Monday, September 22, 2014

Dino Farm Book Review

What it is
Dinosaur Farm is a picture book about life on a farm...full of dinosaurs!

Who wrote it
Frann Preston-Gannon, an up & coming British illustrator of adorable picture books and winner of the Sendak Fellowship. She blogs and shares news of upcoming books and tweets as @FrannPG. You can also connect with her on Facebook .

Dinosaur Farm is published by Sterling Books who tweet as @SterlingBooks and are on Instagram as @SterlingBooks. 

Our thoughts
My sons and I really enjoyed this book, both the illustrations and story. It reminded me a little of the Goofy shorts (that I love) where the narrator sounds like he's doing a serious instructional video, but Goofy is totally botching it. In similarly subtle humor (but minus the Goofy slapstick), the text of Dinosaur Farm, with lines like "Sometimes your animals will get very dirty and they will need a good scrub." could be describing any ordinary farm,
but instead of pigs and cattle and chicken, the illustrations feature colorful dinosaurs being cared for by the farmer. 

Both my 1.5 and 5 year old have brought this book to me to read many times since we bought it. It's funny and cute without being overly complicated.
Personally I especially love the colors and textures she chose for the illustrations. It makes me wish there was Dinosaur Farm fabric so I could sew a cozy fall quilt for my sons full of greens and browns and blues and occasional pops of red. 

  • Cute
  • Funny

  • No fabric line (yet) (hint hint, Frann!)

The bottom line
Dinosaur Farm is an eye-catching, humorous book bound to appeal to all dinosaur lovers under 6 or so. 

Get it

You can buy Dinosaur Farm on Amazon for $10.68 at time of posting this review

Thank you to Sterling Books for providing a review copy of this book. I received no other compensation for this post. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

40 Days For Life

This Thursday, September 24th, 2014 kicks off "40 Days for Life", a time for the pro-life community to come together and make a concerted effort to decrease abortion. (As a side note, this campaign is about ending abortion through cultural shift and not about outlawing abortion through force of law. You do not have to advocate for banning or criminalizing abortion or to identify as pro-life to wish for the practice to end and/or dramatically decrease, and to take actions to make that more likely. All people who hope to see a decrease in abortion are welcome to participate in 40 days for life!)

Many cities have local movements planning their 40 Days for Life activities, and you can find out if your city is one of them on the 40 Days for Life website. 

One of the things I love about this movement is the guidelines for participants; they make it very clear that everyone participating is to be peaceful and loving. The goal is not to antagonize Planned Parenthood's employees, patients, supporters, or anyone else who is pro-choice and/or pro-abortion. The goal is to use our time and talents to encourage and uplift, to educate and attempt to create a culture if life, in hopes that truth and love will triumph over death. 

You catch more flies with honey, and love will save more babies than shame. I think we can make a big positive difference in the world over the next 40 days, and I hope you'll consider joining me. 

There are three main ways the campaign suggests interested people get involved:

Prayer and Fasting
Pray for expecting mothers and fathers and for their unborn children. Pray for people who work in medical fields directly and indirectly involved in performing abortions. Pray for pro-abortion activists. God changing hearts and minds is a powerful way to end abortion!

Community Outreach
Volunteer with a crisis pregnancy center near you. Help raise donations for the local shelter for battered women and children. Look for concrete ways to reach out to families in crisis. 
If you are active online, you can also look for ways to reach out to your online community. Even something as simple as tweeting something positive about pregnancy and babies or sharing a Facebook post about a diaper bank that helps families who struggle to afford them on their own can help. 

Peaceful Vigils
There will be peaceful vigils outside Planned Parenthoods across the nation. If you participate in this way, it becomes all the more important to review the guidelines for lovingly praying on public land outside PP and to follow them. For example, the 40 Days for Life website clearly recommends that anyone participating "avoids shouting, confrontation with patients and employees, and the use of graphic abortion images. " and instead show love and mercy. Praying silently or holding a sign with a positive message like "God loves you" will be more loving and more effective than being hateful towards people. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIY carrier infographic!

I'm in some DIY Babywearing groups on Facebook and other sites and noticed many people have the same basic questions when they are first starting out with making their own baby carriers. I thought this infographic might help answer some of those common questions!

Safety note: please keep in mind though that the carriers that are easiest to make aren't always the easiest to use safely (no sew athletic mesh for example requires no sewing but can be extremely tricky to use safely), and the carriers easiest to use aren't necessarily easy to make (soft-structured carriers with buckles for example are some of the most beginner friendly carriers but are fairly advanced sewing). Always use caution with baby carriers and do lots of research and practice with dolls or stuffed animals before trusting your child's life to a carrier, and remember that's exactly the risk you are taking every time you use a carrier, whether it is handmade or otherwise. It's totally possible and worth it to sew adorable, sturdy, comfortable carriers at home for personal use, but it does take knowledge, skill, and diligence to make sure you're doing it in a way that will ensure safety for your child!

Anyway, feel free to share anywhere you like, but please link it back to this blog if you can, and do not remove the part with my URL! Thanks!!