Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Usborne Eggs And Chicks Review

We love the book Eggs and Chicks! We are in the middle of doing a unit study on, you guessed it, eggs and chicks, and we have found the book to be an invaluable tool in our home school.

We started out our unit study by having a man from church bring us a couple of eggs and a couple of chicks to our house so we could watch them hatch. We will have the chicks for two weeks and then he will come back and pick them up. Anyway, when he dropped them off we had two new chicks and two eggs. One of the eggs hatched the day he dropped them off and one has still not hatched, I'm not sure if it will.

The girls were so excited about the chicks, all day long they kept calling me over to see the chicks or the new cracks in the egg. You should have heard the squealing when the egg hatched! They sat there for an hour watching the new chick dry off, the feathers fluff up, and the chick gaining more stability and strength.

The book is great because it is written on young reader level 1, so even my 5 year old can read and understand it. It talks about all different kinds of birds and their eggs. Birds that nest, birds that are in the snow, unusual shaped eggs. It also talks about how the chick grows inside the egg and about the chick hatching from the egg. About learning how to fly, eating and growing up.

This book is also great because it is an Internet Referenced book. Meaning that it gives you at the back of the book the Usborne Quicklinks Website, where you can go and discover more information about eggs and chicks. You can watch a movie about birds, watch a video of chicks feeding and more!

The book is recommended for children 6 and up but younger children will enjoy looking at the pictures and having someone tell them about what they are seeing!

The Chicks!
                                                                                       My girls with the eggs in the incubator!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Usborne First Book Of The Recorder Review

Today my five year old daughter asked if I would teach them how to play the recorder as part of their home school lessons. Thankfully I already had the First Book Of The Recorder from Usborne, as well as two recorders on hand. So we were able to get started right away.

I only have the cheap recorders from the dollar store but I will be purchasing the Recorder Kid Kit really soon. The quality of the recorder looks better and it comes with a cleaning tool, carrying case, and what appears to be a chart.

I am extremely impressed with the ease that my girls, ages 5 and 6. are having using the book. They are learning how to read and understand music as well as how to play the notes on the recorder. There are familiar tunes and songs included in the book to develop their skills as a musician at a steady pace.

The book also includes games, puzzles, as well as fascinating facts about the recorder. The book is recommend for ages 6 and up and I would definitely recommend it to anyone, child and adult a like, who wants to learn how to play the recorder.

***It no longer comes in a kid kit but if you want a book of recorder music go here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Usborne That's Not My Mermaid Review

We love the That's Not My________ series from Usborne. I especially like the book from that same series titled That's Not My Mermaid.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a baby girl at home or knows someone else who does. These books are designed with a young baby in mind, they are built sturdily and can withstand a lot of abuse from young hands. The recommended age is 9 months and up.
This board book, as well as the series, is a touchy-feely book with each page has a new and different texture for the child to explore.
Even though it is recommended for a much younger age than my girls who are 5 and 6, both still enjoy looking, feeling, and reading this book!
This is a great book to give to any new mother or mother-to-be!

***This title is no longer being published.  But check out the huge selection of That's Not My ___________     books or mermaid books.

Usborne What's Inside You? Review

Usborne has this great series called the Usborne Starting Point Science. This series is geared towards young children ages 6 and up. The series has detailed pictures and easy to understand text.

I especially like the book from the series titled What's Inside You?This book was extremely helpful in explaining to my kids when I had to go in for my second open heart surgery to replace the mitral valve. I started with this book to help explain to them why the heart is important, what the heart does, and what was wrong with mine making it not work.

Some of the topics covered in this book are eating, where does your food go, breathing, skin, hearing and touching. There are also parts that cover inside your head, your skeleton, muscles, eyes, and what makes up your body.

This is a great book to start teaching your children what a complex thing their bodies actually are, and yet it's simple enough that they can understand what is being taught easily.

If you have a child who is interested in their body and what it can do and how it all works then I definitely recommend What's Inside You?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Okay this is my first time participating in the bloggy giveaways. I actually won something last time, me who never wins anything! So , I thought that I would go ahead and give some stuff away myself.

How it works it really simple, leave a comment about what your favorite Usborne book is. If you are new to Usborne don't worry, just visit my Usborne site and take a look around and pick your favorite. (Don't forget to sign up to win $50 in FREE books while you are there.) I will randomly pick the winner on April 27th and you will win the Usborne Hotshot Computers.

You don't have to be a blogger to win, just make sure that you leave an email address so I can contact you if you win! This giveaway will be open to everyone. International visitors are welcome to leave a comment and try to win this book as well!

That's it, pretty simple! Just don't forget to leave a comment about what your favorite Usborne book (no "please enter me," or "I want to win," etc.)--if you don't you won't be entered to win.

Also don't forget to check out my other blogs for more chances to win more FREE stuff!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Usborne Creepy Crawlies Review

I got the Usborne Creepy Crawlies book because my girls are fascinated with animals of any kind and size! Yes, even bugs. I will admit that this is not my favorite subject but I try to rein in my distaste for their sake!

They bought those cheep plastic bug viewer cage like things from the dollar store, and of course they wanted to go out and collect bugs. Luckily their dad was willing and able to take them on that adventure! After they got home from their bug walk, with bugs in tow, I was able to pull out this book and they were able to pour over the pages and learn more about bugs.

Usborne does have a Kid Kit that comes with a bug viewer that is made of much sturdier plastic, we have one the kits and I personally like the Usborne one because it is sturdier, though the cheaper ones,are bigger and well you really can't beat the price. And the kit comes with the book as well as the bug viewer. Usborne's bug viewer has the magnifying piece that is detachable so you don't even have to touch the bugs, more my speed! So it just depends on what you are going to use this book/kit for. If you already have the bug viewer, then go ahead and get the book from Usborne, you won't be sorry that you did! But if you don't have a bug viewer then I would spring for the complete kit, after all it's only a couple of bucks more!

