Follow:
    adult books

    8 New Books I’m Excited to Read this Spring & Summer

    There are so many fantastic books on my TBR list from last year I still haven’t read yet.  Can anyone else relate?  Nevertheless, in true bookworm fashion I’ve rounded up some new and forthcoming books I’m most looking forward to tackling this spring and summer…because…books!

    If you’re looking for a reason to get back into reading, or if you’re a book lover like me looking for some book recommendations, I hope you’ll enjoy this list.  If you have any book recommendations for me please shout them out in the comments.  Not that I need to add any more books to my TBR list!

    Now, on to the books (in no particular order)!

    1. They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

    This book sounds so intriguing to me…I can’t wait to dive into this thriller!  Bonus points for it being written by a Black woman and being called one of the most anticipated suspense reads of the year.

    From the Publisher:

    It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.

    Delighted by a surprise invitation, Miriam Macy sails off to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico with six other strangers. Surrounded by miles of open water in the gloriously green Sea of Cortez, Miriam is soon shocked to discover that she and the rest of her companions have been brought to the remote island under false pretenses―and all seven strangers harbor a secret.

    Danger lurks in the lush forest and in the halls and bedrooms of the lonely mansion. Sporadic cell-phone coverage and miles of ocean keeps the group trapped in paradise. And strange accidents stir suspicions, as one by one . . .

    They all fall down

    2. The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

    I loved the books The Wedding Date and The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory, so I’m looking forward to reading this one too.  Anyone else?

    From the Publisher:
    Maddie and Theo have two things in common:

    1. Alexa is their best friend
    2. They hate each other

    After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn’t looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right?

    But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.

    3. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

    I’ve been seeing this one all over Instagram and have heard great things about it.

    From the Publisher:

    The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

    Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband, Proctor, are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

    As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important.

    4. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

    This book has been getting lots of buzz so far this year.  I just had to add it to my TBR list to see what everyone is talking about.

    From the Publisher:

    Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

    As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

    With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world

    5. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

    From the Publisher:

    One night in an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a first-year student stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. When a second girl falls asleep, and then a third, Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric classmate as panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster.

    Those affected by the illness, doctors discover, are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

    6. Atomic Habits by James Clear

    I’m almost finished with this book and it definitely lives up to all the hype.  It’s by far THE best book about habits I’ve ever read.  I’m devouring every word of it and applying the tips mentioned.  This is a true GEM – seriously!

    From the Publisher:

    No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

    If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

    Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.

    Learn how to:
    *  make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
    *  overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
    *  design your environment to make success easier;
    *  get back on track when you fall off course;
    …and much more.

    Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits–whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.

    7. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

    From the sound of the synopsis, I think I’m going to enjoy this one as much as I did The Hate You Give.

    From the Publisher:

    Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.

    But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.

    Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.

    8. The Truth About Men: What Men and Women Need to Know by DeVon Franklin

    I love reading books about men told from the male perspective.  Do you?

    From the Publisher:

    We hear it all the time. Men cheat. Men love power. Men love sex. Men are greedy. Men are dogs. But is this the truth about men?

    In this groundbreaking book, DeVon Franklin dishes the real Truth About Men by making the compelling case that men aren’t dogs but all men share the same struggle. He uses the metaphor of a dog that needs training as a way to explore why behavior persists in men that can lead them to act against their vows, their integrity and even their character.

    DeVon provides the manual for how men can change, both on a personal and a societal level by providing practical solutions for helping men learn how to resist temptation, how to practice self-control and how to love. He argues the same discipline that drives men in their professional lives needs to be applied to their private lives. DeVon is also transparent about the challenges he faces daily as he endeavors to “Master the Dog” within.

    But The Truth About Men isn’t just for men. DeVon tells female readers everything they need to know about men. He offers women a real-time understanding of how men’s struggle affects them, insights that can help them navigate their relationships with men and information on how to heal from the damage that some misbehaving men may have inflicted.

    Your turn: Have you read any of these yet?  What other books should I add to my TBR list?  Feel free to let me know in the comments.

    Share:
    children's books, diverse books

    15+ Multicultural Christian Picture Books for Children

    Looking for some fabulous Christian picture books for children ages 4-8? Be sure to check out the picture books on this list!

