It’s a Big World, Little Pig (Childrens Book Review)

It’s a Big World, Little Pig is book number two from figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi. This follow up to her Best Selling Dream Big, Little Pig follows Poppy Pig on her newest adventure- a trip to the World Games ice skating championship in Paris! While Poppy is of course, nervous, her family and best friend will support her. Poppy even gets to meet friends from all over! Some skate like her, and some prefer other sports, but they all get along. They all look different, are from different places, and are different animals, but they all love sports and want to be friends.

Children can benefit from Poppy’s determination and willingness to try new things and go new places. Leanrning about different cultures and people is important [Read more…]

Sneezy Wheezy Day- Cute Kids Book Review and C0NTEST

Don’t you hate it when your kids get sick? I don’t mean the, ” I feel sick, I can’t go to school today” sick I mean, miserable, stuffy, achy, hurt-y sick. The kind where the only thing that will make them feel better is some attention and some sleep. Maybe some soup, too 🙂

There is a new book out called the Sneezy Wheezy Day, which takes this theme of getting sick and has fun with it. The story is about a pair of sibling cougar cubs, one a boy and one a girl. The brother cub has a cold, so the two of them venture about in the forest trying to get him relief. There are some very silly remedies that don’t help even for an instant, but frustrate [Read more…]

Curious Critters, a great new kids book for animal lovers and Pre-K ages!

How many of you make funny noises at your kids just to see that quizzical reaction from them?  You know you do, don’t ya?  In a store  you look at them and make a funny noise to get them to laugh or even just cause you want to make a funny noise and have an excuse?  Well, for once you will have a good excuse for making funny noises at your kids.  Curious Critters is a new book by David FitzSimmons.  This book has some of the most incredible looking animals around in such large format and sharply defined pictures you will want to pick them up and pet her/him.  Pictures of frogs, goldfish, possum, snakes and birds all look like the colors were turned up to an 11, maybe even 12. Amazing!

There is one other component to this book, the little blurbs written about the animals.  They almost always, for each specific animal, have a part in them where you make an animal sound.  Be it a Kee-eee-arr of a blue jay to the snap of the Ohio crawfish.  This makes this book so much fun to read to kids it should be illegal.  Making silly noises and getting a giggle is the best, pair it with a silly face while doing it and you are golden.  Then leave it out and have your friends pick it up thinking its an animal photo book only to get a giggle out of them about the musings written for each animal.

Enjoy this wonderful book!

“When parents read CURIOUS CRITTERS with their kids not only will they have fun reading, but they also inspire in them a life-long interest in nature. Kids will want to swap TV and video games for a trips to the park or more time in the backyard. So, get ready to have a budding biologist on your hands!”
Just some of what kids will learn:
  • What turtles and humans have in common
  • Why black swallowtail butterflies impersonates their toxic cousins
  • How Eastern box turtles can live longer than humans (over 150 years!)
  • If squirrels can fly
  • Why crayfish grow new legs
  • How bats find food
  • Why frogs sing
  • How jumping spiders jump and why they never have to look over their shoulders.


Teaching is….. (Book Review)

Teaching Is…Impossible to sum up in a little book, but that is not to say this author didn’t do a bang-up job!
A sweet coffee table book, it is filled with the author Marjan Glavac’s personal experiences and parables of his own 30 year teaching career.  This is a quick read, meant to inspire teachers as well as explain to non-educators why teachers teach- for reasons such as “Having a student come up with a better way to solve a problem- even though you have taught the same lesson for five years.”

I have been having a rough go of it lately.  My house has been badly damaged by Irene and flooding, my dog has cancer, and my job is killing me.  I LOVE being a teacher, however- lately there are aspects of this particular job that are getting harder and harder to swallow.  With all that is going on, I was recently sorting through a pile of things hastily thrown into a box while we were trying to salvage things from the flood.  That is when I saw this book- it must have come right before I got home from Ohio to meet the storm, because I had not seen it.

As I sat there and flipped though it, it made me laugh, and made me think.  Being a teacher is a unique kind of job- it is a huge responsibility, yet so many parents and politicians want to place the burdens of the world on our shoulders, while reducing resources, materials, benefits, paychecks, and classroom aids- of course all the while INCREASING class size and requirements and expectations.

However- there are some of us that are still foolish enough to want to teach.  It is a big job to help mold children who will one day be the adults that run this country, and it amazes me every day that teachers are often the political and parental “whipping boy” so to speak.

It’s not about money- it’s the love of watching a kid UNDERSTAND what you are trying to tell them, keeping your class quiet because they WANT to hear you, and having a parent tell you (years later) that little Jimmy still talks about you.  No one does this job to get rich or become powerful, they only do it because they feel the need.  Are there bad apples?  Sure, everyplace has them.  But don’t let a few bad apples spoil the profession!  I had a few lousy teachers as well- but I had way more great ones.

