Monday, April 30, 2018

Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up- May 1, 2018

Welcome to Tuesday's Giveaway Link Up with your hosts Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily Reviews, Shelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

So glad you could join us as we share our giveaways on  Tuesday's Giveaway Link Ups. 

This link up will be posted Monday at 7 PM est. and run all week long! Make sure you stop in as often as you can to list your latest giveaways.

Here is how to use the Giveaway Link Up

1. Post your reviews and/or giveaways, as many as you have, be sure to add the end date (family friendly please)

2. Help spread the word about the giveaway link up by grabbing our button, Tweeting or posting on Facebook. (Not mandatory- but it helps get more exposure to your giveaways as well!)

3. Take a moment to enter any giveaway that strikes an interest to you!

Featured Giveaways

Featured Reviews

If you would  like to follow the  hostesses, we will gladly follow you back! Simply leave us a message to do so.

Thank you for linking up with Karen @ Tots and Me, Emily @ Emily ReviewsShelly @ The Attic Girl, and Rena @ An Ordinary Housewife.

A Round of Robins Picture Book {Review and Giveaway}

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to review a picture book and offer my readers a giveaway. I just couldn't pass up the chance to share this cute book with you.

We received A Round of Robins by Katie Hesterman and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. This 34-page, hardcover picture book is published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. 

What a perfect time of year to receive this adorable book. It is perfect for springtime, as we love to watch the robins returning and building nests in our trees and around our house. This book shares the cycle of the robins' lives, starting with finding a place to build a home, through the egg laying, hatching, and growing up of the baby robins, to moving on to another brood. However, this book is not a non-fiction book. This lifecycle is told through a series of playful poems, which made the book's arrival even more timely, as we got to read it during National Poetry Month. 

Each poem describes one part of the cycle, with cartoon-style artwork to illustrate the verse, and is one to two stanzas in length, taking up one to two pages. 

Each of the poems has a title, some of which were quite entertaining.

Here, let's look at some of them.

"Turf Tune" is the first poem in the book. It tell of daddy robin claiming his territory, while the illustrations show dad standing at the edge of a branch while three angry birds look on in disgust. 

In "Home Sweet Home" mama robin is shown building the nest and getting comfortable in it.

"EGGcessories" shows the happy couple looking down on their nest full of the perfect amount of eggs, four.

 "Red-Hot Mama" talks about how mama incubates the eggs, while sharing pictures of her in her nest dreaming about her babies.

"Inside Job" tells of the babies in the egg, cramped in tightly as they only have one more night before they hatch. 

"Pop Patrol" shows daddy robin chasing away birds who were invading his space.

In total there are 16 poems included in this book. As you can see, the titles are quite intriguing. I found the poems to be quite cute and humorous, while telling the true story of a robin family's life. And I am a huge fan of rhyming verse in poetry, so that was a big plus in my eyes. I've read books with rhyming verse where it was quite the chore to read. I am happy to say that is not the case with this book. The verse flowed well as did the rhyming. Plus, the illustrations complemented the text very well. I loved the soft colors which are done in pen and ink and watercolor. 

If you are looking for a fun spring book, a book about robins, a poetry book, or all three, may I suggest checking out this debut book by Katie Hesterman. It is recommended for children ages 5-8, though I can see slightly younger or older children enjoying it as well. My children all did, and they range in age from 6-11. 

About the Author and Illustrator:

Katie Hesterman dreamed of being an ornithologist as a child, but now contents herself with watching them through her window and writing about them. She lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Sergio Ruzzier is a picture book author and illustrator whose work has received awards from American Illustrations, the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, and the Society of Publication Designers. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

And now for the great news! One of my readers will get to win their own copy of A Round of Robins!

Giveaway Time!

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. 
There are only 2 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. 
Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs April 30th through May 13th!.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

By entering the giveaway, you understand and agree that your contact information will be shared with the sponsor.

Disclosure: I received a hardcover copy of A Round of Robins in exchange for my honest review. No further compensation was given. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Making the Bible Come Alive with the Planet 316 Story Bible {A TOS Review}

As Christians, it is very important to my husband and myself that we bring the children up in the Lord. In light of this, our core curriculum is focused on the Bible and on God, plus we've been memorizing Bible verses during school time for years, and just recently the older girls started a daily Bible reading schedule with me, though we have to work on being a bit more diligent. All of the girls have a Bible of their own, and Harold will be getting one when he gets a bit older. Until then, I thought it would be neat for him to have this really cool interactive Story Bible which we recently received. 

Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we had the opportunity to check out the Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App from Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals. 

The colorful, hardcover Story Bible in and of itself is a wonderful addition to our home. This 303-page book contains over 100 stories from the Bible. I was pleased to see that there was a nice variety of stories, unlike other children's Bible storybooks that I have seen. Yes, there are the well-known tales such as Creation, Noah, Moses, David & Goliath, Jonah, and Daniel from the Old Testament. And in the New Testament you will find the familiar retellings of the different aspects of the Christmas story, Jesus as a boy in the temple, The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, Jesus's death and His resurrection. But there are other, not so-well known stories included as well. Stories such as Jacob wrestling with God, Moses and the Egyptian, Israel disobeying God after the Battle of Jericho, Saul's disobedience, Jesus miracle of turning water into wine, Jesus and Nicodemus, Philip and the Ethiopian, and stories of Paul. 

