The Butterfly

The Butterfly is a charming picture book written for preschool and early elementary children. M and B enjoy “reading” it. Michael Crosse and the London Butterfly House were consulted to be sure all the information is accurate. One thing I really liked is how the book helps check children’s comprehension with a few questions. But I also like how every other sentence is not a question!

The illustrations are beautifully done. As you can see it is a good sized book, just over 10×10 (inches).

I’m not sure what the fishy face is for. An hour or so later I caught B reading it to her pink stuffed lion.

The Butterfly was written by Anna Milbourne & illustrated by Cathy Shimmen. Anna has written many books for Usborne, including The Dinosaur, The Little Pony, and the Pipkin series.


Conspiracy 365 June and Brumbies

Cal escaped the plane crash alive! But will Sumo and Kelvin finally (with 173 pages left to go) catch him?

Thanks to a mob of wild brumbies, Kelvin is taken out of the picture, for a bit at least!

Do you know what makes up a mob of wild brumbies? I didn’t before reading this book! At first, mob was what stuck out to me. I was so confused, why was a mob running in the middle of nowhere? Could they be Kangaroos? No, it says they have sharp hooves. “What kind of animal is this?” I wondered.

I figured they must be some kind of pony, horse or zebra (although I thought I would have heard of zebras in Australia). What does a yahoo search come back with for “mob of brumbies”? Hmm…rugby, a mob of Wallabies joins the Brumbies. I read the link, but I just don’t know enough about rugby. It sounded to me like minor and major league baseball, but I don’t know much about that either.

So after that tangent, what is a brumby anyway, you may ask. According to all the sources I’ve seen including Oklahoma State University Department of Animal Science, a brumby is a wild horse. They stay in mobs (herds) like many social animals.

“…a rip, roarin’, action adventure, thriller that had my heart pumping faster as I gobbled up the pages. And when I was done, I wanted the next book . . . desperately. At least the wait will only be a month away, not a year like most books. What an awesome idea this is! So, bring it on Gabrielle Lord. I am definitely ready to find out what happens next…” – Reading Reviews (February, 2010)

Conspiracy 365, My Fast Review

Probably the thing I love about this series most is how Lord intertwines history, geography, science, technology, culture, and many interesting tidbits into this story. Kids, tweens, and teens are learning while reading a fun exciting thriller mystery!

Conspiracy 365

There are many reviews on this exciting series (see the bottom of this post and the next, the official C365 site and my Usborne order site).

I started reading this series so I could help my customers, but I can hardly put it down! I was working the Aurora Farmers Market on Saturday, so after packing the van Friday night, I finished April and wanted to start May, but I had to wait until after the Market on Sat! Oh, the suspense! By the way, I finished June last night!


I also added a few new words to my vocabulary, cravat being one. In case you are also unfamiliar with it, a cravat is a forerunner of the neck tie. If you love Jane Austen like I do, you probably recognize Mr Darcy sporting one in the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice:


This is probably more how Sligo sports his:


“The Conspiracy 365 series is quite possibly one of the best series books for young adults on the market today. The books are relatively short, and they are very quick reads. This makes it a perfect series for the over-scheduled teens of today who want that instant gratification they can more often find on the computer and in video games. The non-stop action in Conspiracy 365 will grab the reader instantly and not let go until December 31st! Reluctant readers will be inspired to read – and they won’t just be inspired for one book, but rather for twelve. This series could easily take a reluctant reader, and by the end of the twelfth book, turn him into an avid reader. It is a series that would be enjoyed by boys and girls alike, and it has characters that continue to grow and deepen in each book.” – Book Trends, July 14, 2010

Where Do Baby Animals Come From? (And Baby People Too.)

Since I just got this book at the Heartland Regional and since I just email a friend a description of it two days before that, I thought it should be my next Book Note.

This is a new book in the Pipkin series. It’s very appropriate for kids. In the book Pipkin wants to know where baby animals come from.

He finds out some come from eggs and some from the mommy’s tummy. He asks his parents, a seal friend, a whale, baby turtles, and a little boy. It has a poster in the back you can hang on the wall. It tells the names of babies, like seals are pups and lions are cubs. It also goes through the life cycle of a frog and butterfly.

The book is a pretty good size, just over 10″ by 10″. It’s a hardback with squishy embroidered/shiny lettering/snowflakes on the cover. It is by Anna Milborne and illustrated by Serena Riglietti.