Here’s looking at you, Marjan Glavac, for telling it like it is, so clearly and so simply!
Great gift for any teacher, keep this on your radar for end of year or Christmas gifts for sure  🙂

Marjan Glavac is a firm believer that: “there are no boundaries for the journeys of the mind” and that every student, parent and teacher is capable of achieving great journeys. 
He is the creator of the highly regarded online teacher’s resource


The Case of the Colorful Caudipteryx- Professor Barrister’s Newest Dinosaur Book! #kids

Professor Barrister has done it again!  With his newest book, The Case of the Colorful Caudipteryx, Professor Barrister again takes Nate and Emily (not to mention your kids!) on a whirlwind adventure to the past.  The very, very distant past! 

When the Caudipteryx somehow gets into the time machine, Nate, Emily, and the Professor have to track it down- it has ended up in the wrong era, and won’t know what to do!  Not to mention the effects that a dinosaur who has time traveled to the wrong time period can have on history- who knows what would happen?  Good thing we have a team of science-super-heros to take on the challenge and return the missing dinosaur to it’s correct time  🙂

“When a dinosaur from the Triassic Period accidentally transports itself 150 million years to Cretaceous China, it’s up to Prof. Barrister, Nate and Emily to rescue it. Will Prof. Barrister’s crazy new feather-fossil-color theory be enough to save the time-trapped dino?”

You and your children will have so much fun with this book (and this series, if you have not started it yet!), that you won’t realize how much you are learning about dinosaurs and paleontology.  The Professor Barrister Series are some of my favorite books for kids, and the previous three, The Case of the Truncated Troodon, The Case of the Armored Allosaurus, and The Case of the Enormous Eoraptor,  are adorable and fun.  They follow the same set of characters, and you can get to know them and thier personalities. 

I think it is best to read them in order, starting with the first one, (as you would with any series) but you can read them separatly without getting lost.
My daughter is able to read on her own now, and I think these books are great for early readers through about 10 years old- but they are always warmly recieved at the Pre-K as well.  The kids love to be read to, and what kid doesn’t love dinosaurs?

You can buy these books just about anywhere- Amazon, for your e-reader, Barnes and Nobel- but if you go to author Stephen Penner‘s website, you can get a signed copy, making it that much more special for your kiddo!  These are great books, and if you have read my other reviews (or follow me on Twitter!) you know I love, love, love them- really and truly!  If you have not read them yet- I highly recommend them as a mom, a teacher, and as a lover of books  🙂

Stephen Penner’s books have made several top-children’s lists, including Barnes and Nobel’s Children’s list.  If you have a dinosaur lover or book lover on your hands, The Professor Barrister series is going to be perfect for them. 

You can Follow Professor Barrister on Facebook and author Stephen Penner on Twitter– don’t miss out on new, fun stuff  🙂 
Happy Adventuring!


The Butterfly Cabinet- Book Review

I absolutely adored The Butterfly Cabinet– it was a real page-turner, and I could not put it down!  Set in Ireland about 100 years ago, this book is loosely based on real facts and a true crime that was committed. 
A mother kills her child- but was it an act of cold blood, or a mother trying her best to raise her child?  This is
abuse in the eyes of today- but in a different time…it’s so hard not to be judgmental!  Not being from that age or culture, it is impossible to see it with any eyes but my own- but I can try.  I empathize most with the maid and nanny (later on), whose views are most like my own, and whom I feel kindred with.

The book alternates between the mother of the child, and the maid who is telling the story.  One begins to understand the mother a bit more, about her life, as we read from her journal.  The maid is an enchanting character, one I was happy to hear from and get to know.  Haunting, sad- yet hopeful for the future- it broke my heart, and made me want to hug my own kids.  I loved the storytelling, the historical details of Ireland and the setting.  Fans of history, or lovers of all things Irish will say this is a “must read“.

I would buy this book in a heartbeat.  Well written, from the heart, and full of history drama, and suspense- even a happy ending, though tinged with sadness.  It is all we can ask for from a book, really. 

“Vivid, mysterious and unforgettable, The Butterfly Cabinet is Bernie McGill‘s engrossing portrayal of the dark history that intertwines two lives. Inspired by a true story of the death of the daughter of an aristocratic Irish family at the end of the nineteenth century, McGill powerfully tells this tale of two women whose lives will become upended by a newly told secret.”

