Winter’s Tail, Made You Look and Face Painting

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I don’t like writing mini-reviews and putting more than one book in a post but I am so behind I need to catch up somehow.

Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again by Juliana Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff and Craig Hatkoff

Stars: ****

Scholastic Press (2009)
Children’s Nonfiction
Reading Level: 4-8 (I disagree, see below)

Summary: Winter, an Atlantic bottle nose dolphin was rescued when she was three months old with her tail so badly injured, it couldn’t be saved. Winter amazingly survived but even more amazing is how she learned to swim a different way to compensate. The unusual way of swimming was causing spine problems so a team of prosthetic experts created the first prosthetic tail for a dolphin. This is the story of Winter.

This is an amazing story of an amazing dolphin. Complete with colour photos of Winter and the wonderful people who helped Winter. The prosthetic tail is so cool. It’s explained how they first made it and how that didn’t work well so they had to improve upon it.  The text is just right for a 9-12 year old, not a 4-8 year old. I think it’s too much information for a 4-8 year old as well. They would enjoy a shorter version of the story and the photos but it’s too much text for someone under 9.

The back of the book features some more in depth information about where Winter was rescued, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (where she lives), Dolphins in general, training dolphins and Kevin Carroll and Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics.

Winter’s Tail is even a DS game now!

Links of Interest: Winter’s Tail (Facts, blog, singalong, game, webcam, info and more.), YouTube Video about Winter, Scholastic Page for Winter’s Tail,

Other Reviews: 5 Minutes for Books, Through the Looking Glass Book Reviews,

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Made You Look: A Book of Picture Puzzles Edited by Marilyn Green

Stars: ***1/2

Klutz (2009)
60 pages

Summary: Introducing the most eye-catching compendium of picture puzzles the world has ever seen. Made You Look is packed with every variety of visual amusement you can think of: hidden pictures, matching games, needle-in-a-haystack searches, what’s wrong pictures, super close-up mystery photos, visual puns and more. – from Klutz

I like puzzles, but I prefer paper puzzles that I can write or draw on. These puzzles are mostly the kind you look at and figure out but a few are mazes which require you to trace with you fingers. There are some puzzles that require parts that come out of the book. There is a punch out “flashlight” that you use to go spelunking and a shiny viewer that you use for a certain page. There is a pocket inside the back cover of the book to hold your “attachments.”

The back of the book has the answers which is good. Some of these puzzles are hard! Here’s a sample Made You Look activity courtesy of the Klutz website (one of the easier ones.)

Links of Interest: Klutz Made You Look Site,

Other Reviews: NONE YET

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Face Painting by the editors of Klutz

Stars: ****

Klutz (2007)
Face Painting Kit (Book and Face Paint)

Summary: A starter kit for face painting including Wolfe Brothers Professional Face Paints and a book with ideas and steps. Also small cards to take with you with shorter/easier creations.

I had the chance to try this out last summer at a Girl Guide Camp. We painted the faces of all the girls (from 5-14) and they were all very happy. I am far from artistic but I was able to do a fairly good job with the help of this book.

First, the face paint. It’s water-based and washable and easy to use. It came with a brush and sponge and 6 colours. I could have used more colours but all the basics were there and we mixed when we needed to. I’ve tried to use cheap face paint and this is not the cheap stuff.

The book starts off with a few lists, (what you get, stuff you’ll need, other stuff you might want.)  Then a little bit on getting started with tips and hints and a guide to color mixing. Following that you’ll see brush strokes 101 which is very helpful. I learned a few new techniques in this section. Then you’ll find some sponge tips.

Finally you get to the art section. There are different sections: cheek art, fancy faces, not-on-the-face painting and finally, the party cards. The party cards are a set of 12 cards that you can tear out of the book and keep in the provided envelope to bring with you to parties and events. They are simple designs and each include four steps to creating the design. These are what we offered to the Girl Guides so we wouldn’t be spending 20 minutes on each kid and since we were unsure of our face paint skills. Some of the face art includes dogs, cats, fairies, superheroes, pirates, witches, monsters and more

Links of Interest: Klutz Face Painting,

Other Reviews: NONE YET

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.