Summary A little girl goes to the playground with her mom and imitates many different animals. The illustrations are collages which are engaging and thSummary A little girl goes to the playground with her mom and imitates many different animals. The illustrations are collages which are engaging and there is an element of “guessing game” as you can guess which animal the girl is imitating. A sweet book!
Recommended for This is a good book for the pre-school child, to introduce them to different animals and there is also an element of a guessing game that you can play with your child to guess which animal the little girl is pretending to be. ...more
Summary Carmelita goes to visit her Abuela Rosa and on the way she says hello to all the different people she meets in her neighbourhood in their own lSummary Carmelita goes to visit her Abuela Rosa and on the way she says hello to all the different people she meets in her neighbourhood in their own languages. The colours are vivid with a lot of opportunity to explore the images, signs etc. with your child. There are 9 different greetings in the book.
Recommended for Any parent who wants their young child to be aware of different cultures and to hear the sound of the language. Many kids find knowing how to do or say something others cannot, exciting, so that may be an additional attraction for your child....more
Summary This story is about Katie, a dog who loves the 3 kittens her owner brings home, but despite her best intentions something happens to hurt or scSummary This story is about Katie, a dog who loves the 3 kittens her owner brings home, but despite her best intentions something happens to hurt or scare the kittens when Katie tries to play with them or show how much she loves them. The pictures are simple and there are a lot of movement in them. An enjoyable story. Recommended for families with young kids and pets and are trying to explain to the children about how dogs and cats could play together.
By extension, it can also be used as a parallel for those families looking for a way to help an older sibling understand how to interact with a new baby without necessarily talking about children.
Recommended for Families with young children, who are adding new family members, either of the 4-legged or 2-legged kind. ...more
Summary Oscar is 6 months old, and his parents can’t wait for the whole year, so they’ve decided to celebrate his half-birthday. His parents pack OscarSummary Oscar is 6 months old, and his parents can’t wait for the whole year, so they’ve decided to celebrate his half-birthday. His parents pack Oscar up and his big sister and they head to the park for a picnic and cake. Eventually the other park goers join in with Oscar’s family to sing “Happy Birthday”. Oscar is biracial, and you see Oscar’s mother in dreadlocks. Very nice story recommended for any mixed family looking for picture books for kids who look like them. But even if you are not, the story is warm and the illustrations very detailed. I can imagine sitting with my youngster going through the pictures! ...more
Summary This is the story about Vasya Kandinsky, a Russian boy and artist who did what proper Russian boys did, until he could bear it no more and painSummary This is the story about Vasya Kandinsky, a Russian boy and artist who did what proper Russian boys did, until he could bear it no more and painted the sounds he heard. He suffered from synesthesia and interpreted sounds as colours and colours as sounds. It is well-written and the illustrations captivating.
Recommended for Any family with a family member who has synesthesia but can also be used to extend into broader themes for parents about being different, pursuing you dreams despite doing what “you are supposed to do”, budding artists, etc. I believe this is for slightly older kids than Kinder, maybe 1st - 3rd grade. ...more
6 little “ninjas” get dropped off at Dojo Daycare and mayhem ensues. They give their master a hard time as they get up to mischief until one niSummary
6 little “ninjas” get dropped off at Dojo Daycare and mayhem ensues. They give their master a hard time as they get up to mischief until one ninja realizes how unhappy they have made their master. This little ninja enlists the others to clean up and help. The noises in the book will make it a very entertaining book to read out loud.
Recommended for Very young children PreK - grade 1. I did find it very light on honor, respect and kindness considering that is what they were supposed to be showing in the dojo, but at least they did learn some examples of that by the end of the story. ...more
Summary Does the early bird really get the worm? This is the story of a little chick who is trying to get the worm and has to get help. And then more hSummary Does the early bird really get the worm? This is the story of a little chick who is trying to get the worm and has to get help. And then more help and is surprised at the end. An enjoyable little story, with great illustrations!
Recommended for Young children, pre-kinder to kindergarten. Not only will they enjoy the ryhthmn of the story, but also the counting and the surprise ending!...more
Summary The authors both have PhDs in computational neuroscience and this book is about their findings on the complexities and nuances of sexual desireSummary The authors both have PhDs in computational neuroscience and this book is about their findings on the complexities and nuances of sexual desire, why do we like what we like? The data is based on anonymized internet search data as well as some survey data. They provide some interesting analysis that could lead to specific academic research. This is not an academic treatise on the subject, but does identify themes about desire and proposes some explanations.
