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Denis Vukosav

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What's Math Got to Do with It?: How Teachers and Parents Can Transform Mathematics Learning and Inspire Success
What's Math Got to Do with It?: How Teachers and Parents Can Transform Mathematics Learning and Inspire Success
by Jo Boaler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Completely revised edition valuable for teachers and parents having problem with mathematics, 1 April 2015
‘What's Math Got to Do with It?’ written by Jo Boaler is at the same time a continuation and an expansion of her six years old work that had the same title, but rather a different subheading – ‘Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject--and Why It's Important for America’.

Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics from UK teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, though she became known because of her part in promotion of mathematics education reform that started some time ago. Not only she wrote several books that speak about mathematics subject, but also she founded a non-profit organization named Youcubed that helps parents and mathematics educators working with younger children.

Boaler drew public attention precisely with the aforementioned first edition of ‘What's Math Got to Do with It?’ book back in 2009 with which she tried to take off the stigma from mathematics as the least favorite or rather said, the most hated school subject. The critics were somehow divided, on the one hand her work well-promoted and encouraged the problem solving in project-like environment with grouped students that make their work easier and more productive, while on the other hand there were reasonable complaints Boaler offered a lot of criticism, while not providing equal number of solutions and directions to be followed.

So it was interesting to see how much of the original content the author decided to change during the past six years, or whether and to what extent her thinking has changed in recent period. The answer lies in the first sentence of this review –starting from the subheading Boaler decided to be more affirmative, more positive and provide solutions for teachers and parents that can help them transforming mathematics learning and as result, inspire children success.

I did quick comparison between two editions and at first glance it can be seen to what extent Boaler updated the new edition with new research in the field of pedagogical strategies, understanding of high quality math tasks, ways of promotion understanding and messages that need to be conveyed to students.

In that way she emphasized the new ideas on mathematics learning and student mindsets that can help in transformation of students experiences with mathematics.

So whether you loved the previous book written by Jo Boaler or you (justified or less justified) somewhat criticized her, with this release it seems she managed to go all the way – making her new ‘What's Math Got to Do with It?’ book a valuable tool for teachers and parents in order to mathematics cease to be subject for the chosen ones.


Amish Confidential
Amish Confidential
by Lebanon" Levi Stoltzfus
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly worth the time due to so much Amish insider knowledge offered on its pages, 1 April 2015
This review is from: Amish Confidential (Hardcover)
‘Amish Confidential’ written by Levi Stoltzfus known from so far aired 3 seasons of reality show ‘Amish Mafia’ with a help of co-author Ellis Henican, is a very interesting read that allows sneak peek of an extremely closed Amish community. Though this popular TV series is produced by respected Discovery Channel known for their good documentary shows, the credibility of this series is constantly disputed and questioned by viewers and members of local community.

Stoltzfus who grew up within Old Order Amish that are considered to be the most stubborn members of the Amish in the implementation of their own strict rules has never been baptized - therefore, that allowed him to present his vision of Amish community to a wide audience.

While the TV series is focused on following of “Amish Mafia” members while they are trying to keep up the good relations within Amish Pennsylvania community, in same time protecting it from the influence of non-Amish people, in his book ‘Amish Confidential’ Stoltzfus provides many interesting and not known facts about this closed community while one follows the story of his Lancaster growing up.

Although because of the literature and movies we think we know a lot about the Amish, while reading this book I realized that actually personally know a little about them, namely that the things that are told about Amish people are only the basic stereotypes - the tip of the iceberg of their community .

Therefore, within the covers there are some really intimate or equally disturbing things to be discovered, though at the end of the reading remains the conclusion that Stoltzfus picture of Amish community, although unexpected, is in fact exhaustive and complete.

For this reason, if you are interested in the life of Amish community that resists modernization and want to learn more about what happens behind the Amish fence, ‘Amish Confidential’ book is certainly worth the time due to so much insider knowledge offered on its pages.


Good Night Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story
Good Night Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Bedtime Story
by Mariam Gates
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Helping the youngest to sail into the realm of dreams, 1 April 2015
‘Good Night Yoga’, written by Mariam Gates with charming artwork made by Sara Jane Hinder, delivers a story that would be helpful for children having problems with going to sleep - a children book that in a friendly and easy-to-implement way introduce children to techniques that will calm them in order to easily sail into the realm of dreams.

