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Showing posts from June, 2015

Magic Little Words by Angèle Delaunois and Manon Gauthier

Bravo Angèle Delaunois you did it. And, so did you Manon Gauthier with your whimsical collages that simply add to the charm of this book. Magic Little Words gives kids meaning behind the polite words they are taught to say. 

"Please" becomes a magic key that opens most doors. 

"I love you" sings like a beautiful song for two.

I even love how Angèle Delaunois is able to portray a "Rest in peace" page, for eyes that have closed forever. Parents understand how hard it is to explain this topic to their kids. Kudos to Angèle Delaunois for doing this beautifully and respectfully in the most simple of words. The Flat Rabbit by Bardur Oskarsson is another lovely book that does an absolutely remarkable job of distilling the essence of death and explaining it to kids in a digestible children's book. 

A perfect book to help kids through their day. It is a book that kids will pick up again and again and every time they will understand courtesies with a deeper emotion…

And What If I Won't? by Maureen Fergus and Qin Leng

And What If I Won’t? is a snapshot of a conversation happening between a boy and his mom. Benny is one of those kids who just loves to give his parents a hard time. Whatever solution is presented to him, his natural instinct is to argue and disagree. 

The premise is great. And, parents will be certain to find And What If I Won’t? a hilarious read, especially when they put it into context of their own children who misbehave. There is a buildup of drama. Very relatable, of course. Just as the frustration is. Maureen Fergus does a great job of making us feel the upward trajectory of the behavioural graph.
But, I am curious as to how kids will perceive this book. How will And What If I Won’t? affect them? Because I subscribe to the philosophy that every kid is a sponge, my natural instinct is to analyze the effect this story will have. Will it cause them to be more disobedient? Will they also emulate the mess in the kitchen, just like Benny makes? How about the part where Benny writes all o…

Whiskey & Charlie by Annabel Smith

A coming of age tale that’s poignant and depicts family relationships as they really are…complicated. Whiskey and Charlie are twins, but Charlie thinks he’s got the raw end of the deal. Whiskey is everything Charlie is not. Whiskey seems to be taller, prettier and more of a charmer with the girls. 
The story is about brothers who’ve drifted apart. Can a tragedy bring them back again? Can old wounds be healed? 
"History is nothing more than the thin thread of what is remembered, stretched out over the ocean of what has been forgotten."
With Whiskey in a coma, Charlie is forced to return and face the sibling rivalry they had  become accustomed to. 
But things weren't always as sour. There were moments of fun during their childhood. Charlie remembers the time when they had a secret language they whispered back and forth on their walkie-talkies. This was one of the brothers' strongest bonding memories. Charlie remembers their code, their lifeline. It was also the reason Whis…

One of Dad's favourite things...Engineering

From the great pyramids to the the pioneers of space travel, Engineersby Adam Hart-Davis, is one book Dad will enjoy.

The Early Engineer
Isidore of Miletus
(c.474-558) and 
Anthemius of Tralles
(532-37) build the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. It's unsupported 105 ft (32 m) wide dome is the first of the kind.

Modern Times

Space Engineering
This isn't rocket science, but it is! Wernher Von Braun was the leading rocket engineer of the 20th Century. If you want to know all about him, read the entire section dedicated to him in the book. 

Towering Structures
Do you know who's considered the "Einstein of Structural Engineering"? Fazlur Khan from India is considered the architect of super-tall skyscrapers. With his revolutionary "bundled tube" system he helped shape urban skylines around the world. 

"I put myself in the place of the whole building, and visualize the stresses a building undergoes." ~ Fazlur Khan
It started off as a contest, to design a &qu…

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Step into a Kevin Kwan novel, and you know you’re in for an outrageous ride complete with glitz, glamour, jets, billionaires and diamonds, juxtaposed against the scandals, paparazzi and family politics. Here the people aren’t just crazy rich…they are China rich.
Kevin Kwan’s sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, delivers just the right composition of what you came to love in the first novel, but with a twist. China Rich Girlfriend continues where Crazy Rich Asians left off, but adding even more juiciness to keep you hooked.

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”~ Dorothy Parker
To my delight, China Rich Girlfriend focuses on some of the other characters that I personally found more intriguing in the first book. Astrid Leong, Singapore’s It Girl, is struggling to understand her husband’s new status in life. Seems like coming into newly minted tech billions is getting to his head. I love the relationship between Astrid and her friend, Charles Wu, …

One of Dad's favourite things...GARDENING

So your Dad has a green thumb. Baffled about why he loves to spend hours outside tending to his garden, and getting his hands dirty in the mud? Here's a few reasons: 

1. Gardening is Creative  2. It's Good For The Earth 3. Dad can grow his own organic vegetables  4. Great form of exercise 5. It's good for the soul
If this is your Dad, forget about socks, or ties, or whatever random gift you were thinking you'd just pick up the day before. DK has you covered with a selection of gardening books, some encyclopedias if you may, that make a wonderful gift for the gardener at heart.

Canadian Gardener's Guide edited by Lorraine Johnson

It's a one-stop practical handbook for Canadian gardeners, and includes everything from choosing tools and designing your plot to filling your beds with flowers and vegetables. There is also expert advice on all the basics, with specialist topics such as kitchen gardening, pruning, and propagation. You'll also find step-by-step information …

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

Only Matthew Quick could have a movie deal in the works for a novel prior to its release date. But this is no surprise. After all, this is the same author of Silver Linings Playbook, which was adapted into an Oscar-winning movie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. Now the question remains who will Sony pick to represent the characters in Love May Fail.
Portia Kane is having a meltdown. And why shouldn’t she? She’s just decided to leave her cheating pornographer husband, and her glam life in Florida, to return back to her roots in South Jersey. Starting to feel like she needed something more substantial and meaningful than his playboy lifestyle, she sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her.
Mr. Vernon was Portia’s high school English teacher, and tracking him down proves to be an adventure in itself. Meeting a sassy nun in an airplane, starts off the search, but a series of ordinary flawed characters join in her journey.
For a whole d…

One of Dad's favourite things...DC COMICS

Comic books have come a long way from being thrown out when well worn to being sold for princely sums at auction when well preserved but for any comic book fan in general and DC Comics fan in particular, the DC Comics: A Visual History hardcover is an indispensable item for one’s library. 

Those who want to relive the various eras from the Golden Age of the 30s to early 50s, the Silver Age of the late 50s and 60, the Bronze Age spanning the 70s and early 80s, the Iron Age of the late 80s and early 90s when collecting comic books was at its apex, and the Modern Age from the 90s onwards would be hard pressed to find a book that is as visually stunning, informative, and beautifully bound with high quality paper and appealing slipcover.

Authors Daniel Wallace, Alan Coswill, Alex Irvine, Mike McAvennie and Matthew K. Manning have crafted a reference piece that is encyclopedic in its scope without being academic in its delivery –after all, this is the world of DC, whose characters are at the …