26 November 2021

Bandana Acres Hootin Goes Outside! by Kathy J. Perry Review and Giveaway


About the Book

Book: Bandana Acres: Hootin Goes Outside

Author: Kathy J. Perry

Genre: Early Reader Chapter Book

Release date: November 1, 2018

How long will you be gone?

The barn owlets are hungry! Their mom, Hootin, must find a way to get more food. Can she trust her bandana buddies to take care of her babies during the storm?

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

I adore children’s books. I love the illustrations and the stories in them. Even though my kids are teens they love looking at them with books always being such a huge part of their daily life. I have some favorites and this series is on the top of my list. This is a keeper for grandchildren. This book has all the elements I love in children's books. The content and characters in the story are amazing. I love the character traits, friendships, and life lessons taught.

 There are five books in the Bandana Acres series. Each one is based on an animal and teaches a lesson. The animals are friends and help one another. In the front of the book is a map of the places of the animals in the series and the main locations in the book. I am just missing one book in the series currently. 

At the end of the book, it concludes with “What if questions”? This gets you thinking of the character dilemma in the story. This is a wonderful opportunity to have meaningful conversations with your child.

The illustrations are adorable and captivating as you are following along in the story. Kids will love exploring the pictures throughout the book

This sweet story is intended for ages five through eight, the books are short chapter books. I think some older kids would love this story. The book is labeled as a beginning reader but I think kids who are more confident in reading will do better with reading this story. There is a glossary at the back of the book. I love the variety of vocabulary, the words are more colorful and a good way to enhance your kid's vocabulary. There are words like morsel, vulnerable, bough, and rivulet are just a few.

Bandana Acres Hootin Goes Outsideby Kathy J. Perry shines and is a heartfelt story. Hootin is worried about her husband as he hasn’t been home in a few days. They share the task of collecting food for their two owlets. The babies are getting hungry and Hootin doesn’t have a choice but to venture out in search of food. When she comes back the owlets have been exploring their wings in the barn. She is afraid that a preditor will find them. Her friends Ollie and Feebs step up to help her. Hootin meets a new friend and sees the value of friendship and trusting them. Helping each other is a valuable lesson to learn. I highly recommend this sweet story.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Celebrate Lit Bloggers in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

About the Author

After My Parents Passed,

I re-evaluated what I was doing with my life and my contribution to others. A former classroom teacher and homeschool mom, I’ve always had a heart for educating kids.

In 2016 my daughter and I attended a local arts and crafts fair where I stumbled upon some cute children’s art and thought, “That’s what I can do! Write children’s books.”

I set my mission and started my own publishing company, Chickadee Words, LLC. I would do my best to affect our youth through wonderful stories full of timeless character struggles.

More from Kathy

Have you every known someone who thinks they’re the only ones that can do the job right? They’re the people who may be very good at what they do, but make poor managers because they don’t delegate or allow others to contribute.

This story is about a barn owl who has two owlets she must care for but her partner is lost for some unknown reason. She burdens herself with care and responsibility until her bandana buddies offer to help and show her she can be flexible.

Here’s one question in the “What If” part at the end of the book:

When you’re at school, are you sometimes afraid or embarrassed to ask a question when you don’t understand something and need help?

Special things about this book (and series) include:

  1. Proven easy-to-read font for early readers (Sassoon Primary)
  2. In full-color with original watercolor artwork.
  3. Leveled by Lexile and Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) for dialing in to your child’s reading level.
  4. Blue words are the character’s inside thoughts (rather than italics, which I thought would be harder to read). Kids enjoy the color. In fact, struggling readers love to read just the colored parts to start – and then want to continue reading! (Each book has its own color for this.)
  5. A glossary of newer words with definitions.
  6. A “What If” section for discussion with five questions about the story, and five questions of how the theme plays out in real life. (Parents and teachers love these books!)
  7. Hootin Goes Outside! is available in hardcover and softcover.