On the beginning of the story, the sun in the sky is going down and children are preparing for the bedtime. While breathing in and breathing out, they will lift up and put down their hands just as the sun's rays, they will bend their knees and stand tall while releasing the clouds over their heads. Then the stars will appear and kids in their pajamas, ready for sleep, will reach out for the stars with their arms…

With ‘Good Night Yoga’ Mariam Gates introduces children and their parents to yoga exercises that can be helpful for kids in preparation for the night rest – calming their bodies and minds kids will be able to gradually calm down and fall asleep.

Every parent had been in such situation at least once – a child unwilling to go to sleep, having numerous excuses and a myriad of things that needs to be done before the day will end. Using yoga, this book gives advice on how to calm the child and help him to sleep using light exercises before bedtime. This type of calming the child's energy in particular will appeal to those parents who are not familiar with yoga, or may even convince them to reach to these advices for themselves if they have equal problems with sleeping.

Besides nice sentences, within the book can be found lovely illustrations made using the soothing warm colors in turn showing children doing light yoga exercises while preparing for sleep, as well as scenes of nature that also falls asleep. Therefore ‘Good Night Yoga’ will be appealing even for children 3 years and above that still can have problems with keeping attention.

Overall, Mariam Gates and Sara Jane Hinder’s book is well-made introduction to yoga in form of children book that can prove to be effective solution for the going to sleep problem that afflicts almost every parent.


Canon Ink PGI-250 PGBK XL Individual Ink Tank
Canon Ink PGI-250 PGBK XL Individual Ink Tank
Offered by OfficeClearance/OUR-PRICE-20%-UK VAT INCL.
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Provides good quality and decent quantity of ink for money, 31 Mar. 2015
Canon Ink PGI-250 Ink Tank is an excellent solution for those who extensively use their printers and do not want to change so often their ink cartridges.

Given their large size actually provided is around twice the quantity compared to regular ones, in same time delivering a good, dark and nice looking print. The cartridge is very easy to install, the user does not have problems with dirty hands and mess that usually lower-quality ink solutions leave behind.

Therefore Canon Ink PGI-250 Ink Tank is a product that can be recommended, providing good quality and decent quantity for money which will make users satisfied.

I received a sample of Canon Ink PGI-250 Ink Tank for the purpose of testing and unbiased review, while all the presented information is based on my impressions.


Social Security For Dummies (For Dummies Series)
Social Security For Dummies (For Dummies Series)
Price: £12.82

4.0 out of 5 stars For those lost within the complexity of Social Security system, 31 Mar. 2015
‘Social Security For Dummies’ written by Jonathan Peterson is a book that shares a lot with ‘Get What's Yours’ (Laurence J. Kotlikoff/Philip Moeller/Paul Solman) that I also recently reviewed and the newest title in the worldwide known and popular ‘For Dummies’ series.

Both books for their theme have the tips how to get most from the benefits Social Security offers for you and your beloved ones, allowing reader to easily navigate through the topics that in many cases seem very tricky and complicated due to the amount of information in which those to whom Social Security is not a profession can feel lost.

‘Social Security For Dummies’ is divided into four main parts – Social Security basics, description of ways how to apply for Social Security and collect the benefits it offers, finding out all the necessary information about Social Security benefits for yourself and members of your family, and important part that speaks about combining of Medicare and Social Security in order to maximize benefits to which particular person has rights.

The book puts special emphasis on the elderly, providing information in an easy to understand way that this sometimes difficult subject will make much more accessible and understandable.

Though not part of the audience for whom this book is written, I especially liked the part where author in an intuitive and educating way explains complex rules of Social Security, together with the advices how to use its calculators in order to maximize benefits for your family and yourself.

‘Social Security For Dummies’ is book written for and will be mostly liked by those readers that are lost within the complexity of Social Security system, though it may be also recommended for finding some particular detail - regarding the amount of information that can be found inside, it can also provide valuable assistance.


I Wish You More
I Wish You More
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars For kids and adults, one of the books that will furthermore have a special place on my shelf, 31 Mar. 2015
This review is from: I Wish You More (Hardcover)
‘I Wish You More’ written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld is a beautiful book with the profound life lesson - a book that will be loved by children because of the beautiful illustrations and nice sentences, and by adults due to the emotions that this wonderful work will arouse within our hearts and soul.

