Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 {Book Review: Hidden Women}

Multicultural Children’s Book Day

*This post contains affiliate links, these links cost nothing to you, but do help this blog stay afloat as well as help my book addiction. Thank you!

Happy Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Today, January 27, 2018, marks the 5th Multicultural Children’s Book Day! This is the second time I have had the pleasure to review for MCBD, you can read my post from 2014 here . Multicultural Children’s book day is founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Their mission is to raise awareness that there is a lack of diversity when it comes to the shelves of libraries at home and in schools, as well as to make diverse books assessable to children.

Want to learn more about Multicultural Children’s Day with Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom?

Here’s an interview she recently did with Miss Panda Chinese.

Hidden Women: The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped America Win the Space Race

  • Reading Level 3-5
  • Interest Level 3-7 (I found it interesting too, and I’m quite a few years away from 7th grade.)
  • Narrative Nonfiction
  • 112 Pages
  • Author Rebecca Rissman (Award-winning children’s author from CHICAGO!)

From Capstone Publishing on Hidden Women:

“Tells the gripping story of four female African-American mathematicians who literally made it possible to launch US rockets–and astronauts–into space. Tells the thrilling tale of how each woman contributed, the struggles and resistance each experienced, and the amazing results. Consultants currently work for NASA.”

My Thoughts on Hidden Women The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped America Win the Space Race

I read Hidden Women The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped America Win the Space Race on the heels of reading Dan Rather’s What Unites Us, which felt like a continuation of the history lessons I learned from Mr. Rather, but more with women’s influence.

I enjoyed learning from this book meant for a younger audience, it just shows that we can always learn more about our history, or as Leslie Knope would say “knowledge of herstory”. For instance, I had no idea that once a woman was married she was more than likely going to be fired and being pregnant certainly meant you would be fired. It seems like NASA was different in that regard, they were more forward-thinking when it came to women. Nevertheless, if you weren’t a white woman you were treated quite differently. Sadly, there was a racial divide within. Thankfully, not everyone was closed minded, some people didn’t see color, they saw educated hardworking women.


Empowered Women

One of my favorite parts of this book was reading about Miriam Mann. I adored her spunk and drive to break glass ceilings despite being a black woman in a white male-oriented world. Mann would steal “COLORED” signs from the cafeteria as her own silent protest. Eventually, she would not have to do that, because NASA became desegregated.

It was empowering to read about the four women mathematicians. I found myself getting upset (just like I did when watching Hidden Figures), which had nothing to do with the narration of the true story, it had to do of course with our history and our lack of respect for people based on race.

The Perfect Pick for MCBD

Hidden Women is a perfect book to celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day, because it embodies everything that this day is. It’s reading stories of cultures that are sometimes hidden. Also, it’s finally getting the ticker tape parade to celebrate the achievements of those that deserve it. It’s blowing the dust off the book in the back to learn how we got this far into the future with the help of many cultures. It is acknowledging that this world is beautiful and colorful.

Multicultural Children's Book Day

I am thankful to be a part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Thank you, Mia and Valarie! Growing up I didn’t see many books that represented me or my family, comparatively, here were are in 2018 and sometimes it’s still tough to find those books. Some say you should write the book if you can’t find the book; trust me, this is something I have considered. I’m glad Mia has decided to do it – CONGRATS, MIA!

Reach for the Stars

Kids should take away from this book that they must always reach for the stars. It doesn’t matter what people say or think about them because of their gender or race.

In honor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Hidden Women and empowering young minds I’ve created this printable.


2018 MCBD Medallion Sponsors

HONORARY: Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild

PLATINUM:Scholastic Book Clubs

GOLD:Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Loving Lion Books, Second Story Press, Star Bright Books, Worldwide Buddies

SILVER:Capstone Publishing, Author Charlotte Riggle, Child’s Play USA, KidLit TV, Pack-n-Go Girls, Plum Street Press

BRONZE: Barefoot Books, Carole P. Roman, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dr. Crystal BoweGokul! World, Green Kids Club, Gwen Jackson, Jacqueline Woodson, Juan J. Guerra, Language Lizard, Lee & Low Books, RhymeTime Storybooks, Sanya Whittaker Gragg, TimTimTom Books, WaterBrook & Multnomah, Wisdom Tales Press

