Thursday, May 28, 2009

Obama: The Historic Journey (Young Reader's Edition)

I am so delighted that Barack Obama is our president and I am further delighted that my kids are old enough to be aware of him and to care about the man who leads our country. I feel fortunate that just as my kids are getting to the age when they can appreciate basic politics that we have a president like Barack Obama.

I was happy to accept MotherTalk's invitation to review The New York Times' Young Reader's Edition of Obama: The Historic Journey, in hopes that it would intrigue my kids (ages 4, 6, and 7) and make them want to learn more about our presidential system.

This is a wonderful book full of much information and some really fabulous photos. There are chapters on Obama's youth, early political life, presidential campaign, and his coming into office. There is a lot of good stuff in there. However, I think it is intended for kids a little bit older than mine. My kids liked pages such as the one below

and others that featured charts and lists. They let my kids learn some fun facts about Obama that were presented in an easy to read format. For my kids' ages, most of the pages were a little bit too dense with words.

They did like looking at the pictures. My youngest was thrilled to see that the president likes to bowl, just like he does. My oldest was fascinated by the photos from Inauguration Day.

This isn't a book that I am going to sit down and read with my kids right now, although we will look at the pictures on occasion, plus use it for reference if they have questions about the president.

But I guarantee that this is a book that is going to stay on the front of our bookshelf for a long time. And in a couple more years, I will pull it out and I will read it with my oldest son. And then a couple years after that, I will do so with my middle son. Because look how interested he is in this book—even just the cover.

This is a quality book and would make a great gift for a tween or teen who is becoming interested in politics or who wants to know more about Barack Obama. I think that especially the chapters that talk about Obama's youth and struggles could be very inspiring for young people who don't know yet that it is possible for anyone to rise to greatness.

Honesty Clause: I received a review copy of this book and will (I think—I lose track) receive a $20 gift certificate to review it. The Young Reader's Edition of Obama: The Historic Journey retails for $24.95.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Wrestler

Stimey is watching The Wrestler. I was excited to see it, but nervous that it wouldn't live up to the hype because it is about, you know, wrestling. It turned out to be amazing. Mickey Rourke was just as good as everyone said he was and the movie was completely compelling and heart wrenching.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Fragrance Collection by Glade

I'm very sensitive to smells, so I don't often purchase things like scented candles. But I also have a home with three children (boys!), two cats (and their litter box), and a dog (with long fur), plus a husband (with...smells).

So my house sometimes needs to smell a little, how you say, fresher.

On what seems to be an unrelated topic, but is actually not, at some point I tweeted about something good that happened to my son Jack. The people behind The Fragrance Collection by Glade, who follow me on twitter, tweeted back that they would like to congratulate me on Jack's accomplishment by sending me a candle.

Nice, huh?

I've seen them doing the same thing to other twitter users as well.

Clever, huh?

They didn't ask for anything in return, but I thought I would go ahead and post my thoughts on the candle because they were nice enough to send it. In an extremely lovely box, by the way.

They sent me their currants & acai candle. I overlooked my bias against acai (which is solely based on the sheer multitude of spam I receive about it) and took a sniff. The candle itself had a strong smell, but a good one. Once lit, the smell it gave out was not overwhelming, which is saying something considering my sensitivity to smell and the fact that it was sitting about three or four inches away from me on my desk.

I have to say that I liked this candle enough that if I ever do find myself in a grocery store looking for a scented candle, I'll probably buy this brand. They also offer other scents, including mcintosh apple, sheer white cotton, earthly awakening, lotus bamboo, and orange vanilla (which sounds kind of delicious).

Thanks for the candle, Glade! And nice job with the marketing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Jenny and the Cat Club

Stimey is reading Jenny's Birthday Book to her kids. Bar none, Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill was Stimey's favorite book when she was little. It's the story of a shy little cat who makes friends with a band of neighborhood cats. I'm happy to report that my kids love the book too.