Thursday, December 8, 2022

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright


Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! An Animal Poem for Each Day of the Year is a collection of poems about animals. Fiona Waters, an anthologist, found 366 poems that she hoped children would love. Britta Teckentrup, the artist/illustrator, created a beautiful visual story on every page with her amazing artwork. She utilizes vibrant colors with what looks to be watercolor illustrations. Professor Rudine Sims Bishop said, "Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience." This beautiful hard cover book is part of Timberdoodles 2022 First-Grade Curriculum Kit. The poetry spans a period of over 400 years. This book is recommended for ages 3+. 

Each month lists the calendar day, poem title, and poem author. 
Some of the poets that are familiar to many in this anthology are:
William Blake
Margaret Wise Brown
Lewis Carroll
Emily Dickinson
Robert Frost
Edward Lear
Isaac Watts
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
William Shakespeare
Of course there are a lot of poets that are new to me. 

Louise Bolongaro, Head of Picture Books of Nozy Crow Publishers said: 
"A poem...Look at how a tiny collection of words, carefully arranged, can say so much. Poems are bite-size worlds that can be snacked on word by word or swallowed whole in one big gulp. And, like a picture book, a poem always makes us feel something."

The illustrator has done a fantastic job depicting a Kingfisher with its long pointed bill as it "knives the water" to catch its meal. Two of the three fish are leisurely swimming along while the fish in the middle has spotted the Kingfisher and awaits its fate. 

July 14th's poem "Kingfisher" by John Foster


Like a splinter from the sky

It knives the water,

Swiftly strikes,

Turns, surges

Up through the splattering surface,

Back to the willow branch,

Where it sits triumphant,

Wet feathers glistening,

Its silver catch

Dangling from its beak. 


April 27th's poem "Rabbit and Lark" by James Reeves

"Under the ground

It's rumbly and dark

And interesting,"

Said Rabbit to Lark.


Said Lark to Rabbit,

"Up in the sky

There's plenty of room

And it's airy and high."


"Under the ground

It's warm and dry.

Won't you live with me?"

Was Rabbit's reply.


"The air's so sunny.

I wish you'd agree,"

Said the little Lark,

"To live with me."


But under the ground

And up in the sky,

Larks can't burrow

Nor rabbits fly.


So Skylark over

And Rabbit under

They had to settle

To live asunder.


And often these two friends

Meet with a will

For a chat together

On top of the hill.


I absolutely adore this poem. The illustration that covers both pages is beautiful. I love how the artist used soft pastel colors. The picture depicts a sunny spring day. You cannot see too well but the lark is looking down at the rabbit just as if they are talking to one another. Likewise, the rabbit is peering up at the lark.

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!
The cover of the book depicts a lion that is glaring into the eyes of its readers. My children had to memorize this poem by William Blake in 5th grade. The artist does a fantastic job depicting what the speaker imagines a prowling tiger with its fiery eyes in the dark of the night would look like. What "immortal hand or eye" could have created such a majestic animal. I do not know if the artist intended this but the moon is so very insignificant compared to massive frame of the tiger.  

With Christmas right around the corner I had to add one
last page. December 24th's poem is "The Oxen" by Thomas Hardy.
December 25th's poem is "The Donkey" by Gertrude Hind.
Both of these poems are so full of great meaning. 
In "The Oxen" we see how the Ox is looking reverent in the strawy pen. 
Even the animals are kneeling to pay homage to the babe Christ who is to be born. In the 3rd stanza we see how society today has lost sight of what Christmas is all about. But, "Come; see the oxen kneel." 
In "The Donkey" by Gertrude Hind is a sweet poem about a donkey that
is ONE day old! His body is awkward and after taking in his new 
surrounding he eventually lays down on the ground. And the poem 
ends, "I prayed the world Might be good to him."

My grandson may be too young to enjoy listening to poetry, but he isn't too young to enjoy looking at the colorful illustrations found throughout the 325 pages of Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright. There are so many animals, colors, and wonderful art to introduce him to. 

My grandson is mesmerized by the vivid colors in this illustration. 

