Thursday, March 31, 2011

Make a Spring Wreath and Enjoy a Craft with the Kids.

I know many of you may have seen this wreath and directions on other sites. My daughter found it on a couple of blogs and made this my grandchildren.  It is so easy that the kids can help you with the project.

This is what you need:

Paper coffee filters- pick them up at your Dollar Tree store or at any discount store

Styrofoam wreath- 12-14 inches in diameter

Glue sticks and glue gun or floral pins

Directions: Take a single filter and bunch it or twist it to fluff it out, glue the twisted end onto the wreath. Fill the entire wreath with these twisted filters until it is fluffy enough for your taste. Tie a ribbon around the wreath or glue it to the back to hang.

Make it personal:

This picture shows a completely white wreath with no extra trimmings. For a festive look, spray with an aerosol adhesive and quickly sprinkle glitter over the adhesive. For a primitive look, spray lightly with tea water.

Experiment with color and mix a solution of water and food coloring for a spring-like pastel look. Take a picture of your wreath and email it to me so we can all have a look. Most of all enjoy the process. Crafting should be part skill and mostly fun.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Review: Two Journeys: A Story of Silver Falls

Two Journeys: A Story of Silver Falls
By: Casey Head
Published by:  Silver Falls Publishing, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9832597-1-8
Price: $10.00
Ages: 10-15
Rating:  5 stars
Reviewed by: Wayne S. Walker

     Synopsis: What should the peaceful inhabitants of Silver Falls do when the surrounding communities are being menaced by a group of Phantom thieves?   In Wayward, the debut novel of this series, a rabbit named Flynn Sorrel had run away from home to search for his mother but returned having learned the important lessons of friendship and forgiveness.  Now he and his friend Stram the red squirrel join a group of Silver Falls residents who are journeying to Cane River City to help the people there while they deal with the clan of cruel robbers.  Flynn is also trying to cope with his being bullied by Boscoe Brownfur, the brother of his friend Lara, while the Brownfurs are also travelling in the same direction to visit Mr. Brownfur’s mother on Firetop Mountain.

     At the same time, another of Flynn’s friends, Swift the newfox, is making a journey of his own, along with Spiff the Rescue Robin, in search of the famed Newfox Caverns.  As they make their way, they meet Pierre the crazy turkey, Peter the wise old raccoon, and Rip the weasel, a former member of the robber clan who had been left behind.  In addition, they encounter the folks of Cave Mountain where Spiff is supposed to find out what kind of damage the thieves had done there before they moved on towards Cane River City.  They even run across a vicious bobcat.  Thus, both journeys are disrupted in one way or another by the Phantom group.  Can anything be done about these miscreants before they cause any more trouble?  Will Flynn be able to find a solution to the problem of Boscoe’s bullying?  And does Swift ever make it to Newfox Caverns?

     Overall thoughts: First, there was Redwall.   Then there was Mistmantle.  Now there is Silver Falls.  Children of all ages will enjoy this delightful tale of friendship and sacrifice, which occurs about a month after Flynn’s return to Silver Falls.  It is good to know that there are wholesome, entertaining books like this currently being written which parents can read to their children or have their children read without fear of objectionable material.  Not only is Two Journeys fun reading but there are also some valuable lessons that are illustrated in the story.  Youngsters will learn the importance of showing kindness to others, of handling bullies in the right manner, and of not seeking revenge.  Author Casey Head, who is also a gospel preacher and homeschooling father, deserves kudos for his second successful book.  The third installment in the series is entitled Harvest Blizzard.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book Review: Bugs by Numbers

Bugs by Numbers
By:  Danielle Bruckert
Published by:  Red Sky Ventures   Date:  2010 ID:  9290679 
Price:  available for free online
Ages:   preschool
Rating:  5 stars
Reviewed by:   Kris Quinn Christopherson
Synopsis:  A counting adventure filled with bugs. Children are encouraged to count the number of bugs in the first page before turning the second page, where each bug is numbered and the numeral displayed.

Overall thoughts:  Young children always enjoy counting books, and this book will be no exception.  With repetition and bugs as the subject matter, children will be eager to find the bugs, count them, and check their answers!     


Monday, March 28, 2011

Do Birds Make Good Pets?

Wild birds may not be the best choice for a pet bird. Purchase pet birds from a reliable breeder or petshop.

Dogs and cats may be the perfect pet for your child, but what if your child asks for a bird? Would a bird make a good pet for your child? Here are some things to consider before purchasing a bird for your child.

Birds make good pets for those who understand their care and their physical and emotional needs. Birds are intelligent and they pick up on the emotional state of the owners. They don’t appreciate a yelling and disruptive setting. Those that may adapt to that environment may also pick up on language and the words spoken in a household. If your bird talks, use care with the language used so the bird won’t repeat and teach your child the wrong kind of words.

Birds are fairly easy to take care of. They need food, shelter, and fresh water. Some need a perch, minerals, and an appropriate stone to sharpen their beaks. Food is rather inexpensive compared to other pet needs. Pellets should be of high quality and can be supplemented with fresh fruit or veggies. Learning what can be toxic to your bird will keep him healthy and vet bills to a minimum. They do well in a cage of appropriate size and appreciate a good cage cleaning on a daily basis.

Birds do need a nail trimming on a regular basis and they also may enjoy a clear water sprinkle bath once or twice a week. If their needs are tended to, a bird can be the best and most social pet a child can own. They are so smart that training to do tricks and to rest on a finger perch are easy to accomplish. Proper training and socialization can help a bird to be as affectionate as a puppy or kitten. It is all in how they are handled.

Bird cages come in all sizes and shapes to fit the space available for the new addition. Small birds like canaries or finches make good pets for small dwellings and apartment living. Birds that grow larger can live comfortably in a taller cage which may fit better into a corner space. As long as there is space to romp and play most birds do well living in a cage.

Birds are also very beautiful. Their antics can be fun and entertaining, making for excellent learning and conversation. They live long lives if treated well and fed a healthy diet. Many birds live more than 100 years, outliving their owners in some cases. Researching the type of bird you are interested in, speaking with other owners and purchasing from a reputable breeder or pet store will ensure a positive experience. A bird may be the perfect pet for your child.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review: Gecko on the Wall

Gecko on the Wall
By: Danielle Bruckert
Published by:  Red Sky Ventures   Date:  2010
ID:  8702089 
Price:  available for free online
Ages: preschool
Rating:  4 stars
Reviewed by:   Kris Quinn Christopherson
Synopsis:  An encounter with geckos on the wall, each with a different personality. Which one will the narrator enjoy more?

Overall thoughts:   A simple but delightful book with colorful illustrations.  This wonderfully rhyming story allows the reader to take pleasure in seeing each gecko in a fun setting. Smiles will no doubt occur when reading about these fun geckos.   


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Book Review: A Necklace for Jiggsy

A Necklace for Jiggsy
By:  Kit Grady
Published by: Guardian Angel Publishing  Date:  2010
Print ISBN:  978-161633-091-0 
eBook ISBN:  978-1-61633-092-7
Price:  $10.95
Ages:  4-12
Rating:  4 stars
Reviewed by:   Kris Quinn Christopherson

Synopsis:  Jiggsy, a junkyard dog, delights in finding a special diamond necklace he thinks will change his life.  When his special possession disappears, Jiggsy realizes how it feels to lose something dear and decides to do the right thing.   

Overall thoughts:  Jiggsy is a spunky dog in this sweet story.  Children will learn a valuable lesson through this feel-good romp with Jiggsy as he learns about the “golden rule”, and how it is important to be honest, important to do what you should do.



*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.