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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Books, Motherhood

Give the Gift that Gives Back: Bookroo

I am always looking for the perfect gift for the holidays for my kids and I know a lot of other people go through this same crisis. In our family we don’t have a whole lot of money to throw away on some random toy that is going to be loved for a minute then tossed a side the next. When looking for a gift for any occasion I always tend to look for gifts that the person I am gifting to (usually my kids) will get something in return whether that be a new skill or something else they learn from that gift; something learned or rather something useful is the key! What better way to give the gift of knowledge than to actually give knowledge in the form of a book or books. Books for kids don’t need to be filled with history lessons or math problems for them to learn something from them. A book can be filled with stories that bring their imaginations to life and that is a great gift to give. It allows kids to be kids by giving the ability to get their brains working and thinking but in a way that lets their imaginations run wild. They can read it themselves or be read to and no matter how a book is read it opens up so much more for a kid than any old toy would do. My 6 year old is just learning how to read; he loves books and enjoys trying to read all sorts of new words that he finds in his books. He will even read to his younger brother’s who will eventually start reading on their own someday. Books are a great way to teach in a fun way for kids and adults too as I have come to love reading chapter books to my kids. It brings out their imaginations and dusts mine off letting me remember that fun feeling of all of the characters in a story that seemed to disappear as I grew into adulthood.

I would like to introduce you to a great company Bookroo; they are a monthly book box service that sends books in the mail every month. They offer three kinds of books to be mailed depending on which is chosen for your subscription is the one you receive. They have a variety of monthly plans available as far as pricing is concerned. I have recently written some posts explaining the entire how to sign up for Bookroo at the links below. I encourage you to check them out if you are ready to give a great gift to your kids every month. Some great highlights about this company with out going into all of the details which will be linked below are: 1) that they wrap each individual book up in wrapping paper for your kids to unwrap when they are received they are always fun and different wrapping papers which make it all the more fun. I mean who doesn’t enjoy getting gifts to unwrap!? My kids love it and it makes the books we get all the more personal and special. 2) The books are well worth the price you are paying monthly. They don’t just put some cheap book in the box and call it good, NO , these books that are hand chosen by the way are carefully picked out. They do their research to find the best books to include in their boxes. They more than make up for the per box price which is different depending on the plan selection you choose. The per month box starts at $24.95 + Tax (for me tax is $4.99) which makes my moth to month box for the two chapter book selection I chose for my kids $29.94. However the price goes down if you choose to do the 3,6,or 12 box prepay. Check it all out here on my previous post all about Bookroo HERE!
If you would rather just go straight to the source check out their site here at BOOKROO.


For TODAY & TOMMOROW ONLY as this offer I am posting is only available until NOVEMBER 2nd 2020. Anyways Bookroo is offering a special promotion for a Black Friday deal since that is going to be a bit different this year for most; they thought they could still do something fun!

Click the Picture Above; don’t forget to copy the code below!

Use this code: EARLYBIRDBF for 25% off any multi-month subscription (and multiple new subscriptions!)
Valid through Nov 2 at 11:59 MST
Cannot be combined with other offers or applied to existing subscriptions!


Thanks for reading hope you check them out! I love being able to give something to my kids that gives them something in return and not to mention how fun books are in general! Drop a like below and follow my blog too if you want to stay up to date on new posts!

homeschooling, Meal Time, Motherhood, Review

Raddish Kids Monthly Kit Review

There’s nothing I loved more than exploring the kitchen as a kid. I loved mixing different combinations of foods together making new recipes up along the way. I ended up becoming the cook in the house for my family growing up they loved all the different things I made up and it was great for my parents because they didn’t have to cook all the time. Now that I have my own kids I want them to have the ability to explore the kitchen the way that I did. I want them to have those life skills that they enjoy rather than feeling pressure to learn it at a later time in their lives. If they can learn it now as kids maybe they will learn to enjoy cooking and possibly find a passion for it.

I have been given a unique opportunity to do an review/unboxing for Raddish Kids. They send out monthly cooking boxes directed towards kids so that they can learn about cooking, food safety, & kitchen safety all in one box. These neat little kits can be done with a parent for younger children or some supervision for older ones who are already pretty comfortable in the kitchen. I love that such a box service like this one exists. As a woman who grew up in a time where these sorts of things didn’t exist I am thankful that they do now for my kids and for other kids & generations to come!

I want to refresh your memories about what or rather who Raddish Kids are and what they do as a company just a little bit better. I wrote up a post on the all about Raddish Kids Box a couple of weeks ago but I am sure like my self when I read something eventually I need a refresher on what I read eventually with time.

Who is Raddish Kids?

Raddish Kids is a monthly cooking club for kids ages 4-14+ that teaches about cooking food, food safety, & kitchen safety. It brings the education of learning about food and how to cook it as well as the fun of making new recipes home. When your kids learn with Raddish Kids they will develop new skills and make fun memories in the process.