The Good This is a very well-written book, very dense but extremely accessible and even funny in parts. It is quite a feat the authors have accomplished to make such dense material readable, and even enjoyable.
The Bad Some reviewers find the use of the metaphor of Elmer Fudd to describe male sexuality and Miss Marple's Detective Agency for female irritating - I didn’t.
The Hmmmmm I didn’t feel comfortable with the authors using actual user handles as they talked about the searches. Also, the research methodology may not stand up to scientific rigour. I also understand that some groups who were contacted to respond to surveys, were not impressed at all - neither by the approach, intent nor the structure of the actual survey.
The Interesting Well, the book is full of insights. I understand more about MILF and GILFs and why that is a “thing”.
Recommended for Any person who wants to better understand their sexual selves or their partners’. This is not a light read though, even though the book is very well-written, it will take some time to get through. I found myself having to take breaks and noodle on ideas from time to time. To wit, there are over 100 pages of notes and bibliography in this book! Definitely there were things that resonated with me....more
Summary For a soldier, Chris Ryan writes well! I found this book after looking at the series, Strike Back. This is the story of John Porter, ex-SAS whoSummary For a soldier, Chris Ryan writes well! I found this book after looking at the series, Strike Back. This is the story of John Porter, ex-SAS who, after a hostage rescue goes wrong, finds himself turning to alcohol and ends up living on the streets. After 17 years (!) he is given a second chance when he realizes he could help the regiment on a mission to rescue a kidnapped journalist that he alone could do, and he takes that chance even if it could mean his death in order to redeem himself in the eyes of his daughter.
The Good Fast-paced, action-packed and a good story line. Chris Ryan knows his weapons, the territory, the military operations in the Far East, the geography, and it all makes for good fun reading. For sure this is not literature, but it is such an easy and gripping book, that I read it through quite quickly.
The Hmmmmm I did find John Porter’s ability to manipulate Hassad (the kidnapper in the novel) and Hassad’s cooperation to be a bit far-fetched when Porter needed his help to escape.
Favourite Quote “ ‘Like I said earlier, it sounds like I’ll need a plan B’, said Porter. ‘Because I can’t see them going for any of that bollocks. They’ve had more peace plans than I’ve had bottles of vodka, and if they wanted money, they would have asked for it by now.’ “
Recommended for If military action is your thing, then Chris Ryan is your author guy. His characters are simple and the world is very real that he writes about. Real, believable and after having read The One that Got Away you know he has lived that life of a soldier and survived....more
Summary I like the slow-pace small town thriller and this is one of them - another Jack Reacher novel. Some reviewers have talked about not liking theSummary I like the slow-pace small town thriller and this is one of them - another Jack Reacher novel. Some reviewers have talked about not liking the uncertainty of Reacher’s fate at the end, but that did not bother me. As usual Child has a good story up his sleeve and is not shy about using the tactic of stating the remaining time on the clock at the end of chapters or sections in the book to keep the tension up.
The Good Lee Child is a consistent writer and Reacher a likeable character who wants to do good and has the skills and intelligence to do so as he finds it. I found this novel, like others by Lee Child, to have plots and turns that make me go “Wow” but at the same time while far-fetched could be possible. I also liked that we got some of the back-story on Reacher.
Favourite Quote “I don't want to put the world to rights... I just don't like people who put the world to wrongs.”
Recommended for Anyone who wants a quick read thriller. I would read through this one a bit faster than I would something by Daniel Silva (Gabriel Allon), John Le Carre....more
Summary Like other diet books, Dr. Fuhrman stresses nutrient dense food, that is, food that have a lot of quality nutrients per calorie consumed. ThereSummary Like other diet books, Dr. Fuhrman stresses nutrient dense food, that is, food that have a lot of quality nutrients per calorie consumed. There are some items that the author points out specifically, that raw fruits and vegetables offer more/better cancer protection than cooked in a “good” oil like olive oil; and that the best diet is one that has a lot of raw foods (fresh fruit and vegetables). There is a fair amount of this book that talks about cancer and cancer prevention as well as sounding an alarm over meat protein, especially since high-protein diets do advocate protein from meat sources (albeit “quality” meats). For my other reviews of diet books, look here It Starts with Food and The Paleo Approach
The Good This diet book does not offer any unusual advice, and seems fairly mainstream. It does remind readers that vegetarian alone is not a good diet (so a nutrient-poor vegetarian diet is not good). The author includes a “Nutrient-density” line which helped me understand the relative ranking of foods based on his analysis. For auto immune diseases, the author also supports a dairy-free, gluten-free and predominantly plant-based diet.