Shopping Open House, 9/22/12

On Saturday, Sept 22nd (Bilbo’s and Frodo’s Birthday) I’ll be at the BATAVIA BUNCO FOR BREAST CANCER’s shopping event. I will be one of 17 vendors participating in the event. Vendors donate either a portion of the sales or product to be part of a raffle at the Bunco event in October. Please come out and support the fight again breast cancer!

Heartland Regional, 9-15-2012

I had a great time at the Heartland Regional yesterday.

Everyone got a prize and mine was Where Do Baby Animals Come From? Written by Anna Milbourne and illustrated by Serena Riglietti.

I thought I would share the things from my notes that stand out to me:

– Team growth provides stability for difficult times when you can’t do as much or need a lot of flexibility. Like when you are taking care a family member who is dying so they don’t have to go into a nursing home.

– EDC (the US publisher of Usborne books and Kane Miller) is a Debt Free publicly traded company.

– I should have a plan for where I want to be in 5 yrs (10 yrs, 20 yrs) with Usborne and life!

This isn’t so much something I learned, but thought was funny. However, I did learn what an infographic is.

– I decided I should set up a Facebook page, but not let it take over my business “time” and I really need to schedule my work time so Usborne doesn’t take over. I should keep work time only as work time.

– If I do a door prize, have people fill it out during four different parts during the party. How do you get people to wait was always my question before. Now I know! Highlight each section in a different color.

– I don’t want to be pushy, so how do I recruit for people who could really use this opportunity? I know listening is the key and thinking “How can Usborne help this person meet their needs?” I already knew this. One thing that helped was what one lady said: “Don’t shove information down the person’s throat. If I think she can do this, tell her! Let her know you will help her and train her.” Sometimes, she wants to do it, but isn’t sure she can.

– Instead of offering a free book to anyone who brings an uninvited guest to a home show, offer to pay tax. If she doesn’t order, I’m not out anything! And I’ll offer to pay the guest’s shipping. If they both order one book, I come out ahead instead of behind if I had given a $10 book.

– I really liked the “7 Keys to Comprehension” session. I’m going to turn it into a separate post, so stay tuned!

School and Library Catalog Gift Idea

I became an Education Consultant on August 1, 2012. I intended to visit the schools I am going to be serving shortly before school started. However, my husband ended up needing surgery and that plan had to be delayed.

He is recovering well now and is cleared to go back to work on Monday! I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to schedule any parties, but I can now see it was God’s blessing as I have not had the time or energy to put on a show.

That being said, I was able to go to two schools on Tue to drop off catalogs, along with a few other things made into a fun gift. I had always wanted to make these flower pens, so this was my chance!

I also made some with chalk flowers to go along with the Usborne Chalk-It-Up Mug, which you cannot buy in stores. If you would like one but are not a librarian, I’m sure we can work out a deal, provided you live in the US.

The Flowers are the Usborne Colors. It was pretty hard to find green! Orange wasn’t too bad, the season being fall certainly helped! The Lily is a Sharpie, and the mini Carnation is 1/2 a chalk stick, I like this solution for the broken pieces.

Here they are, all ready to make the drive to my listed schools!

M Caught Learning

I caught M reading the workbook I’m using as part of his kindergarten curriculum.

I really love this workbook! It does a great job of using pictures to teach kids how to draw letters, the sound each letter makes, how the letters are put together to form words, and then checks their understanding of the words they just formed. It does this all with fun pictures, activities, and stickers!

The front cover shows how it easily incorporate the S into a picture which boys will enjoy. All of the letters have fun pictures. The “a” is half an apple, the “i” is the legs of insects, and “p” is the tail and body of a parrot.

The Phonics Workbook teaches a lot more than just how to make letters, it also teaches the sounds and how to put words together. There are also tidbits of information hidden throughout the workbook, for example, insects have six legs, frogs use their sticky tongues to grab and eat insects, and what a saucepan is.

In teaching the sound of the letter “d”, children have a page of dinosaurs at the beach and they are told to find two dinosaurs dancing, a Dino diving into the deep blue sea, three dinosaurs having a delicious dinner, a Dino dentist, and a Dino detective making a discovery. The workbook then asks if the children can find any more things beginning with the letter d.

The book also is great at helping the kids see the use of these letters. The first four letters are “s”,”a”,”t”, and “p”. Before the book teaches any more letters, it puts these together into sat, pat, and tap. On the same two page spread, the child has to choose which picture(out of three) goes with sat, which picture (three new pictures) goes with pat, and the same for tap to ensure the child understood the lesson.

Last Box of My Incentive Period

My last shipment from my 12 week incentive period came the other day. Look what was on the outside of the box! Randall White, Usborne Books & More’s President and CEO, packed the box!

This is the inside box: