Patron Reviews

Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder by Mariah Bruehl
Review by Monique Marchilli-Barker

Mariah Bruehl is a parent with over a decade of experience in the field of education.  After making the decision to leave her job and stay home, she set out to supplement her daughter’s education by providing meaningful experiences that nurtured their sense of wonder.  Mariah gathered these experiences that she developed with and for her children and began the award-winning Playful Learning website as a resource for parents.  Now these activities are beautifully presented in her book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder.

This book is well organized and offers simple, inspiring, and engaging activities for children ages 4-8.  The activities are organized by subject matter and each section begins with an overview of children’s developmental stages for that particular discipline.  You will find suggestions for staying “one step ahead”, resources for supporting and expanding the activities, and free printables.  There are also tips on organizing materials and creating inviting playful spaces.

If you are looking for ways to connect with your child, nurture your child’s natural curiosity, or to provide meaningful learning experiences, you will find this book to be a valuable resource!

Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias by Jane Velez-Mitchell
Review by Beverly Fox Martin Velez-Mitchell’s non-fictional book details the relationship of Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander gone horrifically awry. It puts every piece of this tragic puzzle in place, chronologically, and adds all the missing pieces as well. It succinctly explains to the reader the childhood backgrounds, the needs, the deeds and misdeeds, the yearnings, and motivations of two young adults and, most importantly, why they clicked, fell apart, yet continued to interact well past their “spoil date.” Travis met a gruesome and undeserved death at the hands of Jodi. Yet, he had signed his own death certificate – in multiples….How did that happen? How could he fail to see his demise pending? Why and how could Jodi justify taking his life? Ms. Velez-Mitchell explains it all in her detailed recounting. The reader need not buy any other book about this crime. Hopefully, tragedies such as this one can be averted by knowing oneself and also by discerning others’ inclinations and capabilities….