Book Review “Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark”

Author: Discovery Channel
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Time Home Entertainment
Number of Pages: 192 Pages
Release Date: June 11, 2013

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Sharks, why are we so fascinated with them? We just recently completed another amazing year of Shark Week, one of the best in my opinion! Great job, Discovery Channel. They are also behind this great new book, “Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark”, teaming up with Time Home Entertainment, Inc. If you are a shark finatic like myself then you are going to love this book. This is a 192 page full-color book that includes over 400 vivid photos and tons of great information about nearly 500 species of sharks. I am very excited more importantly to show this book to my daughter as she gets older to have her learn about these amazing marvels. “Sharkopedia” is for all ages and really delivers an ultimate comprehensive book for shark fans.

Some of the chapters included “Shark Anatomy and Senses”, which explore shark parts, skin, muscles, fins, gills, hearing, taste and touch. “Feeding Habits” discuss different types of whats that sharks eat. “Record Breakers” show which shark can live over 200 years. “Shark Behavior” discuss if sharks sleep. “Shark Conservation” talks about what we can do to understand sharks better and how we can help them. There is tons of great information about Great White, Bull and Tiger sharks. I pride myself on being a big fan of sharks and there was still tons of great details that I have never known, thanks to this book. Highly recommend this and it is a great way to ease of having to wait another year before the next Shark Week.

Book Review “Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Episode Guide”

Author: Jason Fry
Reading Level: 8 up
Book Length: 232 pages
Release Date: June 3, 2013
Publisher: DK CHILDREN

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

While I am excited to see this book it also reminds me that this series is over and that makes me sad. This book is really the ultimate episode guide since it covers everything important from the show from episode one to the very last episode. DK Children has released another fantastic high quality release here. The images looks great and there is tons of fantastic information about each major event from the show. Even though it is aimed at kids, this should easily satisfy fans of all ages. If you are a fan of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, this is the book that you’ve been looking for.

Official Premise: A comprehensive guide, Star Wars®: The Clone Wars™ Episode Guide details every episode from the highly popular animated series, The Clone Wars, featuring plot points, key characters, and the spaceships, weapons, and gadgets. Each of the 108 episodes is showcased with a stunning visual spread. For the first time, all of the episodes will be presented in story order, making this the definitive chronology of the beloved television show, The Clone Wars!

Jason Fry is the author of this book and he has done tons of great “Star Wars” books including “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: The Expanded Visual Dictionary”, “Star Wars: The Secret Life of Droids”. He has also worked with “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” with the books “Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Visual Guide” and “Star Wars: Clone Wars – Character Encyclopedia”. So I think it is safe to say that this book is coming from one of the best sources available for the franchise. I look forward to future releases from DK and definitely from Jason as well. Just because the “Clone Wars” series is done doesn’t mean it needs to disappear all together!  Keep ’em coming guys!

Book Review “The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A 3D Expanding Pocket Guide”

Author: Sarah McMenemy
Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Hardcover: 30 pages
Publisher: Candlewick
Release Date: August 14, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is my third book in this Keepsake Cityscapes series that I have had the pleasure to review. I really enjoyed “New York: A 3D Keepsake Cityscape” and “Washington D.C.: A 3D Keepsake Cityscape”. These books are very simple and yet very effective. They pack a lot of great information into a small package. This latest volume takes us on a tour New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Welcome to the Met! Boasting more than two million works, it’s one of the world’s largest art museums. Learn about twelve top attractions, including the lovely Charles Engelhard Court, the formidable Arms and Armor Court, and the Modern Art Gallery showcasing works from Monet to the artists of today.”

The author Sarah McMenemy is the creator of this series and also including “London: A 3D Keepsake Cityscape” and “Paris: A 3D Keepsake Cityscape”. These foldout books with cutout paper are a great tool for kids to learn with and not having to leave the comfort of their homes. I am sure that it will also spark some inspiration with some kids to plan their future trips in their life. Look forward to reviewing future editions of this series.


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Book Review “Tolkien’s World: A Guide to the Peoples and Places of Middle-Earth”

Author: Gareth Hanrahan
Illustrator by: Peter Mckinstry
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: October 2, 2012

Our Score: 2 out of 5 stars

I have to admit that I have never read J.R.R. Tolkien’s original books that inspired Peter Jackson’s trilogy, as well as the upcoming “The Hobbit” trilogy. But still I am huge fan of the series and I know quite a bit about the world that Tolkien has created.  This book, when it comes down to it, is an illustrated book that is really only aimed for kids.  Unless you are a die-hard Tolkien fan, I do not see any adults really diving into this book.  The focus is put on the series’ mythical characters and awe-inspiring locations. If you are looking to engage yourself in the incredible journey through Middle-earth, then then watch the movies and skip the book.

When I open a book I really need to fall in love with the illustrations right away otherwise I loose interest fast.  Peter Mckinstry did a decent job with designs these character with his approach but I just wasn’t on board. The book over plays like a encyclopedia. It aims to give details on various different aspects of Tolkien’s world exploring Middle-earth, ranging form the Hobbit’s Shire to dark world of Mordor. I would only recommend this book for two reasons, if you have a young kid or if you are desperate for the upcoming prequel “Hobbit movies”, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 2013).