Auntie Phoebe showing peanut the beautiful pages. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the poems in this book. I also loved spending time studying the details in each illustration. If you love art, animals, or poems check out this book. Do you shy away from poetry because you have a hard time understanding poems? You do not always have to understand a poems meaning to enjoy it. From the Dartford Warbler to the Manatee and the Barracuda to the Codfish each month you will read about creatures both big and small. Check out  

Monday, November 14, 2022

The Voice Library

Disclaimer:  I received this complimentary product through the 
Homeschool Review Crew.

The Voice Library is a unique way to preserve and chronicle just about anything in your life. Do you need a platform for you and your family to share photos, preserve memories, collect grandma's recipes, have the older generation tell stories and gather family history. Maybe you are an artist and you want to photograph your art and share a couple minutes explaining what inspired each art piece. You may have suffered a deep loss or experienced a life altering medical diagnosis and need a place where you can chronicle your journey. You may choose to keep it private. As you share your raw feeling, maybe even through tears, it is "YOUR VOICE." In time you may be ready to share your Voice Library with others. The Voice Library - Audio Book Creator is excited for you and your family to experience the fun, easy, and affordable way to ensure that important content is saved in your own private library, with anytime, anyplace access. How will you use the Voice Library?

3 Easy Steps!

So how does work?

For starters there are two classifications assigned on the account, Recorders and Listeners. The Recorder is the account holder. This person has the ability to record, upload files, purchase more storage time to the account, manage the library recording, and give others access to record and/or listen. You will be given ID's, PIN's, and Passwords. These are what your family or friends will need to access your Voice Library. Listeners can simply listen to the recordings and see any pictures that have been added along with the recordings. Preferably using your mobile device or landline phone you record your stories, recipes, memories, or whatever you choose to share. If you are not happy with the recording you can delete it and start again. There are many short videos and guides to help you along the way. And if you still are struggling and need help you can shoot them an email  or call them. Also, there are never any annoying ads to worry about. Your identity is NEVER sold. You own and control your information forever. 

Simply Download the App

In a Pickle

After being assigned this review I was really struggling to get everything working. I ended up creating three separate accounts, accidentally deleted recordings, and really did not quite follow the instructions sent by the vendor. Normally I would immediately jump into action to insure adequate time for reviewing. This time I didn't. Eventually I sent an email to a Crew Leader explaining my issues. They in turn reached out to Al Brandano the President and Founder of The Voice Library. This was the email correspondence I received from him. 


Al Brandano from The VoiceLibrary.
Sorry to hear you are having some issues. 

I'm sure I can help you resolve them.
Best if we talk by phone so I can understand what is happening.

Please contact me directly at xxx-xxx-xxxx
or give me the best times/ days to contact you.

Thank you

I do need to add that the reason I was limping along on this review was because just weeks earlier I had a very traumatic hospital stay and then a car accident. I was dealing with A LOT! I felt like I had really let this vendor down. My fears were immediately replaced with Al's kind reassuring voice on the other end and his true desire to help me create a lasting and memorable Voice Library. Al was so very patient with me as I had so many questions and struggled a bit to understand how to work every part of the platform. After a good amount of time Al suggested we set up a time the following day to talk again by phone to ensure I had everything set up correctly and knew how to run it. As we spoke the second day I shared a very significant life altering event in my life. Al suggested that I use The Voice Library platform as kind of a personal diary of sorts. He suggested that I chronicle my journey from it beginning til now. Let it be a healing and therapeutic place for me to be real and express how how this event has affected me. At this point in our conversation I began to cry and immediately knew that this was exactly how I needed to use The Voice Library! 

I want to add that Al was also very appreciative of the feedback that I gave him on the instructions that were sent out with my review packet. He also welcomed feedback on the app and website. Al said that he and his team have a hard time sometimes seeing what a new individual coming in may be confused about. When you are the creator it is hard to step back and see your product from a newbies perspective. Feedback helps their team to write instructions a bit clearer or to tweak the app or website. They want The Voice Library experience to be fun and enjoyable not frustrating. 

When logging into the app you will see the Recording List of all of your recordings.
At the bottom you have several options. To record a new entry press Start Recording. 

You will be asked to name your recording. 

Name it.

Start recording. 

After you have uploaded a recording and added a picture if you choose
to do so there are several Recording Options. 

On the website you are able to manage your account and 
purchase new cards (renewal subscriptions, activity boxes).

On the website you can also see your recordings and listen to them. The 
website is HOME BASE. This is where you will find FAQ, short helpful videos, 
additional purchase options, and valuable information to help make your
Voice Library run smooth. 

As our conversation continued Al shared with me The Military Families Story Project. In 2010 Al was invited to the Pentagon by Army Col. Philbrook of the Suicide Prevention Task Force. Al was asked to help soldiers and their families stay connected by providing them free subscriptions to during pre and post deployment. Al was honored and has since given over 1000 gift subscriptions to military families. When I heard this I literally got goose bumps. I told Al that my husband was a Chaplain in the Army Reserves. I also told Al that my husband from time to time taught Suicide Awareness Trainings. Al got excited. This led to a great conversation.

If you have stuck with me this far THANKS! As the holiday's are fast approaching are you still looking for that unique, memorable gift for family, a friend, a colleague at work, a teacher, or someone that you just really want to show your appreciation to during the holidays. In addition to The Voice Library - Audio Book Creator, for the holidays The Voice Library has put together CrateJoy for the Holidays

How often do we find ourselves saying the following: I'll get around to it. Maybe next week. Next time I will ask Granny to tell me that story. I know that these and hundreds of other thoughts go through people's minds every day. Why not capture those memories NOW! Get Gramma to read aloud some of her recipes and explain any tips or tricks she uses to make them turn out so yummy. Then add pictures of handwritten recipes. Record family members telling stories during holiday get togethers. I am really enjoying my Voice Library experience. Be sure to read with my Fellow Crew Members had to say about their experience with The Voice Library - Audio Book Creator.

I found this quote on The Voice Library site.

"The Voice is the organ of the soul, 
nothing in this world and of itself can comfort,
inspire, teach, and entertain, like it."

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Thursday, November 10, 2022



Disclaimer:  I received this complimentary product through the 
Homeschool Review Crew.

Brilliant  is an online interactive learning program featuring lessons in math, science, computer science, logic, and more. Students DO NOT read through lessons or watch videos to learn. With Brilliant students will learn using a hands-on approach as they work through problems. Students will be challenged with complex problems to solve, working through multi-step problems, using logic and critical thinking skills, deductive and inductive reasoning, etc. Brilliant's Premium Subscription unlocks all courses and daily challenges within the site. The Premium give users: new problems every day in the Today tab, entire Daily Challenges archive, synced progress across web and mobile devices, guided courses. There are a total of 70 courses available! Brilliant is geared for ages 10-110. 

On your Home Screen you will find the following:

Continue Learning are the courses that you have started
along with the lessons that you have completed. 

The last course that you have been working on will show up saying,
"Pick up where you left off."

Brilliant will list Featured Learning Path options.

One of the Popular Featured Learning Paths is Foundational Math
which includes these courses:
1. Pre-Algebra
2. Geometry Fundamentals
3. Mathematical Fundamentals
4. Geometry 1
5. Algebra 1
6. Algebra 2

Brilliant will also Recommend Courses for you. 

These are just a few of the courses available through Brilliant. 

There are 9 interactive lessons and 100 concepts and exercises. 

Reinforce your math foundations and see numbers in a new light.

Our math journey starts with fractions, percents, and ratios in everyday contexts. Interactive problems and intuitive visuals will help you see numeric quantities and their relationships in a new light.

By revisiting topics ranging from fractions and number lines to geometric shapes and exponents, you will reinforce the foundations of your mathematical knowledge and sharpen your problem solving strategies.

As you work through a lesson you will see the below bar
slowly turn green. At the end of each lesson there is a 
"Review and Reflect" page. For example in the lesson entitled Fractions and Data it says, "In this lesson, we explored percents, fractions, and ratios in a few everyday scenarios. In the next lesson, you will use geometric shapes to dive deeper into fractions."

Start your algebra journey here with an introduction to variables and equations.

Use diagrams and words to explore the very start of algebra, with puzzles and intuition guiding the way.

