Adventures of the Non-Creative Mom

November 12, 2012

Christmas Shopping-Usborne Book Suggestions

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 1:49 pm
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With my email being flooded with the Black Friday ad scans I have started thinking about what to give the kids.  A lot of my friends have mentioned how many toys their kids have and how they really don’t want to get any more toys.  So I figured why not get them some new books?  They are both educational and fun plus the Usborne books quality are so much better than most other books and have held up well from all the abuse from my 5 yr old and 2 yr old.

Here are some of the latest books that have become favorites in our house.

Big Book of Big Machines: my 5 yr old was a bit disappointed that this book didn’t have the flaps like the See Inside and Look Inside books but my 2 yr old can’t get enough of it.  He is a huge fan of construction trucks, airplanes, etc. so he loves going through this book and talking about all the machines.  There are a couple pages that fold out to show some big planes which is neat.  I’ve found my son a number of times sitting somewhere flipping through this book and “reading” it to himself.

See Inside Your Body by Katie Daynes

See Inside Your Body: this is one of my 5 yr olds favorites.  It was one of the first non-fiction books I purchased from Usborne back in May or June and we still go back to it.  The first thing that appealed to the kids were of course the flaps.  There are over 50 flaps throughout the book but the other neat thing was just learning about your body.  Each set of facing pages covered a part of the body like your muscles, your bones, your senses, etc.  You learn about what red blood cells are and how they help your body, how your brain tells your hand to swat a fly, etc.  It’s fascinating for both kids and adults and will keep you busy for a long time.

Wind-Up Pirate Ship: I earned this book a few months ago and am glad I did because I normally would not have bought it myself and it’s a wonderful book.  There is a story but the thing that my kids both loved about it was the windup toy that came with it.  There are pages throughout the book that have groves cut out so that you can wind up the boat and let it travel along the page.  One was a treasure map and the kids loved seeing where on the map their boat would stop.  Would it be in the shark pool? On a deserted island?  For those worried about losing the toy the book is designed with a plastic covering that fits around the boat and when you close the book it holds the boat in.  I’m debating getting the train wind-up book for my 2 yr old for Christmas since the kids love this book so much.

See Inside How Things Work

See Inside How Things Work: this is another book in the See Inside series that have interesting facts and a ton of flaps for the kids to lift.  The most surprising thing about this one is that my 2 yr old has taken to bringing it to me each night for bed time.  It’s listed as for 7 yr olds+ though I have found my 5 yr old enjoys them just fine.  She enjoys describing to me now how each thing works like how airplane wings help it fly or how does velcro work.

Busy Truck: this book is listed for 1 yr olds+ but my 2 yr old really enjoys it and even my 5 yr old comes and sits with us when we read it.  The truck you see on the cover is actually a thick cut out that is attached to the book by a red ribbon.  As you read the book you move the truck along and fit it onto each page like a puzzle piece.  When you get to the last page you have to flip the truck over to get it to fit into the slot and you see all things the truck has picked up along the way.  It’s a lot of fun and great for the kids manual dexterity.

Brush Your Teeth, Max and Millie: this is just one of the books in the Max & Millie series and is my kids favorite.  There’s a little clean teeth song and a catchy rhythm to brushing your teeth which my 2 yr old will sing while he brushes his teeth.

I could go on and on but then this post would just get too long 🙂  Here are links to some of our past favorites:

Farmyard Tales

The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales

That's Not My Car

That’s Not My Car…

Sophie’s Big Bed

A Baseball Story by Richard Torrey

A Baseball Story

Picture Word Lotto

Picture Word Lotto Game

June 19, 2012

That’s Not My Airplane

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 11:51 pm
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That's Not My CarThat's Not My Frog

Both my 4 year old daughter and my 2 year old son are both huge fans of this That’s Not My…series.  Ever since I’ve become an Usborne consultant I have been buying more of these books. My kids latest favorites are That’s not my car… and That’s not my frog…

If you haven’t checked out this series and have little ones you definitely want to pick one up.  The kids love the repetition in these books partly I think because they can “read” it themselves.  Each page starts off “That’s not my car…It’s windows are too shiny” or something along those lines.  That part of the car has some sort of texture on it for the kids to touch and feel whether it be something fuzzy, rough, bumpy, etc. and my kids love touching each page.  Sometimes they will even go back a page just to touch the page again. Even though the textures start repeating throughout the books the kids never seem to tire of them.

The books are targeted for 9 months and up but it’s funny that when I start reading them to my 2 year old my 4 year old will call out “wait for me before you read!”.  No matter what your child’s interest there is likely a book that fits the topic.

Purchase: That’s not my car…
Purchase: That’s not my frog…

May 21, 2012

Win $25 of Usborne Children Books

Filed under: Books — by dsuzuki @ 9:38 am
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Usborne Books & More

How To Win

If you saw my post about becoming an Usborne Books & More consultant recently then you know how excited I am about these books.  To celebrate I am going to be doing a giveaway of $25 worth of Usborne books.  All you have to do is simply place one order (no minimum order. Books as low as $4.99) from my online store and let me know in the comments what book you ordered and an email address to contact you at if you are the winner (note I will need to verify with the winner the email used for placing the order to confirm.). For every 10 people who enter I will increase the dollar amount of books you could win by $5 so tell your friends. 🙂 This giveaway will run until June 18 and is open to US only.

What Are Usborne Books?

Usborne books are high quality books for infants, toddlers, elementary school age and middle grade children.  Usborne books are no longer sold to Amazon or Amazon resellers so soon (if not already) these titles will be disappearing form their site.  They are a great deal and I’ve become a consultant become both my kids love the books we get from them.

80% of Usborne books are under $10 and there are great value packs that allow you to save more. If you end up spending $40 or more you qualify for this month’s special of choosing up to 3 books for more than 60% off from here.

Some of our favorites are:

That's not my dinosaur...

That’s Not My Dinosaur $8.99

That's not my penguin

That’s Not My Penguin $8.99

Farmyard Tales

The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales (includes 20 stories & a Read Along CD) $24.99

 Earn Free Books

If you are interested in earning free books you can host a book show (for most of you who are remote this can be done online). Simply contact me, we will set up an eShow and then you send the link to all your family and friends.  The show will run for a set period of time and if at the end of the show your sales total at least $250 you will earn $40 in free books.  If you host your show by July 27, 2012 I can double that so that you earn $80 in free books.  For every additional $50 in sales that come in from your show you earn another $10 of free books.  i.e. If your show brings in a total sales of $350 you earn $60 in free books or if you host prior to July 27 you earn $120 in free books.

May 17, 2012

See Inside Your Body by Katie Daynes

Filed under: Books,Learning — by dsuzuki @ 10:49 pm
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See Inside Your Body by Katie Daynes

Sometimes it pays to check out a book that you never would have picked up before.  If you saw my post the other week you know I signed up to be an Usborne consultant because I wanted to buy so many children’s books from them that it made more sense to buy their consultant kit and then I fell in love.  This See Inside Your Body book was one of the books included in the kit that I had never heard of before and I was not about to push a book I hadn’t read before so my 4 yr old and I picked it up for bedtime tonight.  She loved it!  And I will admit I learned some new things too and got a refresher of things I hadn’t remembered from school.

Initially when we opened it up it looked a little daunting with the illustrations of the human skeleton and all the words.  The flaps were the main reason she was willing to give it a try and once we worked through each flap and I started reading the little blurbs she soon became fascinated.  One page talked about the bones in our body and as we read through that we looked at our hands and legs and imagined what would it be like if they were made up on one big bone instead of smaller bones connected to form joints that let us bend and move.

Her favorite section was about the brain and how it passes messages to the rest of your body to tell you to swat a fly or her favorite, to tell you your foot stinks when you sniff your toes at the end of the day!  That had her giggling even after we had to put the book down and turn out the lights.

For those with 5+ year olds (or 4 year olds who enjoy more non-fiction type books) don’t let the subject matter or  the fact that this isn’t a story book put you off.  It’s a fascinating read and makes for a good discussion book about how your body works.  We looked at our joints and veins, took deeps breathes and exhales to see how our lungs and diaphragm feel as we filled our lungs and let the air out, talked about why scabs forms on cuts and picking at them can cause new bleeding and acted out silly messages our brains could send the rest of our body.  Definitely glad I was sent this book and that we took a chance on reading it tonight.  My daughter has already told me she wants to take this for Sharing Day at school tomorrow.

May 11, 2012

Exciting News!

Filed under: Books,Learning — by dsuzuki @ 12:27 am
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Usborne Books

I’ve been so excited to finally share the news that I am now an official Usborne Books consultant.  Basically what this means is I now have the ability to showcase and provide an opportunity for others to buy some awesome books from Usborne and provide people with the opportunity to earn free books.  I also learned that Usborne no longer sells their books to Amazon in protest of their attempts to control publishers and wipe out smaller, independent bookstores.

What this doesn’t mean…This will not affect my personal reviews about any books posted on this site.  I promise to continue to provide my honest opinion and opinions of my children about any book discussed on this site.  The main reason I joined Usborne was I was surprised how many of the books we love and that I was curious to get for my kids are Usborne books.

Two of our favorites:

That's not my dinosaur...

That’s not my dinosaur…

 That's not my penguin

That’s not my penguin…

At first I didn’t realize there was an entire series of these “That’s not my…” books but both my kids love them.  Each page has a different texture on it like “rough”, “fuzzy”, “slippery”, etc. and they enjoy touching each page.

Another series that I’ve had my eye on and just found out they are Usborne books as well are:

How Big is a million?

How Big is a Million?

 I saw How Big is a Million? in the store and after browsing online I found out there is also How Deep is the Sea? and How High is the Sky?

And the last book that was already on my wish list was:

On the Moon

On the Moon

 This one caught my eye since if you have read my earlier post you know that my four year old is on a space kick and loves reading any book about outer space.

You can be sure that I’ll be getting these and letting you know what the kiddos think of them.  If you are interested in purchasing any Usborne books I would appreciate if you would purchase through my online store but even if you buy elsewhere I doubt you will be disappointed in these books.

If you are like me and always want more books than my wallet can handle you can also contact me about “hosting” an eShow to which you can invite your friends. Through the month of May the more purchases made during your show the more free books you can earn.