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Keeping Fit from A to Z: Mantente en forma de la A a la Z
Editor: Stephanie Maze
Published by: Moonstone Press
Publication Date: September 2014
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 30, 2014
Can you twist and turn like an acrobat? No, but perhaps you juega al béisbol or play croquet. Any way or language you express yourself in, there’s one thing for sure, that if you exercise / ejercicio, you’re sure to keep fit. This is not your ordinary A to Z book, but rather one that will keep you hopping though its pages. Maybe jump a little too and you’ll have a little chance to learn some new words in either English or en Español. Are you ready? Let’s take a little look at some of the super duper (or is that espléndido?) pages in this book!
All right, do you have a favorite letter? Maybe not, but perhaps you have a favorite sport – maybe you love mixed martial arts. Some people can do a karate kick / da una parada de kárate. Watch those boys as they practice their front kick. Very nice, very nice! There are ways to keep fit even if you aren’t in an organized sport. If you love snow you can hazel angel en la nieve (make a snow angel.) Ooooh, a little chilly, but watch those arms go up and down. H is for hazel, but V is for voltereta. No doubt many people have done one, but can you guess what voltereta means? Of course if you are Spanish, you know that it means ‘somersault.’
If you’re into reading you’ll whiz right through this book. Those letters will pop right out at you and you’ll learn all kinds of new words while you’re at it. Acampar, boxea, croquet (ah, you know that one!), danza, and more. Some like ‘croquet’ might be easy to figure out because it’s the same in both languages, but if you take a look at the photographs, you’ll probably be able to figure out what several other words mean. Of course each word in this book is one that has a lot to do with mantente en forma. Did you know that even the smallest things like playing hide and seek can help you keep fit? They can indeed.
This is a very unique A to Z book that, unlike many I’ve seen, is a bilingual one. The theme, “keeping fit,” is an excellent one that will translate and resonate with many homeschool and classroom teachers. Each page pops with exciting photographs of children enjoying life as they find ways to keep fit. Some of the activities are quiet ones while others are more dynamic and vibrant, however all espouse the fact that keeping fit is important. Children can plant flowers / planta flores or they can really move if they juega al fútbol (play soccer). Each page has a capitalized and lower case letter with a larger centralized activity and other smaller ones circling it. In the back of the book are “Other Activities You Can Try / Otras actividades que puedes probar,” “Games You Can Play / Juegos en los que puedes participar,” and an informative “Parents, Did you Know ...? / Padres, ¿sabian qué ...?” section to explore.
Quill says: Keeping Fit from A to Z / Mantente en forma de la A a la Z is a dynamic new A to Z alphabet book that is sure to find its way into small hands, hands that are eager to learn how to stay fit!
For more information on Keeping Fit from A to Z / Mantente en forma de la A a la Z, please visit the publisher's website at: www.moonstonepress.net
Playing With Fire
By: David Tienter
Publisher: Enigma Press
Publication Date: August 2014
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: September 23, 2014
After surviving and escaping a prison of war camp in Vietnam, the protagonist in Playing With Fire, Matt, knows he has developed a particular set of skills that allows him to get into the minds of criminals on the run. This has already been proven once when he helped a friend, Frank, track down the man who murdered his wife. Now, Frank is asking for help once again when Frank’s brother Chuck goes missing after a few days hiking the Appalachian Trail. Frank explains to Matt that Chuck is in extremely good shape as he frequently runs marathons and has even competed in triathlons so it is disturbing that no one has heard from him in nearly two weeks. Immediately wanting to help his dear friend, Matt agrees to go searching for his brother and gathers the gear he will need to go on his own hike down the Appalachian Trail.
During his search for Chuck, Matt comes across an odd pile of leaves that is sure to be the work of some human and as he begins to move this pile he discovers the remains of a human boy. Matt has unknowingly stumbled onto the site of a heinous murder in which the victim appears to have been burned alive. Knowing that Chuck could still be out there with a psychotic killer running loose increases the intensity of the search but now Matt vows not only to find Chuck but to also find this killer as well and put an end to him.
It does not take long for Matt to realize that he is chasing after a downright dangerous and unpredictable man who would probably not hesitate to kill him if given the chance. It is clear after the remains of the boy were found that the killer fled from the Appalachian Trail and Matt will have to try to get inside this killer’s head if he wants to figure out which way he went. Following his instincts, Matt sets out to track down this monster, having no way to know just how dangerous a quest he is accepting.
There is only one way I would describe this book and that is extremely intense. This was a thrilling mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat, especially toward the conclusion as it held a twist I in no way saw coming. Note, however, that this is not a story for the faint-hearted/cozy mystery reader! The story centers on a gruesome killer who turned my stomach each time he was mentioned. To be quite honest there were times where the story was written from the killer’s perspective and I had a difficult time reading it as the descriptions were very detailed. Even though I did find myself applauding the character of Matt for going after the killer, there was not much left to the imagination when the murders were taking place.
Quill says: A thrilling mystery that takes the reader on an intense ride.
For more information on Playing With Fire, please visit the author's website at: www.DavidTienter.com
The Best Part of the Day
By: Sarah Ban Breathnach
Illustrated by: Wendy Edelson
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Publication Date: August 2014
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: September 17, 2014
It is so nice—especially in the times we live in now where a computer screen offers up the next new story—to be able to enjoy and get lost in a book composed of beauty, finesse, and the absolute perfect combination of lovely writing and amazing illustrations.
This new children’s book proves itself to be one of those books; the books that are stuck in our memories because they were our favorites to hear and see when we were growing up. This is not an exaggeration, either. This story is all about seeing the world and being thankful for it. From outside the window, looking into the great expanse of the night, all of the cool creatures and stunning wildlife are at rest...settling down with their own families for a good night’s sleep.
From there, the book explores the enchanting moments that happen during each season. It brings children through autumn, seeing the creatures ‘stock up’ for when the winter snow starts to blow. Heading onto the bus for the first day of school, raking leaves – everything the lover of crisp, clean fall days enjoys most. Then, on to winter and the inevitable snowman; the creatures at rest while the warm fireplace burns. When spring comes to town, the wildlife once again peek their heads out to hear the enjoyment of the kids as they race back outside to have fun. Family loves the summertime, as well. Enjoying a picnic or fireworks with friends...every season is represented to a point where you wish it would never end, and staying a child forever could be a choice.
There is new life from a family friend, there is cuddling with sheep and learning, while still young enough to be excited by the world, that life is most definitely something to treasure.
For all readers, this will become a cherished book. This is one tale that, no matter how bad reality has intruded upon your day, will automatically uplift and excite. And when you curl up with the ones you love to read this story every evening, you will remember that the best part of your day is happening right then and there.
Great writing, incredible pictures, and a way to look at the world that we should all try to do at least once a day!