And Another Next Book in a Beloved Series Week! – Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #86

Well, this is the third week in a row that a beloved series has released its next book. I love February! This week, the third book in Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy series came out! These are totally clean and delightful young adult fantasy that I highly recommend for readers ages 10-100!

So what great books have you read this week?

Booknificent Thursdays
<div align="center"><a href="http://mommynificent.com/" title="Booknificent Thursdays"><img src="http://mommynificent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Booknificent-Thursdays.jpg" alt="Booknificent Thursdays" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more. (For the next few weeks, I’m on a pseudo-maternity leave, so I may not be able to visit everyone’s posts like I usually do. For this reason, please do a little extra hopping around and commenting if you can! Thanks!!)

Happy linking and have a great week!

How to Make Homemade Play Dough and Keep it Useable in the Tropics

While making homemade play dough seems pretty common in more temperate climates, I’ve had quite a few people tell me that theirs just turns into goop here in the tropics because of the humidity. So I wanted to share one of the recipes I’ve had good success with here and how we keep it useable.

Playing with play dough

This is a pretty standard recipe that I’ve seen on a number of websites as well as in several books. I used to make a recipe with alum but it’s so hard to find here, and I’ve found that this recipe works just as well.

Homemade Playdough Recipe

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water (I like to use hot water to speed up the process a bit)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I use the cheapest cooking oil I can find for this)
  • food coloring
  • additional scents and/or glitter (optional)

1. Mix all the ingredients together. We usually make several colors and scents so I wait to add these until the kneading process later.

2. Stir continually over medium-low heat until it forms a ball. Mine is always pretty lumpy but once it gets really hard to stir, I take it off the heat.

3. Take it off the heat and dump it onto a silicone mat or a cutting board. Once it cools you can knead it until it’s mixed fully and soft! (This is where I divide the dough and add the colors and scents we want. The kids love to help with this part! This is also where we work out the lumps.)

4. Store in air-tight containers. We’ve used zipper baggies but have more success with plastic containers.

If you live in the tropics like we do, chances are good that the third or fourth time you pull this play dough out to play, it will be really sticky. When this first happened, I thought we’d have to throw it away and was really disappointed, but the thought occurred to me that when bread dough is too sticky, I just add more flour to make it workable. So we decided to try that. I figured if it didn’t work, we were going to throw it away anyway so we wouldn’t really be losing anything but a little flour. It worked beautifully and the play dough became very workable again. We put it back in our air-tight containers, but a few weeks later, it was sticky again. So we got out the flour and played. The play dough lasted over six months without showing any signs of mold or ickiness! I’d say we probably added a couple cups of flour over that time period.

So, that’s the big secret – if your homemade play dough gets sticky in the tropics, add flour and play on!

How I Love Getting the Next Book in a Beloved Series! – Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #85

Hello, my favorite reading friends! I hope you are having a great week! We were very excited here this week to receive the second installment in the Maisy Files mystery series by Elizabeth Woodrum. I’m linking up our reviews (including Middlenificent’s video review) below! I must admit to enjoying these just as much as the kids do!

So what books have you enjoyed this week? We’re excited to see your links below!

Booknificent Thursdays
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And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more. (For the next few weeks, I’m on a pseudo-maternity leave, so I may not be able to visit everyone’s posts like I usually do. For this reason, please do a little extra hopping around and commenting if you can! Thanks!!)

Happy linking and have a great week!

Maisy and the Money Marauder Book Blast and Giveaway

We are very pleased to be joining Mother Daughter Book Reviews‘ Book Blast for the second book in “The Maisy Files” mystery chapter book series by Elizabeth Woodrum, Maisy and the Money Marauder. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out Book 1, Maisy and the Missing Mice, you can grab a Kindle copy for FREE from Amazon February 17 and 18, 2015!

We have absolutely loved both of these books! You can see Mommynificent’s review of the first one here as well as Middlenificent’s video review of it over at Desperate Homeschoolers. She has also done a video review of this second installment which you can see here. Enjoy!

Maisy and the Money Marauder by Elizabeth Woodrum

About the Book

Title: Maisy and the Money Marauder (The Maisy Files, Book #2) | Author: Elizabeth Woodrum | Publication Date: February 17, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 90 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 12

Summary: Lunch money has been stolen at West Valley Elementary, and everyone’s favorite fourth-grade detective is on the case. With a cherry lollipop in hand, her fedora, and her trusty notebook, Maisy steps into her black-and-white mystery world to search for clues. Join Maisy on her quest to unmask a thief in Maisy and the Money Marauder.

Book 2 Available from Amazon

PLUS, Grab a FREE Kindle Copy of Book 1, Maisy and the Missing Mice

from Amazon February 17 and 18, 2015.