2018 Author Sponsors

Author Janet Balletta, Author Susan Bernardo,  Author Carmen Bernier-Grand, Author Tasheba Berry-McLaren and Space2Launch, Bollywood Groove Books, Author Anne Broyles,  Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Eugenia Chu, Author Lesa Cline-Ransome, Author Medeia Cohan and Shade 7 Publishing, Desi Babies, Author Dani Dixon and Tumble Creek Press, Author Judy Dodge Cummings, Author D.G. Driver, Author Nicole Fenner and Sister Girl Publishing, Debbi Michiko Florence, Author Josh Funk, Author Maria Gianferrari, Author Daphnie Glenn, Globe Smart Kids, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Author Quentin Holmes, Author Esther

Honorary Author Sponsors: Author/Illustrator Aram Kim and Author/Illustrator Juana Medina

2018 Author Sponsors 

Iverem, Jennifer Joseph: Alphabet Oddities, Author Kizzie Jones, Author Faith L Justice , Author P.J. LaRue and, Author Karen Leggett Abouraya, Author Sylvia Liu, Author Sherri Maret, Author Melissa Martin Ph.D., Author Lesli Mitchell, Pinky Mukhi and We Are One, Author Miranda Paul, Author Carlotta Penn, Real Dads Read, Greg Ransom, Author Sandra L. Richards, RealMVPKids Author Andrea Scott, Alva Sachs and Three Wishes Publishing, Shelly Bean the Sports Queen,  Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Gayle H. Swift Author Elsa Takaoka, Author Christine Taylor-Butler, Nicholette Thomas and  MFL Publishing  Author Andrea Y. Wang, Author Jane Whittingham  Author Natasha Yim

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, and most of all for their tireless work to spread the word about this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

DON’T MISS THE MCBD TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs:

MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.

Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) at the party!

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Don’t forget to connect with us on social media! Be sure to look for and use our official hashtag: #ReadYourWorld.

Posts you may like: 

BookLover, Family

Parenting with Purpose {Book Review}

My Promise #PromiseToBaby

I’ve been a parent for 13 years. Did you hear me.. 13 YEARS!??! Wow, that’s a long time. I remember holding my newborn daughter (well, all of them for that matter) and thinking she was so tiny, sweet, angelic, and perfect! I wanted to keep her (all of them) that way forever. Of course that didn’t happen, she grew, and with each stage of life I was in awe once more. I often hear, “You have a 13 year old, good luck!” Luck? What is this luck for? Do you mean good love? I love my kid, I love her wit, and yes, she may not be as angelic with her  touch of sass appearing every now and then, but that doesn’t mean I need luck.  What I need is love, work, and patience. I need to remember that as much as I want respect, I need to give respect. It’s easy for us as parents to forget that sometimes. I can honestly say, sometimes, unintentionally I’m snotty. I admit it, I can be a snotty Mommy. I need to halt that behavior in myself, because let’s be honest: what I do, they do. Our babies are mirrors of us reflecting back on us, we need to say and do the things we want them to see and do. ANNNND that’s why I love Nina Garcia’s blog: Sleeping Should Be Easy, she speaks about parenting, she uses real life examples (usually from her own life with her three children), she’s a straight forward–no jargon, and her parenting style seems quite similar to mine.


Nina's Blog: Sleeping Should Be Easy

With so many wisdom nuggets throughout her blog, it makes perfect sense to me that Nina would write a book to share her parenting tips. Again, I’m not new to parenting, but I’m also not too old or set in my ways to see where I could readjust my parenting style. While reading Nina’s book Parenting with Purpose: How to Raise Well-Behaved Children and Build a Strong Parent-Child Relationship, I found myself shaking my head in agreement with so many of Nina’s words, “Yes, I do that!” but then there were a few things that made me think “Uh oh… I need to fix that.”

I do not read parenting books. I visit a few parenting blogs and if I see a good article in a magazine on parenting, I read it. I haven’t picked up a parenting book in Y E A R S, but this book seemed different it was inviting and it made perfect sense!

What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful- Brene Brown

Nina is not a doctor, psychologist, or child therapist, she’s a mom. Sometimes the best advice, in my opinion, comes from other mothers. I totally would listen to a doctor, psychologist, or child therapist, but only if they weren’t trying to do a one-size-fits-all approach or straight from some medical book that was published decades ago, you feel me? Nina reiterates throughout the book that parenting is NOT one-size-fits-all, and that makes me happy! Why, happy? Because I have three kids, and I know that I cannot parent them the same, so it’s nice to see that others get it.

