Eat This by Andrea Curtis (125)

This is a book for kids about how fast-food marketing gets you to buy junk and how each of us can fight back and be as healthy as we can be.

There are so many untruths out there about junk food. Kids tend to believe the media because they are in their face 24/7.  Because kids are on social media so much, it can be hard for them to avoid these junk food ads after a while. The media just basically saturates the market with these ads, and then eventually kids eat foods that they really shouldn’t in order to be healthy.

This book will help kids understand and recognize fast food and beverage marketing so that they can make more informed decisions on what and what not to consume.

One of the reasons it is so easy to eat junk food is because they are easy, convenient and happiness-in-a-box, until you consume it. It is basically very unhealthy for the young and especially kids to consume junk food on a consistent basis. We all need to become mindful of this and avoid junk food as much as possible.

Many of us have no idea how the food goes from field to table or what is put in the food to make it tasty, from additives, colours, and sugars.

But we can all reclaim our food, healthy and well-being. We can do so by planting a school food garden, learn cooking skills to make yummy, healthy food for yourself and your family, write to stores and food companies to ask them to offer food that’s delicious and good for you, push for access to healthy, sustain food for everyone.

I just loved this book for all the information that is contained in it for kids and parents. May we all start 2019 in a much more healthy frame of mind.

Posted in Additives, Author from Toronto, Food, Junk food | Leave a comment

Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann (124)

I picked up this book over the Christmas Holiday. It was again among the new books at my local library. And the title intrigued me.

The book was a bit surprising in that I expected to read a book that has a lot of tips for young writers. However, this wasn’t the case really. Instead, what I did receive as I started reading it are inspiring tidbits on how to write with authenticity. This then has become one of the most unusual books that I read about writing. It does so much more than offer advice. It teaches you how to look at the world as an authentic writer.

There’s an old saying: writers are always writing, whether or not they are sitting in front of a computer screen or piece of paper, holding a pen. This is because whether consciously or unconsciously, we are always looking for material to write about. This is especially the case if we have been bitten by the writer’s bug and we know that we want to write.

McCann shows the reader precisely how to be that writer–that one that is full of intrigue and wonder and amazement in all that is in the world around him.

The world is really a canvass for the writer to see, hear, touch, taste, smell and take in. I know how overwhelming this is because I too am a writer. I know how it is to be sitting in a restaurant and wonder what kind of life the person who is sitting in front of me has.

If you are a writer, this book is definitely for you. But if you’re not a writer, you may become one quite quickly after reading this book!  So, proceed with caution. Unless, of course, you want to become a writer!  Then run to your local library and take it out.

This is a book that I will read and re-read over the years. It is deep and authentic.

Posted in About Writing, Author from Dublin, Canadian publisher, Inspiration, The World is a Canvass | Leave a comment

Bloom by Elsa Schiaparelli (123)

I have read books by this author before. All her books are vibrant and inspiring, and this one is no exception.

This picture book also has a few important lessons contained in it. I will discuss them below in turn.

The cover of the book made me stop in my tracks as did the title. A girl’s face is adored in vibrant pink daisies. They surround the little girl’s freckled and moulded face.  It is cute but it also makes you think.

The story starts with a baby girl in a carriage. The parents look down on her with gloomy, miserable faces. They apparently expected a boy. But a girl came instead.

The firs grew up having very low self-esteem. She didn’t want people taking photographs of her. She felt ugly and id her face a lot. What is beauty, she asked herself? When can she feel beautiful? She tried surrounding herself with pretty, bold pink and purple flowers. They made her feel good but not for long.

Then she decided to adorn herself with flowers just to feel better about herself. She felt prettier. However, when she puts seeds in her ears, and gets ill, two doctors have to be called. It is at this point when her imagination starts to become even stronger. Her imagination develops and she starts believing in herself more.

Further, her Uncle Geovanni loved her unconditionally. He spends hours with her. He loves looking at her planets and solar system with her. He inspires her imagination even more and becomes more supportive. He helps the girl realize that despite her small flaws, she is very wonderful indeed.

So, she grows and jeeps dreaming big. Ultimately she starts creating her own line of bright, vibrant and unique cloths!

So, here are the lessons in this book.

  • We must develop our confidence from the inside-out.
  • We need people who believe in us and love us unconditionally.
  • We are all unique and wonderful just as we are, regardless of our physical flaws.
  • We should believe in ourselves and doors will open for all of us.

I love this book. It is one of the most poignant picture books that I read in 2018.



Posted in Author from Vancouver, Loved from the Inside-Out, Self-Esteem | Leave a comment

The Night Before Christmas by Troy Townsin (122)

This is the last Christmas book that I am posting. I know that most of our Christmas’ are long gone, but the Orthodox Christmas just ended on the weekend with the epiphany.

This book brought back memories to cold Christmases in Montreal, Quebec, where I wold freeze my eye lashes because it was so cold. Its wonderful when there are cold white Christmases. I miss them here.

This is a story about Santa Claus with a few different twists. He isn’t dressed as a typical Santa. The reindeer are not pulling his sleigh, he doesn’t come in through the chimney and he doesn’t want milk and cookies when he arrives. It is a fresh remade of the typical Christmas story.

The illustrations are vivid and colorful too. They bring the story to life for kids of all ages.

I love the Christmas season for all of these wonderful books. May we all remember them as the year starts in earnest.


Posted in Christmas Story | Leave a comment

Christmas by Jill Foran (121)

This is another book for the December mini-challenge that has passed already. But I will post the reviews anyways.

I really enjoyed the book and I was surprised by how much I learned as a result of reading it.

The author discusses the beginnings of Christmas. I had no idea that Lunenburg County in Nova Scotia is the Christmas Tree Capital of the world.

The author discusses the Canadian traditions of Christmas such as what we eat, do, and the reason for the season which is the birth of Christ.

The author also talks about how people celebrated Christmas hundreds of years ago. they also decorated, and cooked and baked as we all do.

Santa Claus is a relatively new invention and the Santa Claus parade in Toronto is the largest in Canada.

Lastly, the author discusses Hanukkah and Ukrainian Christmas. I just love the decorations and other things included.

All in all this book is loaded with new facts and information that will surprise many readers.

The book ends with a few recipes and a quiz. I just loved the book!

Posted in Christmas | Leave a comment

The Christmas Wind by Stephanie Simpson McLellan (120)

This is a Christmas story with serious overtones. It is a story that celebrates the goodwill of people in times of need.

Jo is a young girl who helps her mother and baby brother on a cold Christmas Eve. She searches for a place to stay, but none come to her obviously. Her mother is ill, and the baby needs to be fed.

After searching everyone, they only find an old barn owned by a local farmer who has a reputation for being a curmudgeon. He is also known as a solitary grouch. Nobody cares about him.

Jo doesn’t trust him to care for her family at frist. However, he does eventually prove to be less of a threat. He makes the family a warm sanctuary in his home. When the wind finally dies down on Christmas morning, peace comes to them all.

The artwork is just breathtaking. Every page spread should be a painting.

This is a story about a reminder of the original Christmas story. The story is breathtaking in-depth and breath.

I loved the book and will be recommending to all the kids and families that I know in my midst.

Posted in Author from Toronto, Christmas, Christmas Story | Leave a comment

Broken Pieces by Allison Lawlor (119)

This is a book about an orphan of the Halifax Explosion. Nothing seems sadder than being the only person who survives, especially if you are young and your parents and siblings are killed and you are left alone.

One hundred years ago, on December 6th, 1917, two big ships collided the steamship SS from Norway and the freighter SS Mont Blanc from France, carrying lots of explosives. At first, a small fire broke out abroad the Mount Blanc. It unfortunately grew bigger as crowds of people and emergency responders lined the shores of Halifax and Dartmouth to get a better look.

Suddenly, the explosive cargo on the Mount Blanc exploded, flattening homes, businesses, and triggering a tsunami.

Among the confusion and devastation, Barbara Orr, a 14-year old girl found herself all alone. She was injured, but would survive. But her family unfortunately perished.

This story navigates how Halifax tries to cope with the disaster as well as how Barbara received kindness from strangers and the bravery of heroes, such as Vincent Coleman.

This is an all-inclusive and informative book for kids of all ages, including adults who are interested in this tragic event in history. I learned a lot reading the book. Although I read about the explosion, I had no idea that the destruction was so wide.

The photographs are colourful and bring the themes of the book to fruition.

I loved this book and I can see this book used for school projects and personal reading.

Posted in Author from Nova Scotia, History | Leave a comment