Usually to others and ourselves we wish health, quite often money and success, but we forget that this is only the part of million small things that we need in order to be fulfilled within our lives, to feel completely satisfied and happy. The book authors for that reason had just started from these small things that accompany us throughout life, which usually we do not notice, but actually make us successful – happy with ourselves and others.

And although there is only one sentence on each book spread accompanied by an illustration that shows in the wonderful way each of the wishes that the authors wished to us, beauty and depth of these words will surely bring tears to adult reader eyes. I know because it happened to me. But regardless of tears, this picture book is one of those experiences that are definitely not to be missed.

Both Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld are known authors that have numerous successful books for children behind in their careers, still what they managed to do with ‘I Wish You More’ exceeded my expectations and I think that I will not exaggerate if I say that this is the best work that both of them ever worked on.

Therefore, because of excellent and profound lines, imagination and inspiration the authors managed to deliver on 40 pages, this simple, yet infinitely deep and educating book for children and adults is work equally beautiful to look and read; making ‘I Wish You More’ one of the books that will furthermore have a special place on my shelf.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of unbiased review, while all the presented information is based on my impressions.


Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
by Kate Messner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Another good collaboration after ‘Over and Under the Snow’, 30 Mar. 2015
‘Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt’ written by Kate Messner with artwork by Christopher Silas Neal is kind of sequel to ‘Over and Under the Snow’ same two authors made almost 4 years ago – both books being kind of introduction to world of small animals and insects that live in nature. With both their books Messner and Silas Neal managed to show that as many things are happening above the surface that we can see with our eyes, equally, if not even more exciting and interesting things happens under the ground. Therefore, this book will be a good introduction for further research with your little explorers.

Inside the book, a young reader will meet two characters - a girl and her mother – that are in the garden after the winter had passed. A girl’s hands are full of seeds but before she will put it into the ground she needs to learn from her mother that lot of things need to happen underneath the ground for the soil to be ready for planting.

She will learn that down in dirt there are lot of earthworms and insects that already start their digging, building and stirring up the soil, while pill bugs chew the old leaves… And so begins the story in which the mother will explain to daughter all the processes in nature after winter will be replaced with the spring, and garden with the careful nurturing will become a place full of delicious vegetables.

This is the second book I read from these authors; though I hope this would not be the last time they are cooperating given how well-made and educating both books are. The authors deliver a story full of information related to gardening and seasons change that is nicely supplemented with scientific facts about bugs, insects and animals which can be found at the book end.

Besides educating story and good lessons it brought, this children book is complemented with multicolored detailed illustrations, full of colors related to nature such as brown and green, but also artwork that would be helpful for kids to learn about the plants and animals, having appeal on young readers and keeping them engaged in the story.

Therefore, given its story, well-made artwork and add-on content, ‘Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt’ is another good collaboration of Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal that resulted in picture book of good quality that can be recommended for all the elements that make some book for children a good piece.


Sidewalk Flowers
Sidewalk Flowers
by JonArno Lawson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Infinitely profound and inspiring for parents, as well, 30 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Sidewalk Flowers (Hardcover)
‘Sidewalk Flowers’ written by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith is beautiful wordless book for children that will also make adult readers tender. And though the story itself is something special that is not often met, where this book especially shines are its illustrations made by Sydney Smith whose work I particularly admire.

Within the book, a reader will be introduced to two main characters - a little girl and her father –that leave the grocery and walk the streets of an unknown big city, back to their home. Holding the girl's hand, the father is completely lost in his thoughts, while little girl looks at the world around her and through whole journey collects the flowers that are transforming into the gifts for various animals and persons before the very eyes of reader….

It is hard to believe how words are unnecessary when you run into a book like this - the story of how children are special, and thanks to their wide-open eyes perceive countless details that we adults busy with worries have long ceased to notice, is infinitely profound and inspiring. Together with great lesson of how important is to pay attention to small things and tiny kindnesses, I have to again especially emphasize the beauty of artwork that on book spreads in combined black-and-white with highlighted details in color is breathtaking and will be for long time remembered by any reader who at least once will browse through this picture book.