Poetry Night|Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress {homeschool}

I also really enjoyed the positivity factor that is sprinkled throughout this book. If you know anything about me, you know that I TRY to keep it positive. One of the reasons I pulled my littles  my younger two children out of school last year to homeschool was because of the LACK of positivity in their learning environment. I wanted to provide my children with an encouraging, loving, and happy learning environment and I did that. (They are currently enrolled in a new school in a different state, this school thus far is wonderful: happy, positive, and encouraging.)


I could honestly keep going on and on, but you should READ THE BOOK!!


*I was given a copy of Parenting with Purpose: How to Raise Well-Behaved Children and Build a Strong Parent-Child Relationship for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are my own, you know this to be true. 😉


Since we’re on the topic of parenting, what about us Moms? Self care is so important too! Sometimes we forget about ourselves, mothering is about others, but we need to remember US. My friend Bev has put together a workbook to get you inspired to create, which is a wonderful form of self care, truly it is. The Busy Mom’s Guide to Creativity is a book I needed during what I call my gray period, creativity helped pull me out. The workbook has interviews, 7 art prints with inspirational creativity quotes, tons of tips, and if you love me… I’m in there too. 🙂 Seriously, this is a wonderful and thoughtful book written by a mama who inspired and creates every day.


BeKind, Book Club, BookLover, Currently

Currently {March}

This January I jumped on the Currently bandwagon, I almost forgot to catch it this month! March has totally felt like one big blur!! So, here’s what I’ve been up to this March.. Currently.

Currently|Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress



Listening: If you have been around long enough you know I LOVE MUSIC. I listen to iTunes Radio almost everyday but today I have YouTube playing old school club music for me. My daughter (the 9yo) was singing “It’s a fine day people open windows…” which made me pull up this song on YouTube:

But this Electronica mix just came on, the song by Alice DeeJay, Better Off Alone, reminds me of good times with my girls Shell & Sylvia.

Reading: So, I have a confession… remember how I told you I started this book, I did, but I stopped.  I did not stop because I did not like the book I stopped because my husband and I agreed we would read the book together and work on DYING EMPTY together.  However, eh hem, somebody is still waiting on somebody.


Last weekend I read Wonder for Page Turners. You can read my thoughts here and here. But I’ll tell you here… I LOVED THIS BOOK! The book, Wonder, was sweet.

If you should ever walkaway with any knowledge of me, know that kindness truly matters to me.  My heart is on my sleeve, I care and love people even if they don’t love me back.  I appreciated this book for exemplifying kindness to kids. I’m glad both of my girls have read this book, I hope they will hold the lesson in their hearts FOREVER. Kindness matters. People Matter.


I’m still reading this book with the my students (my son and daughter). Last month we read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, we’re keeping with Dahl. We’re also reading crazy amounts of poetry books to help with our poetry lesson.

Current Reads MarchApril

I got pretty ambitious at the library Friday and picked up these books my friends suggested.  I know I’m behind with Yes Please it’s so last year. BUT I’m loving it!! I don’t know why I waited this long to read it. Let’s hope I can find time to finish Yes Please, because I really want to read my other picks. I’m not a book juggler. :-/

Creating: Each week I have enjoyed creating cards and love notes for people in my life. I have also enjoyed partaking in art class with the kiddos. I have another installment of love letters going out soon. 🙂

Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress: Coffee and Crafting


Homeschool Perk. #Lego

A photo posted by Mrs.AOK (@mrs_aok) on

Feeling: Good. My throat and eyes are a little itchy but that isn’t going to stop me! It’s SPRING BREAK!

Thinking: How the hell did I let my coffee get cold!?! Also: “I need to hurry up the kids are waiting on me.” and  “I need to work on #TWSS when I get home.”

Encouraging: <-That’s one of the words I’m focusing on this year. I think I have been doing good at it but I don’t want to toot my own horn.


I encourage you to check out this post on Kindness

Everyone Smiles In the Same Language

Or this post about a girl who has pulled herself up despite tough times..

#TWSS: Sometimes you just have to put on lipgloss and pretend to be psyched.- Mindy Kaling

And there’s this one where I get all sentimental about blogging..



