Exploring education through books, travel, and adventure

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Mythologica- A Must-Read for Mythology Lovers

Mythologica- A Must-Read for Mythology Lovers

I have a new go-to recommendation for Greek Mythology! Mythologica- An encyclopedia of Gods, Monsters, and Mortals from Ancient Greece is an absolutely stunning book. As soon as I saw the cover I knew it would be one that we had to have. I am […]

Creative Writing Freebie!!

Creative Writing Freebie!!

Let’s talk about creative writing! We don’t use a fancy or formal creative writing curriculum. We mostly just write. That’s it. Putting ideas onto paper and watching them go! I love seeing where my kids’ imaginations take them! Lately, I have been experimenting with some […]

Alba and The Ocean Cleanup- A Beautiful Picture Book for Earth Day and Every Day!

Alba and The Ocean Cleanup- A Beautiful Picture Book for Earth Day and Every Day!

As you have probably guessed by now, my family and I have a *slight* obsession with the ocean and the beach. We spend as much time as possible there. We swim, play, build sandcastles, kayak, and sadly, we clean up a lot of trash. Alba and the Ocean Cleanup is an amazing picture book all about the importance of taking care of our oceans.

Alba and the Ocean Cleanup

I am so excited to share this new picture book with you. Written and illustrated by Lara Hawthorne, Alba and the Ocean Cleanup is the story of Alba. Alba is a fish and it is her birthday. Every year for her birthday she likes to find a beautiful treasure to add to her collection. She has the most gorgeous array of shells and coral of all different sizes and colors. This year, however, Alba has noticed that it is getting more and more difficult to find beautiful objects. Her ocean has become so full of trash! Alba is finally able to discover a shiny pearl. It is just out of her reach so she has so squish and squeeze to get to it. The pearl was lodged in the bottom of a plastic bottle…and now, so is Alba.

Thankfully for Alba, she ends up near the shore and a sweet girl named Kaia helps her. Kaia is determined that this shouldn’t happen anymore so she organizes everyone to help clean up. Alba is finally able to return home to her beautiful ocean that is nice and clean!

Our Thoughts

We absolutely fell in love with this book. I will start by saying the illustrations are just gorgeous. Such bright and vivid colors throughout the pages just bring the story to life. Author/Illustrator Lara Hawthorne has created a beautiful story that really sends home a clear message that we need to work together to clean up our oceans and take care of all of the creatures that call it home.

With Earth Day coming up in April, I thought it was an important time to share this book…though it is a perfect read for any time of year! You and your children will fall in love with Alba. I love that the tone of the book is helpful. It isn’t written in a preachy manner, it is very loving and really emphasizes the power of working together, and how even one person can make a difference!

For More Information

Alba and the Ocean Cleanup is available now for purchase. You can find it by following this link or clicking the picture below.

For more information on Author/Illustrator Lara Hawthorne, you can visit her website here.

Sending a huge thank you to my friends at Candlewick Press for sending a copy to me for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For more book recommendations for Earth Day, you can find my blog post from last year right here.

You’ve Got Dragons- The Perfect Book for Dealing with Big Feelings

You’ve Got Dragons- The Perfect Book for Dealing with Big Feelings

Fear, worry, and anxiety are things that many of us deal with on a daily basis! These feelings can creep up when you least expect them to and can really knock you for a loop! Now, imagine you are a child and these feelings start […]

Basic Invite- Your One-Stop Shop for Stationery, Graduation Invitations, and More!

Basic Invite- Your One-Stop Shop for Stationery, Graduation Invitations, and More!

(This post is sponsored by Basic Invite…all thoughts and opinions are my own) I am a stationery addict. The thought of beautiful papers, cards, envelopes, and fonts gives me all the warm fuzzies!! I was recently introduced to Basic Invite and was completely blown away […]

4 Beautiful New Picture Books for Spring!

4 Beautiful New Picture Books for Spring!

Springtime is here in Florida! Hopefully, it is on its way where you live as well!! I have 4 absolutely beautiful books to share with you that will make perfect additions to your springtime reading! My friends at Sleeping Bear Press sent these my way to share with you and I know you will love them as much as I did!! All of these beautiful books release on March 15th, 2020!