By the end of the course, you'll be able to simplify expressions and solve equations using methods that impart deep understanding rather than just procedures. You'll sharpen your problem solving strategies and explore what's really useful about algebra in the first place.

When you are unable to figure out how to do a problem you can
click a box that says "Show Explanation" and it will show the 
problem to be solved and a written explanation along with how 
to complete the problem. Sometimes there are also HINT
boxes that you can press. Students also have the option of skipping
a problem. Now I personally have told my child that they may not
use this function. They must try every problem. I do not care
if they get it wrong. That is why there is an explanation 
button to show you how the problem is done. 

There are 25 interactive lessons and 190 concepts and exercises. 

An intuitive introduction to the essentials of geometry.

Discover how intuitive geometry can be when you keep your assumptions simple and use your own logic and reasoning to set up your calculations.

This fundamentals course will introduce you to angle axioms, perimeter and area calculation strategies, coordinate geometry, 3D geometry, and more. This is the course that you should begin with if you're just starting your exploration of geometry on Brilliant.

Each course lists out the topics that will be covered. Brilliant has done a fantastic job at making their site very user friendly, the content is ★★★★★ , and descriptions of the courses with topics covered are so helpful. 

Topics covered 

  • Angle Axioms
  • Coordinate Geometry
  • Curry's Paradox
  • Invariant Areas
  • Parallel and Perpendicular Lines
  • Perimeter
  • Similarity
  • Surface Area
  • The Pythagorean Theorem
  • Three-Dimensional Figures
  • Volume

There are 25 Interactive Lessons and 170+ concepts and exercises. 

"There are no prerequisites for this course. We'll bring the rules, you bring the imagination." I love This Thinking. Can you really have fun learning? 

Open your eyes to the world around you by solving puzzles with science.

Explaining the world means thinking with scientific principles — but usually they're cloaked in technical manipulations. In this course we'll dispense with number-crunching and mathematics in search of something more useful: physical insight.

There are no prerequisites for this course — in it you'll explore the laws of physics and principles of engineering and learn the rules as you play. There will be plenty of surprises along the way, but by the end you'll have gained the understanding and insight to look at the world in a different way.

This question is from the lesson entitled "nature is a Puzzle."
You would be quite surprised at how challenging some of these questions get. 
These questions require:
Critical Thinking
mathematical skills
Science basics

There are 15 Interactive Lessons and 130+ Concepts and Exercises. 

Wrap your mind around computational thinking, from everyday tasks to algorithms.

Learn the key ideas of computer science with this interactive course – no coding required!

This course is ideal for a high school or college student who wants to learn the fundamentals, or an early professional who wants to strengthen their knowledge of core computer science concepts

There are 28 Interactive Lessons and 140+ concepts and exercises. 

Stretch your analytic muscles with truth-tellers, liars, logical robots, and more!

The beginning of our introductory math journey is Logic. Through these challenging problem solving exercises, you'll construct the critical thinking skills that are the basis for mathematical reasoning. 

You'll use limited information to make predictions – eliminating the impossible to uncover the truth. This course builds up to some truly mind-bending challenges!

Each course will have a link that states:
"View Prerequisites and Next Steps"
This is a really helpful guide to know "if"
there are concepts or courses that need to be 
learned and taken before starting a particular course.
Then to have a road map of sorts to help know what
courses may be good to take after completing a current 

Brilliant is truly a wonderful supplemental learning tool for students in upper elementary through high school and beyond. I would definitely recommend this site to fellow homeschoolers, educators, and parents. There are a few instances where I feel like a particular course was a bit advanced when it stated no pre-requisites were required. With Brilliant it is okay to get problems wrong or to absolutely have no idea how to work a problem. That is why Brilliant has built into every problem the ability click an explanation button to see how the problem is worked out. The creators of Brilliant hope that their courses spark questions, cultivate curiosity, and makes learning a bit more fun and exciting. Be sure to read what my Fellow Crew Members had to say about Brilliant. 

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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

  Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! An Animal Poem for Each Day of the Year  is a collection of poems about animals. Fiona Waters, an anthologis...