And if that’s not enough you can always take a gander here, there’s something for everyone here 🙂

Thank You Notes |A weekly linkup to share your Thank You Notes| Linkup| Thankful| Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress

I encourage you to join Courtney and I this Thursday for That’s What She Said. Here is this week’s quote:

That's What She Said Amy Poehler

But most importantly… I encourage you to love. Go out into the world and love big! Shake the haters off, and love SO hard the haters want to love like you.

LovingProcessed with VSCOcam with x1 preset


Book Club, BookLover, That's What She Said

That’s What She Said: Get Your Nose In There…

That's What She Said A weekly linkup, we share a quote and you share a post! Writers Bloggers Word Lovers Women's Words Quotes

How it works

Please only linkup posts inspired by this week’s quote.  

We want to see how this quote will get your creative juices flowing. ;)

This is a party connect with others, let’s get mingling!

It would be SUPER AWESOME if you would share the link up via your social media. #TWSS

Number one rule: Have fun and be creative ♡

Your Hosts




Last week we enjoyed seeing how Marilyn Monroe’s quote inspired you, thank you!TY HAPPY TO HAVE YOU

#TWSS Jane Austen

The word “stupid” bothers me.  It sticks out in this quote, it’s ugly, harsh, not my favorite word, despite that I kind of see what Jane was saying.  Yes, I ‘m on a first name basis with Jane Austen… we’re homies.

Jane was a novelist, her works have been dubbed literary masterpieces. And with that you could understand a woman so driven to create such wonderful works that are internationally known years, decades, centuries later would seem passionate with her words.  I may think “stupid” is harsh, but I do understand her conviction.  I love books. Sometimes I become downright evangelical about the books I read, I want to spread the word, I want people to love it as much as I, but when I hear “I don’t like to read,” I want to cry.  I want to take out my book water and douse said non-reader.  Okay, was that a bit dramatic? However, you get the point.

Reading is a luxury many of us do NOT take advantage of, myself included.  I have a stack of books at my bedside and because my mind is always in a 101 places, I do not take as much time as I should to pick up a book and stick my nose in there for a few hours.  I wish I would do that more.  However, it’s nice when I can get people to stick their noses in a book- when my zeal for a book rubs off on someone else that is rewarding.

The Bridges of Madison County

Have you ever read the book The Bridges of Madison County?  No, it is not a literary masterpiece, but it is a book that I thought I would never read. I actually got a group of 17-23 year-olds to read it with me! 😀  I borrowed The Bridges of Madison County from my boyfriend’s (now husband) mom. I was just trying to make small talk and the book was there, which then led me to take a book from Ohio (I had no real interest in) to Texas.  I figured I should read the book incase she wanted to know my thoughts on the book.  I took the book with me to work -I worked as a receptionist at a car dealership- there were days when it was slow, why not read the book there.  I found it hilarious that the girls that worked at the desk started to read the book too.  We would leave notes for each other in the book.  In a way, it was like we created a secret book club because obviously we did not want our boss to know we were reading at work. 🙂

After reading The Bridges of Madison County, I decided we needed another book, I started to write my own.  I wrote a story about a girl facing rough times seeking love, it was pretty good.  Again, the girls at the desk were hooked, they would leave me notes:  “I love this part.” “I can’t stand her mom.” “More!” “I cannot wait to read what happens next!”  Those little notes kept me motivated! But all good things have to come to an end. 

BUSTED! The lead receptionist “our manager” found my story, our books, and other things in our desk she did not think belonged there.  She took my story and threw it away. And for about 50 minutes of my life I despised her! I thought, how stupid!?!  The secret book club was over. Stupid is harsh, but stupid is as stupid does….

Show us yours


Next Week's Quote
#TWSS Oprah Winfrey

My daughter loves all things mermaid, so of course when she had to do a book project dressing up as a character in a book she chose to dress up as a mermaid. She was inspired by the book Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet. We made this super simple DIY NO SEW costume in time. Get your hot glue ready!!
BookLover, crafts, DIY

No Sew #DIY Mermaid Costume

*This post contains affiliate links, which is no cost to you, but helps me if you decide to purchase something. 🙂

No Sew DIY Mermaid Costume Inspired by Fancy Nancy

My daughter has a book project coming up for school; she has to dress like a character from a book, decorate a pumpkin like a character from the book, and write about the book on a pumpkin poster. My daughter was delighted to receive this  project… and to be honest, I was too. I knew this project would require work from me, but I also knew we would do it together, or also known as 80/20 😀
First we had to choose a book; my daughter knew she wanted to be a mermaid, but not Ariel. I was on the hunt, I found a Fancy Nancy book we had never read before, Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet.

