Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Good Music Brighter Children by Sharlene Habermeyer


Good Music Brighter Children

Good Music Brighter Children

Good Music Brighter Children is written for parents, educators or anyone who wants to build a bigger, better brain using music. Scientific studies indicate that children introduced to classical music at a young age read earlier and perform better on achievement tests. Adults can also revive tired brain cells using music. This book gives you a step-by-step program that any parent or individual can follow. You’ll discover how introducing your children to good music can accelerate language development, improve math and science skills, enhance physical coordination, strengthen memory and reading retention, and benefit children with learning disabilities. Discover how to choose an instrument and music teacher for your child; how to get your kids to practice and how character traits such as confidence, responsibility, creativity and teamwork are taught when learning a musical instrument. Learn how to introduce your child to the music community and how to appreciate all kinds of music. Last, if you want to advocate for music in your schools, this book gives the ammunition and data to do so. Also includes a 35-page Resource Section on the best music, books, and DVDs for kids.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble


My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that deserve lots of gushing! There is so much encouragement and guidance in this book concerning classical music.

I started homeschooling Grasshopper this year, and I knew I wanted to add classical music to his days, but honestly, I didn't know how to go about it. Even if I hadn't already wanted music in our days, after reading this book, I would have been convinced to add it. It provides tons of resources and tips for easily adding music to a child's day, whether through education or play. The advice is so simple, too, but I never would have thought to do the things suggested.

Within this book we also learn the benefits of little ones listening to classical music, even while still in the womb. There's even a section on it benefiting premature babies. Grasshopper was born extremely premature, weighing only 1 pound, and 8 ounces. I wish so much that I'd read this book much sooner! My little guy turned 6 yesterday, and he still struggles with certain parts of education, especially math. He's so incredibly smart in some ways, and he has the most creative and imaginative mind you could imagine, but I'm now hopeful that adding music will help him in the areas he struggles with. I'm not forgetting about my other little guys...the super emotional ones(just like their mommy!) ;) There's advice for them, too, and even advice for as they get older. It doesn't matter how old children in your home are, this book has advice and resources to add music into your life.

At the back of the book is a large resource guide. It is packed full of specific information to guide you in adding music to your days, like composers, songs, CDs, DVDs, and books. Even if I didn't have the benefit of the rest of the book, the resource guide alone would have been a huge help. (Of course, I still recommend the rest of the book!)

This is an amazing book, and if children are in your life in any way, I highly recommend it!

*I was provided a review copy through I Am a Reader book tours.


Author Sharlene Habermeyer:

Sharlene Habermeyer, MA has spent over twenty-five years researching the effects of music in the brain development of children. She is passionate about how people of all ages learn and how music is a catalyst for learning. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Art from Utah State University and a Masters degree in Education from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.


In 1999, she started the Palos Verdes Regional Orchestra (now the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra). It currently boasts over one-hundred members.


Sharlene’s initial inspiration for Good Music Brighter Children came from the extensive work she did with her severely learning disabled son, and finding that music was his strongest catalyst for learning she began passionately researching the effects music had on the developing and mature brain.

A college instructor, a popular speaker, and a consultant, she is the mother of five boys and lives with her husband in Torrance, California. She has spoken at parent conferences around the United States including the Parents as Teachers Conference (PAT) and the Crucial Years Conference in Missouri. In August 2014, she will be speaking at BYU Education Week.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest


Praise for the Book


Largest Independent Book Reviewer in the U.S.: Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media, LLC

“With a scientist’s eye and an artist’s voice, Habermeyer examines everything from the benefits of music for the developing brain to music’s ability to improve cultural awareness. This is an encyclopedic, invaluable resource for anyone who believes in music education. A magnum opus, fact-filled and inspiring on the benefits of music.”

-Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media, LLC


National Music Organization: Music and the Brain

“A great resource for both parents and teachers. Anyone interested in music or the overall well-being of children will not be able to put this book down.”

