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Showing posts from February, 2017

Stanley's Store - a review

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I first met Stanley at the farm in 2015.  It was love at first sight. Peachtree Publishers calls him "the hardest working hamster in the book business." Today I'm pleased to participate in a blog tour for Stanley's latest gig as a storekeeper.


Stanley's Store
by William Bee
Peachtree, 2017

With simple text,
It's going to be another busy day at Stanley's Store, and vivid colors outlined in black against a white background,


Stanley's Store is perfect for very young listeners—but there is much more to like.  There are myriad opportunities to explore shapes, colors, numbers, and food groups while sharing this and other Stanley books. There is also some light humor, as when silly Charlie spills Stanley's fruit display and ends up with a banana on his head.  Stanley's Store spans the course of a day, so the concept of time is included as well.  The day begins with the delivery of produce to the store, proceeds to shopping, and ends with supper, bath, …

The Astronaut Instruction Manual - an audiobook review

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The Astronaut Instruction Manual: Practical Skills for Future Space Explorers
by Mike Mongo, read by Mike Mongo with foreword by Alyssa Carson
Listening Library, 2017
47 minutes

If you'd read my blog for any length of time, you will know that I'm an avid fan of several things - two of them are nonfiction and outer space.  I was happy for the opportunity to review the audiobook version of The Astronaut Instruction Manual.

Mike Mongo narrates his own book with an infectious enthusiasm for his topic guaranteed to draw you in to this practical and inspirational look at the future of space travel.

The Astronaut Instruction Manual began as a book on Inkshares, basically a "Kickstarter" for self-published books.  Largely do to its author's subject knowledge and enthusiasm, it became a popular seller, hence the recent release of the audiobook version.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, there is also a television series in the works.

My complete review of The Astronaut …

Scratch Coding Cards - a review

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Scratch Coding Cards
No Starch Press
Creative Coding Activities for Kids by Natalie Rusk
 December 2016, 75 cards ISBN: 978-1-59327-774-1 Full Color, Box Set

No Starch Press was kind enough to provide me a review copy of their new Scratch Coding Cards.  The set of 75 cards contains instructions for a variety of projects including games, stories, and the creation of virtual pets.  Each card shows the desired project on the front and simple instructions on the back.  They are large and sturdy and would be perfect for classroom use.  While the cards can be used as definitive instructions for particular projects, their true purpose is to be inspirational and instructive for the creation of personalized projects.  Scratch teaches kids (and adults) to think logically and act creatively.  With time and practice, you can create almost anything with Scratch.  It's a great precursor to other coding languages.

To illustrate, I used the basic instructions on the cards to create a small sampl…