The Bad Some of the recommendations is directly in contrast to Whole 30. So it will be very confusing to figure out what works for you. Also while the author includes recipes, he does not include the calorie count or nutritional content of the recipes.
The Hmmmmm In the beginning there is a discussion of waistlines and ideal weight, so not sure that will really encourage anybody because I imagine it may be quite a big goal for most people, even those who are fit and eat well.
Recommended for Anyone who is interested in a general understanding of good food choices and understanding some of the multi-causal root of cancer. I would recommend this as a first read before some more radical diets like Whole30, although if you read Whole30 first, you may be inclined to follow that. In the end, eat the best nutrient-dense food you can, be aware of your own family history of disease and make tweaks based on that. Food and impacts to an individual’s health and well being is a very complicated story. ...more
Summary I loved this book for the style and the language. Some books I enjoy for the plot, the story, the idea, and some for the way the story is told. Summary I loved this book for the style and the language. Some books I enjoy for the plot, the story, the idea, and some for the way the story is told. Kate Morton is a very good writer!
The story is about Laurel, who as a child had witnessed a violent crime involving her mother Dorothy. Now as her mother is dying, Laurel is trying to understand her mother’s past and what she witnessed, and how Dorothy’s story was so intermingled with her friend’s Vivien. So this is both a family story with a little mystery to it
The Good The author has a very easy style and is able to interweave past and present very easily. Usually I find it hard to read books that go back and forth, but Morton does a great job of filling out history and personalities with little stories.
The Hmmmmm I did wonder why Vivien said she could not have children. Looked like a deliberate red herring.
Favourite Quote There are a number of golden nuggets scattered throughout the book: “Life could be cruel enough these days without the truth making it worse.” “A true friend is a light in the dark. Vivien”
Recommended for Anyone interested in historical fiction and popular fiction with a little twist. ...more
Summary I had borrowed both Eat Right 4 Your Type and the cookbook specific to my blood type. I’ve provided a review of the author’s book Eat Right 4 Y Summary I had borrowed both Eat Right 4 Your Type and the cookbook specific to my blood type. I’ve provided a review of the author’s book Eat Right 4 Your Type which I did not think credible. I took a quick look through the cookbook, (read would be too strong a word), and the recipes weren’t horrible (that is, full of bad fats and dairy and red meats), but they did lack some key items I look for in any cookbook - nutritional content and preparation time. The latter I will forgive, but not the former. Doesn’t really qualify as a cookbook without that. This is basically a collection of recipes if you want to try something new since I don’t believe the case for blood type diet.
Recommended for If you are really interested in the best food for you, try an elimination diet, or read It Starts with Food and the Whole30 diet as a first step....more
Summary The author posits that blood types evolved based junctures in human development and that certain types of foods are better suited to specific b Summary The author posits that blood types evolved based junctures in human development and that certain types of foods are better suited to specific blood types. Each blood type has particular antigens and the lectins (a type of protein) in food can react to start the agglutination process (or clumping of blood cells), in order to reject it. So best case, some foods are neutral and some are actual harmful depending on your blood type. I’ve been reading a lot about diet and to be frank, I am not impressed by the lack of scientific support for either the evolution of the blood types or data regarding the food/blood type link. Although he gives references at the back, he describes the list as a collection of “the most important influences”. Well, I want data. I’ve looked around and there is no scientific study that says this diet works, and if it does, it may just be because of the diet itself (low-carb, generally healthier) rather than any relationship to your blood type. For example, if your particular blood type suggests you stay off wheat, and you feel better gluten-free, you may believe it is because of your blood type, but another blood type may also benefit from this.
I was told about this by a friend, so I borrowed this book from my library. I am glad I did not purchase!
The Good Couldn’t find good things to say.
