Non Fiction Book Review: Top Secret

Top Secret by Crispin Boyer

Top Secret: Spies, Codes, Capers, Gadgets, and Classified Cases Revealed
by Crispin Boyer
5 out of 5 stars

This book has everything you could ever want to know about spies and secret codes. You can learn the history of spies and secret plans, and how to crack ciphers and codes. There are sections about famous spies, gadgets, secret fortresses, and classified information!

I love the design of this book! There are colorful photographs on every page, and the information is divided into boxes that make it easy to read all those factoids and snippets of history.

I especially liked the section about myths vs. facts, that debunks a lot of common misconceptions about secret agents and what they do. And there are cute things like how to come up with your own secret handshake to share with your friends, and how to create your own disguise.

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Non Fiction Book Reviews: 101 Life Hacks and Surprising Stories behind Everyday Stuff

101 Life Hacks by Aubre Andrus

101 Life Hacks: Genius Ways to Simplify Your World
by Aubre Andrus (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars

This book has amazing hacks and tips for all kinds of things from making your own crafts to reusing objects in unexpected ways. You can make your own tablet holder, pom-poms, or tote bag out of old materials. You can reuse carbingers, rubber bands, or binder clips in new ways. There are recipes to cook, activities to do, and crafts to make. There are even studying hacks to help you do well in school.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Take Me Home Forests of the World

Take Me Home by Pavla Hanackova

Take Me Home: Forests of the World
by Pavla HanackovaLinh Dao (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars
Charlie encounters animals that have been illegally smuggled away from their homes, and he determines to help them find their way back to their native forests. The panda goes back to the bamboo forest, the koala prefers a eucalyptus tree, the lemur finds a home in the spiny forest of Madagascar, and the sloth loves the heat of a tropical rainforest. There is even an otter who prefers the kelp forest underwater!

This book includes factoids about all types of forests. It has illustrations showing amazing animals and birds that live in each location. We learn about all the beautiful trees in each type of forest, and how the animals survive harsh climates.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Take Me Home Waters of the World

Take Me Home by Pavla Hanackova

Take Me Home: Waters of the World
by Pavla HanackovaLinh Dao (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars
Annie discovers several animals washed up on a beach and determines to help them find their homes again. The penguin returns to the polar sea, and the alligator returns to the wetland swamp, a piranha find his home in the Amazon river, and a little frog goes hopping into a lake.

This book includes factoids about all the types of bodies of water from rivers to coral reefs. It has illustrations showing amazing animals and fish that live in each location. We learn about all the weird and wild fish in the sea, and how they use disguises to fool their predators. We learn about the deepest lakes, the coldest seas, and all the cool oceans in between.

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Board Book Review: Let’s Pretend Animal Hospital

Let's Pretend Animal Hospital by Nicola Edwards

Let’s Pretend Animal Hospital
by Nicola EdwardsThomas Elliott (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

In this board book, the veterinarians are busy in the animal hospital. They have to care for all kinds of animals from big horses to little bunnies. They need special tools like nail clippers, a stethoscope, and rubber gloves. They can set broken bones or just give a doggie a much-needed bath.

The children in the photos are caring for animals and dressed up like little vets. It’s so cute! Each page is full of bright pictures of different animals and the tools the vets use to heal them. And the pages all have different edges outlining the animals or background scenes, making it a lot of fun to turn the pages!

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Children’s Book Review: Bruno the Beekeeper

Bruno the Beekeeper by Aneta Františka Holasová

Bruno the Beekeeper: A Honey Primer
by Aneta Františka Holasová
3 out of 5 stars

This book gives detailed information about how to care for your own beehive. It includes the lifecycles of worker bees, drones, and the queens. We learn how to harvest honey, how to use the wax to make candles, and how to keep bees happy and healthy all year round.

The book is very text-heavy in some places. It does not read like a children’s picture book, but more like a textbook. It’s very interesting and thorough, and I enjoyed learning all about beekeeping. However, I don’t think you could really use this book to start beekeeping on your own. It doesn’t always explain the exact details of how to do things.

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Book Review: A Teeny-Tiny History of Philosophy

A Teeny-Tiny History of Philosophy by Francisco Mejia Uribe

A Teeny-Tiny History of Philosophy: A Children’s Introduction to the Great Thinkers of the Philosophical Tradition (Philosophy Friends! Book 7)
by Francisco Mejia Uribe (Goodreads Author)
2 out of 5 stars

This book presents famous philosophers through history and gives an overview of their most popular ideas and beliefs. These include Aristotle, John Locke, Karl Marx, Nietzsche, and Descartes, with many others.

I certainly don’t agree with many of the philosophies presented in this book, but I think this would be a great way to introduce these ideas to young people and start a dialogue about why some of these philosophies don’t actually work in real life. Some of them have merit, but don’t align with reality. They are like dreams that sound nice, but lead to destruction. Other beliefs in this book are rooted in reality and have sound logic behind them.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Marvelous Machines

Marvelous Machines by Jane Wilsher

Marvelous Machines: A Magic Lens Book
by Jane Wilsher
5 out of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered what makes machines work? How do they function and move? How do cell phones work? How do submarines dive and rise again? What happens when you start a car engine? This book explores common machines that we take for granted, and explains the basics of how they work using weight, friction, gravity, electricity, fuel, and magnetism. There are bicycle gears, microwaves, planes, telescopes, elevators, and even robots!

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Non Fiction Book Review: Science and Me

Science and Me by Ali Winter

Science and Me: Inspired by the Discoveries of Nobel Prize Laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine
by Ali WinterMickael El Fathi (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

This book gives short biographies of 13 Nobel Prize winners in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, and Medicine. From Marie Curie to Einstein, each page lists their discoveries, their challenges and setbacks, and their determination to succeed.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Sounds of the Sky

Sounds of the Sky by Moira Butterfield

Sounds of the Sky
by Moira Butterfield ( Author), Jonathan Woodward (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

You can explore bird habitats around the world, and learn all about the amazing creatures that live there. This book has 9 sounds of birds that live in forests, mountains, jungles, and even deserts.

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