    Since our family is of the Christian faith, it’s important for me to read high-quality faith-building books with my children.  In the list below, I’ve rounded up some fantastic Christian picture books with excellent illustrations that put God at the focus of the story.   If you’re looking to instill positive faith values in children or just want to read a fantastic Christian-themed picture book about everyday kids being kids, I hope you’ll find something in this list.  Happy Reading!

    The Creation by James Weldon Johnson

    Set in the Deep South, The Creation alternates breathtaking scenes from Genesis with images of a country preacher under a tree retelling the story for children. The exquisite detail of James E. Ransome’s sun-dappled paintings and the sophisticated rhythm of the free verse pay tribute to Black American oral traditions of country sermonizing and storytelling.

    Who Will I Be, Lord? by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

    A young girl thoughtfully considers her family tree and the vibrant ancestors who populate it. As each family member’s story is revealed, her quiet meditation—about what kind of person she’ll be when she grows up—transforms into a testament to the importance of sharing family stories.

    Come Sunday by Nikki Grimes

    Softly, quietly begins the day of the week that, for LaTasha, is always full of glorious sounds: the pipe organ, tambourine, and drum; the footfalls of ushers marching down the aisle of the sanctuary; the sweet harmonies of the choir; and the rich vibrato of the preacher’s voice. LaTasha sings along with the congregation, confident that Heaven hears each joyful note.  A book of beautiful poems related to going to church on Sunday.

    Psalm Twenty-Three by Tim Ladwig

    The text of the familiar psalm comparing God to a loving shepherd accompanies illustrations which shows the world of love and fear faced by an urban African American family.

    He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson

    Through sublime landscapes and warm images of a boy and his family, Kadir has created a dazzling, intimate interpretation, one that rejoices in the connectedness of people and nature.

    The Lord’s Prayer by Tim Ladwig

    A young girl and her father spend a day together helping an elderly neighbor. The love and guidance the child experiences in her relationship with her dad reflect the heart and will of our Heavenly Father in concrete ways children of all ages will understand.

    Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner

    It’s almost little June’s big day to sing her first solo in the youth church choir and she couldn’t be more excited! But when it’s time to practice at choir rehearsal, June gets a little stage fright. As a result, her voice starts to tremble when she sings.  She overhears her friends making fun of her which hurts her feelings and makes her even more nervous and scared. With the help of her supportive family and community members, June gains back her confidence. But will she be ready to sing her big solo on Sunday morning in front of the whole congregation?

    Sunday is for God by Michael McGowan

    A boy longs to play in the river on this hot summer day, but instead he has to sit quietly in a pew. His collar itches and his tie’s too tight—why does the Lord care whether people get dressed up for church, anyway? But as hymns and prayers fill the room, he begins to appreciate the simple beauty of a day set aside for family and prayer.

    The World is Awake by Linsey Davis

    The World Is Awake, A celebration of everyday blessings, written by Emmy Award winner and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis with Joseph Bottum, is a lyrical, rhyming story for young children intended to make them feel safe and joyful, cradled in the hands of God.

    When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

    Told in rhyming and playful text with beautiful illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God’s divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.

    Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer by Tonya Bolden

    A young boy wakes. He has forgotten to say his prayers. Outside his window, a beautiful harvest moon illuminates the city around him and its many inhabitants. As the moon slowly makes its way across the heavens, the boy offers a simple prayer for the homeless, the hungry, and others.

    The Watcher by Nikki Grimes

    Jordan lives in fear of Tanya, the class bully. But Tanya has worries of her own, no matter how much she tries to ignore them. It seems impossible that Jordan and Tanya could be anything other than enemies, but the Lord is watching over them, guiding each of them along a path that might just help them to understand one another.

    Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice and Sing Inspired Generations by Kelly Starling Lyons

    In 1900, in Jacksonville, Florida, two brothers, one of them the principal of a segregated, all-black school, wrote the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing” so his students could sing it for a tribute to Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. From that moment on, the song has provided inspiration and solace for generations of Black families. Mothers and fathers passed it on to their children who sang it to their children and grandchildren. It has been sung during major moments of the Civil Rights Movement and at family gatherings and college graduations.

    Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson

    From award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier, a stunning new picture book version of the well-known song that has become known as the African-American National Hymn

    We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands by Rafael Lopez

    Come and read along and sing along as we celebrate the magic of unity. From the rivers to the mountains to the oceans and to the sea — we’ve got the whole world in our hands.

    As an added bonus the sheet music is included in the back of the book for piano, guitar, and recorder for classroom, library, and home sing-alongs.

    I Am: God’s Affirmations for Little Girls by Belinda N. Mays

    This reflection of God’s truth includes memory versus paired with empowering poetry and breath-taking illustrations to help elementary aged girls build the confidence and courage to live by God’s standards.

    God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    It’s a wish that everyone will see they are brothers and sisters, no matter their way of speaking to God, no matter the size of their nose or the shade of their skin. Aided by vibrant artwork evoking such images as a rainbow and a sharing circle, Tutu offers the essence of his ubuntu philosophy, a wisdom so clear and crystalline that even the smallest child can understand.

    When Daddy Prays by Nikki Grimes

    In this collection of new poems by Nikki Grimes, a child learns about prayer from his father, whose prayers carry the family through each day — no matter what the circumstances.

    When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner

    Do you pray over your children and family? If so, this is a definite must add to your collection. It’s SO beautifully written and is the perfect alternative for the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go…for praying families.

    It’s filled with all the hopes and dreams I have for my children as I raise them to be responsible adults.

    Your turn: What books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share:
    family fun

    The Eggscellent Social Media Scavenger Hunt

    Come one, come all – because the Eggscellent Social Media Scavenger Hunt is about to begin!

    With Easter around the corner, I created a scavenger hunt and I hope many of you will participate and join in the fun!  The adventure begins on Monday, April 1, 2019 and ends on Monday, April 15th. You’ll have two weeks to try and answer as many of the questions listed below correctly.

    If you start and stick it through, by the end of the hunt – even if you don’t win a prize – you will have gotten to know me, my blog, and my family a little better.  You might even learn some things along the way or find some new book recommendations, which is always a plus!

    Does that sound okay?

    Good, let’s get going!

    What’s at Stake?

    • A $50 Amazon gift card!  This scavenger hunt is open to ANYONE in the world.  The gift card code will be emailed to the winner.

    Talk Rules to Me
    Okay – are you ready for the rules?

    1. The FIRST person to get the HIGHEST number of points by answering the questions correctly will be deemed the winner.  The final winner will be announced her on the blog and in my Instagram stories on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 so be sure to come to find out who wins.  It could be YOU!

    2. You MUST email all of your responses to hereweeread@gmail.com in order to enter.  You must put “Eggscellent Scavenger Hunt” in the Subject line of the email so I’ll see it.  Untitled or improperly titled email messages will NOT be accepted.  All email entries must be received by April 15, 2019 by 11:59pm EST to qualify.

    3. Bonus Opportunities.  Yes, there are bonus opportunities too!  For 5 bonus entries: Comment on my last two (2) blog posts OR my last 2 Instagram posts.  For 7 bonus entries: subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

    The Spirit of the Games
    I’d like to remind everyone that Eggscellent Social Media Scavenger Hunt is for fun, for learning, and for getting to know me a little better.  If you have any questions about this scavenger hunt – pop them in the comments below the post.

    And without further ado…

    Here you go: The Eggscellent Social Media Scavenger Hunt list of questions.

    On your mark.

    Get set.

    Go!
    ***************

    1. At what age did my daughter start reading? If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may already know this. If not, search my blog post archives to find the answer.  (Worth 3 Points) 

    2. What date did I start my Instagram account? In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, my username is @hereweeread. (Worth 5 points)  Note: you’re gonna have to scroll WAY back in my feed to find the answer!

    3. What is the name of the community service project my kids and I are currently working on? Easy if you’ve been following me for a while.  (Worth 2 points)

    4. Name two sources I mention on the blog for scoring free or discounted books to help build up your home or school library. (Worth 4 points)

    5. Which author did I meet at last year’s Book Expo in NYC that had me fangirling HARD? (Worth 2 points)

    6. How many Bookface photos did I feature on my Instagram page from January 2019 to March 2019? (Worth 2 points) Note: Don’t know what a Bookface is? You can read about it here.

