Holiday Gift Guide

All these books and products are available on my Amazon Gift Guide List: Affiliate Link:

Use the Discount Code SHOPSMALL to get 30% off your Familius order from now until Nov. 30th!!!

Every book and product in this video was sent to me from a publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

Book Review: Be the Dragon

Be the Dragon by Catherine J. Manning

Be the Dragon: 9 Keys to Unlocking Your Inner Magic: Roar with Confidence and Slay Your Fears with Quizzes, Quests, and More!
by Catherine J. Manning
5 out of 5 stars

Go on a journey of discovery to find out what kind of dragon you are! This book has short stories about dragons who demonstrate some character trait of bravery, kindness, patience, or friendship to teach the reader how to be a real dragon in your own life.

There are several quizzes throughout the book so that you can find out what type of dragon you are, what type of roar you have, what dragon power is your biggest strength, and what problem-solving style you use best. You can do activities and crafts to complete a quest and build your creativity.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
by Robert FrostVivian Mineker (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

I am in awe of how beautifully this book captures the majesty and mystery of Robert Frost’s poem. The narrator stops in the woods to reminisce about his life, and he is visited by the ghostly memories of his family and friends who have departed. They all come vividly back to him. He cherishes those memories of the people he has lost. He has one of those moments of inspiration when you realize that your journey has led you to a place of beauty and heart’s ease; all these things are explored in this lovely picture book.

Continue reading

Puzzle Train Reviews: Christmas and Alphabet

Puzzle Train Alphabet by David W. Miles

Puzzle Train Alphabet
by David W. Miles (Artist)
5 out of 5 stars
This adorable puzzle goes through all the letters of the alphabet with beautiful illustrations of animals and items that begin with each letter. The puzzle creates one long train with the alligator conductor at the front driving the engine of the train.

Each letters connects to the next one by some action taken or item shared between them. “Newt naps in the nest for Owl. Owl orders oatmeal for Pig. Pig plays piano for Quail.” I love that this gives the child a clue about which letter of the alphabet should come next, and they can find the correct puzzle piece.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: The Robin and the Fir Tree

The Robin and the Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen

The Robin and the Fir Tree
by Hans Christian AndersenJason Jameson (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

A fir tree hears from the robin about the wide world of men, and wishes that he could go on an adventure, but his roots keep in him in the forest. One day men with axes come to take the fir tree into town, and the fir tree is decorated for Christmas. After the Christmas festivities are over, the little robin looks for his friend and finally finds him cast aside for firewood. However the fir tree is content to have had his great adventure at last. The robin plants a pine cone from his friend, and a new little fir tree grows up in the forest.

Continue reading

Activity Book: Where’s Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search

Where's Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search by Martin Handford

Where’s Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search
by Martin Handford
5 out of 5 stars

Waldo and his friends are surrounded by hundreds of Santas in costume. There are a lot of festive activities going on as the Santas prepare for the big sleigh ride. And somewhere in the chaos of reindeer, presents, and Christmas trees, Waldo is hiding among all the red and white. However, each scene is covered by a dark screen, and you have to use the spotlight search tool, a handy cardboard wand, to “light up” the scenes.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Good Night, Toucan

Good Night, Toucan! by Joanne Partis

Good Night, Toucan!
by Joanne Partis
5 out of 5 stars

Toucan invites his friends over for a sleepover, but then begins to worry that his decorations and snacks aren’t special enough. He flies through the jungle looking for more fluffy bedding, more colorful decorations, and sweeter snacks. But as Toucan is bringing all the “better” things back to his tree, he is overloaded with too much weight and disaster strikes! When Toucan’s friends see his ordinary decorations and plain snacks, they don’t mind. The only thing that makes a sleepover truly special is having it with their friend Toucan!

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Violet’s Tempest

Violet's Tempest by Ian Eagleton

Violet’s Tempest
by Ian EagletonClara Anganuzzi (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars

Violet has been cast in the part of Ariel in her class’s production of The Tempest, but Violet doesn’t feel light and airy like the fairy she is supposed to be playing. She feels heavy with sadness and worry. Her voice is a whisper, and she is petrified with stage fright. What can she do to find the courage to act in the play?

I loved that Violet’s grandmother encourages and guides her as Violet navigates this internal “tempest”. Her grandmother is so kind and patient. Violet’s uncles, who appear to be a homosexual couple, also try to encourage her.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Mi Casa is My Home

Mi Casa Is My Home by Laurenne Sala

Mi Casa Is My Home
by Laurenne SalaZara Gonzalez Hoang (Goodreads Author) (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

Lucia invites the reader into her home, where she shows us the living room where she makes blanket forts, the kitchen where she helps her mother cook, the patio where she plays with her cousins, and her brother’s room and her own room where they laugh together. Lucia describes her beautiful family and all the fun things they do together!

I love the way this book explores two different cultures and how they blend together in one big crazy family. Lucia has family in Puerto Rico and in Spain, and all her cousins and aunts and grandparents come to visit. The text is mostly in English with many words and phrases in Spanish.

Continue reading