Tag Archives: Dover Publications

Book Review and Giveaway – Adorable Baby Knits by Jody Long

Adorable Baby Knits

25 Patterns for Boys and Girls

By: Jody Long

Jody Long has compiled a fabulous collection of knit patterns for babies in sizes 0 to 18 months. Adorable Baby Knits begins with handy information for all knitters. For example, she tells us how to substitute yarn, the equipment needed, walking the reader through a few basic stitches, her preferred cast on and other general information on the patterns. An abbreviation dictionary page is also included to ensure success with her patterns.

The variety of patterns offers options for both veteran and new knitters. Each pattern is rated by the skill level, on a scale from the easiest (1) to the most challenging (4). The patterns each have a box at the beginning with easy to access information. It includes the list of materials needed, the measurements as well as the gauge with a reminder to “TAKE TIME TO CHECK GAUGE”. As a knitter, you know the importance of checking your gauge even though you would rather jump into the project with a wing and a prayer. But nothing is as frustrating as working diligently on a project only to have it be too big or too small for the recipient of your gift.

 There are sweaters, booties, hats and a simple baby banner. I plan to make more than one of the sweaters, but the baby banner has me thinking of other uses for the project. The instructions are given for four blocks – A, B, Y and a heart. It makes an adorable banner for a baby shower. But how about using the blocks separately to make cute and useful baby washcloths? For a baby shower, the decoration can be given to the mom to use them to bathe her newborn instead of buying a cute paper banner that will be discarded. Or you could make more of the squares and create a baby afghan by knitting or sewing them together.

All of these patterns look cute and fun to knit. My favorites, which are so hard to choose since I love almost every pattern, are the Sheep Sweater and the Cabled Cardigan.

I am very excited to offer a free copy of Adorable Baby Knits to one lucky person. Dover Publications has graciously sent me an extra copy to give to one lucky knitter. All you have to do to enter for the give-away is one or more of the following:

  1. leave a comment on my blog post (writeknit.wordpress.com)
  2. leave a comment on Twitter (lh171)
  3. leave a comment on Facebook (Laura Hartman)

For each of the above, you will get one entry in the drawing to be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2019. The winner will be posted on my blog, twitter and Facebook. The winner must be a resident of the continental United States. Good luck!

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Happy, The Journal – Find Your Inner Joy Daily

Happy, The Journal

By: Fearne Cotton

 Fearne Cotton gives the best description of this journal on the cover: “A chance to write joy into every day and let go of perfect” It is a journal that is so much more than blank pages. I don’t know about you, but I have journals that have more empty than full pages. January starts out fine, but about spring my inspiration gives way to spring, then summer and dribbles down to nothing the rest of the year.

Happy will inspire and encourage you to not only journal, but will help you embrace the joy in your life. Sometimes the joy in everyday life is hard to find when you are living it. Looking back to crazy days when my kids were little and money was tight I can see the joy now, but then it was hard to embrace.

There are no blank pages staring at you when you open Happy. January 1st begins with the simple instruction: “Time for that cosmic order list. Write out your wish list for the year ahead….but as if each one WILL happen.” How cool is that!? Every page has some type of inspiration to keep you feeling positive about your day, and consequently your life.

Some days you are asked to doodle a picture. Don’t worry, no one will see it if you make a stick figure or paint a Picasso. This is your journal to keep to yourself or share. Too often we are too hard on ourselves. This journal may give you the inspiration and encouragement to believe in yourself and become someone who is happy more often than not. Who knows what goals you can accomplish in 2019 and beyond? Sometimes we just need that Happy push to make some dreams come true.

There are also full pages of important things to contemplate each month – I like to think of them as profound billboards – throughout the book. A few of my favorites include the following:

           “The first step in getting what you want is getting rid of the things you don’t want”

            “Happiness is handmade”

            “Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan”

With January right around the corner, this is the perfect time to order this book. But there isn’t a year anywhere on this book so if you start it in August and let it roll into a different year, go for it! These are your dreams, your goals and your joy to find in your own way.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: The Art & Craft of Handmade Books – Ancient Art Techniques for Today’s Crafters

The Art & Craft of Handmade Books

By: Shereen Laplantz

 What is a book? The author of The Art & Craft Of Handmade Books acknowledges books can be described differently but we will go with her definition for the sake of this review. Laplantz defines books as “must contain elements, such as panels or pages, and should follow a sequence.” I too, believe that sums up a book.

In this book about making books, you will find a glossary that will enable you to familiarize yourself with the craft of bookmaking. We are not talking about writing a book – although your handmade book may contain prose that is your own. Or it may contain only pictures or quotes you want to add from famous poets. The possibilities are endless.

You will learn what materials are needed. Some are specialty items, but no worries. There is a recipe to make your own wheat paste if needed for your creation. Just remember that each handmade book is a work of art and should be treated as such.

Some of the book are made using calligraphy, others will use rubber stamps and yet others may only be pictures. All of the patterns, in various styles, are fully explained with illustrations as well as written instruction.

Beginning with the basic Concertina which only uses a 6 x 28 inch piece of paper, you can create a mini masterpiece to keep or share with someone you care about. I love the variation of a Concertina in a Matchbox. This tiny book is sure to be treasured by the recipient for years to come.

My favorite design is the Tassel Book. It is constructed by creating a 16 panel Concertina that is joined together. It creates the shape of a star when looking from the top. Adding a ribbon to the top of your book it can be hung as a decoration (I’m thinking Christmas) to delight friends, family and yourself. Panels that open can be added for an extra element of surprise and beauty.