    7. List the titles of two (2) books I posted on my Instagram page during the month of March 2019. The titles can be any two books you choose. Worth (4 points)

    8. What is one useful tip I provide in my blog post entitled “HELP…MY KIDS WON’T SIT STILL DURING STORY TIME“? (Worth 3 points)

    9. At the time you’re working on this scavenger hunt, how many followers do I have on Twitter? Also, if you’re not already following me on Twitter, won’t you consider giving me a follow? My username is @hereweeread. (Worth 1 point)

    10. At the time you’re working on this scavenger hunt, how many followers do I have on Facebook? Also, if you’re not already following me on Facebook, won’t you consider giving me a follow? My username is @hereweeread. (Worth 1 point)

    11. Name one person I’ve interviewed on my blog. Hint: Interview can be an author interview or another person I’ve interviewed/featured on the blog. (Worth 2 points)

    12. Name 2 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) brands we’ve worked with in the past or featured on the blog. (Worth 4 points)

    13. How old are my children? (Worth 2 points) 

    14. At the time you’re working on this scavenger hunt, how many followers do I have on Pinterest? Also, if you’re not already following me on Pinterest, won’t you consider giving me a follow? My username is @hereweeread. (Worth 1 point)

    15. Name 2 books you’re excited to read from my 2019 Ultimate List of Diverse Children’s Books. (Worth 3 points)

    16. Name 1 inventor listed in my blog post entitled “9+ Black Inventor’s You May Have Missed in History Class.” (Worth 1 point)

    17. Tell me the name of one place my family and I visited on our popular Literary Road Trip Adventures. (Worth 2 points)

    18. Tell me the name of three categories I have listed in my Amazon Bookstore. (Worth 5 points)  Note: You can find the direct link to my Amazon Bookstore here.

    19. What do I have a Master’s Degree in? (Worth 3 points)

    20. Name 2 podcasts I’ve been featured on in the past.  Hint: I’ve been featured on 6 podcasts to date. (Worth 5 points)  Note: If you can only name 1 podcast you will get 2 points, not 5 points.

    21. Tell me the name of at least one (1) publisher I mention in the post entitled, “Diversity in Publishing A to Z”. (Worth 2 points)

    22. Name another publication I write for besides my own blog. (Worth 3 points)

    23. What musical instrument do both of my children play?  (Worth 5 points)

    24. In what state do my family and I currently reside?  (Worth 2 points)

    25. Which fictional tv character’s wardrobe do I fantasize about having?  (Worth 4 points)

    To enter and be in the running for the gift card grand prize, email your answers to me at: hereweeread@gmail.com.  You must put “Eggscellent Scavenger Hunt” in the Subject line of the email so I’ll see it.  Untitled or improperly titled email messages will NOT be accepted.  All email entries must be received by April 15, 2019 by 11:59pm EST to qualify.

    Enjoy the hunt! -Charnaie

    Share:
    children's books

    The Lost Book of Adventure: A Love Letter to the Wild from the Notebooks of the Unknown Adventurer

    Published by Quarto Format: Hardcover

    What would do you if you were walking through the park and found a mysterious notebook with no author? You photograph it and share your findings on social media, of course!

    In celebration of National Take a Walk in the Park Day, (celebrated each year on March 30th) we’ve teamed up with publisher Frances Lincoln Children’s Books to share this amazing book The Lost Book of Adventure.  Written by a person who is only known by the pen name “The Unknown Adventurer”, it contains everything you need to know about how to live and thrive in nature, from the principles of treehouse building to wilderness first aid.  How cool is that?

    If you are reading this, it means my notebooks have been found. I am leaving them here at camp for safekeeping along with a few other belongings that I won’t be taking with me. The notebooks are a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, which I’m passing on to you.

    So reads an excerpt from the weatherworn letter discovered by nature enthusiast Teddy Keen on a recent trip to the Amazon, along with sketchbooks filled with details of extraordinary adventures and escapadesexpedition advice, and survival methodsannotated with captivating colored-pencil drawings. It is thought that the sketchbooks were created for two young relatives of the author. Drawing on Teddy’s knowledge of the outdoors, the pages of the sketchbooks have been carefully transcribed for young readers, as they were originally intended.

