Monday, December 23, 2019

Mini Reviews [37]

All About Allosaurus: A Funny Prehistoric Tale About
Friendship and Inclusion by Greg Gormley
Expected publication: February 18th 2020
Synopsis (via Goodreads): A fun story that introduces children to different dinosaurs, with a light message on inclusion and friendship.

Allosaurus is fed up. All anyone ever talks about is T. rex. T. rex this and T. rex that. Well he thinks it's his turn now—he's going to write a book all about him. Allosaurus sets to work, but soon everyone wants to be in his book. With a page for everyone, there might not be room for Allosaurus after all. And just what will happen when T. rex finds out she isn't included?

Beautifully illustrated, QEB’s Storytime series introduces young children to the pleasures of reading and sharing stories. Featuring charming animal and human characters, the books explore important social and emotional themes like friendship, gratitude, perseverance, and overcoming fears. A Next Steps page at the back provides guidance for parents and teachers.


I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

All About Allosaurus was not about "friendship, gratitude, perseverance, and overcoming fears." It was about manipulation, bullying, and self-pity. Allosaurus was jealous of T. rex's popularity, so he decided to write a book about himself. He kept bumping into other dinosaurs that wanted to be included in his book, and despite his initial protests of "It's all about Me!", Allosaurus caved as they cried and bullied their way onto his pages. After adding everyone else, Allosaurus said his book was finished and claimed there was nothing special about him (which is not how or why this story started), and the others had to convince him otherwise (ugh). The writing was choppy, the dialogue was confusing, and the story itself was very off-putting. I think this book sends the wrong message(s) to children, and I wouldn't recommend it.

Ultimate Trivia, Volume 1: 800 + Fun and
Challenging Trivia Questions by Donna Hoke
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Become a triumphant trivia boss.

If you want to impress people with your wide-ranging knowledge at the next game night, pick up Ultimate Trivia, Vol. 1. The 800-plus questions in this book are spread over amusing and diverse categories creating a wide and fun playing field for everyone.

Pass the time on a cross-country road trip with questions on literature and fine arts. Test your family’s historical knowledge at the next holiday gathering. Or belly up to the bar and engage in a Q&A about animals and nature. It doesn’t matter the setting—this trivia book is perfect.

Ultimate Trivia, Vol. 1 includes: A variety of formats—Try team vs. team in group play or go head-to-head with a friend to see who comes out as a trivia master. Checked and double-checked—All the information has been strenuously fact-checked to ensure everything is accurate and up to date. So many subjects—You name it, it’s probably covered: US and world history, pop culture and food and drink—it has it all.

Leave a lasting impact at the next trivia night with this brain-busting book.


I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

This trivia book was surprisingly easy, which was disappointing. I don't want the questions to be impossible, but I would like for them to be a little challenging. Most of the sections felt too simplistic, and some of the answers weren't very accurate. For example, one of the questions asked: "What is Lord Voldemort's real name?" The answer: Tom Riddle. I felt like Marvolo should have been included in the answer choice, since the middle name is necessary for the anagram. However, the other options were laughable (Tim Reed, Travis Rawlings, Trevor Rowling), so it didn't really matter. My husband had a lot of issues with the Animals and Nature section, but I don't remember anything specific. Sadly, this was not a "brain-busting" book.

Modern Vegan Baking: The Ultimate Resource for
Sweet and Savory Baked Goods by Gretchen Price
Synopsis (via Goodreads): The ultimate guide to real vegan baking―Modern Vegan Baking is your best resource for creative, substitution-free treats that are both savory and sweet.

With new ingredients like agave, arrowroot, and aquafaba, vegan baking is every bit as delicious and exciting as traditional baking. Mixing inventive ingredients and cutting-edge methods, professional vegan baker and blogger behind
Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery, Gretchen Price shows just how delicious substitution-free cooking can be. With 125 recipes, plus step-by-step tutorials, Modern Vegan Baking provides a variety of tried and tested recipes for anyone who enjoys vegan baking.

Modern Vegan Baking contains:

125 Vegan Baking Recipes for making both savory and sweet treats, including must-have classics and innovative creations
Easy-to-Follow Instructions for new vegan baking techniques and ingredients

Helpful Extras including a complete guide to vegan baking substitutions

Recipes in Modern Vegan Baking include: Triple Chocolate Glazed Donuts, Rosemary and Fig Focaccia, Lemon Lavender Shortbread, Pumpkin Pie with Oat Nut Crust, and much more!

Taste how much better baking without butter can be with these creative and dairy-free delicacies!


I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

This cookbook arrived just before the girl's birthday, so I decided to try two of the recipes for their cakes! The super-easy vanilla cake and bakery-style fudge icing recipes were both a success, and really complimented each other. The girls and our guests thoroughly enjoyed the cakes, which is saying something, since everyone is always hesitant to try our vegan versions of things. My one complaint would be an excess of fudge icing, but it's halfhearted. Can you really have too much chocolate? πŸ˜‰ I've attempted a few other recipes from this book, and it's definitely one I can see myself continuing to use in the future.


  1. The Modern Vegan Baking looks good. I've been wanting to try out more vegan baking recipes, especially desserts!

    1. There are sooo many recipes I still want to try in this one! They all sound delicious. I like to start simple when I'm sampling a new cookbook, because if the "easy" recipes are hard, there's no way I can do the more challenging ones. :)

  2. Can you have too much fudge icing??? NO lol Vegan desserts really are delicious. I don't know why they get such a bad rap.

    Karen @ For What It's worth

    1. Right?? I dipped my bananas into the leftover icing for like a week!! ;)

  3. I love random trivia, but that book doesn't sound all that enjoyable since they're fairly easy.


    1. If it was a topic I was familiar with, the questions and answers were WAY too easy. The more challenging sections weren't very difficult, because the multiple choice answers were fairly obvious. Most of the options were so clearly wrong, that it only left one possible answer.

  4. Shame All About Allosaurus was a mess. I liked the sound of that one! So few people give love to the poor Allosaurus, lol.

    I'm sad to say that I'm one of the ones who are utterly suspicious of vegan cakes (back at uni the vegan cakes were utterly vile!) but over the past year or two my mind has been slowly changing mostly due to trying some super nice ones!

    1. My son actually has an Allosaurus book, which is why this one initially caught my eye. Bummer the story was so frustrating!

      You just haven't tried the right one! ;) There are a lot of really awesome vegan restaurants and bakeries that make AMAZNG desserts. There was a place in Atlanta (I think it was the Sunflower CafΓ©), and they had the BEST German chocolate cake. Mmm. They're cheesecake was pretty stellar, too. I can make decent vegan desserts (like carrot cake -- my husband's favorite, cookies, cupcakes, etc.), but I do not compare to the experts. <3


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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless