Category Archives: ages 8-12

Curious about Pisces the Fish?  The Story of Pisces and How to Spot this Constellation in the Night Sky

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Pisces Characteristics:  Pisces represents those born from February 19—March 20.  Despite being near the beginning of our calendar year – in astrological terms – it is the 12th  and final sign of the Zodiac.

Good Things about Pisces: Artistic, gentle, musical, enthusiastic and very emotional!  So basically you’re fun loving and creative, but quite mad!

Bad Things about Pisces: Fearful, naïve, gullible, sad…likes to escape into a fantasy world.  So there’s a bit of the dungeons and dragons’ nerd about you fishes!

Myth and Legend: So what do the two fish represent?  Some ancient God’s pets?  No, the myth of Pisces begins with a monster, a particularly terrible monster named Typhoeus.  The father of all monsters, he was a fire breathing dragon that never slept and had over a hundred heads.  Sounds cute eh?  Side note, he later married another monster and had lots of baby monsters such as the Sphinx, the Nemean Lion and that ultimate lapdog Cerberus, the three headed dog of the underworld!

One day Typhoeus appeared and decided to get rid of all the Olympian Gods. They all fled in terror from him.  The Greek Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, (Venus in Roman mythology) was sitting with her son Eros, (Cupid in Roman mythology) on the banks of the river Euphrates, when Typhoeus ran at them.  To escape the monster, they changed themselves into fish and swam away in the river.  In order not to lose one another, they tied their fins together with cord.

Athena, the Greek Goddess of wisdom and knowledge, (Minerva in Roman mythology) commemorated their escape by placing them in the sky as the Pisces constellation.

Element Sign: Water.  Unlike silly Aries, Pisces element sign makes sense. It’s water, so the whole fish, water thing goes nicely together.  Water signs (Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer) are supposed to be very emotional, sensitive and generally all over the place, sort of like water!

Glyph:  I know what you’re thinking? What does this glyph even represent?  It looks like a Chinese character more than a fish right?  But it’s actually an ancient symbol that represents the mouth of a fish.  Yes, it’s a stretch but then so is the Pisces constellation which looks more like a three year old writing its’ first letter V, rather than two co-joined fish.

pisces-glyph

Constellation:  Pisces is a difficult constellation to spot, due to its’ large size and dim looking stars.  Dim as in light not as in brains! Constellations don’t have brains, as far as I know! It can be best seen in the northern hemisphere between November 6th and November 9th  at 9pm (between latitudes 90 degrees and minus 65 degrees).  In the southern hemisphere, look for the Pisces constellation in mid-spring.   Use a star map as a guide. As always a knowledgeable person with you, to help find the constellation can be very helpful!

 pisces-constellation

Extra Fun Fact: Did you know that the Pisces constellation has twenty one main stars?  Overall it is the 14th largest constellation.

 Next Post.  Curious about the Star-Sign Aries, the Ram (March 21-April 19)?  The Story of Aries and How to spot this Constellation in the Night Sky.

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.  These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist? What if one needed your help? Would you travel to outer space?  For the adventures of a lifetime…

New  Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage:  Book Two

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews

5/5 star rating!  “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”- Examiner.com

Click below for a preview:

http://amzn.to/25N7oRl

 

Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace:  Book One

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

Click below for a preview:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500496588

Or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1500496588

 “Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.”Beautiful Books for Children

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Curious about Aquarius the Water Bearer? The Story of Aquarius and How to Spot this Constellation in the Night Sky  

 

Aquarius jpeg

Aquarius Characteristics:

Aquarius represents those born from January 20—February 18.  Despite beginning our year – in astrological terms – it’s the 11th sign of the zodiac.  Star signs are part of astrology, which is not considered a science, but nevertheless are a lot of fun!   However in ancient times, it was taken as seriously as astronomy is today!

 Good Things about Aquarius:

Friendly; intelligent; creative; loyal; independent. You sound like a cat/dog hybrid here. With an artistic flair!

 Bad Things about Aquarius:

Unpredictable; stubborn; detached, extremist and aloof.  You’re sounding more like a cat here!  Hey, are you sure you’re not a cat?

Myth and Legend: 

The ancient Babylonians and Egyptians both recognized this constellation.  Even back then the constellation was thought of as the water carrier.  This may be due to the fact that heavy flooding and rain occurred at the same time as the appearance of the constellation. In Greek mythology, the water carrier’s image became that of Ganymede.  Ganymede was a young man and so incredibly handsome that his beauty even caught the eye of the Gods themselves.  Zeus had him kidnapped by an eagle and brought up to Mount Olympus, where he served as the Gods’official cup bearer.  Nowadays with such looks, you might become a highly paid movie-star or model.  But back in ancient Greece, what did good looks get you?  A career, as  a slave, for all eternity!  And people say the past was better?

Element Sign: Air

Despite the associations with water, Aquarius is actually an air sign, along with Gemini and Libra.  People born under these signs are thought to be creative, intelligent and sociable.  But don’t get too big-headed, they’re just making all  this up!

Glyph:

Each zodiac sign has a symbol or a glyph.  The symbol for Aquarius is water, which is a little confusing as its element sign is air.  But in this case the water glyph below represents the water flowing out of the water carrier.

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Constellation: 

Aquarius can be seen in the southern hemisphere in the spring and the northern hemisphere in the fall.  Use a star map as a guide.  It also helps to have someone knowledgeable with you, to help spot the constellation.  Otherwise, it just looks like a series of random dots in the sky.  Which of course it is!  In the northern hemisphere the best viewing time is October at 9pm.