The book was cute. Nancy & her friend Bree want to be mermaids in the upcoming ballet, but both of the girls receive roles they are not as fond of. However, another ballerina sprains her ankle, which opens up the coveted mermaid role. Nancy’s best friend Bree, gets the part, Nancy is a bit jealous because she’s still a tree (but not any tree my favorite kind, a weeping willow). In the end everyone is happy, Nancy loves being a tree, and is happy for her best friend Bree. Cute, right?

My daughter is dressing up as Bree “the mermaid” and her pumpkin is Nancy “a tree ballerina”.

I wanted to share how I put together a quick and easy Mermaidish costume for her.

My daughter loves all things mermaid, so of course when she had to do a book project dressing up as a character in a book she chose to dress up as a mermaid. She was inspired by the book Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet. We made this super simple DIY NO SEW costume in time. Get your hot glue ready!!

My baby girl knew she wanted a tutu and she knew she wanted it to be poofy! The bigger the better! I explained I could make a more mermaid-style tutu, but she wanted the fluff. I gave the girl what she wanted, while trying to emphasize the whole mermaid thing. I think I did just that with the Mermaid top I made for her.

Mermaid Top Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need:

    • 3-4 sheets of felt
    • scissors
    • scallop template
    • white chalk
    • LOTS of glue sticks
    • a reliable glue gun
    • tulle
    • white tank top (I stole one from my son)
    • an elastic band from an old pair of shorts or leggings
    • Bedazzler  *optional

For my daughter’s mermaid top, I jacked my son for one of his white tanks- you know the ones that use to be referred to by a insensitive term, but now we just say white tank 🙂  I searched online for a scallop template to use as the mermaid scales, I found this template via The Thrifty Ginger, she made a cute scalloped felt wreath with her template 😉

Here’s where the felt comes in

You may want to purchase more in the event you make a mistake or two cutting the felt, considering the felt was about 29 cents a piece, not a big deal.  {I purchased my felt  at Michaels}  Using the downloaded template, I traced the scallops out using white chalk to give me a guide where to cut.  Okay, I didn’t cut all the felt, I had little helpers 🙂

Scalloped FeltOnce all the felt was cut, I laid the felt on the tank, to see how I wanted to layer it.  I marked off where I would start and end with a washable marker and began to glue down the felt, leaving the ends of the felt glue-free to go back and trim.  Once I was done glueing on the felt I had my daughter try on the tank, this gave me the opportunity to trim where I needed to trim.  I did not like leaving the top portion alone, it looked unfinished to me, so I folded a piece of tulle over on itself and hot glued it on top of the felt.  I also added some jewels with my jewel setter on the collar.

mermaid top close-up

The tutu

For the tutu, I already had 2 rolls of chevron tulle I had purchased alooooooooooong time ago.  The chevron tulle gave us a scale-like vibe, so we went for it. Unfortunately, those two rolls were not enough. We had to find a tulle that matched, we went with two more rolls of an aqua tulle.  The tutu part was easy. Yes, it takes a little more time than the mermaid top. I promise if you’ve never made a tutu you’ll be amazed at how simple a no-sew tutu is. I promise!

Here’s what you need to do:

First you’ll need to measure your kiddo, I don’t get technical I just place the tulle to the desired length, and then double it. Once you have your desired length you could measure that, or use the first strip of tulle as a template.

For the tutu waistband I used an old pair of leggings my daughter used for jammies, and cut out the waistband.

Use an old waistband for your tutu

Making the tutu

Once you have all your tulle cut into the desired length it’s time to get slip-knotting. You’ll want to fold your tulle in half forming an upside down u-shape. Next bring the tulle through the u over the waistband and pull (making slipknots).  You do not want to pull too hard, because you will stretch out the elastic band. That would be no bueno. Keep repeating the process until you have completed the circle.


You will probably want to trim your tutu making sure everything is even. I had my daughter try it on while I trimmed.

We added a starfish to really sale the whole mermaid thing. 🙂 I found the starfish at Michael’s. I glued the starfish onto a piece of tulle securing it with a piece of felt hot glued on both sides.  I tied the tulle strip with the starfish attached to the front of my daughter’s tutu, that’s it. Pretty easy, right, and NO sewing machine required 🙂

Mermaid at the Beach 2

Land Mermaid

Do you want to see how I made the crown?  I’m sharing that little DIY tomorrow 🙂



Sharing here and here.

Book Club, BookLover, The Catcher in The Book

The Maze Runner #BookReview

Last week I forgot to post my daughter’s weekly post, instead I went swimming.  We swam, lunched, and lounged all day… we were unplugged.  She was totally cool with it 🙂 Happy Reading and Happy August!

The Catcher in The Book: a tween summer reading series. #BookReviews for #Tweens

Hello, The Catcher In The Book, here 🙂

I’m so sorry for missing last week… but don’t worry I still have a few more last minute summer reviews, until… school.

This week I’m reviewing The Maze Runner. The Maze Runner is set to come out in theaters this September.

The Maze Runner Book Review


Thomas arrives in a place where he meets other boys, who like him, do not have any memory of the past. The boys call the unknown spot, the Glade each boy sleeps and works there, except the runners; the runners have their own work and a different set of problems in the Maze. When Thomas arrives he feels like he has been there before, he doesn’t tell anyone his concerns. After the arrival of Thomas, the very next day, a girl shows up, a girl has never shown up in the past. The other boys immediately think Thomas and the new girl have some connection. Soon that theory is proven, Thomas and Teresa discover an ability they share. Teresa and Thomas have a special power that the two of them use to communicate with each other. The Gladers have to escape, Teresa is the very last person the creators will send. Everyone needs to escape and hopefully survive. Sacrifices will be made to keep those you care for alive. But the biggest question is, do Teresa and Thomas conquer the creators ( creators are the scientist that placed the boys into the glade as a test) to keep each alive?

My Thougts:

This book is AWESOME!!! As I said earlier the movie will be out in theaters this year, so I would suggest reading the book before hand.  I love sci-fi…. a lot, which makes this the perfect book for a sci-fi nerd like me.  If I have one grip it’s that Dashner doesn’t allow the reader to completely paint his or her own picture. Some may say that’s a good thing, but I like to let my imagination do the work, that is probably why movies are usually a letdown. On the other hand Dashner’s story is awesome, which totally makes up for his overbearing commentary. I would recommend this book for the older crowd because there is violence and death.

This is definitely a must read! Happy summer reading!


BookLover, The Catcher in The Book

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief #BookReview

My daughter is a book lover, if you didn’t realize that by now.  I love her ability to take on 2-3 books at a time, I do not believe I can do that.  However, she does, and does so with ease.

What I love the most about her love of books and her Summer Series here on my blog, we talk, I mean we talk and laugh, and bond over books.  I love our chats.  My hope is that you too will read with your child, share a story with your child, and listen to your child’s thoughts on their favorite story.  And now, I’m going to let my child, introduce you to this week’s book.


The Catcher in The Book: a tween summer reading series. #BookReviews for #Tweens


Hello! Today, I’m sharing book 1 in the Series Percy Jackson & The Olympians, The Lightning Thief.  There are five books in this series: The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters,The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympians. 

The Lightning Thief #BookReview #TheCatcherInTheBook #TweenLit #SummerReading

Percy Jackson thinks he is a normal boy, however he is about to learn otherwise.  You see, Percy has the unfortunate knack for getting himself into trouble, which then ends up getting himself kicked out of yet another school.  The thing is, every time he is booted from school it is because he attracts mythology monsters.  Percy Jackson is a demigod, not necessarily a normal boy.  Zeus believes Percy has stolen the master lightning bolt.  Before Percy is informed of what is going on and who he is, he is taken to a safe place, the place is meant for other demigods, Camp Half Blood.  While making new friends at the camp he is given a quest.  Percy must return the master lighting bolt (which he does not have) before the winter solstice.  If he does not complete this mission bad things will happen.  Percy must now find the real lightning thief, return the bolt and meet with his father to ask why he left his mother as well as him.  Can Percy do it all in time?

My thoughts: Once again, I’m reminded not to judge a book by its cover.  I thought the book was going to be really boring.  I actually tried reading it before when I was in 4th grade, but now that I have a better understanding of Greek mythology, the book just clicked. This book this series, is exceptional. After zipping through this book, I couldn’t wait to finish the series.  The series will NOT disappoint.

