In honor of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s release earlier this summer, Cinco and The Princess had a few days full of all thing Jurassic Park and World related.
Over the course of three days we watched all three of the Jurassic Park films AND the first Jurassic World movie.
We also “hatched” our own mini dinos, which I purchase in the Target dollar section. (NB: The Target dollar section is responsible for at least $200 a year in dumb purchases of junk I do NOT need.) While at Target we also purchased Cinco the full set of Jurassic World, dino themed, Hot Wheels. (Because, you know everyone needs a Triceratops shaped Hot Wheel.)
The best part of our Dino Days was Cinco’s idea to make our own Dino themed board game!!!! Drawing the game board was Cinco’s project while The Princess and I worked on the game board pieces. Each player chooses a tiny dino egg which she and I hand painted.
The basic rules are as follows:
- The oldest person goes first and rolls the dice. (Get doubles and roll again!)
- Depending on which square you land on, you choose a corresponding card. (Red=Danger, Yellow=Challenge, Green=Lucky Day, White=No Card).
- Then you follow the directions on the card.
- When your turn is over the next person rolls.
- First person to escape wins!
As you can imagine, the Danger cards are bad luck, Challenge could go either way, and Lucky Day is, of course, something good. Here are a few of the cards the kids came up with:
Rescue mission gone wrong. You are forced to move back a space.
Eat a poisonous plant and skip a turn.
Power goes out. All dino cages open. Roll the dice. 4 or better move forward 1 space. 3 or lower go back to start.
Who can make the loudest roar? 1st places gets a Lucky Day Card. Last place gets a Danger Card.
You found a map of the island. Move forward 3 spaces.
Catch a ride on a Triceratops. Move forward 3 spaces.
All of us worked on coloring the board and typing the cards. Then it was time to play…
We recruited The Captain to join us. And, in an intense game I WON!!!!
Pretty sure The Princess earned her games Fun patch!
Wow. I really loved this book. Berlin: 1961 by Fredrick Kempe details the establishment of the Berlin Wall. The first section offers a look into the leaders who played key rolls in the Berlin crisis. Then readers are treated to a by-by-play account of creation of the wall and the western response (or lack there of). Finally, the epilogue takes readers through a critique of Kennedy’s actions and how the aftermath of Berlin was linked to Cuba. I will say the last 1/3 of the book provides the real action! So, if you’re pressed for time, skip to the end!
In addition to the barebones facts of history, Kempe offers small vignettes offering readers a look at the real occupants of Berlin. Many of the compelling stories of escape from East Berlin are featured– and I am very interested to follow up with a book of life behind the wall. Kempe uses these stories to illustrate the heart-braking elements of the wall.
As a reader, I was left feeling that JFK really abandoned the German people and betrayed the cause of freedom through his weakness. Furthermore, I am left wondering if there would ever even had been a wall if Nixon were elected the first time.
I highly recommend this book. It provides an interesting, thoughtful, well-researched point of view of a time and place critical to the American-Soviet Cold War.
A Place Beyond Courage by Elizabeth Chadwick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Chadwick delivers another solid historical-fiction account of the period during the English Anarchy. This time she follows the life of John Marshal a strong-willed and clever supporter of the Emperess Matilda. John Marshal is best known for two rather striking historical incidents. First, in a heated battle, he retreats to a church. His enemies set it on fire and rather than be captured, John stays in the burning building and suffers the scaring loss of one eye. Second, he is known for offering up his son William Marshal to King Stephen as a hostage. John then breaks the truce and as a results, forfeits William’s life. The soft-hearted King Stephen does not allow his followers to kill the child (and William grows up to a power force at the court of King Henry).
These two episodes define John Marshal in the eyes of history. Modern followers of the Marshal family history can’t help but wonder at what John was thinking! But, Chadwick does an excellent job of painting a strong-willed, brave, and determined man. John Marshal deals in a world of realpolitik where difficult situations require him to make even harder choices for survival.
Chadwick attempts to flesh out the emotions behind the choices and offer one potential view of John Marshal. By adding emotion to the historical narrative of John’s life readers can TRY to imagine how and why he made his famous choices.
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