***The book and kid kit are no longer published by Usborne.  If you would like to see the great selection of books about bugs or kid kits.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Usborne Learning Palette Review

I just recently purchased the Usborne Learning Palette base, and a few math cards to go with it. I admit I was a little leery about whether this would help reinforce what I am teaching the girls in our home school or if it would be just a waste of money and time.

Well, I can now wholeheartedly say that the Learning Palettes are great! The girls love them, my youngest now asks if we can play the math game with the circles! And I love it because it does really reinforce and help me teach new math concepts to the girls. The bonus is that it is self-correcting, once the kids know how to use it, they can use it when ever you and they want to.

That's right a little break for us busy moms to get something else done while they are having fun and learning at the same time! I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fun way to teach and reinforce math concepts.

This would be a great tool to use in the classroom at either a public or private school as well as in any home school.

You can either purchase the Base and the cards separately, thus giving you the chance to pick what your child needs to work on, or you can purchase one complete kit. Each kit comes with a learning base and a certain amount of cards, depending on what kit you choose depends on what cards you get.

With the Learning Palette base, pictured at the top left corner, you receive the base, 12 colored discs, instructions and a sturdy self-containing lid. The base works with all card titles that are available from Usborne books. You can even purchase replacement discs if any of your discs get lost! I just love the way Usborne thinks about the customers and their needs.

There are math and reading cards to choose from! I will admit that I do not have any of the reading cards, but we do have quite a few of the math concepts cards.

If you would like to check out the full line of Learning Palette cards, visit Usborne Books. Take some time and browse around!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Usborne Dinosaur Adventure Excavation Kid Kit Review

In our Homeschool we have been studying dinosaurs and careers that relate to dinosaurs. My oldest has now decided that she wants to be an archaeologist!

To let them have a small glimpse of how much work it is to uncover dinosaur bones and fossils, I went ahead and ordered them each a Dinosaur Adventure Excavation Kit from Usborne.

I got my oldest daughter the Triceratops Kit and the younger one got the Stegosaurus Kit. They had a great time breaking apart the clay and finding all the different pieces. Every time they would find a new piece they would let out a squeal of excitement!

Just to be forewarned, you will want to have newspaper covering the work area as it does get extremely messy. And if your kids are anything like mine, they will continue to smash the clay even after they had found all the pieces.

The kit comes with the lump of clay that has the "dinosaur fossil" hidden within, goggles for eye safety, a small hammer that also has a screwdriver in the handle, and a small brush to brush off all the dust and small pieces of dirt.
Also, depending on how old your kids are you might have to help them snap all the pieces together. My girls did require some help in snapping the pieces together, but we did get them together.

I highly recommend this to anyone who has a child that has expressed any kind of interest in dinosaurs. It is a great way to supplement their learning of dinosaurs! Make sure that you child is old enough to use a hammer without hurting themselves, the recommended age is 6 and up. Though I used it with my youngest who is 5, use you judgment about whether your child is mature enough to do this activity.

***The triceratops kit is no longer available through Usborne.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Usborne Fairytale Jigsaw Book Review

My two girls love this book! Yes, I too am seeing a pattern here, all the books that I have reviewed so far are ones that my girls adore reading. I guess it makes sense that the ones that come to mind when I sit down to write a review are the ones that my girls read over and over again!

Yes, there are a few that are not on the "I love list" but I have not yet found an Usborne book that we did not enjoy. But, I do not own every book that they have published, there are so many choices! That's another thing I love about Usborne, the amount of great choices that they have.

Anyway, back to the review. The Usborne Fairytale Jigsaw Book has six classic fairytales along with six jigsaw puzzles to go along with each story. Yes, the stories are familiar ones but the favorite part of this book is the jigsaw puzzles that are included.

Each jigsaw puzzle has a great cute cutout in the middle that goes along with the story. For example Cinderella has a glass slipper, Goldilocks a bear and so on. It is so cute and clever that I just smile. Okay, so I'm a little impressed by cute, creative, and clever things.

***Usborne no longer carries this title.  But there are plenty of Usborne Jigsaw titles as well as Fairytales.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Usborne Sticker Dolly Books Review

I got the Sticker Dolly Dressing Fairies and the Sticker Dolly Dressing Princesses for my two girls for Christmas. We ended up taking a 6 hour car trip to visit family after the holidays. Both my girls get carsick if they read in the car, makes the drive a little more miserable and boring.

So, I took their sticker books with us, and they had a ball dressing the fairies and princesses with the stickers form the book. They both sat in the back seat working on their sticker books giggling and sharing with each other!

The stickers are not reusable but they are repositionable. Meaning that they won't stay sticky forever but you can remove them and put them on others for a few times. Only two of the stickers are not able to stick anymore, and those are because they got dropped on the floor. The other stickers are still being able to be moved on and off.

The Sticker Dolly Dressing Fairies book is about three fairies named Rosie, Willow, and Hazel. You can follow the fairies through the meadow, the forest, and even into a winter wonderland. The book has 24 pages and 10 additional pages of stickers to make this book a truly interactive adventure.

The Sticker Dolly Dressing Princesses book is about three princess named Bella, Anya, and Tasha. Dress them up to go to a masked ball, a horse ride through the enchanted forest, or even a carriage ride. This book also has 24 pages and 10 additional pages of stickers for a fun experience.

The recommended age is 4 and up but any young girl who loves fairies and princesses will love these books. I even had fun doing the one page that I was allowed to do in their book!

There is a huge line of Sticker Dressing Books available.  Even some for boys including Pirates, Soldiers, and more!