    Here are just some of the interesting things you’ll find in this book:

    • How to make a fire and various items from the wild you can use to keep your fire going like pine needles and dry animal poop (who knew?)
    • Campfire cooking essentials including cooking with a stick and making campfire bread
    • Natural antiseptic plants to use when out in the wild and you get hurt: think plantain leaves for insect bites & stings or wild garlic leaves for dressing wounds

    Recommended for ages 9 – 12 and up, The Lost Book of Adventure is packed with extensive survival information for nature enthusiasts or budding explorers.  It’s the perfect companion to bring with you when going camping, canoeing, mountain climbing, hiking or taking a walk in the park on National Take a Walk in the Park Day.

    Share:
    children's books, coloring books, STEM

    Mom-Approved Activity Books: Check Out these Activity Books to Keep Kids Occupied at Restaurants, Airports or During Long Car Rides

    Many kids love to color, draw and scribble.  I know mine do!  That’s why I decided to put together this list of some of the most creative and entertaining activity books that will get children’s creative juices flowing.  These activity books are full of fun activities and stimulating exercises to encourage learning and development.

    From playing with colors to learning science, some of these activity books have extra components that build brain-based executive functioning skills and require a little bit of extra mental energy too.  Other books are filled with facts, coloring areas, and fill-in-the-blank slots that keep children learning about how the world works.

    Let’s face it, if you’re a parent or caregiver you’ve been there at some point — at the airport, on the road, or at a restaurant with a bored or restless child. (There’s nothing wrong with being bored by the way – it’s actually a good thing!  But that’s a whole different topic.)  Sure, you can turn on an electronic device like an iPad, tablet, phone or video game to keep the kids entertained, but they don’t do much for their brain. If you’re looking for something a little more engaging, pull out an activity book, where the kids can dive into word searches, coloring, or other crafts.

    Sew With Me: 60 Fun & Easy Projects to Make Your Own Fabulous Décor and Accessories by Brandy Nelson (Ages 7 – 12)

    Easy-to-follow instructions make this book a great place to start for beginners. With the projects divided into three skill levels, it’s a cinch to find one that’s just right for you. Beginner projects use only hand stitching, intermediate ones combine hand stitching with easy machine sewing and advanced ones use only a machine. Filled with pictures, friendly advice and cutout templates, this will become your favorite activity book for playtime.

    The Dinosaur Craft Book by Laura Minter and Tia Williams (Ages 8 – 12)

    Got a dinosaur enthusiast or future paleontologist on your hands?  (This one is recommended for use at home.)  Containing fantastic dinosaur-themed projects to make, The Dinosaur Craft Book will get children crafting and creating in no time.

    Secret Hidden Pictures Puzzles by Highlights (Ages 6 – 9)

    This book is seriously so fun!  It comes with a magic wand to reveal over 1,000 hidden objects throughout the book.  Can you say hours of fun for kids (and adults!)?

    This Hidden Pictures® puzzle-novelty book features an easy-to-store magic lens made of sturdy paper and plastic to locate over 500 hidden objects and discover amazing scenes. Every red-on-blue puzzle is a mystery until the lens reveals the curiosities underneath, such as jet-skiing starfish, a robot workshop, and astronauts in a faraway galaxy. Children ages 6-9 can become Hidden Pictures® detectives by using the clues to help locate the hidden objects and uncovering new surprises every time.

    Awesome Edible Kids Crafts by Arena Blake (Ages 6 – 11)

    Bring out your inner sculptor with Marshmallow Playdough, and engage your artistic side with Coloring Book Cookies or Painted Rainbow Toast. Are you planning a party? Why not make Edible Taffy Balloons to decorate with, or party hats that are fun to wear and tasty to snack on? You can even transform your favorite snacks and treats into zebras, lions, giraffes and more.

    Each project has a difficulty rating and lets you know if you will need a grownup to help you, making it easy for you to find the perfect project to spark your creativity using safe, nontoxic (and delicious) ingredients.