The Voice that Won the Vote- How One Woman’s Words Made History

First up we have The Voice that Won the Vote- How One Woman’s Words Made History by Elisa Boxer. I absolutely adore biographical picture books! If I had to choose one type of book to read for the rest of forever, I would choose biographical picture books! I especially love ones that introduce me to amazing people that I had never heard of before! The Voice that Won the Vote did just that!

The Voice that Won the Vote is the story of how women won the right to vote. Febb Burn was a woman from Tennessee who was determined to help women get the right to vote! She decided she would write a letter to the youngest lawmaker in Tennessee to urge him to “Vote for suffrage and don’t forget to be a good boy”. That lawmaker happened to be her son Harry! Well, like any wise young man, Harry Burn listened to his mother and changed his vote from NO to YES!

This is such a powerful story that really shows how 1 vote can make such a huge difference! It is also such an amazing way to show kiddos how much has changed in only 100 years! To think, that 100 years ago, women didn’t have this right that many take for granted!

We thought the book was beautifully written by Elisa Boxer and had absolutely lovely illustrations by Vivien Mildenberger! What a perfect read for election season as well!

Mae the Mayfly

The next book is absolutely charming. Mae the Mayfly is the story of little Mae. Mae has just hatched and like all other mayflies, she has a lot of life to live in just one day! Mae’s mother tells her how important it is to make the most of the time she has. With this, May sets out to do and see as much as she absolutely can.

This is such a special book that really highlights the importance of enjoying each moment, not taking life for granted, overcoming fears, and also helping those in need! Author Denise Brennan-Nelson not only created a beautiful story, but she wrote it in such wonderful rhyme. The book has a lyrical quality and was so fun to read aloud to my kids! The artwork was stunning! Artist Florence Weiser provided the illustrations and they were wonderful. They were so bright and warm and really fit perfectly with the story.

I love that the author included some information at the end about mayflies! This makes it such a wonderful addition to a homeschool lesson on life-cycles and insects!

Boats will Float

Do you have a boat lover at home? This is such a fun and lyrical book all about different types of boats. Boats will Float follows a day in the life of boats. We start in the morning with the early rising fishing boats and then wind down at the end of the day with a houseboat.

I really loved the rhyming in Boats will Float! It reminded me of the way the Llama Llama books read…and those were some of my favorites when my kids were little! Author Andria Warmflash Rosenbaum includes such a fun variety of boats and vessels throughout the pages that I know any kiddo who adores boats will fall in love with this! I love the inclusion of the back matter that explains the different types of watercraft.

Artist Brett Curzon illustrated Boats will Float so beautifully. The illustrations were so bright and whimsical. I especially loved all of the different colors used for the ocean water. The kiddos loved the undersea scenes as well because they were so bright and colorful!

Winged Wonders- Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery

Last up is Winged Wonders- Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery. Oh, this book is gorgeous. I love picture books that teach me something along the way and Winged Wonders certainly did that! For hundreds of years, people observed an amazing thing…swarms of monarchs would appear and depart like clockwork…but where did they go? Winged Wonders teaches us WHO made this amazing discovery and teaches us a lesson in working together in the process.

Winged Wonders is so beautifully and thoughtfully written by author Meeg Pincus. Gorgeous illustrations are by artist Yas Imamura and they just blew me away. I fell in love with everything about this book. I also loved the inclusion of more information about the migration discovery as well as info on HOW we can help! Such an important book!

Winged Wonders is going to be such a wonderful addition to any homeschool unit on butterflies or migration! I know some mamas who adore monarchs and this is going to be a homerun!

Sending a huge thank you to the team at Sleeping Bear Press for sharing these beauties with me!! All 4 books are available now!!

Penguin Sets Sail- A Beautiful Wordless Picture Book

Penguin Sets Sail- A Beautiful Wordless Picture Book

There is something so magical about a wordless picture book. Being able to pore over the pages of the book with my kiddos and each share what is happening is just awesome. I was recently sent a copy of a beautiful new wordless book called […]

SHOES- Blog Tour and Book Review!

SHOES- Blog Tour and Book Review!