 Help your kids learn to read with this fun story and cute watercolor illustrations. This early reader chapter book is perfect for ages 5-8 and can usually be read alone by 2nd or 3rd grades.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 13

Texas Book-aholic, November 14

Blogging with Carol, November 14

Inklings and notions, November 15

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, November 16

For Him and My Family, November 16

deb’s Book Review, November 17

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 18

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 19

Vicky Sluiter, November 19

Older & Smarter?, November 20

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 20

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 21

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 22

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 23

Cats in the Cradle Blog, November 24

Mary Hake, November 24

Lights in a Dark World, November 25

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 26


To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card, a softcover copy of the book, digital artwork with motivational phrase, and a custom Hoo-Rag covered with artwork from the Bandana Acres series!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


23 November 2021

The Wonder of Creation by Louie Giglio Book Review


In this captivating follow-up to the bestselling kids' devotionals Indescribable and How Great Is Our God, discover more mind-blowing, faith-building scientific facts and biblical truths about the wonder of God's creation from author, speaker, and founder of the Passion movement Louie Giglio.

Well-known for his powerful and highly visual messages about science and the Bible, Louie Giglio has a passion for inspiring kids to notice, enjoy, and marvel at God's creation. In The Wonder of Creation, children will find new delight in God's creativity with 100 devotions that explore:

·         animals—from honeyguide birds to flying snakes to white rhinos

·         space—from black holes to volcanic moons to gamma-ray bursts

·         people—from optical illusions to brain freezes to our immune systems 

·         Earth—from rainbow rivers to blue lava to flowing glaciers                                                    

·         and much, much more!


With engaging illustrations and striking photography, this fun and informative book is ideal for children ages 6–10. Each of the 100 devotions features a scientific fact or an easy activity for exploring faith, a short Bible verse, and a closing prayer.

With a beautifully bright and colorful cover and a ribbon bookmark, The Wonder of Creation

·         is ideal for science-loving kids, Bible-loving kids, and any child ready to go deeper in faith

·         continues a well-loved devotional series that has impacted over a million children, parents, and teachers

·         includes informative content call-outs inviting kids to "Explore the Wonder"

·         makes a great addition to a homeschool STEM curriculum or a bedtime reading routine


As kids explore this awe-inspiring devotional, they'll be amazed at the many wonders God has made!

My Thoughts:

My daughter enjoys her devotional while learning about science. This is the third book in the series and I can’t say enough about all of them. They are fantastic, Biblically sound, inspirational, and help you to see God’s creation in all things.

This is a full-colored book with colorful illustrations and photos. A ribbon book marker is provided also. The intended age is 6-10. I think older kids will enjoy this also.

There are 100 devotions each one has a Bible verse at the beginning of the page and ends with a prayer. The devotion compliments the scripture in a two-page format. There are boxes on each of the 100 devotions. Some of them are “Explore the Wonder” or “Share the Wonder”.  A few interesting concepts: To Curl or Not To Curl?, Who Owns the Moon, Fight or Flight?, That’s no Joke and other fun scientific devotions. One that stood out to my daughter with everything going on in the world was “Under Attack” which talks about colds and how the virus enters our bodies. The reactions of that God designed with our white blood cells to fight off germs and viruses. Then it goes on to explain the spiritual battle and God gives us a way to fight back. If you have difficult words don’t worry they are broken down to help you out.

 The devotions cover topics on space, Earth, animals, and people. My family loves the devotions that Louie Giglio has created for kids. As a homeschool mom, I can see this being used as a jump-off to science concepts taught in your homeschool The spiritual aspects covered are very practical to everyday life.

There is a free Parent Discussion Guide for you here. You can purchase a copy here.

 Disclosure: Many thanks to HarperCollins Christian Publishing for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own.  I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

22 November 2021

Endless Pawsibilities by Sean Charmatz Book Review

The pawsibilities for furiendship are endless in this picture book filled with paws, puns, and pals! Endless Pawsibilities is a hilarious and adorable look at friendship that is sure to put a smile on the faces of both cat lovers and hairball haters alike.

Whether you're sharing some juicy pawssip or singing together in perfect harmeowny, good friends can't get enough of one another. And what better way to share how much you love your friend than with some adorable cat paws? These cuddly characters show all the punny and purrfect things friends can do together, because whether you're a cat or kid, there's nothing better than furiendship!

My Thoughts:

Attention cat lovers, I have a cute fun filled picture book to share with you. This is a full colored book with paws and toe beans. Yes, I said paws that have a message about friendship. On each page you have paws with hand drawn illustrations attached to the paws. Each paw has eyes, mouths, arms, legs, and some have accessories and a background. It is a mixture of photos with fun cartoon like illustrations.