    101 Kids Activities That are the Ooey, Gooey-est Ever! by Jamie Harrington, Brittanie Pyper and Holly Homer (Ages 6 – 12)

    Create amazing concoctions like Fake Snow, Color-Changing Slime and Glow-in-the-Dark Dough. Dig your fngers into Glowing Magic Mud, Shaving Cream Dough and Kool-Aid Foam. Or, if you’re brave enough, squeeze the Spider Egg Sack Slime or the Frog’s Vomit Slime―eek! There are even some special slime that you can eat like Gummy Worm Slime, Pudding Slime and Cookie Dough Dough. With 101 super cool activities (that are also super easy to clean up), you can try them all!

    101 Kids Activities That are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! by Rachel Miller and Holly Homer (Ages 6 – 12)

    Never again will you hear the all-too-common call of, “I’m bored!” with this kid-pleaser for many ages.

    Whether your kid is 3, 5 or 12 years old, there are hundreds of fun, educational and engaging things to do in this book. When they ask to watch television, you’ll have the perfect solution. 101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! has time-tested, exciting activities to keep your children laughing and learning for the whole day, every day.

    Low-Mess Crafts for Kids: 72 Projects to Create Your Own Magical Worlds by Debbie Chapman (Ages 8 – 12)

    With tricks like twisting pipe cleaners into fun shapes to avoid glue and using brightly colored cups and patterned paper to avoid paint, Debbie shows that keeping it simple doesn’t mean play time has to be less fun.

    Low-Mess Crafts for Kids brings parents and caretakers solutions to the craft time conundrum. As well as being low-mess, all 72 of these awesome projects feature everyday items like pipe cleaners, pom poms and clothespins, which make playtime a cinch. And with step-by-step pictures, kids of any age can create something they can be proud of.

    Awesome Science Experiments for Kids by Crystal Chatterton (Ages 5 – 10)

    Getting kids excited about science can be difficult. Science Experiments for Kids provides young scientists ages 5-10 with hands-on experiments that teach them how to apply the scientific method.

    Animal Activity Book by Alain Gree (Ages 4 – 8)

    This delightful animal-themed activity book will entertain children who are crazy about all things to do with animals. The pages are crammed with over 100 great activities, including dot to dot, spot the difference, coloring in, simple makes and other engaging puzzles, as well as 4 pages of stickers to be used in the book. Fun and educational, the Animal Activity Book features beautiful, bright illustrations that will draw children in and keep them busy. All of the pages are incredibly absorbing with Alain’s unmistakably rich and appealing style of illustration. And while they are enjoying the mazes, matching and counting, the games are helping them to develop a wide range of skills, including observational, conversational and motor.

    Transportation Activity Book by Alain Greer (Ages 4 – 8)

    This gorgeous transport-themed activity book will be very popular with any child who loves all things that go! With over 100 different activities, including dot to dot, spot the difference, coloring in, simple makes and other engaging puzzles. The Transport Activity Book is educational as well as fun and features beautiful, bright illustrations that will draw children in and keep them busy. All of the pages are incredibly absorbing with Alain’s unmistakably rich and appealing style of illustration. And while they are enjoying the mazes, matching and counting, the games are helping them to develop a wide range of skills, including observational, conversational and motor.

    Photo PuzzleMania! by Highlights (Ages

    The puzzling experts at Highlights(TM) have created a brand-new puzzle direction with this exciting and innovative book–every puzzle is created from intricate, full-color photographs. Kids will love searching photos to find the hidden objects in our unique photo Hidden Pictures puzzles.

    Dinosaur Puzzles by Highlights (Ages 6 – 9)

    This irresistible book is packed with more than 100 favorite dinosaur puzzles straight from our beloved magazine. Drawn in the classic Highlights™ black-and-white style, each puzzle is carefully designed to engage and entertain children while honing their concentration skills and attention to detail. With more than 1,200 objects to find, this book provides kids of all ages with hours of puzzling fun.

    Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to keep kids entertained on the go or at home?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share:
    adult books

    The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

    The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose Published by Flatiron Books Format: Hardcover
    Source: Flatiron Books
    Buy on Amazon

    Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, “Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible." That journey starts right here. In her latest book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The book’s ten chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road to self-discovery, laying out what you really need in order to achieve personal contentment, and what life’s detours are there to teach us. Oprah opens each chapter by sharing her own key lessons and the personal stories that helped set the course for her best life. She then brings together wisdom and insights from luminaries in a wide array of fields, inspiring readers to consider what they’re meant to do in the world and how to pursue it with passion and focus. Renowned figures such as Eckhart Tolle, Brene Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay-Z, and Ellen DeGeneres share the greatest lessons from their own journeys toward a life filled with purpose.
    Paired with over 100 awe-inspiring photographs to help illuminate the wisdom of these messages, The Path Made Clear provides readers with a beautiful resource for achieving a life lived in service of your calling – whatever it may be.