So if until now you didn’t had chance to enjoy one of JonArno Lawson stories and Sydney Smith illustrations, their collaboration exceeded all the expectations with the creation of this work for children full of inspiration in which the equally, if not more, us parents will enjoy.

By offering such simple though beautiful smart life lesson within such well-made book, these two authors managed to teach both children and adults, while their book as result became one of the best releases this year so far.


Polar Bear's Underwear
Polar Bear's Underwear
by Tupera Tupera
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous text, great design and lesson about importance of putting on our underwear, 30 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Polar Bear's Underwear (Hardcover)
‘Polar Bear's Underwear’, a well-made book for children written and illustrated by Japanese art and design team Tatsuya Kameyama and Atsuko Nakagawa, teaches young readers valuable lesson why it is important to take care of our things, but also will be helpful in transition process from diapers to underwear, that could be difficult for some children.

Though there is not too much text found within, combination of humorous sentence or two combined with illustrations made on whole two-page spreads, make this book equally appealing to toddlers and their parents.

The first nice surprise comes even before we open the book, because one needs to first slip off the underwear-shaped bellyband around the book in order to find out what happened with this charming Polar Bear.

The story is simple – our main character lost his underwear – but the answer is not an easy one, because they are nowhere to be found. Together with bear we are going to visit several animals in their undies trying to find out where bear’s underwear are, until eventually we find out the unusual and humorous outcome of this mystery…

This is the first time I heard about these Japanese authors duo, and I’m more than pleasantly surprised with the level of quality, imagination and humor they managed to deliver on 32 pages. The simple, though nicely made illustrations are great, both because of their humor, details and choice of colors, making ‘Polar Bear's Underwear’ book equally great to read and look, but most importantly easy for youngsters to follow.

Besides being pleasant to the eye, the authors brought valuable lesson of taking care of our things, especially importance of putting on our underwear that would be helpful for parents who are going through the process of getting used their toddlers to the underwear.

Therefore, due to nice artwork and design, humorous text and great lesson it brought, Tatsuya Kameyama and Atsuko Nakagawa work shines with each aspect that make particular book for children appealing both for kids and their parents.

It was a pleasure to get the opportunity to read such great children book and together with my daughter who successfully went through mentioned transition a few months ago, every evening I’m together enjoying the adventures of a Polar Bear on his quest to find his underwear.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of unbiased review, while all the presented information is based on my impressions.


Topwell®Wireless Camera Bluetooth V3.0 Self-timer Remote Shutter Controller for iPhone 5S/5C/5、iPhone4S/S iPad3/2、iPad mini iPad with Retina Display iPod touch 4th generation or newer, Samsung Galaxy S2/S3/S4/S5+ Note1/Note2/Note3+ Tab2、Note8、10.1+ Moto X /Nexus 4/5/7 +/Xiaomi 1S/2S/3+,Sony Xperia S HTC New one and X+ Other android phones(Black)
Topwell®Wireless Camera Bluetooth V3.0 Self-timer Remote Shutter Controller for iPhone 5S/5C/5、iPhone4S/S iPad3/2、iPad mini iPad with Retina Display iPod touch 4th generation or newer, Samsung Galaxy S2/S3/S4/S5+ Note1/Note2/Note3+ Tab2、Note8、10.1+ Moto X /Nexus 4/5/7 +/Xiaomi 1S/2S/3+,Sony Xperia S HTC New one and X+ Other android phones(Black)
Offered by xyzqujinfly
Price: £1.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Take photos of yourself even if when you don’t have anyone near that can help, 29 Mar. 2015
Topwell Remote Shutter is a simple, yet useful gadget that would allow user to take photos of yourself even if you don’t have anyone near that can help. Using remote shutter, one can use numerous phone models as camera, in any angle and without hand twist.

The usage is very simple – after turning on remote shutter LED indicator will start to flash showing device is ready to be paired with mobile device. After ‘AB shutter 3’ they will be paired and the remote shutter is ready to be used.

This remote shutter was produced to be used alone e.g. on key chain, therefore if you have monopod there is no way to attach it to monopod.

The remote shutter comes with the bargain price and that is the main reason why this simple though useful device can be recommended.

I received a sample of Topwell Remote Shutter for the purpose of testing and unbiased review, while all the presented information is based on my impressions.


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