Maisy and the Missing Mice

Sneak Peek

 

The Buzz About Book One

Maisy and the Missing Mice is a fun chapter book featuring a smart and sassy tween girl as the title character; a solid and interesting plot featuring age-appropriate intrigue and suspense; and some terrific writing that carries the reader on a journey as a detective uncovering clues and solving the mystery of who stole the missing mice. I highly recommend this book as a read aloud book for children between the ages of 6 and 10 or for independent readers between the ages of 7 and 12 who love to read mysteries.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

“Woodrum certainly knows her target audience and does a very nice job with the character development of Maisy. This is an incredibly kid-friendly story that makes a great introduction to the genre of mystery for newly independent readers. It’s a quick page turning read that encourages kids to think outside of the box.” ~ The Children’s Book Review

“The delights from this book start with the cover art and continue with a fun story that is well-written.” ~ 5 Star Review, R. Johnson, Amazon

“My name is Kat. I am 9 years old. I would rate this a five because I like everything about it, the mystery the most. It was fun to read. My favorite part was the mystery and the end. I love this book so much. I think other kids would love it too because it has mystery and most kids would like mystery books. Most mystery books have a good mystery. I would love to read the whole series.” ~ 5 Star Review, Heather A., Amazon

“What an Amazing book. I totally love it. I admire the author dedication for writing an incredible book. While reading this book, it was very clear that author understand kids. I’ve always been an avid reader and this book is one of the best books I have read in 2014. This book grabs my attention from the very start of the book and couldn’t put it aside till I finish it.” ~ 5 Star Review, KristinT, Amazon

“I knew I would love this book simply because I knew it would remind me of the mystery books I read in my childhood. I really love how much trust the teachers and community as a whole put in Maisy. She is well deserving of their admiration as the way she finds clues and finds the mascot for the school is well thought out. This is a story any child would love to read. I hope Maisy continues to solve mysteries…” ~ 5 Star Review, Josh, Amazon

 

About the Author: Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum

Elizabeth Woodrum is an elementary teacher in Ohio. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children’s series, is the first series that she has published.

As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks. Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently resides near Dayton, Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.

 

Book Website | Author Blog | Twitter

Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: March 16, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Elizabeth Woodrum and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #84

Hello, dear friends! I hope you have had a good week. We’ve had a great one here! Grandma arrived safely yesterday, as did the long-awaited next book in Debbie Viguie’s Psalm 23 mysteries. I call that a super day! :)

Thanks for the feedback you gave me last week about what to do with the link-up after the baby is born. I think I will go ahead and pre-schedule the posts so there will not be an interruption. We have some good momentum going here, and I’d hate to lose that! I probably won’t make it around to visit all of your posts like I usually do, so please do a little extra hopping around over the next few weeks if you can.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to share with us this week!

Booknificent Thursdays
<div align="center"><a href="http://mommynificent.com/" title="Booknificent Thursdays"><img src="http://mommynificent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Booknificent-Thursdays.jpg" alt="Booknificent Thursdays" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more.

Happy linking and have a great week!

Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #83

Hello, dear friends! I hope you’ve had a great week! We’re in the midst of a very busy week with several important meetings, and we’re excitedly getting ready for Grandma’s visit and the baby’s arrival!

Speaking of the baby coming soon (due Feb 22), I have a question for all of you who consider yourself a part of the Booknificent community. I’m torn as to whether I should take a month off from posting the link-ups or if I should set them up ahead of time to continue posting each Thursday as usual. It’s no trouble for me to set them up ahead of time, but I’m fairly certain I will not be able to visit and comment on each of your links for at least a few weeks. So, which would you prefer – can you pick up my slack and do a little extra visiting and commenting for a few weeks or should we take a month off? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll let you know what I’ve decided next week. Thanks!

Booknificent Thursdays
<div align="center"><a href="http://mommynificent.com/" title="Booknificent Thursdays"><img src="http://mommynificent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Booknificent-Thursdays.jpg" alt="Booknificent Thursdays" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more.

Happy linking and have a great week!

Books for Little Boys and Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #82

Hello, everyone, and Happy Booknificent Thursday! I hope you have had a wonderful week! I have been enjoying reading Heidi Ashworth’s Miss Delacourt series this week, which I was very excited to see is available on Kindle Unlimited! I reviewed Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice, the 6th one in the series, last year without realizing it was part of a series, so I’m glad to get caught up with the others.

Our little guy’s second birthday is coming up in a few weeks and my mom is coming from the US just before it, so I took the opportunity to build up our “boy library” a little and purchased the following gems from Amazon:

The Boy with a DrumBoy with a Drum by David Harrison – This book comes very highly recommended by a friend who raised three boys who are now in their 20s. We laughed when she was telling me about it because she can still quote the book verbatim! That’s a sign of a real winner to me.Little Blue Truck

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle – This one has been recommended to me so many times by so many people that I have lost count. We can’t wait to read it ourselves!

Sergeant Hippo’s Busy WeekSergeant Hippo by Wong Herbert Yee – We absolutely love Wong Herbert Yee’s Fireman Small so my two older girls decided to buy this one for their little brother’s birthday. I’m excited to listen to them read it to him (and the coming baby as well) over and over!Nurse Nancy

I also picked up a couple more classic Golden Books that the girls and I are pretty excited about including Nurse Nancy by Kathryn Jackson. We noticed it is illustrated by Corinne Malvern who also illustrated Doctor Dan the Bandage Man by Helen Gaspard which is a read-it-over-and-over, all-time favorite around here.

How about you? Have you picked up any good books this week? We’d love to hear your recommendations either in the link-up itself or in the comments below! Also, I was thrilled this week to see that Gia, one of the authors that links up here, posted the link to last week’s link-up on her facebook wall and invited her friends to come for a visit! This is a great way to grow our community, so thanks for the inspiration, Gia!

Booknificent Thursdays
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And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more.

Happy linking and have a great week!

Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #81

Hello to all my bookish friends! I hope you had a great week! My apologies to a couple of you who emailed me asking me to make changes to your links. I did not keep up with email at all this week, so please forgive me as they just didn’t happen!

I have a little joke to share with you that my 8-year old made up this week. I think it’s terribly clever so I need you to tell me if that’s just mama-pride or if you think it’s funny too. Please be honest; I can handle it! :) We drove past a man who was picking up tree branches that had been cut down and putting them into his car to get rid of them, and Middlenificent commented, “Look, he’s adding a trunk to his car!”

OK, on to more literary things. What do you have to share with us today? I can’t wait to see. Have a great week!

Booknificent Thursdays
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And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more.

Happy linking and have a great week!

Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #80

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope that you’ve had a good week this week. We’re doing well, plugging away at homeschooling, trying to get as much done as we can so that we can take whatever time off we need to when the baby comes in late February.

I challenged the kids to keep track of how many books they read for fun this year so they are writing their titles in a journal as they finish them. I was a little shocked today when my 10-year old told me she has passed 100 books already! Um, it’s January 15th, honey….

I’m totally impressed. I think I’ve read 4, maybe 5, which isn’t actually too shabby for this point in the year, but talk about being left in the dust!

And, lest you think all she does is read, she is doing a really rigorous school curriculum, plays outside for at least an hour a day, and helps me tons with the little ones and household chores so most of her fun reading time happens during our afternoon quiet time which is about an hour and a half and in the hour after the little ones go to bed before she does. This is one amazed mama!

How about you? Are you keeping track of your reading this year? Have you set any goals for how many books you want to accomplish? How are you doing so far?

Booknificent Thursdays
<div align="center"><a href="http://mommynificent.com/" title="Booknificent Thursdays"><img src="http://mommynificent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Booknificent-Thursdays.jpg" alt="Booknificent Thursdays" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more.

Happy linking and have a great week!

Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #79

Happy Booknificent Thursday, reading buddies! I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying whatever books you are reading. We decided to finally take our free month’s trial of Kindle Unlimited this month and we are loving it! How many of you have tried this service? What are your thoughts on it? I don’t know if we will continue with it, but it has been a real blessing this month while the international school library nearby has been closed over the holidays. My 10-year old has been averaging seven books a day so far in the new year (mostly Boxcar Children), so it would have more than paid for itself this month!

Looking forward to seeing what you are reading this week!

Booknificent Thursdays
<div align="center"><a href="http://mommynificent.com/" title="Booknificent Thursdays"><img src="http://mommynificent.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Booknificent-Thursdays.jpg" alt="Booknificent Thursdays" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

And now, it’s time to party! Please link up any posts you have, past or present, about books, reading, and literacy. This link party is all about sharing how books are impacting you! Joining in is easy; just click “Click here to enter…” next to “You are next” and copy/paste the URL of a blog post (not your homepage). Choose a photo to upload and then click some of the other great posts in the party and meet new bloggers and find out about new books!

Why should you link up to Booknificent Thursdays?

Linking up to parties and leaving comments on other posts is a proven way to increase traffic to your blog and grow your blog’s followers! Here are a few rules and suggestions:

  • You can link up as many posts as you want.
  • Please grab the Booknificent Thursday button and share it somewhere on your blog (sidebar, post, bottom, etc.) and please share about this party with any book-lovers you know.
  • I’d also really appreciate it if you’d hop over to my Google+ profile or my facebook page and give me a “like” and/or subscribe to receive my blog (just enter your email address up on the sidebar.)
  • We do want to keep it family-friendly, so I reserve the right to remove anything I consider offensive.
  • And one final rule, please visit AND comment on at least one other linked post if not more.

Happy linking and have a great week!