Tag Archives: kids

SNAKES: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos – A very basic introduction for the youngest readers (3/5)

Click the cover to visit on Amazon

As usual I received this book for free for the purposes of review; this time from the author directly. Despite this kindness I give my scrupulously honest opinion below.

In a nutshell and quite obviously, this is a very brief and very simple book about snakes. The content is appropriate for any age but only the very youngest readers will find this worthwhile. Book formatting runs along pretty simple lines with a picture at the top of each page and a paragraph of text under it.

On the positive side, the book is completely accessible. Even if your child has never seen a snake before in their lives this book will make sense. It assumes nothing about the potential reader and begins at the very beginning.

To the negative side, the pictures in this book are pretty tiny. Even on an larger HD Kindle they’re hardly more than thumbnails. They look pretty high def but the way they’re laid out in the book you practically have to put your nose on the screen before you can see much. Lastly, the writing is reasonably professional though it does have a tendency to interrupt itself in the middle of a sentence “wait, what?!” which might be confusing to newer readers.

In summary, this is a good little book to have around but it does have a few foibles. Despite that, you can’t beat the price this week while it’s free on Amazon. It’ll certainly keep at least one child entertained for a few minutes while you cook dinner.


Visit our review on Amazon.com to let us know what you think and don’t forget to vote our review helpful if you find it so. If you don’t then that’s fine too but please let us know what we missed!

Leave a comment

Filed under childrens

Secrets Underground: North America’s Buried Past – Varied topics but too much clip art (4/5)

As usual, I paid nothing for this book but instead received a copy for review from NetGalley. Despite that kind consideration I give my candid thoughts below.

“Secrets Underground” is a very accessible yet detailed story of six different locations on the continent that have something buried underground. In some cases it’s actual open passages or rooms and in others it’s just remnants of some bygone era. The average section is about 15 pages long and features 12 photographs from half a page in size to thumbnails so this is about 70% text and 30% color photos. It’s primarily textual and probably appropriate for 10-12 year-olds.

On the positive side, the author has chosen some very intriguing locales and it makes me want to travel more just reading a bit about them. Also, as I said the text is detailed enough to keep a young reader’s interest but very careful to define words that kids probably wouldn’t know.

To the negative, many of the photos are rather small and some pages are decorated with abominable clip art of digging implements. The graphical layout seems rather unprofessional and at times distracting.

In summary, the book lives up to its name and offers widely varied information on those mysterious bits lurking underground. It could use a bit more polish but it’s sufficient to keep kids interest.


Visit our review on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca to let us know what you think and don’t forget to vote our review helpful if you find it so. If you don’t then that’s fine too but please let us know what we missed!

Leave a comment

Filed under books, childrens

The Lego Movie – One of those rare movies that’s equally entertaining to kids and adults (5/5)

Click to visit our Review on Amazon

We saw this movie because my 8-year-old said, “Daddy, can we go see The Lego Movie?!” so away we went.

So to the question of entertainment value, as I said in the subject line, the adults and kids both seemed highly entertained. We were in a full theatre and one gentleman in particular seemed to be outrageously entertained with his incontinent guffawing. The kids were, of course, entertained enough and the movie had humor working on all levels from the youngest kids to the adults, though nothing REALLY adult, if you get my drift.

As to production quality of the movie, I was extremely impressed with the level of visual detail. I had assumed that since the Lego world is, of necessity, rather low resolution, that the movie might be clunky but they didn’t shy away from high-definition situations. Seeing Legos animated into an undulating ocean, explosions, fire or billowing smoke and dust was particularly surprising. In a similar vein, if you go see this movie be sure you keep an eye on the stuff going on in the background. I noted several scenes in which what was going on behind the focal point of the camera was at least as entertaining as what was going on in front.

Lastly, on the topic of actually learning something, this movie was surprisingly deep. On the surface there was a profound lesson on the value of individuality vs working as a team. Often in children’s movies the themes crow constantly about being your own person and doing your own thing but this one has a strong streak teaching the value of working together and accomplishing more than any set of individuals working separately could. Later in the film, parents get a strong admonition about letting kids be kids and practice their individual creativity rather than trying to get kids to fit into strict parental expectations. All in all lot to learn here.

In summary, Izzy said, “Best movie Ever!” but then she always says that. On my part I wouldn’t say best movie ever but it had a lot to say, was technically well executed and featured lots of famous voices that parents will recognize. I’m not sure what more you could want than that.


Visit our review on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk to let us know what you think and don’t forget to vote our review helpful if you find it so. If you don’t then that’s fine too but please let us know what we missed!

Leave a comment

Filed under animated, movies