-Lisha Papert Lercari, Director, Music and the Brain


University Professor: Dr. James Catterall

Sharlene Habermeyer outlines why music is important to learning, and provides parents with excellent suggestions for launching and sustaining a musical influence in the lives of their children.”

-James S. Catterall, professor of education and co-director of Imagination Project at UCLA

Mother/Lawyer/Ballet Teacher: Shauna Bird Dunn

“Carefully researched and highly readable, Good Music, Brighter Children is written for musicians and non musicians alike. It is filled with wisdom, insight and helpful tips to bring music into the home for all ages and stages of childhood.”

-Shauna Bird Dunn, JD, MPA

Utah Young Mother of the Year, 2010




Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/15/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Whiny Whiny Rhino by McBoop with GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!

About the Book:

Can Tiny Tiny Rhino have a fun day?

Or will all of his whining get in the way?

If you've ever been worried to try something new,

then Whiny Whiny Rhino is the book for you!

The story’s message is like the Mark Twain quote, “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” We all get apprehensive when encountering new experiences and this often leads us to avoid ever trying anything new. Just having a little courage to try new things can often lead to a much more exciting and enriching life.

My Thoughts:

"Tiny Tiny Rhino
never seemed to have fun.
He was easily frightened
and worried a ton."

This little adventure is about Tiny Tiny Rhino and his worrying. His 3 big brothers pick on him, and tell him he needs to toughen and roughen up. This makes him worry more and it keeps him from having any fun. Will Tiny Tiny Rhino learn what having fun is all about?

Even though I loved this story as I read it to myself, I was a little worried about reading it to Grasshopper. It's one in which there's a story going on, and then lots of little "quote bubbles". It's somewhat of a mix between a book and a comic book. We've tried a couple of these recently, and he gets a little confused sometimes. I always try to point to each character as I quote them, and I take full credit for the confusion. I don't claim to be the best read alouder out there. ;) If I could keep better track of my voices, I'm sure he wouldn't be so confused.

That said, he did really well with this one and enjoyed it.

We LOVE the pictures in here! They drew Grasshopper in right away, and since he's in "1,000 questions a day(at least)mode, he asked lots of questions about them. They are bright and cute and FUN! Again, they add to the comic book mix feel of this book. I seriously love them, though!

This is a fun and quick adventure, especially for little ones that are struggling with letting fear and worry get in the way of having fun. Grasshopper and I give it 4 thumbs up!

*Thank you to iRead Book Tours for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author:

McBoop is the creative team of Carmin Iadonisi & Amanda Iadonisi-Word. This father-daughter duo co-wrote and illustrated Whiny Whiny Rhino. They currently live in New England where they enjoy making art, reading comics, playing board games, eating fancy chocolate and whining about the weather.

Connect with them here:




Purchase the Book:

Whiny Whiny Rhino


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Friday, September 26, 2014

A Few Books I Liked!

Despite my inactivity around here, I've been reading a great deal! Though I had determined to not take on any more review books, I've had moments of weakness, and several have made their way into our home. Most of them are future releases, so I'll hold off on them for a couple more months. I've also put several down, unfortunately, mostly due to language. I've had the craving for biographies lately, and I've read several of those. A few have been short and written for middle grade kids, but I'm still counting it! ;) I'm learning that sometimes it's best to not know too much about some people. (I'm looking at you, Roald Dahl and Charlie Chaplin.)

These books, I enjoyed, though:

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillen Smith

I kept eying this book, but never enough to pick it up. One day, I was browsing my library's e-books, and decided, spur of the moment, to grab it. I'm so glad I did!

Myquillen and I don't have the same tastes in decor at all, BUT I love her creativity. She's inspired me to take chances in my own home, and not worry about if it's "accepted" or not. When we were putting our cabinets into our kitchen, I debated on stain versus paint. I really liked the light stain on oak. Every time I went to pinterest, I only saw how to get rid of those "ugly" oak cabinets. I almost painted them, just because it was more popular these days, but I LOVE my natural stained oak cabinets! Our counter top is pretty much the same color as the cabinets, and though that's a "no-no" in the decorating world, I love it. I'm glad I didn't go with the crowd on those decisions, and I'm glad that Smith made me realize the beauty of being different in full.

She's also taught me to look past the obvious and see the potential. Paint goes a long way!

I love our little house, but it is quirky, and off center. There's not a single wall in this house that was built straight. (We bought it already built, by the way.) I'm learning to love the imperfections and quirks, and this was just the book I needed. I'm now pumped up to decorate our home in way that is more fitting to our tastes and lifestyles.

Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys by Hal and Melanie Young

This book was such a blessing to me! It is filled with tons of advice for raising young men. Sometimes I feel so lost, and I appreciate the advice within this book. The advice concerning guns and heroes was especially useful in my current stage of parenting.

There's advice from childhood all the way to college. A great deal of the book doesn't apply to me right now, but I know I have this book to turn to when that time comes. Of course, I don't share all the same opinions and beliefs as the authors, but there was still plenty to gain from reading it.

This book is written with homeschooling moms in mind. I officially started homeschooling Grasshopper last month, so I'm glad I got to read it at the start of our journey.

This is an excellent book for homeschooling moms of boys! I don't hesitate to recommend it. I'm looking forward to listening to some of audios the Youngs have recorded!

(Thanks to a sweet friend for sending me this book!!!)

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Earlier this year, I read and loved Sky Raiders by Mull. (There's no doubt it will make it onto my "Top 10 of 2014" list!) I determined that I HAD to read all his other books.

I enjoyed it, but not as much as I thought I would. I feel completely unqualified to say this, but I think that Mull's writing has greatly improved since writing Fablehaven. It was still fun, though!

Just like Sky Raiders, Fablehaven gives us an ending without a cliffhanger, but it's still obvious that there's much more adventure to come. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Fablehaven series, but I'm looking MORE forward to reading the rest of the Sky Raiders series.

(Thanks to my local library for lending me e-copies of Fablehaven and The Nesting Place!)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley

My Thoughts:

I feel like I need to defend myself with this book. When I told Jonathan that I was offered a “rhyming Bible”, he cringed a little.

“But, no, I accepted it! And, I’m excited about it!”

Before giving you my reasons for accepting, I do want to point out how much I dislike the fact that this book is being promoted as a book for parents to not get tired of reading the same Bible event over and over. Shameful. I’ll refrain from my soapbox, and just leave it at that.

Now, I’ll give you my reasons for wanting to give this book a try, just like I gave them to Jonathan.

First of all, I’m a firm believer that rhyming promotes memory. Plain and simple.

Secondly, I grew up hearing rhyming songs in Bible class. My children are hearing those same songs in their Bible classes, plus some new ones. I have a binder FULL of these kinds of songs that I sing with them. Almost all of them rhyme.

One of my childhood favorites:

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man,
And a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,
For the Lord he wanted to see.
And as the Savior passed that way,
He looked up in that tree.
And He said, ‘Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I’m going to your house today.
For I’m going to your house to stay.’”

This one is Firefly’s all time favorite.

“Day One, Day One
God made the light when there was none.
Day One, Day One.
God made everything!

Day Two, Day Two
God made clouds and skies so blue
Day Two, Day Two
God made everything!”

(and so on)

Surely I’m not the only one who loved those songs as a child, and now as a parent. ;)

Lastly. *Supplement* is always the key word when it comes to God’s Word!

I’ll get to the book now. It only arrived Monday, so I haven’t had the chance to be as thorough as I’d like. I have read through several of the “stories”, and I like it, so far!

That said, it isn’t really what I was expecting it to be. I imagined a book with lots of little rhymes pertaining to Bible events and people, as opposed to the longer rewordings that it really is. There are 20 Bible events in here. I would have preferred the smaller bits and pieces to supplement our lessons, but again, I DO like this book, so far. The rhyming really isn’t as noticeable as one would think with “Dr. Seuss” being thrown about in some descriptions.

I love the pictures in here. They are very cartoon-y. If you know me at all, you know I love sweet, cartoon-y pictures in children’s book. They are a weakness of mine. I’m finding myself in a constant tug of war lately as to whether this is wise with Bible events/people, but for now, we’re still using pictures like in this book: bright and fun and attention grabbing.

Overall, don’t let the “rhyming” part get to you! If you and your little ones read other “Bible story” books, give this one a chance!

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Purchase Link:

Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times (Magnificent Tales Series)

Celebrate the Treasury of Bible Stories by entering the Rhythmical Rhymes Kindle Giveaway!

Part of the Magnificent Tales series, Treasury of Bible Stories: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times will delight children ages 4–8 with rhyming Bible stories pairing spiritual truths with playful illustrations.

Enter the Rhythmical Rhymes Kindle Giveaway 9/15 – 10/12.

Treasury of Bible Stories Kelly Pulley
One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle HDX
  • Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 12th. Winner will be announced October 13th at Kelly's blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Kelly's blog on the 13th to see if you won!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Candle Prayers for Kids by Claire Freedman

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

At first, I didn't like this book at all. Jonathan and I made fun of it a bit as we read through some of the prayers. While I still don't like parts of it, I DO appreciate it more than I originally did. You just have to keep in mind that not all of the prayers will be appropriate for every child at every time. Think of them as examples!

Many of the prayers are *super* specific.

"Dear God,
My uncle and auntie came to visit.
They brought me a huge teddy.
My uncle told me funny jokes.
Thank you for my uncle and auntie, God.
Goodnight, God.
P.S. Teddy says goodnight, too!"

I don't imagine it's that common for aunts and uncles to bring a huge teddy when they visit. Maybe occasionally. ;)

This didn't bother me at all, but just so you know, there's lots of British talking within this book. For example, Mummy, maths, "get on" instead of "get along", etc.

This did bother me.

"Dear God,
Our world is millions of years old....."


There ARE lots of wonderful, beautiful examples of prayers for little ones in here, though.

"Dear God,
Thank you for the changing seasons.
For the beauty of spring,
When lambs are born and flowers
bloom everywhere.
For long hot summer days,
When we can play outside and
enjoy the sunshine.
For autumn, when the fruit is
ripe for picking,
And leaves tumble from
the trees: red, gold,
and yellow.
Thank you for the snows
and ice of winter,
That turn our fields
into white winter
Thank you for the
seasons, God.

Overall, we'll take some and leave some!

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Purchase Link:

Candle Prayers for Kids

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Move On: When Mercy Meets Your Mess by Vicki Courtney

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

You may remember that Vicki’s book, Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos, was one of my favorite reads last year. I couldn’t resist this one!

I’ve been hanging onto this post for awhile now, because I’ve had so much going through my mind about the book. Honestly, I’d prefer to just hang onto my thoughts, and not even write them out. I do tend to get personal in many of my reviews, but I’m choosing to discuss the basics in this one, and keep a great deal of the thoughts I’ve had to myself. I’ll add in right here that there was a great deal of deleting going on as I wrote this.

I will say that the Lord has really been working on me in the area of “judgment”. He’s showing me just how judgmental I’ve been, and it’s been a hard lesson to chew on. This book has been one of the ways He’s worked on me.

Also, I’ve made it no secret that I’m probably the most emotional person you could ever meet. Vicki made me cry on page x. That’s right. I cried in the preface, before the pages were even numbered. I cried and learned my way through this book.

You can really read this book in two ways: the person in the mess, or the person judging the one in the mess. We’ve all been on both sides! Some of us may *seem* to have smaller messes, but we all have messes in some way or another. Vicki starts out by telling us a little more about her life before accepting Christ. She tells about her experience as a child(and even older) going to church service and feeling like an outsider. She tells about some of her bad decisions, including an abortion, and the price she’s paid and the judgment she’s faced. She also tells of her life after becoming a Christian and some of the judgments she’s doled out, or the times she’s did the right thing. I learned a great deal about both sides. I don’t remember a time not going to worship service as a child, so seeing through Vicki’s eyes as a child has changed me.