    When Oprah Winfrey releases a new book it’s an automatic MUST have for me. So when I heard about The Path Made Clear last year, I knew I had to add it to my home library collection. I’m looking forward to diving in to this one and soaking up all the wisdom from Queen O and her peers.  Doesn’t the synopsis pull you right in and make you want to crack open the book to start reading?

    The book is divided into ten different sections: The Seeds, The Roots, The Whispers, The Clouds, The Map, The Road, The Climb, The Give, The Reward and Home.


    I haven’t finished reading the entire book yet, but here are a few quotes from Oprah that really resonated with me:

    Your life isn’t about a big break.  It’s about taking one significant life-transforming step at a time.

    What I know for sure is you become what you believe.

    Wealth is a tool that gives you choices, but it’s can’t compensate for a file not fully lived.

    On a side note, when I turned forty, I took a long hard look at my life and analyzed some of the previous obstacles I used to let stand in my way of achieving my goals. Maybe some of these obstacles have been holding you back too and cluttering your life path to destiny.

    The first obstacle was ME. Yes, I was always stepping in and getting in my own way. Do you do that too sometimes? I’ve come to realize if you don’t believe in yourself. . .no one else will. Period.

    The second obstacle was my past.  This included failed plans, broken dreams, aborted goals. . .what others have said to me. . .or anything else in my past that was weighing me down. I know now you must not let your past determine your future. If you’re struggling with this right now, you might want to write this down.

    I’m forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

    The third obstacle was resources. Many people never clear the hurdles to success because they don’t think they have the resources to accomplish their goals. Trust and believe you have access to all the educational, spiritual, and, yes, financial resources you need. If you really want to do something you can. No excuses.

    The fourth obstacle was self-imposed limitations. If this is something you’re dealing with ask yourself how many books have you read thus far this year? If you don’t like to read. . .you need to change. . .or your life will remain the same.

    The last obstacle is the opinions of others. Stop caring what other people think and live your life. You are destined for greatness.

    I’m sure some of these obstacles and many more are covered in The Path Made Clear which releases on March 26th.

    Your turn: Do any of these obstacles resonate with you in clearing the path in your life? Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share:
    children's books

    Women’s History Month Bingo with Penguin Young Readers


    March is Women’s History Month, when we honor the contributions and achievements of women from around the world.  This month we’ve been enjoying reading inspirational stories about women from the Penguin Young Reader’s collection.  They sent us this fun Bingo Card showcasing eight women-themed book titles along with a slot for a Book Freebie.

    There’s still time to join us if you want to play along!  Simply print out the Bingo Card shown below, gather your books from your local library if you don’t already own them and cross off the titles as you go.  All of the titles included in this Bingo Card have already been published and should be available at any bookstore or library.  Can you fill in all the Bingo Card Boxes before the end of March?  Download your Women’s History Bingo Card here!

    This Bingo challenge can be done any time of the year and isn’t just limited to Women’s History Month so join in the fun and read with us!  Below I’ve listed the book publication dates for your reference.

    I am Sonia Sotomayor

    (11/13/2018)
    Ages 5 – 8

    I am Billie Jean King

    (2/5/2019)
    Ages 5 – 8

    Who was Selena?

    (8/7/2018)
    Ages 8-12

    Who was Aretha Franklin?

    (4/3/2018)
    Ages 8-12

    Book Freebie

    Must fit the theme of Women’s History Month

    Turning Pages

    (9/4/2018)
    Ages 4 – 8

    Superheroes are Everywhere

    (1/8/2019)
    Ages 4 – 8

    She Persisted

    (5/30/2017)
    Ages 4 – 8 

    Raise Your Hand

    (3/26/2019)
    Ages 4 – 8

    Your turn: Have you read any of these book titles with your little readers?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    Share: