Archives for April 12, 2019

Books of the Week!

Filled with creative exercises, art prompts, templates, and step-by-step projects, The Little Book of Rock Painting (Walter Foster Publishing / April 30, 2019 / US $14.99) encourages interactivity for immediate results, while teaching beginners the fundamentals of the medium in an engaging and fun way.

In The Little Book of Rock Painting, aspiring artists will discover how to gather and prepare their rocks to create masterpieces that are truly one with nature. Written and illustrated by three talented rock-painting artists, the book features a range of contemporary designs to experiment with, from patterns and animals to mandalas and dots. The instructions are easy to follow and invite creativity and originality.

Grab your colors, head outside, and start painting beautiful works of art on stones!

I really like how creative this book is and I love the designs! This one is a must-buy!

The Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary is a must for young writers!

Created to satisfy creative writing common core requirements with the help of NYU Childhood literacy and education expert Susan Neuman, The Storyteller’s Illustrated Dictionary is a unique and invaluable resource. Comprised of 4000 storytelling words carefully curated around six themes – Character, Settings, Taste and Smell, Action, Emotion, and Weather – and packed with over 1300 laugh-out-loud illustrations, kids will clamor to learn new words and build stories around the 127 storytelling topics presented in the book. Whether kids are putting words on paper or interacting with their peers, stories are the foundation of communication. Developing strong, word-rich story skills will pay dividends in the lives of children for years to come. I really enjoyed looking at this book!

Do you love exploring nature and live in Los Angeles? This next one is a must-buy!

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County publishes
Wild L.A.: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the second most densely populated city in the U.S., and a major biodiversity hotspot. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) wants to show Angelenos that their urban world is teeming with nature—not only in parks, but in backyards, apartment courtyards, and schoolyards. On March 18, NHM publishes Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles, a book equal parts local nature stories, field guide, and trip planner.

Wild L.A. was co-written by an eclectic group of writers: NHM Community Science Senior Manager Lila Higgins, NHM Herpetology Curator and UNRC Co-Director Greg Pauly, along with science journalist Jason Goldman and poet/naturalist Charles Hood.

The book begins with 10 short chapters focused on major themes that structure which species are found in the L.A. area, including more than 100 short species accounts that describe local plants and animals, tell a few of their most compelling stories, and most importantly, contain easy ways to identify them outside. Then, it’s time to explore. Readers will get guides for 25 hikes, meet local animals like the showy super-adapter Allen’s hummingbird, track undiscovered flies in backyard sanctuaries, get comfortable with the Pleistocene Age revealed at La Brea Tar Pits, and much more. 

Throughout, Wild L.A. takes on issues of naturalization, migration, climate change, extinction, and human impact all while promoting urban engagement with the natural world. “We live in a place with amazing nature. And with so much change due to the rapid growth of agriculture and then urban development, every species here has an amazing story to tell,” says Pauly.

A mix of illustrations and photography, and a personal, accessible approach to science, Wild L.A. encourages people, even people with no seeming interest in venturing outside, that the exploration of nature is a fun, easy, enlightening endeavor.

I really like this book! It is great for all ages and I love the Field Trip section! I can’t wait to explore Los Angeles with this book as my guide!

Wild L.A. is available from Timber Press and you can purchase here

Animal Noses

By Mary Holland

Noses come in all kinds of shapes and sizes that are just right for its particular animal host. Not only do most animals use their noses to breathe but for many animals, the sense of smell helps them find food, a mate, or even to know when danger is near! Following Animal TailsAnimal EyesAnimal Mouths (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Science Award), and Animal Legs, Mary Holland continues her photographic Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series by exploring many different animal noses and how those noses help the animals survive in their habitats.

This is the fifth book in the popular Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series by Mary, and like the previous editions, the photographic book is packed full of facts about the sniffer. The animals featured are all found in North America and educators will love the connection to nature as well as the senses.

I love this book because it is great for young children! It is fun to read and it is very educational. Find this book and many others at

Looking for Journals for Tween girls?

Notebook Doodles Peace Love and Notebook Doodles Fabulous Fashion Guided Journal both hit shelves this month. These journals are perfect for tweens, as they are fun and positive. They offer inspirational writing prompts designed to build confidence and self-esteem.  I really like these because they are fun!

They both can be found on!

If you have been involved in a Domestic Violence relationship or know someone who has been, you will relate to this story. Domestic Violence, sadly is very common today and chances are that you know someone who is a survivor! This story is well done and gives a realistic view.
Having escaped her abusive marriage, Susan Sparks shares her story as a cautionary tale to those entering relationships as well as reassurance to those still trapped in abusive relationships. 

Find out more here! You can also find the book on

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this post. Images were also provided.

Easter family fun at Del Amo Fashion Center

Hop on over to Del Amo Fashion for Easter celebrations and activities featuring the Easter Bunny. South Bay families will have the chance to participate in traditional and unique seasonal events including the Easter Bunny Photo Experience, Pet Photo Nights, Caring Bunny and an Easter Eggstravaganza.

The Bunny Photo Experience begins March 29 and runs through April 20. Children will have the chance to visit with the Bunny and take home a treasured snapshot of the fun occasion. Reserve FastPasses and skip the line by visiting

Del Amo Fashion Center also provides a sensory-friendly Caring Bunny event in association with Autism Speaks. Designed for families with all spectrums of special needs, Caring Bunny will occur on Sunday, April 7 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. prior to mall opening. Guests can also register in advance at Many steps will be taken to reduce sensory triggers, creating a more comforting environment for children’s cherished visit with the Bunny. The subdued environment is likely to include (specific elements or aesthetics may vary):

  • Turning off in-mall music, stopping escalators located near the photo set, dimming the lights and shutting down fountains for the duration of the event.
  • Eliminating queue lines through the use of a numbering system whereby guests approach the set when their number is called.
  • Special activities geared toward the needs of guests during the ‘wait’ period.

The center’s Bunny Photo Experience will also share the heart of the Easter Bunny by collecting donations for Autism Speaks throughout the season.

The popular Pet Photo Night returns to the Easter Bunny Photo Experience on March 31 and April 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Pet Photo nights are hosted after regular mall closing and the set gets an extensive cleaning following the event to remove any potential risk to allergy sufferers. 

On April 13, the center will host their annual Easter Eggstravaganza. From 12 to 2 p.m., the center’s Outdoor Village will transform into a spring activity zone with Easter-themed arts and crafts, a bunny petting zoo, sweet treats, lawn games and more. Families are encouraged to stop by the mall early for an Easter Egg Hunt.

In addition to their Easter Eggstravaganza, the center will host a Disney Jr. Playdate on April 13. Sing-a-longs, crafts giveaways and more based on Disney Junior will be held on the Outdoor Lawn from 12 to 2 p.m.

Credit: Del Amo Fashion Center/Simon