BookLover, Lifestyle, Mommy/DaughterLove, The Catcher in The Book

Introducing a NEW Summer Series: The Catcher in the Book

I’m beyond excited to share with you my new weekly summer series, The Catcher in The Book.  I have a super sweet guest blogger , she will fill us in on Tween Reads all summer long 🙂 Let me introduce my catcher, or as I lovingly call her ,”Mommy’s little bibliophile.”   If you’ve been around the blog you know my eldest daughter {12} is a softball  catcher, she is passionate about softball, but she also has a voracious appetite for books.  She devours books on the daily, and with summer in full swing… she has already been tearing through her books.

The Catcher in The Book


Now, I’ll go ahead and let the catcher do her thing….

Hello, everyone! I’m excited to share the books I’m enjoying this summer, with you.  I love reading!!  A rainy day, a cup of hot tea, and a book…  is right up there with a day on the softball field.

This week I’m sharing my thoughts on the book Breathing Room.

This book is WONDROUS!!

Evvy, is battling TB (tuberculosis), she’s not fighting TB alone, countless others are facing the ugly epidemic.  Evvy, has to stay strong, along with the friends she makes at the hospital, who are also battling TB.  Evvy’s friends include: Beverly, Pearl, Dena, and Sarah.  Sarah and Evvy become quite close, and Sarah shares a secret with Evvy that only strengthens the girls’ bond.  Evvy treats Sarah like a sister.  Thankfully, Evvy wins the battle against TB. During her fight to become healthy again, her friends see her as heroic.

Breathing Room, is a bit somber at times taking place right after the Depression, and at the beginning of World War II.  Evvy, has to see other TB patients lose the battle but yet she has to keep strong, having faith she will be okay.  There is a happy ending!  Some schools are adding this book to their reading list, and I think it is a great one to add to your reading list too.

We’re linking up here:


Sometimes I’m Selfish.. are you?


Book Club, BookLover

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Literature #MCKlitDay

I  am proud to be a member of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Multicultural Children’s Book day is a day to celebrate diversity in Children’s Literature.  You can visit various blogs who have reviewed multicultural books; please read mine below 🙂

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia here and Valarie here.

As, I looked through my children’s library, yes- they have a mini library filled with wonderful literature- I was bewildered at my own lack of multicultural influence. Here I am in my home teaching diversity, yet, I don’t have that influence in the books my children read.  
We often head to the public library to find books to help us immerse ourselves in other cultures and ideologies.  
My family, has been known to celebrate holidays and traditions from other cultures… because I feel it’s important for my children to know what surrounds them.  Opening their mind to the world. 

One Hanukkah, my husband and I checked-out books for the kids,  purchased a menorah, and introduced them to Jewish foods.  This went over well with our children, however not so much with others who knew us.  
We were questioned for our decision:
“Why are you doing this?”
“Are you not celebrating Christmas anymore?” 
“Won’t this confuse the children?”

This sent me on my own barrage of questions: 
“Why do you care?” 
“Are these your children?” 
“And, if we did choose to do so does it matter to you?”  
However, I found myself explaining ourselves… we want our children to be mindful of the world around them and respect that people have their own traditions.  You know.. we don’t want them to be self-centered and ignorant to the world.  {By the way the kids still like to put up the menorah and indulge in Jewish foods}

We haven’t stopped or nor did we start with Hanukkah we’ve done this for years, celebrating other cultures and religions. Books serve as life-lessons, as parents, caregivers, and teachers we can provide more insight into the world through a book.

And that’s why I’m happy to be a part of a group who is asking, “Can we please have more diversity?”  
Celebrate Diversity! 

The Mission: Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

Below you can visit a list of bloggers who are celebrating multicultural books.
2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica ·  Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs · Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac · Children’s Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes · Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · GEO Librarian · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom · Kid Lit ReviewsKid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read · Mother Daughter Book Reviews  · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books  · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three · World for Learning · Wrapped in Foil 

My family is multicultural.  My children are a mix of many cultures, because this is so– it’s tough to find books with characters who represent them.  

I want to introduce you to a book, that represents my extended family.  This book reminds me of the Holidays back home in Texas.  
Last year, I was able to make it back to Texas for the holidays; my children were happy to play with their cousins and be a part of the tamale-making at my Mom’s house.

