Books

Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale

Since joining Bookroo my family and I have received some really awesome books; I opted for the chapter books that way I can read to them for a fun story time. I always remember having books read to me as a child and wanted to be able to pass that on to my children. Also chapter books are something that they can read when they are old enough to read themselves and still be able to enjoy them even years from now. One of the books we have gotten in one of our boxes is a chapter book by Cornelia Funke called “Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale”. We began reading this book for our homeschooling about a month or so ago; I believe sometime in September while simultaneously reading a couple of others that I plan to write about here in the future. Some where in September the idea of attempting to keep my four year old focused on schooling was just a pipe-dream and eventually let that go. I could tell he was just not ready for school at home and since his brother had gone back to public school the month prior I guess I just didn’t feel the need to push him. I mean he is 4 years old and a bit of a zig zagging all over the place kind of kid who has the attention span of a fly if you know what I mean. While schooling was over and all that didn’t mean that we couldn’t still read as that is something that we loved to do just because.
We finally finished our little book last week; it took longer than it actually takes to read the book because of life and only reading here and there but we did it! If you know anything about me as a parent you would know that I am really feeling great about getting yet another book under the old belt because I haven’t been much of a reader in a very long time. In a time when you spend quite a lot of time at home you more than likely like myself would pick up some new skills or hobbies to help pass the time. I have even started to read another chapter book that we received in a box myself or really whenever anyone will listen to me read it as my kids weren’t interested in a chapter book without pictures in it just yet. No worries I am quite enjoying the said book and when I finish it I will write about it as well.
To the book at hand “Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale” it is a chapter book intended for ages 7-10 yrs & a reading level of 2-5. I don’t feel that just because a book is intended for a certain age group that it means it should be read by just that age group well depending on what that book is about would be the only reason I can think of to why a kid couldn’t read a book intended for a more mature audience. Otherwise I don’t see a problem! The book is a chapter book but it is a good read for kids or directed towards kids because it has a good amount of color filled illustrations intertwined throughout its pages. Within those pages are some fun activities that I will fill you in on here soon. Each chapter in this book doesn’t take too long to read and there are roughly 3-6 pages in each for reading amongst the other pages that are illustrated.


The book brings an interesting twist to how humans may be perceived by the underwater world. I think that this perspective is fun to see unfold especially from an entirely different world. Join two merpups (kid mermaid’s) on an adventure in their underwater world where they come to find that maybe their parents might actually know what they are talking about. They learn a lesson and meet some new and interesting figures; some friend & some foe. As you read you are taken on the journey that they will never forget and that will have forever changed their little lives.
Since both of my boys are still not readers for themselves and well my 6 year old is just now beginning to read but not ready for this level of book on his own I am the one who did the reading for this book. As I read through I learned a couple of things; one this was a great book for someone who was older than 4 which is expected. The second being that it was a little bit hard to get into the story line as an adult I should have been able to theoretically jump right in but for the first couple of chapters it was a bit hard to follow, but I was determined to finish it with or with out my listeners. I finished it with my 6 year old who soon decided he enjoyed it about half way through when it started to get a bit more interesting for him. More action & mystery I presume. My 4 year old wasn’t super into this one and that is okay as it wasn’t really for a 4 year old but still suitable for him to listen too if that makes sense. The first half of this book is all about giving a background about the characters both underwater and on land which is expected however the way that the book just jumps into the story makes it a little hard to get into it at first. Like I mentioned the real interesting parts weren’t until after a couple chapter’s or so. To help liven it up a bit I started making different voices to go along with each character because it was hard to get into the mind and that did seem to help the younger listening group.
I really wanted to love this book and it is great but about half way through in my opinion; I don’t love it but I like it. It has a good lesson for kids who don’t want to listen to parents or the rules teaching them that there are consequences for disobeying. Doing some things that you are told not to do can lead to danger and that there are reasons for rules. I would read it again so I did enjoy reading it, just not an easy one to get into. During the introduction of the characters I did enjoy seeing the different perspectives of the different characters for instance the Mermaid people see the humans so differently from the way most humans see the ocean and its creatures in it. Makes you think about things a bit more which is a good lesson to include in a book like this directed toward kids who are still learning.
Something I discovered while I was researching the author of this book Cornelia Funke is that the book was originally written in German and that this version I read was a translation from the original book; this may have a big part in why the book was a little awkward in the beginning. It could explain why it may have been hard to connect to the book. I assume it was translated correctly otherwise I probably would see more complaints on other reviews over the book when I researched it and the author. It is just that sometimes different language barriers can translate differently but correctly. I don’t have any idea if this is the reason why it was a little awkward it is just my opinion and would explain it a bit.

Earlier I mentioned some fun activities that this book has hidden in its pages; what did I mean is what you are probably wondering!? So at the very end of the book there is a section dedicated to activities that the author snuck into the book to make reading so much more fun for the kids. It includes a board game printed on one of the illustrations you see above. You add your own game pieces and use your own dice but the rest on how to play is located in the book ideally after you have read through it but I suppose you could just skip ahead. Also there are fun hidden objects through out the illustrations that makes a sort of I Spy game that could be played alone or with other readers just as well. This would be especially great on a long car ride or similar situation. I thought that these were a great way to interact with the reader/readers of this book which allowed to bring it more to life than just reading the words on its pages. I figured I would give you a sneak peek in the picture above but if you want to know how to play and what fun hidden objects to find in the books illustrated pages then you will just have to purchase it or check it out at your local Library.

That brings me to the next topic how much does this book cost new? As I mentioned above I mean way up there; my family received this book in our monthly Bookroo box where the books in the box is to be worth more or pretty much the same amount of the monthly box price by pretty much the books we have received have all been well worth it and always come to a total well above the monthly box cost which makes it so awesome! This book costs $9.99 US / $13.99 CAN brand new. I found it on Amazon for $9.59 brand new US hardcover or $9.99 US Kindle. The book we have is a hardcovered book. I supposed you could try to find it used for cheaper if you looked on the right site such as eBay or Facebook Swap. I think that if you have a kid who is into the creatures of the sea or maybe even just you and love reading fun adventurous stories/books this book would be worth at least checking out. Perhaps at your local library if you aren’t yet committed to buying it for yourself.

In a conclusion for my thoughts on this book I would have to say that I do think it is a good book to read and it does have some good lessons in it for young readers. I love that it takes you into a whole different world that kind of connects the world that us humans know but also gives a new perception of what the underwater world of the oceans may be like like if you ever think about what the sea creatures really think about us humans sort of imagination perspective! It is worth checking out; maybe you will find a fun new story that is a hit as a new family favorite!

Amazing books kids love!

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Adventure, homeschooling, Review

Keep Calm and Read On!

Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Now seems like a great day to start a new adventure. In our house we tend to have a lot of different adventures that kind of just happen all around us. My boys are always full of energy and looking for some kind of adventure to go on or get into. We have been home for almost half a year now not going anywhere except to those occasional doctors appointments or if mom/dad need to run to the store. After a while being home all of the time starts to wear on you emotionally and physically. You get interactions through the computer or TV for the outside world but not like it was. My kids need to have things switched up to make things feel like they aren’t always the same because that is…. So boring! (as my 4 year old would say) He’s right it get’s boring after you do the same things over and over. To combat this we have started to change out toys switching between different sets and of course reading more books. Especially since school just started back for us just a couple of weeks ago. Reading has become something we do a lot of everyday. I read to my boys during their homeschooling as well as afterwards, if they are not tired of hearing my voice that is! My 6 year old is just now starting to read and is getting pretty great at it too. Just today he read through an entire book by himself with very minimal help.
I would say that reading has become a staple for fun in our household and that may be a weird thing to say for most people who might have already had a reading time implemented in their households. For our family books were a once in while thing like a super special time that we tried to do and that was if no one ripped, ate, or threw a book that day. My boys went through various stages of each of those…I as their mom was kind of in shock and wondered why they did those things. In my mind maybe they just weren’t ready for books. That might have been true then but today they are totally different for the most part about books. They have become more excited about them and believe me that didn’t just happen. I had to start over and over with book for my kids until I came up with a solution. We would create a library of sorts. If you wanted a book you would have to check it out and then return it if you wanted another or just a plain old toy. It seems to be working as its so far so good.
With that they have learned to take care of their books more during school and when school is over with. I also have started to feel more connected with them through books and learning. Every time I open a book they get so excited and we enjoy that time together.
According to The American Academy of Pediatricians “Shared reading promotes children’s language development, literacy and bonding with parents,” lead author Tiffany Munzer, M.D., said in a news release. “… We found that when parents and children read print books, they talked more frequently and the quality of their interactions were better.” I would definitely agree with that statement as I already mentioned earlier I feel closer to my kids being able to read books together. And I am loving the adventures and new memories we create together.
With schools starting back now during all the chaos whether you are homeschooling like my family or sending your kids back to physical school buildings I encourage you to make time for reading. Go on your own adventures to keep your minds busy and focused on fun things. Just remember to Keep Calm and Read On!


Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off

Recently I wrote a review for Bookroo HERE; check that post out to learn more in detail about Bookroo and their company. When I first learned about their awesome company I knew I wanted to be able to share them with you! Bookroo is a monthly box subscription service that sends books for children neatly wrapped up like presents in the mail every month. You have a few choices between types of boxes offered; there are three to choose from: The Board Book, The Picture Book, & The Chapter Book Box. Each for a specific age group (0-10 yrs). Each book sent out is individually wrapped in wrapping paper like little gifts I know that my kids were so excited to open the previous box they felt special when they got to unwrap their book. I think that wrapping them up give it a unique personal touch to this monthly box. It helps them stand out from the crowd! For the entire month of September Bookroo is offering a special promotion check it out below and follow the links provided to get the deal! Don’t forget to use the special code at checkout.

Bookroo has a very special promotion going on through the entire month of September 2020. Get 20% off any 3 month subscription with code KEEPCALM! Monthly or Gift included. (Code cannot be combined with any other offers or used more than once per household. Valid Sept. 1, (12:01 am ET) – Sept. 30 (11:59 pm PT).)

This month we were very fortunate to receive a second box from Bookroo to unbox for you! I am happy that I get to share this one with you as well. Bookroo offers three different types of boxes this one is the chapter book box. If you are more interested in seeing what the picture book box is like click HERE for my previous review/post.
Everyday for our homeschooling we have read aloud times where I grab a book usually a chapter book as they tend to last longer than a single day read and I read a chapter or two to both of my older boys. While they listen they usually have something to keep their little hands busy such as play dough or drawing in their reading journals over what I am reading about currently. I love being able to read to them and just share all sorts of adventures with them in every book that we read!
The chapter books came very nicely packaged just like the picture books came! Both were wrapped in different wrapping paper and I love that they are always wrapped in different kinds/designs of wrapping paper instead of it just being plain. My middle son helped with this unboxing he loved opening up “his presents”… I believe today was also his birthday party as he always says! He tends to have a birthday party every day. This made his day for sure.
Our first book is by Cornelia Funke; Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid Tale. This book looks like a great read for our home school read aloud’s. We are looking forward to going on another adventure, this one looks like it will take us “Under the Sea”. After we venture down to the deepest depths of the sea we will journey back to the surface for our next adventure!
For our last book it looks like we will set out for an adventure in the stars on a magical journey with The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker. This one looks like it is going to be a fun magical adventure for our school year. It is a bit on the thicker side so it will definitely last us a great while longer for our read aloud’s. Longer books also mean bigger adventures for our minds to escape into!
Again I encourage you to check out Bookroo so you can go out on your own adventures too! Grab a book and escape from today’s reality, set your mind on something great! Remember to Keep Calm & Read On!


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Keep Calm & Read On, 20% off