The book has some cute cat puns. A play on cat words like purrfect, fursbee, mewborns, purrty, pawssip, meowsic, litterally, and more.

The book is creative that will delight all ages. Lots of action with ping-pong, body building, a little bit of gossip, and catching a few waves. My almost 16 year old son thought the book was purrty awesome. The author Sean CHarmatz has done projects with DreamWorks, SpongeBob SquarePants and with Disney.

This is a purrfect gift for cat lovers.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

17 November 2021

Practice Monkeys Guitar Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

My son has been playing the guitar off and on for the last six years. He ran into a stump and needed a new direction with his playing. My son has been enrolled in the Practice Monkeys and their Guitar program. We received 3 months of classes.

Practice Monkeys uses the Suzuki Method in all of its programs. This method was created by Shinichi Suzuki. In a nutshell, you learn by ear-training, you learn at an accelerated pace with the Twinkle variations with your classical guitar. This technique will make it easy to explore and learn other genres in the future. It is also self-paced to meet your student’s needs. This is me paraphrasing the method greatly.

Sarah Van Kleeck is the creator of Practice Monkeys which is an online music program. Along with the Suzuki Method and other resources she created are used. No prior music instruction is needed for the student or parent. Another feature is that the pricing is for the family and not an individual student. This is an online subscription program per month.

Once you are signed up you will schedule an assessment/placement for the program. You will be assigned according to your level. You meet 4 days a week Monday through Thursday for 15 minute live classes online at a set time. If you aren’t able to make every class the sessions are recorded. It is recommended that you spend 15-20 minutes after your class of practice. You can go back and view previous classes if needed also. Your instructor will demonstrate techniques, go over the music, you can ask questions, and get instruction that will help you as an individual with your instruments. The classes are small and the teacher can address issues like your instrument is out of tune and such.

In the program, you will have one on one assessment which is an affordable additional cost. There is a download PDF assessment form on the website. This will let you see all the skills they need to accomplish to make sure your student is ready and has met all the skills before moving forward. Your instructor will also let you know if they see that your student is ready for an assessment.

Practice Monkeys offers several instrument courses plus a self-defense program:

Violin ages 3 & up

Cello ages 3 & up

Piano Ages 3 & up


Self Defense ages 5 & up (Brazilian Jui-Jitsu wrestling)

Your “dashboard” is called the Treehouse. This area will give you access to everything you need for Practice Monkeys. It is very easy to navigate the website.  You can access your PDFs for your program. I downloaded what we needed and put it in a 3 ring binder for my son. It also gives you access to your level to access the live classes, schedule an assessment, and additional videos outside of your regular “live & recorded classes. These videos give you more instructions on your instrument and lots of helpful tips. Emails are sent out weekly for any information on classes, schedule changes, website issues, and encouragement.

Information is on the website for required material and recommended material. You will find helpful information on instruments too. This is a complete program from the comfort of your home.

Practice Monkeys Guitar

The Guitar is designed for ages 8 and up, some younger kids 6 & 7 can join if the parent is involved in aiding the student. This uses a classical guitar with teachers who are certified in the Suzuki method. There are 12 levels for guitar.

In my son’s 3 ring binder it has a practice sheet that you can check off your assignments on your practice sheets and a skill and habit checklist.

An illustration of the parts of a guitar,  PIMA and finger numbers used within the sessions, and your assignments with the chords.

A Parent Guidebook that will give you an overview of the program, parental involvement, and other information to assist you as the parent.

My son learned to play an acoustical guitar which means it has steel strings (classical guitar has nylon strings). Several years ago we signed him up for private instruction and he also learned to read music. Due to the cost, we could only go so far with the instruction. Over the last few years, he has just been going over his books and finding things online to practice. He was getting a bit bored with this method. When Practice Monkeys came available he was pretty excited to try something new.

After the account was set up we got him signed up for his first assessment for placement went great and he was placed appropriately for him not being familiar with the Suzuki method. Together we went over the website and his 3 ring binder. We both looked over the Parent Handbook. He has been faithful in getting on the live classes and watching the videos when he couldn’t do the live lessons. He practices in the day and after classes.