I’m just a mess, in general, right now, and I’m grateful the Lord is constantly working on me. I’m grateful He put this book in front of me, too.

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Purchase Link:

Move On: When Mercy Meets Your Mess

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Slave Again by Alana Terry (Book Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!!!)

Special Discount ~ Limited Time Only
Special Time-Sensitive Giveaway! The first 25 readers who enter the giveaway below will receive a free audiobook from award-winning author Alana Terry. She's also giving away a $100 amazon card, a hundred free audio downloads, and a free ebook to anyone who signs up! 

About Slave Again: After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is
hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to
survive, but sheer determination and willpower won’t save her this time. Is she fated to remain a slave forever?

Slave Again is a Christian suspense novel from award-winning author Alana Terry, whose debut novel, The Beloved Daughter, won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, The Book Club Network, and Readers' Favorite.

NEW BOOK RELEASE: Slave Again by Alana Terry is hot off
the press, and both the ebook and paperback are at a steep (30-60%)
discount!! Prices will go up soon, so grab your copy today.

 Slave Again book trailer (contains one mildly violent image)

About the Author: Alana is passionate about human-rights issues in North Korea and has devoted her writing to raise both awareness and funds to help North Korean refugees find freedom and safety. You can learn more about her work with Liberty in North Korea at alanaterry.com/link.

Check out Slave Again now before the price goes up, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Draw-A-Saurus: Everything You Need to Know to Draw Your Favorite Dinosaurs by James Silvani

Purchase Link:

Draw-A-Saurus: Everything You Need to Know to Draw Your Favorite Dinosaurs

My Thoughts:

As I've recently mentioned here at my blog, I have the desire to learn to draw/paint/color. I've been practicing with some of the step by step drawing books. Nope. I'm still not any good at it, BUT I did draw a Viking a few days ago, and without me telling him, Grasshopper knew what it was and seemed pretty proud of me. ;)

When I saw this book, I couldn't resist! I knew if I could learn to draw a dinosaur, my boys would automatically think I was a little more fun. Who doesn't want to be a fun mommy?!

When it comes to dinosaur books, I expect to read about evolution. Most of the time, I can ignore it. There's only been a few that were so overwhelming with the "millions of years ago....." that I decided to just remove them from our home. This book DOES include a bit of evolution talk, but a young Christian artist can still learn from the drawing lessons without very much "overlooking". There's little dinosaur facts mixed in with the drawing lessons.

This book is definitely targeted towards children! It's filled with bright and fun colors, and lots of humor and silliness. I didn't notice it until the book was in my hands, but there's a dinosaur skipping along with a basket of blueberries. There's lots of fun things like that throughout.

As a beginner myself, I don't think this is the best book to get a child just learning to draw. I definitely think it would be best for a child that already knows some basics. I've been using super beginner step by step books. This one has far fewer steps, along with much greater detail, and even lessons in coloring the dinosaurs. That's definitely not a complaint! I just think I will benefit from it a little more into my journey. That hasn't stopped me from practicing the dinosaurs within this book, though. Mine just don't look anywhere near the finished product(and that's okay, right now).

If you have a young person in your life that has a bit of drawing practice already, this is a fun option! 4 of my nephews have requested drawing books/supplies for Christmas within the past few years, so I'm keeping this one in mind should they request another one.

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author:

JAMES SILVANI is an artist and illustrator and has drawn characters for Disney, Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Comics. Currently he is a comic book illustrator for titles like Disney’s Mickey Mouse, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and The Muppets. Silvani has drawn dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts since childhood, and now puts those skills to use in art workshops at libraries, schools, and comic book conventions. Silvani is a resident of Kihei, Hawaii.