Daughters of the River Huong

This book was just enthralling- I could not put it down! I loved the pace, the flow of the book. It was well researched, but did not take on the tone of a history book. It was about a woman who was on one of the last helicopters out of Saigon during the Vietnam war, when Saigon fell. But it was not a war book- it was a family history- a short history of Vietnam. I found myself getting annoyed, at times, at the way people in the book thought or acted- but I had to remember that it was not my culture- not the way I was raised, not even my time period- so how in the world could I understand or make judgements? It’s important to remind ourselves of that with books like this, lest we lose the real meaning. My heart hurt for her, for so many others in the book. As an international volunteer, mostly working with children, certain parts of the book really broke my heart. As a history buff and hopeful PhD candidate in the future, it was an interesting book to read from the angle it was written. The traveler in me just wanted to go SEE it, go visit the places that sounded so beautiful, and read more about the legends in the book. I always have a hard time talking about books like these- that I love, but don’t want to give anything away because I don’t want to ruin it for you!
If you are a lover of history, of drama, of romance, travel, or just want a good, interesting read- this is one to pick up. I think by now you know I tell you my honest to word opinions- I think most people would love this book.

Here is a bit more information about Daughters of the River Huong
Product Description: Daughters of the River Huong by Vietnam-born, Houston-based writer Uyen Nicole Duong is a richly woven tapestry of family, country, conflict, and redemption. A saga spanning four generations of Vietnamese women, we discover lives inextricably tied to their country’s struggle for independence. Narrated by the teenaged Simone, a girl who flaunts convention and enters into a forbidden relationship of love and sensuality, readers are drawn to the lives of four of Simone’s ancestors, from Huyen Phi, the Mystique Concubine from the extinct Kingdom of Champa, to Ginseng, the Mystique Concubine’s second daughter and a heroine of the Vietnamese Revolution. Duong tells a tumultuous story of power and lust that transports us from the Violet City of Hue to the teeming streets of a Saigon at war, from the affluence of Paris’s St. Germain des Pres to Manhattan. Love, war, capitalism, revolution—this novel delivers a chronicle of history as fascinating as it is memorable.

Disclosure- I received this book in order to facilitate the review.  All opinions are my own,
yours may differ. 


Bindi Irwin Wildlife Series- Review and Contest

G’day mate!  (LOL)
There is a great new book series out there.  I’m sure you all know the tragic story of Steve Erwin, “The Crocodile Hunter”.  If not please feel free to take a quick look: his story.  Ok now that you are all back, his daughter is Bindi Irwin.  She wants to, “…help endangered wildlife just like dad did.”  She is trying very hard to make a difference, through education.  Bindi has started to release her own book line, Bindi Wildlife Adventures.  Her first book, Trouble at the zoo  did a nice job of setting the tone for the series.  This book is sweet- is a great book for kids between the grades of one through four.  It involves a particular hairy event during the celebration of Bindi‘s birthday party at the Australian zoo.  Lots of zany stuff happens, like karaoke, animal rides, dancing- there is even some mystery and a macaw.  That’s right a macaw!  This critter was Kamikaze’s favorite, too.  She was able to read and understand what was going on in the story with a little help.  A bit of background on Kamikaze- She is an average student in first grade, but she is great at math while struggling with reading- so books like this that she really enjoys will help motivate her to practice.  She really liked this book and will probably follow the series.  Which is great considering this is teaching her about animals, science, activism, and reading.  The only downside is…we have to wait for the next books to come out! LOL  I am just happy she is learning the excitement that is reading.  Her momma loves to read, and I hope she will, too!  We are also animal activists in this house, so reading about helping animals, and learning about animals is familiar and fun territory for her.
One of you will win a copy of a Bindi book!  
If you would like to win, here is how to enter-
Mandatory entry
You must be a public follower on Google Friend Connect.
Leave me your email so I can contact you if you win.  In  your comment, please.

 Extra Entries
Leave a separate comment for each entry.

– Register at Totally Bindi for her updates

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#Win Bindi Irwin Wildlife Series- Review and Contest @HaveSippy @TotallyBindi

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Follow me on Twitter ( or you can use my adorable button to the side!) and tweet about this contest
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– Email a friend about this contest, with a CC to me at
(you get an extra entry if they enter, too!)

 -Add my button to your blog, and leave me the link so I can find it

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– blog about this giveaway, and link back to this contest (leave me the URL in comment, please)

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– Vote for me on “We’re On The Fence!”  (Just Click the Button to the left that says “We’re On the Fence” until it confirms you voted for your’s truly!)   *Can be done daily

– enter another one of my giveaways

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– Like this post on Facebook, Stumble it, or hit G+1 button  (each is worth one entry)

OOO, so many ways to win! Good luck!

DISCLOSURE: A product sample was provided for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited by law.  Open to US shipping addresses only.  Limited to US residents; 18 years old and above.  Sponsor is responsible for providing and mailing prize. Ends July 17, 2011.