The Bad No scientific basis for claims. It is all anecdotal.
The Hmmmmm Recommendations for exercise based on blood type? So tai chi for specific blood type but vigorous exercise for another? Makes no sense to me.
Summary The book is divided into 2 sections, and in Part 1, The Cause, the author introduces some background information on autoimmune diseases, and inSummary The book is divided into 2 sections, and in Part 1, The Cause, the author introduces some background information on autoimmune diseases, and introduces the Paleo Approach diet. In part 2, The Cure, she talks more about the details and also provides some easy references.
I have vitiligo which has spread, so I was interested in understanding dietary impacts to my condition. The approach is similar/same as the Auto Immune Protocol. I would recommend this book if you have a specific issue or even if you are trying to improve your overall health and are open to trying a diet modification. It can’t hurt!
The author goes into a lot of detail, and I sometimes stuck to the summary blocks since I’d already read It Starts with Food
The Good Easy to read, but it does include quite a bit of science detail. Most of which I skipped over. I wasn’t as concerned about how I got to where I was as much as I wanted to know how to fix it. The author also includes a number of testimonials where diet resolved a number of ailments.
The Bad The Auto Immune Protocol, or Paleo Approach as she calls it, is a very tough diet to follow. I'm on my second start, so we'll see.
The Interesting I mentioned in the review of “It Starts with Food”, some of the food recommendations to help with autoimmune disease may be inconsistent with what my doctor would recommend to reduce my cancer recurrence risk. In those cases, I will always prioritize cancer risk reduction.
Recommended for Recommended for anyone looking to try an alternative way to handling autoimmune disease if they have not tried diet previously. ...more
Summary I found out about this book when I started watching Strike Back which was incredible! I found Chris Ryan’s story to be an amazing testament to h Summary I found out about this book when I started watching Strike Back which was incredible! I found Chris Ryan’s story to be an amazing testament to human fortitude - mental and physical. His fitness level to be able to survive what he did was mind-boggling. I was enthralled by the mundane mechanics of preparing, how he came to be Chris Ryan. Some people have commented that they found him to be casting blame, I found just the opposite. It seemed he was taking pains to not cast blame and be as factual as he could remember. I enjoyed this, but will also look for Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab.
The Good Despite being non-fiction and about a terrible situation, I found the author to have a light touch and I was able to enjoy the reading, as much as can be said about this topic. I enjoyed reading about his intense connection and love he felt for his daughter, that was very sweet.
The Interesting I’ve often wondered about the mechanics of how soldiers survive in the field, and well now I have some answers after having read this book.
Recommended for If you are interested in this genre at all (military accounts) or even the triumph of the human spirit you would enjoy this book. For sure Chris Ryan is a very special soldier....more
Summary In this book, the authors talk about the science of the food that we are eating and recommend dietary changes resulting in positive life changeSummary In this book, the authors talk about the science of the food that we are eating and recommend dietary changes resulting in positive life changes. They propose an eating plan for 30 days in the first instance, the Whole30 plan, while monitoring how you feel, and any symptoms you may have. It is a paleo diet basically, with some additions if you are considering managing an autoimmune disease with diet.
Some reviewers may not be convinced by the science, as other studies have been discredited. From my perspective, what is key is how do you feel on the diet? Is it in opposition to what you know works for you/have been advised by a doctor?
The testimonials in the book, attest to positive changes/recession of symptoms in the instances of diabetes, Crohn’s disease and vitiligo (which I have) amongst others.
The authors talk about their 4 good food standards where food should not only promote a healthy psychological response, but hormonal as well and should support a healthy gut and immune system.
If you are interested in improving your overall health and diet this book is a good read, even if you decide to skip over the science-y stuff.
The Good The science behind the food and the different mechanisms at play is relatively simply described, however you don’t need to understand the science to follow the plan. Also, this portion of the book is self-contained, so you can skip over that part and go straight to the Whole30 Program and meal planning.
Many of the paleo recipes and weekly meal planning includes red meat more than once a week. Being a cancer survivor I am very wary of eating that much red meat, so it would be more of a challenge for me.
The Interesting Some of the food recommendations to help with autoimmune disease may be inconsistent with what my doctor would recommend to reduce my cancer recurrence risk. In those cases, I will always prioritize cancer risk reduction.
