Monday, March 2, 2015

imageZoology for Kids: Understanding and Working with Animals with 21 activities.
Written by: Josh and Bethanie Hestermann
Published at Chicago Review Press

About the book

An interactive introduction to working with animals, Zoology for Kids invites the next generation of zoologists to discover the animal kingdom through clear, entertaining information and anecdotes, lush color photos, hands-on activities, and peer-reviewed research. Young minds are introduced to zoology as a science by discussing animals’ forms, functions, and behaviors as well as the different ways they interact with their environments. Related activities include baking edible animal cells, playing a dolphin-echolocation game, and constructing a food chain. Young readers can peek into the world of zookeepers and aquarists, veterinarians, wildlife researchers, and conservationists as they “train” their friends, mold a tiger’s jawbone, and perform field research in their own backyard. This engaging resource provides readers with new knowledge, a healthy respect for the animal kingdom, and the idea that they can pursue animal-related careers and make a difference to preserve and protect the natural world.

My Thoughts

I was recently approached to review the book Zoology for Kids on my blog.  I was hesitant at first because we already have so much book on animal science.  However, this book is very different than the ones we have already.   How you may ask?   Well first they are written by a marine mammal keeper and trainer and his wife.  The Kratt Brothers have taken the time to write the foreword for the book as well.  Finally, the book is essentially teaching the kids how to understand and work with animals.   

Essentially the book will inform and teach your kids (and you as well) about the world of zoology and how people work closely with animals.    Visiting a zoo or an aquarium is easy but have you taken a minute or two to ponder on what needs to be done in these two environments?   This book will allow you to explore not only the jobs behind the scenes but also all you need to know about animals, their behaviors, their environments, the work that needs to be done from everyone involved in caring for these animals.

The book is divided in two major sections:

  • Part I: Zoology for Beginners which covers the form and functions of animals, understanding animal behavior as well as animals and their environments. Activities in this section are bake an edible animal cell, dig up animal bones, play the dolphin echolocation game, explore concealing coloration, test your sense of direction, demonstrate a butterfly’s life cycle, communicate like a deep-sea animal, eat a bat fruit salad, and construct a food chain.
  • Part II: Working on the Wild Side – Zoology in the Real Life which will inform your student on zookeepers, aquarists, and other zoo crew, veterinarians, wildlife researchers, and conservations warriors.  The activities included in this section consist of creating a behavioral enrichment, training animals, plan and draw an exhibit,  mold tiger teeth, build a stethoscope, take your vitals, how animals keep warm, performing a field research, invent a new species, survive habitat loss with a game, make an endangered species flyer, and interview a zoologist.

As you can see the book contains fun activities and lots of information.   Even though the book is recommended for age 9 and up, the book’s target audience would be about 11-14 years of age.      Ideally, the pre-teens and teens will find value in reading this book if they are interested in learning more about real-life zoologist.   

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The book is also packed with amazing colored photos, a glossary, as well as a list of resources that could be useful if you use this book as a learning resources. The text can be taken in chunks when reading through it depending of the age of your kids.  I really think that this book could be very useful for a young person interested in learning more about zoologists and work in a zoo or aquarium.  It could be a great resource to go through before going to visit the zoo or the aquarium as well in order for your kids to learn more about animals and what it takes to care for them.

Zoology for Kids is available at your favourite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Chicago Review Press for sending me the above mentioned book for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Did you know that Monopoly is turning 80 years old in 2015?  

To celebrate this amazing milestone, Hasbro Canada is holding a special tournament in Toronto on May 1st and 2nd.  Forty-eight contestants will be invited to compete in the 2015 MONOPOLY Canadian Championship tournament.  

A special website has been released in to determine who will compete at the tournament.  Specific details about the tournament will be provided to the 48 contestants who have been declared as qualifiers via the website.    The Canadian Champion will receive $10,000 CDN in prize money as well as a trip for two to the MONOPOLY World Championships in Macau, China.   

If you want to try out the qualifications, click on the image below to access the qualifying process.   Good luck!


Also, Hasbro has released a brand new edition of the famous game – the 80th anniversary edition of Monopoly!

The game hasn’t changed much – it stills makes you purchase locations.   This classic game has been an icon in many households since the 1930s.   As I grew up we had a version with wooden houses and hotels.    This anniversary version of the classic fast-trading property game features tokens from the 1930s to the 2000s.   The gameboard and the cards have a retro look but you still have to build houses and hotels as well as see if you can bankrupt someone else.   Keep an eye on your own money though because you never know when the dice will land you with a massive rent bill to pay. 

