Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

QUICK NOTE...Update: 2/19/19

Still working through things. We were right in the path of Hurricane Michael (like so many others), and while the family is safe (pups, and parents), the house didn't fair as well. Baby steps back into the blogging world and started to grow, so you know, a post here, a post there, and away we go! Hope you stay along for the ride!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

BACK TO SCHOOL the bookish way!

HI there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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Today, we're heading back to school, or rather the kiddos in my local area are, and although it may be time for pencils, teachers, and the whole lot, it doesn't mean things have to get boring.  No sir!  When many kids think about required reading selections, they start to yawn...I mean, who wants to be MADE to read a certain title, you know?  So, the trick is to let the educators keep the schoolwork interesting, while you and yours make the titles explored outside the classroom just as fun (and sometimes, educational!).  With that in mind, we're diving into a WORLD OF BOOKISH FUN today, starting with a duo from Usborne Books.  If you're anything like me, you've seen this publisher's name in bookstores as well as at book fairs and the like, so here's a little about the company for the curious at heart...

Usborne Books & More is a division of Educational Development Corporation (EDC), a well-established company that has twice been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of The 200 Best Small Companies in America and three times by Fortune Magazine as one of America’s 100 Fastest Growing Small Companies, and has been in existence for over 30 years. 

On March 1, 1989, the direct selling division was created to concentrate exclusively on selling Usborne books. In late 2008, EDC acquired Kane Miller Publishing, an internationally known publisher of children’s books with over 20 years in the industry. 

Today, Usborne Books & More distributes books through thousands of independent consultants who sell directly to the consumer via home shows, direct sales, book fairs, and web sites. 


My consultant is Ashley Sanders, whom I "met" when a friend/former coworker threw a virtual Usborne party not so long ago...totally picked up the first three books in The Gateway series...and she's also the one that connected me with the two titles I'm bringing you today.  First up the (slightly) more educational of the two...

Sara Hurst & Lucy Cripps

This series takes readers into the wilds of our world with fascinating looks at places, people, and animals, both inside AND out.  How so?  Well, the series name itself will give you one clue...Shine-A-Light.  You see, with every turn of the page, readers are invited to read, yes, but also to expose the underside of the page to a light source...and you'll be AMAZED at what you uncover!  For example, I'm reading a page from the Dinosaurs edition about Archaeopteryx (an early kind of bird, as it informs me) with a "lovely" illustration of the creature, and a description of its beak, teeth, and feathers, when the question is posed... "what would it look like without them".  What indeed, but a simple shine of light behind the page and BOOM...instant xray...and we're seeing the skeleton of the critter, intact!  Talk about edutainment!

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Billy and the Mini Monsters, Book 1
Zanna Davidson
Illustrated by
Melanie Williamson

This was a rip roaring, stinkified, sneakified, monster filled adventure through the house and drawers of young Billy.  Yes, I said drawers...well where else would you suggest that a pack of WILD, WOOLLY, ULTRA (not) SCARY mini monsters live...hmm?  That's what I thought, anywho...from start to finish, readers of all ages are in for a treat!  Warning, it gets smelly at times, but it does a good job in reminding you to keep your room clean or at the very least, keep the food out of the bedroom, as well as beware of disappearing footprints, clothes that appear to have been handled by someone HUNGRY, and perhaps not to ignore that strange noise you heard across the way.  It might not lead to something uber scary, but it could be the start of a hairy, monster filled adventure!

With full color illustrations throughout, it's a cross between a story book and a comic book, with all the good times, laughs, and mystery one could stand...and what's more, it's the beginning of a series, so once you get hooked, there's more to discover!

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Now, Usborne is one of MANY publishers out there, navigating the waters of edutainment for kiddos of all ages, so it would only be fair to include a handful of others too...and trust me, you're in for some FABULOUS treats!  First, another tasty little cake...I mean, story book, perfect for classroom or at home Story Time...

Ryan T. Higgins
Disney Hyperion

A great way to kick off the school year as little ones are navigating the hallowed halls of learning with a BIG reminder of what NOT to do to your fellow classmates...

I was immediately drawn in by that little dinosaur on the cover.  I simply HAD to know what was making this little gal's eyes water, face frown, and mouth...water?  Yes, water...drool actually...but I mean what else was she suppose to do when her classmates were pretty much one of her favorite treats and oh so tasty?  Until one day the taster becomes the tastee, helping our gal Penelope learn exactly what it feels like on the other side of the food chain.  Hey, sometimes a lesson is learned easier by experience, even if it does leave teeth marks.  😉

With full color illustrations throughout, this is one story book that will be reached for time and time again....even when school breaks for summer once again.

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Now, we're jumping back into the educational arena, but only just, because all three of these titles have EDUtainment written all over them.  Okay, well not literally because it'd be awful hard to read anything but that word if it was quite literally written all over it, but you know what I mean.  *ahem*  So, let's see what this trio has in store...

Dr. Seuss
Random House Books for Young Readers

This over-sized board book lets even the youngest readers begin learning without worrying about tiny hands and fragile pages.  Throughout its pages, we younger version of the Cat in the Hat takes wee ones on an exploration of words with matching images in classic Seussical style.  From the sun and clouds to turtles and fish, a good many of your favorite characters are represented so that as they grow, they become recognizable old favorites that can be appreciated by every generation.

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Danica McKellar
Illustrated by
Alicia Padron
Crown Books for Young Readers

Another board book selection, but instead of learning our words, we're learning our numbers and how they combine to make ever larger numbers from here to infinity!  Each tabbed page starts with an addition problem, but grows when told through the story unfolding in this bath time adventure.  Take tells the tale of when two other tails join our starring baby for some splish splashy fun, bringing the tubs grand tally of occupants to 3 and no longer 1!  The full color images will delight while the simple addition problems posed will help take the potential scare factor out of math as wee readers grow.  Speaking of removing the scare factor...

We've another title from this author on this same topic, but for more advanced learners....

Danica McKellar
Illustrated by
Maranda Maberry
Crown Books for Young Readers

This time around, we're tackling addition and subtraction, but we're not alone.  This is not your average math assist book, but rather an illustrated learning adventure!  We travel the pages with a comic book style illustration of Danica, herself, and one Mr. Mouse.  With every turn of the "forbidden pages" (you were warned by the title NOT to open the book, after all), you get deeper and deeper into this edutainment release...from counting ten stinky mouse toes (because Mr. Mouse only has four on each of his hands/front paws) to learning about dollars and cents (with an ever critical, yet humorous Mr. Mouse!), and everything in between, it makes math as much about the visuals as it is about the numbers...and shares a few "tonbread" of smiles along the way...

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Special thanks to all the publicists and publishers that provided books for review.  (THANKS!)  Feel free to click through the links provided above for more information about the titles, authors, illustrators, or publishers, and be sure to snag a few for your own reading AND learning pleasure!  You're never too old or too young to learn something new.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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