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Extra Fun Fact:

Did you know we are currently in the, ‘Age of Aquarius?’ Yes that’s right, it’s supposed to be a hippy dippy age, based on love, unity and integrity.  Mmm, someone needs to tell that to the news!   It’s an astrological age that is based on the precession of the equinoxes.  Each age lasts a few thousand years, before moving onto the next zodiac sign!

 Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.  These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space (for children ages 5-9).

Next Post.  Star Signs: Pisces, the Fish (February 19-March 20).  The Story behind Pisces and how to spot this Constellation in the Night Sky.

Ever wondered if aliens exist? What if one needed your help? Would you travel to outer space?  For the adventures of a lifetime…

New  Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage:  Book Two

Click below for a preview:

http://amzn.to/25N7oRl

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews

5/5 star rating!  “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”- Examiner.com

 

Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace:  Book One

Click below for a preview:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500496588

kindle cover for upload

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

 

 “Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.”Beautiful Books for Children

Fun Space Facts for Children:  Why is our Galaxy called the Milky Way? And why was it named after the chocolate bar?

Milky Way Galaxy

When you look up into the night sky, nearly everything that you can see with the naked eye belongs to our galaxy, the Milky Way.  But how did it get named after a chocolate bar?  The answer is, it didn’t!  The Milky Way was named thousands of years ago, by the Romans. The Latin name, Via Lacteal, means milky path.  But in true Roman style, they pinched it from the Greeks, along with the Greek pantheon of Gods! Galaxias Kyklos, meaning milky circle, is the ancient Greek name for the Milky Way.

Many thousands of years later in 1923, a man named Frank C. Mars created the Milky Way chocolate bar.  It was named after a famous malted milkshake, which in turn took its name from Earth’s galaxy!

Extra Fun Fact:  Did you know that there are three types of galaxies; elliptical, spiral and irregular?  The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy and contains billions of stars!

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.’ These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space, (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

New – Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Read this book and over 1 million other books with Kindle Unlimited.

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Amelia the Moochins 8-15

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Read this book and over 1 million other books with Kindle Unlimited.

“Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children

Best Books for Children Ages 8-12: Oldies but Goodies!

The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann

Animals of Farthing Wood Cropped

I read this book when it first came out in 1979. Yes, I am that old! My daughter was skeptical when I handed her a copy to read, but soon became completely engrossed.

An early environmental tale, The Animals of Farthing Wood, is the story of a group of woodland animals whose home is threatened with destruction by bulldozers. Led by Badger, the animals plan their escape. Many trials and near misses mark their way to a new home. The plot is engaging, the animal characters heartwarming and you bond with them, as they do with each other,  on their perilous journey to a new home.

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.’ These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space, (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

New – Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Amelia the Moochins 8-15

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

For a limited period read the book for FREE on KINDLE. Click here for more information

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2G13LQ

“Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children

You can read the first few chapters, FOR FREE, of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace.’  Simply click on the link below:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-stories/

 

Top Five Books For Children Ages 8-12

secret garden cropped 8-15

 

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 

This book is a secret delight.  The imperious orphaned Mary joins her sickly cousin Colin, in a moldering house in North Yorkshire. It is wonderful to see young readers slip into a long ago, slower paced world, but one that is so rich in detail.  The children marvel at the discovery of the secret garden. As the plants blossom Mary and Colin do too, shedding off old skins of grief and isolation.

2. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 

The seven books in this series need no introduction.  Harry Potter and his adventures at Hogwarts – the school for witchcraft and wizardry- are now a firm part of the landscape of children’s literature.   J.K. Rowling is a gifted storyteller with an incredible imagination.  The memorable characters, page turning adventures, epic themes of good versus evil and above all a lightness of touch, all make this series a compulsive read.

3. Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan 

Another incredible series that take the amazing stories of Greek Mythology, set and update them in the modern world.   Also, fantastic for young children to learn about the rich world of Greek mythology.  This source of knowledge will be later greatly appreciated as they study English literature and poetry (riddled as it is with mythological allusions).  Young Percy discovers he’s the son of the Greek god Poseidon.  This discovery initiates a series of electric paced adventures that culminate in young Percy aiding the Gods of Olympus in the defeat of an ancient enemy.

4. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The delightful tale of a curious Alice, a talking rabbit and the fall into a surreal wonderland continues to enchant. We are introduced to fanciful talking creatures, a disappearing cat with an alarming grin and a bloodthirsty, temperamental Queen.  Alice encounters many frustrations in wonderland.  Her size constantly changes, based on what she eats or drinks.  Logical responses to situations are met with ridiculous replies.  In this most symbolic dream Alice explores the challenges and frustrations of an opening world, as she prepares to leave her childhood behind.

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 

Roald Dahl introduces us to a marvelous cast of characters.  There is the wacky Mr. Willy Wonky, the tiny Oompa Loompas and the winners of the golden ticket!  Mr. Wonka has a hidden goal in allowing the children to tour his magical chocolate factory for the first time.  But readers will have to wait until the end of the book to find out why.  A wonderful cast of eccentric and obnoxious characters, all the candy you could imagine and many adventures along the way.  This is every child’s daydream!

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,’ and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage.’ These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space, (for children ages 5-9).

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

New – Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Amelia the Venutons cover with text

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Amelia the Moochins 8-15

When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

Click below for a preview:

Amazon.com

or

Amazon.co.uk

For a limited period read the book for FREE on KINDLE. Click here for more information

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2G13LQ

“Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children

You can read the first few chapters, FOR FREE, of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace.’  Simply click on the link below:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-stories/