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Didaskalex "Eusebius Alexandrinus" RSS Feed (Kellia on Calvary, Carolinas, USA)
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Anyone Can Eat Squid! (Simply Sarah series)
Anyone Can Eat Squid! (Simply Sarah series)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.48
41 used & new from $1.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A message to our kids, delivered convincingly, and the black and white drawings are very expressive, May 3, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
****1/2
"I just want to eat something different!" said Sarah, "I'm tired of doing the same old thing all the time. I'm tired of being the same old me." --Best children book of the year!
*

Anyone Can Eat Squid!" is the story of the bored Sarah Simpson, who grew dissatisfied with being so normal, feeling she is not unique or special in any venue of life. Longing for change, to feel different and become special. She tries a variety of ideas like changing her normal name, changing her boring wardrobe, and even eating snails.

Sarah ultimately discoversthat she owns a virtual internal gift that makes her really unique. Her personal journey to self-discovery, that restored her self-confidence is a joyful story, at times funny. I hope my second grader grandson will read "Anyone Can Eat Squid!" to his five years old brother, to share the enjoyment, and tell mom girls are also challenging.

Sarah, like all young kids, needs to feel her own gifts, being original and delightful. She wouldn't thinks of changing her name, if she learns its meaning is princess. Young readers need to discover their talents and be themselves. This message to be at peace with yourself, is delivered convincingly, and the black and white drawings are very expressive.


Meet Monster: Six Stories About the World's Friendliest Monster
Meet Monster: Six Stories About the World's Friendliest Monster
by Ellen Blance
Edition: Hardcover
4 used & new from $1,872.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Monster is friendly and easy going, and young kids cannot wait to hear his story and enjoy his company!, May 2, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
****
When dark shadows loom -- it's time for imaginative kids to meet dancing ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and swamp creatures. But this monster is not like other ugly ones, it is friendly and easy going, and young kids cannot wait to hear his story and enjoy his company.

The author's message, nicely narrated in the six episodes of the story, is that even a tall, big monster needs company and seeks friends, moving into a city, looking to settle, have a friend and a lady monster. The artwork makes monster popular and picture him funny.

Ann Cook has a good insight in how kids are positive in their view on life and creatures and help their positive attitude, inspiring their natural curiosity by the creative art of Quentin Blake turning Ellen Balance book into a classic, four decades after its first publication.


Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order
Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order
by Richard Haass
Edition: Hardcover
77 used & new from $0.01

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The shrewd foreign policy expert used his book to criticize the present recovery policies, May 1, 2013
****
Eminent foreign policy expert, Richard Haass, reviews the globalized world order, and redefines US internal problems that hinder and challenge her leadership of the 21st century global world. He states that the crucial threat the United States is facing for the coming decades is not an outside one, not even terrorism, or climate change. The greatest challenges facing the core foundations of American power are its inflating debt, outdated education system, crumbling infrastructure, stagnating economic growth, and fragmented immigration system.

The president of the Foreign Relations Council, is bordering a hypocrisy rather than a heresy, advocating Obama's second term vision that, "In these days of fiscal crisis ... we can't be strong in the world unless we're strong at home," Kerry said, "The first priority will be that America, at last, puts its fiscal house in order. More than ever, foreign policy is economic policy,". While, a rising China, a nuclear theocratic Iran, a radical Islamist Middle east, or a reckless North Korea, has to be faced by America, an ever strong leader of the free world.

On the Charlie Rose late show, the thoughtful Haass defended his change of heart, which struck me in his articulate book, let us not waste our time on the Chaotic Middle East and focus on the Far East, America's renewed center of interest. Haas together with Brzezinski, as leading experts of realistic Capitalism strategy, skeptical about the Bush initiative for Balkanizing the Middle East, drawn by Paul Wolfowitz by the conquest of Iraq. Wolfowitz, has conceded that the war plunged Iraq into a cycle of violence that spiraled out of control.

In 1978, Zbigniew Brzezinski gave a speech stating, "An arc of crisis stretches along the shores of the Indian Ocean, with fragile social and political structures in a region of vital importance to us threatened with fragmentation. The resulting political chaos could well be filled by hostile elements sympathetic to our adversaries." Alas, results of Iraq war, have caused chaos across the Arab states, and a trillion dollars lost. I wonder, why the outspoken strategist, kept silent on both policy results for a decade?

The second important issue, concerns US economy which still accounts for one quarter of global output. If US growth accelerates, by activation of free trade agreements, which was Haass sole praise for America's present US policy, boosting growth around the world. North America has the potential to drive global economic recovery, when Europe is drifting and Asia is slowing. My observation that the shrewd Foreign policy expert used his book to criticize the present recovery policies, when most of those economics are outside the writers expertise.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 8, 2013 6:38 PM PDT


Cactus Soup
Cactus Soup
by Eric A. Kimmel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.68
57 used & new from $4.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As each ingredient is added, the soup grows in volume and in flavor, such a great tasting Cactus soup teaches sharing!, April 26, 2013
This review is from: Cactus Soup (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
*****
"Eric Kimmel takes the traditional tale 'Stone Soup' south of the border in this whimsical picture book. Brilliant watercolors and a text interspersed with Spanish words make this retelling a treat to read and hear. 'A savory stew'."--Booklist, starred review.
*

When a battalion of hungry soldiers ride into San Miguel, the town residents did not like to share their food with them. They hide their beans, corn, flour, chilies, and tortillas. They put on their old clothes to show poverty. But the enduring Capitán, versed in the villagers ways, is not fooled. He asks for a cactus thorn to make some soup, requiring nothing more than boiling a chunk of cactus thorn in water to create a warm, cactus broth. Before long he has persuaded the reluctant townspeople into sharing with him salt and chilies, vegetables, and even a chicken as well!

Expert storyteller, Eric Kimmel, reinvents a simple, classic folktale, the familiar Stone Soup fable, of a very special stone, a stone from which soup can be produced. In a vivid recount, with a Mexican twist set in the time frame of the Mexican Revolution, comes a renewed one. When the townspeople in northern Mexico pretend to be poor, and hide their foods from the soldiers, the Capitán offers to make soup for everyone from a cactus thorn. A note explains the political and historical background, and a glossary provides English equivalents of those Spanish terms used.

Huling's caricature art, is enjoyable, while a bit exaggerated at times, as oversized sombreros, but well-invigorates the smoothly told tale. Mexican themes are a good choice for a variant of Stone Soup. The moral teaching on social support through sharing, is tactfully persuading to kids, as it would be so much tastier if an onion could be added. Now, may be a potato or two, and a sprinkle of salt, and pepper or chilies. As each ingredient is added, the soup grows in volume and in flavor, such a great tasting Cactus soup teaches empathy!


Marco Polo
Marco Polo
by Demi
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.99
32 used & new from $4.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating account of Marco Polo's journeys and the wonders he saw along the travel, April 25, 2013
This review is from: Marco Polo (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
****1/2
"When a man is riding through this desert by night ...-falling asleep or anything else- he gets separated from his companions ..., he hears spirit voices talking to him as if they were his companions, sometimes even calling him by name. Often these voices lure him away from the path and he never finds it again,..." -- Marco Polo, straying off the path
*

Marco Polo, the son of a merchant who traded luxury goods, was born in Venice in 1254. Marco's father Niccolo was always away, during his childhood, traveling to far away lands, to buy silks that would sell for high prices in Italy. When Marco was fifteen, his father and his uncle finally returned home. During their travels, they had visited Kublai Khan, the Mongolian emperor of distant China, who was interested in many things, and tolerant of religions. Two years after coming back, before they left Italy to acquire Kublai Khan's request, of holy oil from Jerusalem, they took seventeen year old Marco with them, this time.

It took the Polos many years until they finally arrived at Kublai Khan's summer palace, after many adventures, during their silk road journey. However, their travels and adventures were not over, after Kublai Khan was delighted to see them again. The emperor was pleased with young Marco, having him by his side, and showing the brave lad the many wonderful things that Cathay (China) had to offer. Kublai Khan sent Marco on trips around China, and to India, Ceylon, and foreign lands as his own ambassador. Marco Polo's remarkable journey describes the thirteen century Middle East with riches and inventions of Yuan dynasty' China.

Demi, a talented artist and charming storyteller, gives a fascinating account of Marco Polo's journeys and the wonders he saw along the travel. The colorful book is styled to reflect the beautiful ornaments of the Asian caravan. illustrations, and I would have liked more information in the text as well. Marco Polo's fantastic account was, according to Demi's story, often not believed, and the meticulously paintings lend credibility to the story. The richly gilded illustrations are wonderful--I just wanted the text to be wonderful, too, instead of--okay. Well worth sharing with children, though, for whom this may be their only exposure to the great explorer.

In this well researched and elegantly produced book, the author brings back the Marco Polo's great explorations to life. The story is a proper introduction to this remarkable voyager. For every page, Demi has created gold adorned illustrations to reflect thirteenth century Asian paintings. All of her illustrations have beautiful frames that enhances the book's oriental and magical feel. Minimal paintings with golden overlays converts each page into a treasure. The illustrations remain prominent in the book production, with Demi's energetic Ccamel, and Marco's map.


What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses
What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses
by Daniel Chamovitz
Edition: Hardcover
33 used & new from $9.76

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A challenge to our intelligence, that plants know or can identify colors or otherwise. Amazing!, April 22, 2013
*****
"She turns away, towards the sun, though her roots hold her fast, and, altered, loves unaltered. She finished speaking: the wonderful tale had charmed their ears!" --Ovid, Metamorphoses

"What a plant knows," is an amazing intellectual pilgrimage with an informing guide. An uplift from the applied sciences we react with every minute through our i-phones, intelligent cars, and 3 D games that enslave our youngsters, up to the conscious living universe that encloses us, silently but miraculously. We are so busy with daily shores that we cannot perceive our habitat sharing lives.

I studied cybernetics with a Noble Laureate, and realized how nature offers sophisticated cycles sensors, those which trigger plants flowering in spring, or shedding leaves during fall. Since we learned in high school, a plant continues orientating towards light, to satisfy 'its' need to grow by photosynthesis. Daniel Chamovitz is opening readers eyes, in an articulate, wonderful and logical way, to the conscious universe.

In the book's Prologue, the author expresses his 'interest' to reveal the parallels between plant sensory mechanisms and human senses. He starts by drawing our attention to plants sophisticated and complex sensory elements, to accommodate them to a fixed place places, and environment. Much of his inspiring surprise was when discovering that plant genes are part of the human DNA profile, replication and sequencing.

Chamovitz selective headings of book essays, make us realize how aware plants are, provoking our curiosity, and their informing contents keep readers interested and engaged. Whatever a plant sees, smells!, feels, and hears may be novel knowledge, for a technologist, but concludes in what she (no it anymore) remembers, since we accept that for a computer. It is challenging to our intelligence, that plants know or can identify colors or otherwise. Amazing book, and informing author!


Steam Train, Dream Train
Steam Train, Dream Train
by Tom Lichtenheld
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.94
139 used & new from $0.40

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoying the read, trying to find out sound and funny solutions for anticipated queries, April 21, 2013
*****
My first encounter with the winning duet was 'Goodnight Construction Site', for my five years old grandson, a construction fan. Oliver would enjoy Steam Train, Dream Train, which introduces him to different train cars, that he got good memories while enjoying Thomas and friends with his big brother. So enumerating the autorack, boxcar, hopper and wellcar, will be a welcome and an acquired expertise.

I became fascinated with the talented illustrator's artistic expression. This book added another winner, the ever enjoyable, yet mysterious night activities of the zoo animals fellowship. I am trying to train on his expected queries, "What about the Giraffe, Grandpa, how can she accommodate in the train car?" I noticed that he anticipates solutions to the story's problems, with some help, since his reading skills and vocabulary are still limited.

This book is presents an amazing reading companion for little kids 4 - 6, adding more fantasy to its preceding one, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, engaging with buddy zoo friends. Much as the kids learned about the construction trucks, they have to work their mind fitting the animals, a problem he wondered hearing about mobilization into Noah's Ark. I got engaged in both cases and trying to find out sound and funny solutions for any anticipated jams!


The Chimera's Curse (Companions Quartet)
The Chimera's Curse (Companions Quartet)
by Julia Golding
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.91
70 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Golding's literary mastery gives her room for telling the great legendary adventure, April 18, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
****
The Chimera's curse is Julia Golding's fourth book that finalizes her eco-fantasy Companions Quartet series. Golding's literary mastery gives her room for telling the great legendary adventure. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals. Perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters. In Greek mythology, it is a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Asia Minor, with parts of three animals; a lion, a serpent and a goat.

Connie Lionheart is her selected companion, capable of communicating with her legendary mythical creatures. A strange creature has been spotted on Dartmoor amidst the soaring temperatures of a hot summer. Connie and her friends found that the creature is a chimera. Attacking Connie, leaves her with dangerous wounds. She needs treatment beyond the knowledge of mortals; her friends must rescue her from hospital, but Connie is an easy prey for the evil Kullervo, who thinks it is time to seize her Universal power, and destroy humanity. The battle with Connie will be a fight to death, on the future of mankind.

If this is my third review for three of her four amazing books, it goes without saying that my intellect came under the spell of her imaginative creatures, the created lively and exciting fantasy for young adults. Dr Golding vivid and creative imagination, her multiple talents, and career adventures gave her a rare opportunity to create a world of mystery and fantasy. Having praised her so far, I may comment that some of expressions that may appeal to Britons are slightly sophisticated for our kids taste. (Col doodled absentmindedly..., or The moor was seething with their presence... etc.)


Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises
Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises
by Peter Lerangis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.46
129 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book and was engaged to find where the story goes., April 16, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
****
After hitting his head and passing out, Jack wakes up on an island where members of the secret Karai Institute, led by strange Professor Beghad are devoted to finding and restoring seven hidden organic cavities, the locules to reestablish the power of Atlantis and cure the genetic illness that affects Jack and his kin Aly, Cass and Marco. They are all descendants of the ruling princes of the ancient island, all possess the infected gene, but possess some special ability.

Between intermittent remedies application of intended to avert the handicaps of their inherited defect, they train in order to take part in the search, guarding and rescuing each other from death approaching adventures, to survive or elude the suspect help of Torquin. Although there are some suspense at certain moments, and in spite of the characters own codes and clues, to solve.

I enjoyed this book and was engaged to find where the story goes. As the first book of the series, it sets up the story well for further growth of the characters and the lore that feeds the story. There isn't enough on to the history of the Colossus, which would have enhanced the imagination of young readers, sparking a desire to search the Seven Wonders and learn more about them, thus learning more about the world wonders described in the book.

In terms of the writing, I found the story pace variable, while the characters not fully developed yet finally within the introductory book I. There is a lot of potential there from what this first book offers, and it would be interesting, if the author takes full inertia of this introductory episode into his next book. There are some violent events within the story, and younger readers who might be bothered should be warned.


The Mines Of The Minotaur (Companions Quartet)
The Mines Of The Minotaur (Companions Quartet)
by Julia Golding
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.91
45 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like her amazaing fantasy series, lively and exciting but the books look overly instructive, April 12, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
****1/2
"Hi ! I absolutely love your book series! I love how Connie is very brave! It would be amazing if there would be any movies about the companions quartet! If possible I would love to be in the movies! ... if there are auditions for Connie!"--Universalreallife
*

Mines of the Minotaur opens with Connie Lionheart, calling up a dangerous and violent storm. She is not doing this on her own, and infers that Kullervo, her dark associate is pressing her. Feeling lonely and scared, Connie runs into an abandoned mine where she discovers it is full of injured legendary creatures the Society has forsaken.

Running from this dark spot in her mind, takes Connie into the mines near her town and into the world of damaged mythical creatures who are in hiding, and their leader a damaged Minotaur. Although blinded in a fight, the nameless Minotaur gives Connie the courage to face her dark side, and in so doing begins to heal himself.

Connie, the only universal companion in the Society for Mythical Creatures Protection, has to learn to accept herself, as a whole person, especially the dark and hidden unconscious, heal the damaged creatures, and lead her community. In turn, all of them must learn to trust and accept Connie and work together with her rather than suspect and avoid her.

Dr. Julia Golding masters a lucent, peaceful prose to portray magical and nature upheavals, but delivers a powerful and engaging plot, and concludes in an epic finale. I like her amazaing fantasy series, lively and exciting but the books look overly instructive, on social justice, self awareness, and especially on environmental threats.


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