I had to go back to work in the evenings recently. His classes are in the evening when I’m at work. He is my steadfast and independent child. I wasn’t worried because he communicates with me well and I just don’t have any issues with him. I knew he was getting online for his classes and practicing and doing everything required.

Long story short when the next assessment came up I just signed him up for it without communicating with him first-which usually wouldn’t be a problem. I told him the date of the assessment and a few minutes before his assessment he had a meltdown and I got online with Mrs. Van Kleeck myself! I was embarrassed and felt a bit foolish. This is really unlike my son. Well, I got him on after a few tears and 5 minutes or more of Mrs. Van Kleeck patiently waiting. My son felt he wasn’t understanding the Suzuki method and wasn’t doing it correctly. He was a bit mad at me and thought he wasn’t ready for an assessment.  Mrs. Van Kleeck was absolutely amazing with my son. She went over things and spent a decent amount of time with him. She sent him a Suzuki Guitar Volume 1 book, classical guitar strings, and set up to meet with him weekly with one on one instruction at no cost.

Where I dropped the ball was not obtaining the Suzuki Guitar Volume 1 book. I somehow didn’t think we would need it for the course. The book and his meeting with Mrs. Van Kleeck have built up his confidence and understanding of the program. He still does his live classes in the evenings too. He has enjoyed practicing his guitar again.

Practice Monkeys is a pretty amazing program and Sarah Van Kleeck has gone above and beyond to assist my son with his lessons. I can’t express how thankful I am with words.

Facebook    YouTube

You can try a free trial class. Other Homeschool Review Crew are using different courses with Practice Monkeys. Find out their experience by clicking on the graphic below.

10 November 2021

A Picture of Hope by Liz Tolsma Book Review & Giveaway


About the Book

Book: A Picture of Hope

Author: Liz Tolsma

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Release date: October, 2021

A Photojournalist Risks Her Life to Save Children

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

Journalist Nellie Wilkerson has spent the bulk of the war in London, photographing pilots taking off and landing—and she’s bored. She jumps at the chance to go to France, where the Allied forces recently landed. She enlists Jean-Paul Breslau of the French underground to take her to the frontlines. On the journey, they come upon an orphanage where nuns shelter children with disabilities. Can they help save them before the Nazis come to liquidate it?

My Review:

Oh my, what a heartfelt story. Having a child with special needs tugged all my heartstrings. This could have been my child if we lived in Europe during WWII. The story was written extremely well and based on true events. I fell in love with all the characters quickly. A reminder of how fragile our freedom is and can easily be taken away.

Nellie Wilkerson is an American journalist who is assigned to England taking photos but she desires to be reporting on the front lines. As the American and allied troops are pushing inward in France. the male journalist is heading there to cover the events, General Eisenhower doesn’t want women on the front line or their insight.

Nellie sneaks on board a hospital ship that is heading to Omaha Beach after the events of D-day. The scenes are horrific. She wants to get the pictures back to the Chicago Tribute. She ends up too close to German soldiers patrolling after her escort is killed in a car accident. She meets Jean-Paul Breslau, a French resistance fighter. He agrees to help her get to the American troops.

Along the way, they head into a village that the Germans are slaughtering the people. They find a child hiding in the bushes, Claire is now an orphan and has mongolism, now known as Downs Syndrome. Nellie takes a photo of the aftermath that needs to be seen by the world. Jean-Paul has heard of a nearby covenant that is rumored to care for special needs children.

They meet three nuns who are risking their lives to care for the children. Things start getting complicated as Jean-Paul comes across a plan to raid the covenant. Nellie, Jean-Paul, nuns, and the children find themselves on the run with the Nazis pursuing them on a dangerous journey to freedom.

 An excellent read that will steal your heart away as this group fights for their freedom and a picture of hope.

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Celebrate Lit Bloggers in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Liz Tolsma is the author of several WWII novels, romantic suspense novels, prairie romance novellas, and an Amish romance. She is a popular speaker and an editor and resides next to a Wisconsin farm field with her husband and their youngest daughter. Her son is a US Marine, and her oldest daughter is a college student. Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. Please visit her website at www.liztolsma.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter (@LizTolsma), Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She is also the host of the Christian Historical Fiction Talk podcast.