By Gary Soto, illustrated by Ed Martinez

First off I’m not sure you can ever have too many tamales but after the tamale-ring-search Maria and her cousins have, perhaps you can.  
In this book, Maria, feels grown-up making tamales with her mother; she’s wearing her mother’s apron, a little perfume, and when her mother steps away leaving her ring on the kitchen counter, Maria slips that on too.  Maria forgets about her mother’s ring and begins working on the masa for the tamales. 
Maria and her parents finish making the tamales with no ring in sight.  
Maria’s family comes over to visit and eat; while playing with her cousins she is reminded of the ring and begins to panic.  Maria and her cousins begin eating the 24 tamales in search of Maria’s mother’s ring.  This cute story, has a happy ending and a familar sense of family.  

I encourage you to read this book and try making your own tamales with your children.  Create a tradition. 

Chinese New Year is coming up, {January 31, 2014} I love reading books to get my kiddos ready, What We Do All Day, has a great list to get your children ready for the Chinese New Year.  Learn more about Chinese culture and explore new foods. 

Would you like to learn more about Multicultural Children’s Book Day?  Click Here
Would you also like to win a full set of Wisdom Tales books? Giveaway Here

We are thankful to have these awesome sponsors for this event Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books Chronicle Books, and Susan Daniel Fayad: Author of  My Grandfather’s Masbaha.

Book Club, BookLover, kiddos

Introducing @BookwormBundle + a Giveaway!

I’m beyond excited to introduce all of you to Bookworm Bundle!!!
But first, let me give you all a little back story….

I have *met* some quite inspirational bloggers during my blogging days, one such blogger is Amber.
Amber, blogs over at From ABC’s to ACT’s, she writes about homeschooling and shares fun activities for the kiddos on her blog too.  Amber has a background in education, and if you check out her blog.. you can see her passion for teaching is present.  Her love of teaching and evoking imagination has spilled over from her own children to ours.
Amber along with her husband have created a brilliant, fun, and educational monthly box subscription service that children and parents are going to LOVE!

Why? Okay, I’ll tell you why. Each Bookworm Bundle comes with an age appropriate classic well known children’s book accompanying the book are 3-4 crafts with {wait for it} ALL THE SUPPLIES NEEDED FOR THE CRAFT!  I know it’s awesome.  There’s no need to go to the store for anything, everything comes in the box. 
The Bookworm Bundle boxes are geared towards children 2-5 years of age.  My son is five, therefore we received the age appropriate box for him; my eight-year-old daughter also joined in on the Bookworm Bundle fun.
The kiddos were SUPER excited to tear into their box.  Who doesn’t love a box in the mail.. right?  My kiddos were oohing and aahing over their box and all the fun inside.
My eight-year-old got straight to reading.

After reading a book here at my home, we sometimes make projects or draw a picture, with Bookworm Bundle, you get everything to help you expand your child’s imagination while growing their love of reading. 

Our Bookworm Bundle came with the classic book
Stone Soup.
In this book a slick young man uses trickery to get what he wants… a nice big pot of soup, but what about the stone? 
*Sidenote: Stone Soup was read three times on the first day in our home.

In our box we had all the makings of fun times.
Each craft comes with a card, the card assists parents even explaining the level of messiness. 
The children were given a pot to paint. 
Their very own recipe book to create.
All the supplies needed, including scissors and glue. 
Garden markers and growth chart for their 
Stone Soup Garden.
The seeds and soil for their Stone Soup Garden along with a nice shiny stone.
The kids and I are extremely happy with Bookworm Bundle.  My daughter said this would be great to get every month… this was before she knew Bookworm Bundle was a monthly service.  My son has proudly put his Loyalty Badge on his Bundle Rewards card magnet, which is currently on our fridge.  

How does Bookworm Bundle subscription work:
Month-to-month $29 + free shipping
3 month subscription $84 + free shipping
6 month subscription $162 + free shipping
12 month subscription $300 + free shipping

Be one of the first to sign up today! 

Bookworm Bundle goes live today and you can be one of the first loyal subscribers. I would love for you to support Amber and her husband on this genius endeavor. My opinions along with my children are true… this is an awesome service!

You can also enter the Bookworm Bundle Giveaway
6 months of Bookworm Bundle!!