One of my very favorite memories of childhood was spending time with my aunts. The highlight of our time together was me getting lost in their closets in piles and piles of shoes!! I can still picture my favorite ones…the ones that I would likely […]

Prevent “Summer Slide” with Daily Summer Activities from Evan-Moor

Prevent “Summer Slide” with Daily Summer Activities from Evan-Moor

Have you ever heard of the dreaded summer slide? As year-round homeschoolers, it is something we have hoped to avoid. I remember when we first started our homeschooling journey, we had A LOT to re-learn after our summer break! When you aren’t actively putting to use the things you have learned, they tend to slip further back into your mind and it can take a while to dig them out! Daily Summer Activities from Evan-Moor is an INCREDIBLE tool to help fight that learning loss of the summer months! Though we are year-round homeschoolers, we follow a less rigorous summer schedule. Daily Summer Activities is going to be the perfect tool to keep our minds fresh!

Daily Summer Activities Grades 7/8

I was recently given the opportunity to review Daily Summer Activities for Grades 7/8. My oldest is a current 7th grader who will be starting her 8th-grade year this fall. I was so blown away by this book. It was so much more comprehensive than I imagined. Let’s take a peek and see what it is all about!

Daily Summer Activities is a 10-week program that keeps your students brain sharp with only one or two activities a day. As I mentioned, this is such a comprehensive book. Students will be learning Reading, Math, Spelling, Critical Thinking, and Geography. Daily Activities are designed to not only reinforce the skills your child has learned over their past year but prepare them for what is to come in the next year of school.

One of my favorite things about Evan-Moor books is that they are NOT boring! These are gorgeous full-color pages and they are ENGAGING! Your kids will not moan and groan when they work on these pages. They are quick but effective! Each day is only page or half-page which means your child will not get overwhelmed. It is just enough to activate their brain so that learning takes place! We are so excited to begin the activities this summer!

The Layout

As I mentioned, there are 10 weekly sections in this book! Each week your child will have a chance to do the following:

  • Read It– this is a reading comprehension activity that will be either fiction or non-fiction and open-ended questions
  • Spell It– one spelling activity to cover the weeks spelling words
  • Language Lines– language arts activities dealing with grammar and usage
  • Write it Right– an editing activity that focuses on correcting punctuation, grammar, and spelling
  • Vocabulary– vocabulary building activity
  • Math Time– 3 math activities focusing on measurements, word problems, and fractions
  • Geography– map skills!
  • In My Own Words– creative writing
  • Mind Jigglers– critical thinking activity
  • Weekly Record– this is a place where you child can record a memorable moment for the week as well as track reading

Each page is bright, colorful, and engaging. The topics are fun and not boring. The activities offer such a variety of different topics that your child won’t be bored!

Our Thoughts

When we first opened the package from Evan-Moor, my daughter was ready to jump right into the book. It is so inviting! She didn’t want to wait until summer to begin working…and I must say, I think this would be a great book to use during the year as well. It is such a great refresher for what we are learning…and also a great way to discover any gaps in what we might not have covered!

Here are some of the things I love best about Daily Summer Activities:

  • Comprehensive– it covers SO many different topics and in 1 book…huge WIN in my book!
  • Engaging– she isn’t going to dread using this book because it is interesting!
  • Not-Overwhelming– the fact that each day she only has to do about a page of work is amazing. It isn’t a daunting task.
  • Excellent Price Point– only $12.99 for a 144-page book is an incredible value
  • Independent Work– as a mom of 3, I love that these books can be done with minimal help from me.

I cannot recommend Daily Summer Activities enough. Such a wonderful resource to keep your kiddos’ brains fresh over the summer…whether you are a year-round homeschooler or not!

Daily Summer Activities books are available in PreK/K, K/1, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, and 7/8.

For more information and for a complete flip-through of the books you can head over to Evan-Moor’s website here.

Did you know that by ordering on the Evan-Moor website you are able to earn rewards? Click here for more information!

I think you will love Daily Summer Activities…and I think your kiddos will as well. Please feel free to send me a message if you have any questions!

Organizing Our Homeschool Room with Quartet!

Organizing Our Homeschool Room with Quartet!

Organization is not my strong suit! As a homeschool mama, blogger, and book reviewer, I feel like my brain is always a jumble of thoughts, ideas, schedules, and projects! Life is just way too hectic to leave all of these thoughts tumbling around in my […]

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