More from Liz

Why Another WWII Novel Set in France

You may well read the back cover of my latest release, A Picture of Hope, and wonder why on earth we need another WWII novel set in France. After all, Kristy Cambron just had one. Melanie Dobson and Sarah Sundin will be coming out with theirs in 2022. So why did I feel the need to write my novel with the same setting?

First of all, I’m a Francophile. I love all things French. It started when I took French in high school. Everyone else was learning Spanish, but I wasn’t into being part of the crowd. There were only a few of us in the class, and it was great fun. We had a wonderful teacher. Being able to pull out some of that French, refine it a bit, and use it in the book was a blast. But I also love French food (who doesn’t?) and everything else.

Secondly, I hadn’t written about France before. When I wrote this proposal at least five or six years ago, I didn’t know France would be so hot. God did, and the book came about in His perfect timing. I’d explored the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and the Philippines. Such a shame that I was leaving out France, so I set about to write a novel located in that country.

Thirdly, there was so much good material to pull from. The French resistance, while small, did good work and sacrificed a great deal to get Jews out of the country and into Switzerland or Spain. The books that Kristy, Melanie, Sarah, and I write are all so different. Only the setting is the same. And when I found out that the famous mime Marcel Marceau was part of the resistance, I couldn’t help but giving him a cameo. Be on the lookout!

Along the way, I discovered some truly heartrending incidents that took place in France. They also compelled me to write this book. I long for the world to remember what happened so that we will never forget. And so that the atrocities committed there will never be repeated.

Fourthly, this was originally the third book in a series. Don’t worry – it’s a stand-alone. Maybe someday I’ll get to publish the other two. The women in the series are all American journalists in Europe. One is a reporter, the other is a broadcaster, and so I decided to make Nellie, the heroine in A Picture of Hope, a photojournalist. And where better to take pictures than on Omaha Beach soon after D-day. How she gets there is based on a very interesting true story, so be sure to read to the end for that one.

There are so many stories about WWII to be told and so many countries that participated in the conflict in one way or the other. The ground is so rich that we aren’t plowing the same parcel. You’ll find all of these books to be very different from each other, each with its own message, its own voice, and its own plot.

The focus in my book is on children with Down syndrome. I have a background in special education, and my husband and I adopted a child from the Philippines with an intellectual disability, so I’ve always had a heart for people with special needs. My daughter brings us so much joy that I wanted to share a glimpse into what these remarkable people are truly capable of.

So that is why I wrote a WWII novel set in France. Make yourself a cup of café au lait, butter up a croissant, and enjoy A Picture of Hope!

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, October 28

Life of Literature, October 28

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 28

Genesis 5020, October 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 29

The Book Chic Blog, October 29

Blogging With Carol, October 29

Texas Book-aholic, October 30

Sodbuster Living, October 30

Spoken from the Heart, October 30

Elly Gilbert, October 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 31

Inklings and notions, October 31

Labor Not in Vain, October 31

CarpeDiem, October 31

Splashes of Joy, November 1

Reviewingbooksplusmore, November 1

Life, love, writing, November 1

For Him and My Family, November 1

deb’s Book Review, November 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 3

Betti Mace, November 3

Worthy2Read, November 3

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 3

Daysong Reflections, November 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 4

Vicky Sluiter, November 4

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 4

Older & Smarter?, November 5

By the Book, November 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 5

Connie’s History Classroom, November 6

For the Love of Literature, November 6

Bigreadersite, November 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 6

Rebecca Tews, November 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 7

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, November 7

She Lives To Read, November 8

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 8

Where Faith and Books Meet, November 8

Pause for Tales, November 9

Christian Bookaholic, November 9

Through the Fire Blogs, November 9

To Everything There Is A Season , November 9

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 10

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 10

Mary Hake, November 10


To celebrate her tour, Liz is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of A Picture of Hope!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


Twitter Pinterest Instagram Feed Burner Youtube Email
Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detection

Search This Blog

Grab my button!

Homeschool Review Crew Team Member
Homeschool Review Crew Blog Roll


Live, Online Coding Program for Kids


Science SuperSets


My latest Instagrams


Powered by Blogger.

Homeschool Planet

HSP Free Offer Email for REVIEWERS

Popular Posts