The 80th anniverary edition of MONOPOLY includes a gameboard, 8 tokens, 28 title deed cards, 16 Chance cards, 16 Community Chest cards, 32 houses, 12 hotels, 2 dice, 1 pack of Monopoly money, 2 dice and a game guide.


This new edition of a classic game would be perfect for a gift to teenagers or young adults.   I think that it would also make a great gift for a wedding.  

The 80th anniversary edition of Monopoly is available for purchase at your favorite game store, even on and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Hasbro Canada for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.


20140719-L1028705The Drop Box is a documentary about the work of Pastor Lee Jong-Rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect his community’s most vulnerable childre.    Hundreds of unwanted babies are abandoned on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, every year, forgotten by the surrounding culture.   By installing a drop box outside his home, Pastor Lee provides a safe haven to babies who would otherwise be abandonned on the streets to die.  

The documentary is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical and emotional toll associated with providing refuge to save those deemed unwanted by society.  The documentary is mostly subtitled in English as most of the talk is done in South Korean.  But even with the fact that you need to translate in your mind while reading, you can’t miss the story and how it all started.

The documentary covers many aspects of the ministry like who is the pastor behind it and what is his story, the ministry that he offers, the kids and the volunteers, the routine that everyone go through on a daily basis and much more.   20140719-L1028884

You will walk on the street of Seoul and see where the babies were abandoned on the streets before Pastor Lee decided to install a drop box.   Most of the time the babies left in the drop box do not have any information about the mother or the day of birth.    In South Korea, it is extremely difficult for a young woman to be pregnant out of wedlock.   Highschool girls who are discovered loose their schooling opportunities.  Consequently they often abandoned their babies.    Even the adoption process is not an option since you have to give your citizenship number and they can easily find you.   Besides going through the regular adoption process requires to go through seven administrative institutional steps just to deal with the abandoned child. Before the Drop Box was installed, many single girls would be suicidal because of what would happen to them.   In 2013 alone, more than 204 babies were abandoned in Seoul.   Orphans are not well viewed in South Korea.

Pastor Lee and his wife have raised a son who is a special need child.   Now at the age of 26 years old, he still spend his days laying down.   Their child has taught them Doing so prepared them to the task that the Drop Box requires of them.    The youngest baby that came through the Drop Box was about 1 to 2 hours old.   Still they took the child and care for her.    So far, over 594 babies have came through the Drop Box as of 11/14.    Pastor Lee and his wife have adopted some of them – some having special needs.   One of these kids is a gentle heart 10 years old boy who doesn’t have all his fingers and toes but wishes to take over the ministry of his dad – Pastor Lee – when he is older.    He even spend quite some time with his older brother who requires help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.    Seeing him helping with these kids touched me heart and made me hope that my kids will also want to help others when they are older.

Throughout the documentary you will also have a visualized cartoonish story telling the story of what is being told as well as testimonies of the work done through the ministry.  You will also learn about the issues that they have caring for the kids as well as the health problems that Pastor Lee has.

As I watched this with my oldest son, it was hard to hold my tears.   Part of me wanted to fly to South Korean and adopt one or two of these kids.  They are indeed precious in God’s sight.   I know how a disabled child can be a blessing for a family because I have a special nephew who without even realizing it teach us to love anyone without restraint.     It breaks my heart to hear about how these kids are being abandoned and I rejoice to see the many volunteers coming to help Pastor Lee and his wife to care for these children.



The documentary is a heart-wrenching exploration of the physical and emotional toll associated with providing refuge to save those deemed unwanted by society.   It is also a story of hope and a celebration of the reality that every human life is sacred, has a purpose and is worthy of love.

This documentary was made by Brian Ivie.  He learned about Pastor Lee’s baby box and orphanage in the Los Angeles Times and knew it was a story worth sharing.   However, he didn’t expect that through the journey of making this documentary, he would co-found Kindred Image to support Pastor Lee and come to know Christ.  


On March 4th and 5th, the documentary will be played in theaters throughout the country.   In Ottawa, you will be able to go to Landmark Cinemas 24 in Kanata, Cineplex Odeon in South Keys and Silvercity in Gloucester.  To find if the documentary will be showing in your city, please go to the DropBox website.  I really think that everyone should take some time to go see this touching documentary and discover how God cares for these little ones.   But please be aware that you should bring some tissues with you because this documentary will touch your heart.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Graf-Martin and Focus on the Family for allowing me to preview the documentary in advance in order for me to promote the Drop Box. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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