Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Review: The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark

The Dragon and The Turtle Go on Safari
I decided to go with a childrens book this time around. The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari was a cute little story. My children each took a turn reading. The oldest 12 said,"It was pretty good." The next who is 10 said, "It was funny." And then my husband read it to the 7 year old just before bedtime. On her way to bed she said, "Oh and the book was good."

My husband on the other hand did not enjoy it. He said he felt that there were long stretches of dialogue and the story didn't seem to go anywhere. But he liked that it ended with scripture.

I read it by myself and I thought it was cute. I stopped reading little kids books a long time ago. But decided to give this one a try because I've seen it everywhere. The illustrations are very pretty. The turtle reminds me a lot of Franklin the Turtle. I love that Donita K. Paul fit a dragon in to the story.

I'd say this book would be great for people with really little kids. Probably 2-6 years old. It's not exciting enough to hold the attention for a long spell. It includes a second short story at the end. And also discussion starters.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

Monday, February 14, 2011

Easy Cookies and Cream Bar

My hubby is a sucker for those brand name Cookies and Cream candy bars. So for Valentine's Day I made him a whole batch of homemade Cookies and Cream Bar candy. It's super simple but it's really yummy. I think I actually like it better than the brand name. The whole batch cost me around $3. The almond bark is on clearance at our Target right now. It's not in high demand after the holidays. So I got it for like $1.75. And then the cookies were like $2 for the pack but we are using only half.

So here's what you need:
1/2 package of oreos or store brand sandwich cookies
1 pack of white almond bark

Get out your jelly roll pan/cookie sheet or whatever flat pan you want to use. Spray it with non-stick cooking spray. This may not be necessary but I did it just to be safe. Now put your 1/2 package of cookies in to a ziploc bag, seal it and let out your aggression. Break the cookies into small pieces. How small is up to you. Set that aside.

You'll need to melt the almost bark according to the package. I did it in the microwave but you can do it in a double boiler or over really low heat. You microwave it for 1 minute and then continue until it's melted. Check it every 15 seconds to stir it. Once it's melted you can pour it on to your cookie sheet. Spread it out with a rubber spatula if you need to. Get your bag of crushed up cookies and sprinkle them over the melted almond bark. At this point, I put the cookie sheet in to the freezer and left it there for about 10 minutes. After you pull it out of the freezer, break it into pieces and voila! Cookies and cream candy. This makes a lot of candy. It easily filled 1/2 a gallon size zipper bag. So it would be really good for a class treat or even for teachers gifts.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Book Review: Lady in Waiting

My first impressions of this book when I picked it up were:

  1. The cover art is beautiful.
  2. I want that ring!
  3. I've never read anything by Susan Meissner. I'm excited to get to know a new author.
  4. It's got that new book smell!!!
  5. There's a family tree chart in the front. I love books with charts!
My impressions after reading are that you still can't judge a book by it's cover. That said I must confess, I'm an avid reader. I eat books. But this book turned out to be a really slow read for me. It took probably 3-4 days to complete.

Lady in Waiting is the story of 2 women, living hundreds of years apart. Their destinies become connected by a ring found by Jane, an antique shop owner and our main character. Jane is in a bad place, emotionally. When her husband walks out, she is blindsided. She begins to see her life clearly for the first time. That she has the life that she decided for herself. She's allowed others to shift her focus and make her life decisions. Jane doesn't know herself. She begins to question the life that she's been living for the past 20 plus years.

The other character, Lucy Day is a dressmaker for Lady Jane Grey in 1500s England. Lucy's story begins when she is brought in to attend to Lady Jane Grey, a young royal who is the chief mourner at a funeral for the Queen Dowager, Katherine. Jane and Lucy form a friendship that impacts them both for life.

This story is about decisions. We make them daily and they impact our lives. We decide who to love. We decide where our focus lies and in the end we have to live with those decisions. I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. It felt very disjoint. The two stories didn't seem to have an obvious common thread. The theme was decisions. The ring didn't really play that big a part in the story, in my opinion.

I would have like to read just Jane's story. Her story would have been enough. I think the historical secondary story actually took away from the story of Jane and her husband. So in the end there were 2 semi-complete stories that felt forced in to the same book. Jane's story doesn't have the ending you want to read. It's more of a beginning. Overall, the characters could have used a little more development. I didn't feel like they had a lot of depth.

I will rate this book at 3 stars. 

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.