Favourite Quote “There is not a single health-promoting substance present in grains that you can’t also get from vegetables and fruit.”
Recommended for Absolutely recommended for anyone looking to understand how food choices impact the body and brain, as well as those who are looking to tweak their diet and address specific health issues. I plan on starting this to manage my vitiligo. ...more
Summary I’ve often wondered how come just a few of Roald Dahl’s books have achieved such popular status, while some, although having great reviews, havSummary I’ve often wondered how come just a few of Roald Dahl’s books have achieved such popular status, while some, although having great reviews, have not been popular reading among my peer group. Well, now I understand. Matilda is a gifted little girl whose parents are ignorant and hateful and treat her atrociously. When she starts school she is placed in the classroom of Miss Honey who realizes what an exceptional child Matilda is, and takes an interest in her. However, when Miss Trunchbull, the evil head mistress, goes after Miss Honey, Matilda fights back. I did cringe at some of the language (see the Hmmm below)
The Good The glee on little kids’ faces as Matilda gets her own back at her parents through acts of revenge, how she gets back at Trunchbull and the satisfying end. The book does seem to have clear lines about good and bad.
The Hmmmmm I won’t say there is a bad, it is just that in this day and age there is no book for kids I’ve read recently that describes the characters as extremely as this one does. For example, here is Miss Trunchbull addressing Matilda who she thinks has put something in her water: “ ‘Who me?’ Matilda said. ‘What have I done?’ ‘Stand up, you disgusting little cockroach! You filthy little maggot! You are a vile, repellent, malicious little brute!’ ” Remember, Matilda is 5 years old. The book abounds with this construction and exchanges like this. One minor note, one of the characters is supposed to have committed suicide, so if your child does/does not know this word you may need to have some discussion on this.
Recommended for Kids. My son, who was 8 at the time, enjoyed it, but did not quite know what to make of it. Charlie and the Chocolate factory was definitely easier to enjoy unconditionally. In this book, like other Roald Dahl books, bad people get their just desserts and will make for juicy and animated discussions with your children. Indeed your kids may even want to try out some of the words in the book on you, the hapless parent!
Publishers Weekly has a very good summary of why this is popular - because cringe is what I did! “Adults may cringe at Dahl's excesses in describing the cruel Miss Trunchbull, as well as his reliance on overextended characterization at the expense of plot development. Children, however, with their keenly developed sense of justice, will relish the absolutes of stupidity, greed, evil and might versus intelligence, courage and goodness. They also will sail happily through the contrived, implausible ending.”...more
Summary Having now completed The Beyonders trilogy, I can say that I enjoyed the series!
This is the final book in the trilogy (although I should say thSummary Having now completed The Beyonders trilogy, I can say that I enjoyed the series!
This is the final book in the trilogy (although I should say that the author left the possibility of more adventures for both Jason and Rachel).
The book begins with everyone in Mianamon, where the oracle delivers her final prophecy that guides them. Of all possible futures, there could be one where the evil Emperor Maldor is defeated and Lyrian is saved. After the oracle dies, they all set of on their quests and they must separate into two groups - Rachel in one and Jason in the other and they both have to succeed for Maldor to be beaten. They “chase the prophecy”
The Good More of the backstory of Nedwin, who I find such a sympathetic character and his end was quite sad, but honorable and I appreciated that Mull gave him his due. The parallel adventures of Rachel’s group and Jason’s group allowed the pace to move along without too much slow time in between. I also found that switching was not very distracting as it can be sometimes between story lines and POVs.
The Mmmm Why is there no table of contents? Is this a new thing? I am not liking that if so.
The Interesting Ferrin’s end and Nedwin’s end. As an adult I think I was a lot more affected by the end of their stories than a teen may be.
Favourite Quote “We use lies to take the edge off life. We dream of a better tomorrow. We hide from our regrets and inadequacies. “ I liked this quote, because there is a fair bit of introspection in this book - more than you’d expect in a fantasy book for teens!
Recommended for Teens, young teens. In this installment, since both Jason and Rachel play pivotal roles I think this would appeal to both girls and boys. There is a sense of destiny and this was ordained, but Mull did a good job of taking pains to point out that some things may have been prophesied but at the end of the day, both Jason and Rachel had to have courage and do what they needed to do. ...more