This book begins with a letter to parents and grandparents, and then gives instructions on how to download and use the app.

There is a Table of Contents in the beginning of the book and an index of "People, Places, and Things in the Bible" at the end. Both the Old and the New Testament begin with a lovely double page spread which includes a collage of images found in the stories (some of which even "come to life" but more about that later). 

Each story is between 2 and 6 pages in length, perfect for children with shorter attention spans. There are some full page illustrations, and the occasional full page of text, but the majority of the time text is printed above or below the main picture.

With 55 Old Testament stories and 49 New Testament stories, this Story Bible does a wonderful job of sharing the story of God's love with the reader. 

Now that I shared a bit about the book, let's look at the app that goes along with it, the app that makes it come alive. 

First of all, the app is FREE! Yes, free. However, without the Planet 316 Story Bible it won't do you much good, so you do need to have the book. 

Now, before I decided I would like to request to be on this review, I had downloaded the app and checked out the sample pages, which you find by clicking on the purple "Pages" button on the screen shown above. I was then able to confirm that I would be able to use the app with my phone. I was so glad that the app is available in both the App Store and Google Play. 

Once the Story Bible was in hand, and the app was on my phone, we were able to begin bringing these stories to life. I just click on the green "Start" button in the bottom right corner of the screen, and it brings up a screen which says "scanning." You have to have the phone pointed at the page of the book so it can scan the image and utilize the augmented reality (which funnily enough I had never heard of until receiving this product, even though my hubby now tells me he has used apps that use augmented reality). 

If there are no pictures on the part of the page we have it pointed it, it will just sit there scanning, until we move the phone to show the image.

You do have to hold the page and the phone still, plus we have noticed this app works best in a room with decent lighting, or the image becomes a bit shaky. Once it has an image scanned, that image will pop up on the screen, becoming three dimensional, music and/or sound effects will play, and you will be prompted to tap the characters. 

The children love being able to take turns tapping the characters to hear them talk.

What we found quite impressive was that if we were holding the book and phone just right, it appears as if the images are popping right off the page, like a pop-up book.

Not only that, some of the characters and objects become animated. For example, we've noticed people walking around and fire from a sacrifice exploding off the page.

We've even noticed additional characters showing up.

If you couldn't tell, we are quite impressed by this new technology which makes stories jump to life. Our nighttime Bible time has definitely gained an extra dimension. What's been really cool is that there have been stories to go along with most of the passages we have been reading out of the Bible during our school time. We have been making our way through the time of the Judges and Kings with our core curriculum. Then at night we cuddle on the bed or the couch and find the coordinating story in the Planet 316 Story Bible and bring the story to life. Plus I think it helps the younger children that we get to reread the story in a way that is easier for them to understand.

We've read about Joshua, Gideon, Samson, Ruth, Hannah and her son Samuel, King Saul, David (both as a boy and as king), King Solomon, and the prophet Elijah. During Holy Week before Easter, we put our curriculum on hold, so at night we flipped to the New Testament to read some stories about Jesus.

If you would like to bring these Bible stories alive for your children, I would highly recommend the Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App. And if you don't have a tablet or phone to utilize the app, I would still recommend this Bible for young children. The stories are perfect for a short Bible time for younger children, and older children could even help read the stories. I love that the Bible references are given under the title of the story. You could even have older children find these passages and read them during their own Bible time. 

You can find Planet 316 on Facebook and Twitter.

Don't forget to click the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates had to say about this wonderful, interactive Story Bible. 

Planet 316 Story Bible and Bible App {Planet 316 Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #201: April 26, 2018

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around April 26th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on recipe posts for the posts I wanted to share, and the year before that, I shared past review posts. It was fun remembering some of the recipes and reviews I had forgotten about. This year I will be sharing random posts.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)

Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. Sadly, I am going to have to say, I will be deleting posts that do not follow the rules. The spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past. Please follow the guidelines.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Amber from Reviews, Chews & How-Tos shared 

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: April 25, 2018 (w/linky) : Fun With the Granddaughter

We had a lovely surprise visit from my son, daughter-in-law and our granddaughter Annika last week. Here are some of my favorite shots.

She loved this baby doll.

And Harold's teddy bear.

The dreaded Jack-in-the-Box

It actually didn't scare her at all.

Let's get that walking thing going now.

We ended up giving her Tabitha's old horsey.

And then there was the chocolate pudding...

Perhaps a bath?
In the sink of course.

I'm sure I have a picture of her dad taking a bath in the sink somewhere.

Some more play time.

Can't wait to see them again. We had a lovely time. Now, if we could only see the other grandchildren more often.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.

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