How to get started?

Raddish Kids offer a 3 payment plans to help you pick the right one for your family. For a month to month plan prices start at $24 per box. Next there’s the 6 month plan where you pay for 6 months up front and the price per box for that plan is $22 saving you a bit of money compared to the month to month plan. Finally if you would rather pay yearly your price per box would be $20 per box per month up front for the year. On top of those great prices you are able to add up to 3 extras per sibling on to each plan. This is great for families with multiple kids so nobody feels left out! Lastly you can even ad in an apron to your first box for the special patch that is included in each monthly box. This is a great way to remember what your kids learned with each box in a fun way!

What is included in each box?

Inside each box/kit:

  • There are 3 recipe cards that happen to be laminated just in case things get messy. On top of that feature the recipe cards include fun skills to learn in the kitchen as well as the ingredients and the step by step instructions with pictures for the recipes being made.
  • A Kitchen Tool, every box includes its own unique kitchen tool that is necessary for making the recipes in that months box. Each kit helps build up your kitchen tools but at the same time teaches your kid(s) how to use them properly.
  • A Creative Kitchen Project, each kit includes a hands on craft, experiment, or food game for family fun!
  • Monthly Collectibles, that include conversation cards about food or kitchen talk and a fun apron patch to remember what you learned month to month.
  • Grocery Lists for all of the ingredients that will be needed to make all of these amazing recipes of course.

A Fun Bonus

On the Raddish Kids website each month there is a section called “BONUS BITES” which includes:

  • A Bonus Recipe for that months box.
  • A fun music playlist for the theme of that months box.
  • Dietary Modifications for the recipes for the month which includes recipe modifications for families with dietary restrictions.
  • A lesson plan for learning about the theme that each box is based on. It is a fun way to expand the learning part of each monthly box with extra bits of knowledge that they can learn about.
  • You can even try to guess the them of the next month and try to figure out what recipes will be included in it with some fun clues.

Don’t Waste Any Time; Check Out Raddish Kids Today!


Raddish Kids Review

I was given a box from Raddish Kids to give a review over there cooking kit. As with all of my reviews I give my honest opinions that are my own. I want to bring my readers great family products and anything that I give a recommendation for I want to make sure I would use them for my own family first rather than just saying hey go an try it out. Which brings me to this review; so let’s get started.

This box has a lot of different parts to it and I think that it makes it very unique. I will start by unboxing it and then going through each recipe inside. Finally I will show you the recipes in real life as I have made. In the the end I will give a full and honest opinion over this entire box and the recipes that were made. I will base my review on quite a few things including: the packaging, how the contents fit together, & how easy everything is to understand (recipes, games, & projects ect).

What’s Inside:

3 Recipe Cards

Kitchen Tool

Can you guess what tool this is?
(Continue Reading for Answer)

Creative Kitchen Project

Monthly Collectible

Spooky Kitchen Iron on Patch

Grocery Lists

Bonus Bite’s

  • Spooky Spaghetti
  • Strawberry Ghosts
  • Dietary Modifications
  • Lesson Plan for Spooky Kitchen
  • Spotify Playlist for Spooky Kitchen
  • Rad Family Dinners
  • Rad Family Dinners: October- Spooky Suppers

Recipe Time: Boo-nana Bread

Out of the three recipes in the box I let my son choose which one he wanted to do. He chose the Boo-nana Bread and so that is what we made below. I opted not to make all three for this unboxing because since this is a past box that can still be purchased I didn’t want to reveal too much. If you are curious about this recipe as well as the others and want to try this box out for yourselves it can be found HERE. Below is the ingredients we needed. Which were: Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Salt, Very Ripe Bananas (we had Ripe Enough Bananas), Flour, Butter, & Eggs. This recipe was one that used the special tool that came with this box, if you guess potato masher or masher you guessed correct. My middle son is the one who helped make this recipe he is four and even though he needed some reminders here and there due to him being four he could pretty easily follow the directions given. I think his favorite parts of making it was the mashing of the bananas & the mashing. Then the eating part was after it was made which is pretty much the best part over all! We were going to make muffins but ended up changing our minds because he wanted it as close to the picture as possible. (Note: I was the one who did the oven cooking parts; he knows that ovens are only for adults. He is 4 after all.)

On each card there are the ingredients and kitchen utensils/items needed for each recipe; the directions in picture form for making each recipe; and some fun tips/tricks in both reading comprehension & science about the kitchen or recipe card being used. Those were more for older kids and will be great for my 6 year old to learn about when he gets back from his weekend at the grandparents house!

One last picture I wanted to add in was our clean up time where he is cleaning the recipe card off with a Clorox wipe (he wore safety gloves); the cards are laminated and water proof which means when they get messy they can be easily cleaned up for future uses. Having younger kids usually means there are going to be messes especially in the kitchen!