Handmade books may take a little finesse to create. But honestly these are not popsicle stick snowmen (which are great in their element) but fine works of art to be shared and enjoyed by friends and family. I plan on trying my hand at some simple Concertinas to make a few Christmas books for the special people in my life next year. This type of art is a throwback to a time when all books where created by hand instead of being sent over the internet to your favorite electronic device instantly. It is nice to know some still create one of a kind works of art in the form of books still today.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Easy Bird Origami – Fun Facts, Beautiful Birds and Origami to Create

Easy Bird Origami

By: Tammy Yee

Easy Bird Origami is not your ordinary origami book. Each page has a full color picture of the bird for you or your child to create. There are instructions for flying birds and standing birds. Each sheet will specify which type of bird you are creating, and both flying and standing instructions are clear, easy to understand and have illustrations to help you picture the correct way to fold your birds.

The thirty pre-printed bird designs are colorful and detailed. But before you start creating your flock, be sure to read the information on the back of each page. It will tell you the name of your birds, the place in the world they are found and interesting facts about each.

These are not your ordinary sparrows and robins. Not so say there is anything wrong with the everyday birds I see at my feeder, but it is fun to learn about new birds that we might see on vacation far from home.

From Tanzania to New Guinea, to the Americas to Africa you will learn about interesting birds and their habitats. For example, the Sociable Weavers live in historic nests on the African Savana. Some of the nests are up to 100 years old and up to 500 birds live together in these huge communal nests year round.

The Common Bullfinch can imitate songs. In fact, a bullfinch named Bullie was famous for greeting guests by whistling “God Save the Queen” for visitors as they entered Lawton Hall in Cheshire England. Upon his death in 1853, a poem was written and placed on a tombstone that still stands today for tourists to read outside of the old hall.

A little closer to home, the American kestrel can be found from the Arctic Circle to South America.  These are one of the smallest hawks in the world, very colorful and are designed for speed. The can dive at speeds up to 65 miles per hour and during courtship perform complex flight maneuvers to get the female’s attention.

The beauty of each bird is highlighted on each page. Maybe you and your child will create a flock to hang from their bedroom ceiling. Or maybe you will use each detailed bird as Christmas decorations on your tree next year. Perhaps you will set a few on your dresser or on your desk at work.

Easy Bird Origami will make a wonderful gift. I plan to get a copy for my seven-year-old cousin. She loves every animal and bird. Since last summer she has gotten into origami and now it is one of her favorite things to do. As a new reader, she will enjoy the fun facts about each bird before making her flock.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Harry and Meghan – The Wedding Paper Dolls – The Perfect Gift for Young and Old

Harry & Meghan – The Wedding Paper Dolls

By: Eileen Rudisill Miller

Are you tired of electronic beeps and bells coming from the hands of your children and grandchildren? I have a wonderful solution that will entertain them and you, as well as bring back fond memories. Paper dolls. Not just any paper dolls, but real prince and princess paper dolls just waiting for you and your child to enjoy.

Harry and Meghan are the stars of this fun and informative book. The first page features the Meghan doll as well as interesting facts about who she is. The following pages have two to three outfits each, some include her fabulous hats, each one ready to cut out and try on the Meghan doll. The descriptions will jog memories for moms and grandmas as well as older children. It is fun to read which designer made each dress as well as the event Meghan wore it to. The younger set might just be exited to get down to serious playtime, skipping the designer details.

Harry, the young prince that most of us of a certain age remember being born back in 1984, appears towards the back of the book. He will look dashing in his tuxedo or his Savile Row ceremonial frock coat uniform of the British Army’s Blues and Royals. Who doesn’t love a man in uniform?

Harry & Meghan The Wedding Paper Dolls are also perfect for anyone that collects British Royal items. The book includes the beautiful ensembles as well as sniplets of information and is sure to become a collector’s item.

With the holidays coming up soon, think about the quiet time your child will enjoy with Harry & Meghan. You can settle down with a cup of tea, help them use scissors if they are smaller and just enjoy a few quiet moments together. Soon enough they will grow up and it will be real wedding dresses and tuxedos for them instead of paper dolls.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Princess Party – A Scratch & Sketch Adventure – Makes a Great Gift

Princess Party – A Scratch & Sketch Adventure

By: Imagine That Publishing Ltd

 

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Princess Party is the perfect book for budding artists. Be sure to read the brief introduction before handing it off to the kids. It includes instructions to create your own scratchpaper. I am willing to bet your children will have as much fun creating scratchpaper as they will drawing additional pictures on it once they have completed the book.

There are three sections to encourage creativity on different levels. The first section is a story about five friends that are all princesses. They also have superpowers to help each other as well as those in need. The story has pages to color for each page of text.

The next section features the scratch portion of the book. Using the attached stylus (which is brilliant from a parent’s point of view since it does not get lost) that your child can easily create artwork to go along with the pictures in the book.

Lastly there are blank pages to create your own Princess Pirate adventure. Older children can write and illustrate their own story. Younger children can create a story with pictures or have an adult help him or her with the story and illustrate it. Either way, they are sure to enjoy the process of creating something they can enjoy again and again.

 

Throughout the book courage, friendship, loyalty, and Girlpower, and is encouraged. I asked my neighbor’s children if they wanted to give the book a try. They were all very excited to try it out. The oldest is almost 10, the next in line is 8 and the youngest is 6. All of them agreed unanimously that the scratch off section was the most fun.

Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman

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Contest Winner! Four More Book Giveaways Coming Soon!!

Congratulations Justice Swan! You have won a copy of Dover’s Creative Haven’s Fanciful Sea Life!

 

Please email me your home address so that I can mail your copy to you. 

Thanks to everyone that entered!

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