – what might it do to my skin? What kind of weird chemicals are in it? What might it do to my body? So, I typically try to keep it simple. But, the plant-based nature (no pun intended) of this product made me feel more comfortable trying it.

I degress; back to the scent. For me, not being accustomed to laundry detergents that are scented – wow! This was a change! The lavender scent was really something! I loved it! But it wasn’t so overwhelming that it was overpowering.

As far as how this new product worked once I was wearing my clothes? So far, so good! (knock on wood) My skin can have a mind of its own, and I sometimes prefer to use products geared towards folks with “sensitive skin”… but this worked for me! No issues. Overall, I am super satisfied with this detergent, and I’m so happy I tried it!


Book Review- Hello from Here – Kids Book

As adults, we might miss the people that we can’t see very often. We might call, send letters, or use other forms of communication to show we care. Can kids understand this? Can small children grasp the concept of “love from afar”?

Writer Pamela Kennedy has partnered with Illustrator MacKenzie Haley to show that yes, there are many ways to show love from a distance. I can think of no better book to give to a small child to show your love during these strange times.

Hello from Here
Written by Pamela Kennedy
Illustrated by MacKenzie Haley

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

And yet, this book holds no mention of the “p” word – pandemic, or plague. This book keeps things happy. It will remain relevant for times when loved ones are separated from each other for other circumstances. Whether it’s a separation due to moving, divorce, military service, or other circumstances, this is a pleasant children’s book that shows young children that there are so many ways the adults in their lives can say “I love you” – even if they are not physically close.

I loved this book, and I have already chosen who to pass it on to so they can read it next. I would highly recommend this book as a pleasure for any child to read… as a gift that will assure them that they are loved!


5 Ways to Use Hollandaise

Hollandaise Sauce

Running out of lunch ideas? Running out of dinner ideas?

Check out these recipes from Primal Kitchen – 5 Ways to Use Hollandaise – you can use it on chicken, ham, and more.

Want to save? Shop Primal Kitchen and use the promo code HEALTHNOW to get 10% off your order!


Dressing with Avocado Oil?

Did you know there are some great benefits to consuming avocado oil? It’s true – avocado oil is packed with nutrients and it’s heart-healthy. But avocados aren’t always easy to come by – you might not have time to get to the grocery store, or you might not want to buy something that can spoil so quickly. Fortunately, Primal Kitchen is making some amazing salad dressings made with Avocado Oil. Lettuce Celebrate! And, if you like saving money, I’m thrilled to share with you a special coupon code, HEALTHNOW that will take 10% off your order! Use this promo code when you place your order at Primal Kitchen’s site to get 10% off! Use code HEALTHNOW


Free Coupons with P&G Good Everyday

Do you like saving money on your grocery bill?

Would you like to see a good cause – like clean water for kids – get some help, too?

Then you’ll LOVE saving with P&G Everyday!

Sign up for FREE with P&G Everyday and you can get free coupons for products you probably already buy: from brands like Always, Charmin, Dayquil, Dawn, Downy Unstoppables, Gain, Pampers, Swiffer, Tide, Venus Razors, and so much more. You can take surveys to earn points, and P&G Everyday makes donations to good causes, like clean water for people who need it.

Sign up for FREE to start saving!


Calling All Foodies!

Calling all foodies! Are you a foodie? Join our community! Sir Kensingtons is a proud certified B Corporation and I’m a proud member of their Taste Buds Community – Join me! The first 2,000 new to join by May 14th will win a free product coupon! #skpartner #sweepstakes Join the community for free here


POSSIBLE- free Batiste hair products!

Ever roll out of bed and don't want to wash your hair? Join me in Batiste Nation and get ready to spend less time shampooing and more time living. You'll receive special offers, have an opportunity to qualify for free products from Batiste, and more! Join free here! 

Brave A Teen Girl’s Guide to Beating Worry and Anxiety

How often do you see headlines in the media about mental health?

How is our country’s overall awareness of what mental health means?

What about teens – how are they doing?

Sissy Goff is a professional counselor, and her new book, Brave, is centered on the well-being of young girls. She wants to help girls beat worry and anxiety.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Right off the bat, this book was different from what I expected, because the author talks straight to the teenage girl experiencing anxiety, NOT to her parents. The author isn’t speaking to the parents – it isn’t “you and your Mom” or “you and your Dad” – the author is writing directly to the teen girl, which makes this book different.

A few things to note as to how and why I read this book… I was provided a free copy of this book; I was not reading it for the reason it was written. I’m an adult woman and the author is not writing to me; the author is writing to teenage girls. The author mentions her counselling practice and paints a picture about some of the lives of the girls she is helping (some of them being young ladies with very busy, over-scheduled lives – who would really benefit from dropping an activity from their schedules). So, I imagined some of the young teens this book might be purchased for: busy young teens who are already crushing it in their school classes, those that have an after-school roster full of extracurricular studies, and maybe even working an after-school job… and I wondered when will they actually have time to read this book? This isn’t a critique against the book, but still a question that has to be asked if you’re thinking about this book. This book is good, but it is not going to replace counselling if that is needed for your daughter.


Start Spring Cleaning, Get Paid

Need some extra cash? Kick off your spring cleaning and get paid for it! ThredUp is an online consignment and thrift shop. Care about the environment and sustainability? Recycling is built into ThredUp’s mission! Purge your closet from the clothes that you no longer want, need, or wear- try selling your clothes on ThredUp! Check it out here- it’s easy!


Homeschooling Resource Roundup

Are you new to homeschooling? Are you loving the pace of learning online or still trying to find your stride? No matter which camp you are in, you’ll enjoy the free insights from Oak Meadow’s Living Education free online journal.

This edition focuses on how life has changed due to the pandemic, and more importantly, how we can thrive in the midst of it. I offer up a ton of FREE places where you can learn online! This includes amazing places to learn online about art, music, history, and more! You can check out the Living Education journal here and you can check out my “Resource Roundup” here.


After Intermission

If you’ve ever caught the acting bug, you probably understand why theatre goers and actors all over are aching for the time when it will be safe to lift restrictions, and the “show will go on” as normal.

If not, you may be wondering why all the creative types are missing the arts so much right now.

Either way, join me and my friends at Shine-a-Light Press to get some perspective on why the arts are loved, and what the arts truly do here.


Jesus Freaks Book Review

They received death threats.

They were warned to say they would stop believing.

They were told that if they did not change their actions, there would be dire consequences.

All of this because of their relentless dedication for a Gospel that is still, today, deemed offensive to so many people.

Jesus Freaks tells the stories of people across the globe who have suffered for one thing: their belief in Jesus Christ. People who were abused by their own families because they would not adhere to another religion. People who were held captive in a prison by their country’s government, tortured because they would not take back their belief in the God of the Bible. People who could not believe what they wanted to believe without harmful retaliation.

These threats are not extinct, as many of our brothers and sisters across the globe are persecuted for simply being Christians. Possessing a Bible is against the law in some of these places; worshiping in secret is the only option for Christians to gather together. For them, the concept of having a church building is not an option. For them, the church is truly the people, not a building.

Jesus Freaks is vital reading for any Christian who wants to examine their own dedication to their faith. It is a wake-up call for those of us in the Western world who have enjoyed such a wide variety of freedom in comparison to our brothers and sisters in the persecuted world.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Sports, Garth Brooks, & Music Ed

Today I talk about sports, Garth Brooks, and the importance of music education with my friends from Shine-A-Light Press. I’m guest blogging about Teamwork, Drive, and Winning- What’s Music Education Got to Do With It? You can read my post here.


Need Help Homeschooling?

Need a little help with homeschooling?

Or are you on the other end of the spectrum, with years of homeschooling experience under your belt, and a routine that works for your family?

No matter where you find yourself, a little inspiration never hurts.

My friends at Oak Meadow have just released the spring edition of their free online journal. This edition asks the question Dear Earth, How Can We Help?

You can read the full issue here and check out my tips for how to teach a basic appreciation for the planet (even if science isn’t your best subject) here.

Dragon Legend Book Review

Title: Dragon Legend

Authors: Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang

Page Count: 214

Format: Paperback

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Dragon Legend by Katie & Kevin Tsang

Summary: Billy Chan is 12 years old. His friend, Dylan, has been kidnapped by the Dragon of Death. In order to save Dylan, Billy must travel through time. Can Billy and his friends save Dylan? Can they rescue Dylan from the Dragon of Death, and keep the Dragon of Death from destroying the past?

Who Might Like This Book: fans of adventure, time travel fans, if you like dragons

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