What He thought:

“Nanna Bread”, “Made recipe with smasher, Yep. Now can have nanna bread?”

As quoted by a 4 year old.

What I Thought?

The first impression of this box upon opening it is that it is very well put together and that a lot of thought went into the box it’s self and all of the packaging as well. The packaging is a very nice quality and I love that they use a variety of colors to make the activities & recipes pop out rather than just using words.

Which brings me to the recipe cards; on each individual recipe card they have the ingredients all printed out on the card in picture form and the instructions are in picture form as well. On top of that all of the cards front, back, & everywhere in between is laminated, meaning that you can get banana bread batter on them for instance and they will wipe clean and they will be able to be reused no problem for future use!

There is just so much information packed into this little box kit not including the “Bonus Bites” section online where you can find a bunch of extra’s for the current and past monthly boxes. There are even dietary substitutions for each box.

I was curious if I could find the dietary substitutions for the Boo-nana Bread recipe so I went to their site Raddish Kids, then I found the Bonus Bites section at the top and clicked on it, next I found a search bar on the Bonus Bite’s page and typed in Boo-nana Bread as sure enough the Dietary Substitution/Restrictions popped up.

Even though we didn’t need to use the substitutions for this recipe the fact that we could if we needed to is great. I love that I can go back in the future and find the substitutions for it is great too because as a person who does have some allergies to certain foods I know that they can just pop up for really anyone or kids who are still growing.

Like I mentioned above I made this Boo-nana Bread Recipe with the help of a 4 year old; who still needed some reminders while making it but it was simple enough for him to be able to follow directions in making it. He naturally gets distracted so there’s that. I think that him being able to see the directions in the picture format was a huge helper for him. He cannot read yet so being able to see what the recipe needed and when the ingredient was supposed to go into the bowl was a very nice feature that I think a lot of recipes could use because it makes teaching kids to cook a lot easier this way. I thought that it was very cool of them to print it all in color as well so that kids like my 4 year old can tell what was needed by the color of the item in the picture not just what the picture looks like in general.

All in all I felt like everything was pretty easy to understand most of it was even easy for my 4 year old with help of course for him to grasp onto and understand especially with the help of the pictures included on the recipe cards. I feel that if he can understand by use of the pictures with some help that my older 6 almost 7 year old would be able to understand not only the recipe cards but the games that came with this box as well. However since he was not home for that part we skipped it for now but will do that part with him when he returns home from the grandparents house. The little game in this box was a word game where you create a little story using fun words that is inserted into the sentence as it is read. There was also a fun little crossword but that is something that kind of flies above both of my kids heads but could be something for an older kid or adult to do.

The box has a bunch of different fun recipes & fun exercises/things to learn. It has a lot of neat and fun things to do in general. I love that the box can be done with as much help or as little help that is needed depending on the age range of child/children working on the box. As well as fun things to do inside the box/kit I love that each month brings extras todo along side all of the other things. You simply go to the Raddish Kids website to their Bonus Bites page and look up what ever box you are on in the search bar. The bonus content for that box will pop up and then you have a whole other fun list of recipes, songs, & activities to do alongside or after you get through all of what was included inside the main box.

In my conclusion I honestly love this box and think that the price is spot on. When you break down all of what is included inside the actual box and then factor in what you get in extras this is well worth it. I will be back as a future customer for sure. I loved being able to do these fun recipes with my kiddos and would love to continue to make some fun recipes from this company with them again. Definitely excited to grow our recipe collection a bit more as well!


Check Out Raddish Kids, click the link to get started!

Thanks for checking out my review over Raddish Kids, the box I reviewed was “Spooky Kitchen” if you wanted to get it for yourself. I have enjoyed working with this company and love the product that they offer. I am always on the lookout for fun family products for my family as well as products that I can share with you!

Quick Note:
Thought I would include this tid bit of information that I copied directly from their FAQ page. I know I have readers from other countries other than the USA so I wanted to make sure I included this information in this post. Just in case this speaks to you!

When do you ship? Do you ship internationally?

  • Your first kit will ship via USPS within 1-3 business days unless otherwise selected during checkout.
  • Orders placed by the 20th of the month will receive that month’s kit. Orders placed on the 21st and after will receive the next month’s kit. 
  • Subsequent kits will have an expected arrival date of between the 5th and 10th of each month.
  • Outside of the United States, International shipping is available for an additional $7 USD/month shipping fee. We ship to the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovak Republic (Slovakia), Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom

Please allow 3 to 5 business days after shipment for U.S. delivery and 14 business days for international shipping. International delays are possible due to customs. If you do not receive your kit within 3 weeks of receiving the tracking email, please contact our customer service team.


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