Category Archives: Mr. Curiosity

King of Tokyo birthday party

Things have been a bit out of sorts on the blog this past week. Not only did we go camping for five days, but when we came back I had two days to get ready for Mr. Curiosity’s birthday party. I got inspired one day and thought to do a full-sized version of King of Tokyo . The basic premise of the board game is you’re a monster destroying Tokyo. Perfect – the kids can create a monster that they’ll play in the game. I just needed to super-size all the elements to the game, with Mr. Curiosity’s help.

First things first – the dice – they’re about an inch square. photo(10)

Mr. Curiosity painted the base colors, but I put the symbols on each since he had a hard time with the fine paintwork.

Then we needed something to represent Tokyo City and Tokyo Bay.

Only Tokyo is used with up to four players.

Only Tokyo is used with up to four players.

We needed Tokyo Bay if five or six were playing.

We needed Tokyo Bay if five or six were playing.

Again, Mr. Curiosity painted the bases. I just did the lettering.

Then we needed to make monsters. I decided small cardboard boxes as heads for decorating, and then chestplates for hearts, names, and storage for stars and energy cubes. The heads would need a base level of decoration, so we got out the spray paint and Mr. Curiosity had some fun.

The painted head, ready for decoration

The painted heads, ready for decoration

Now, we were ready for kids to add some accoutrements. I raided my stash of craft supplies and found all kinds of goodies, like:

Some supplies include aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, random odds and ends, cardboard pieces and box rivets

Some supplies include aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, random odds and ends, cardboard pieces and box rivets

We also had popsicle sticks, markers, beads, and felt.

We also had popsicle sticks, markers, beads, and felt.

Since we were working under a short time frame, we used hot glue guns to attach everything. I gave a quick lecture on how to use them safely and let the kids have at it.

Look at the concentration on their faces.

Look at the concentration on their faces.

Once the heads were done, the kids worked on chestplates. They needed a place for their monster’s name and ten hearts.

photo(14)We used baggies stapled to the bottom to hold candy stars and poker chip energy cubes. Plus, I cut up a couple of nine-pocket sleeve pages to hold cards.

Radioactive Medusa's as a finished monster

Radioactive Medusa’s as a finished monster

Once the monsters were made, they could play the game. The making took a while, so we only got one game in. Mr. Curiosity managed to win on stars.

Making monster faces

Making monster faces

Needless to say, much fun was had by all!


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Annie’s Adventures by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Published: 2008

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 136 pages

Setting: present day, general suburban area that is the outskirts of Big City

Interest: It sounded interesting. It’s the first book in the Sisters 8 series.

Summary: Eight sisters were born on August 8th, a minute apart. Their parents disappeared on New Year’s Eve while the family was celebrating Christmas. The sisters decided to act as if they still had parents so they went about their daily lives. One day, they discovered a note explaining that each sister had a power and a gift. After a few days, Annie (the oldest sister) discovered her power was the ability to act like an adult. She was able to drive the car, pay the bills, forge her Daddy’s signature and voice. Annie’s gift turned out to be a ring with a purple stone.

Final thoughts: The book was very interesting and adventurous. I like the eight sisters because of their ability to cope with unexpected events. I plan to read the rest of the series.

Title comes from: Annie finds out her power and gift in the book, and has many adventures along the way.

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Marcia’s Madness by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Published: 2010

Genre: fantasy

Length: 119 pages

Setting: present day, general suburban area

Interest: It is book five in The Sisters 8 series. I wanted to continue the series, even though I didn’t read books three and four.

Summary: There are eight sisters, each born on the same day, a minute apart. On Christmas Eve, when the sisters are seven, their parents disappear. They find a note that says each sister has a power and a gift. Annie has misplaced the bills. Turns out, Marcia has paid the bills, correctly. The sisters get a new permanent teacher in their class, Mr. McGillicuddy (Mr. McG for short). Marcia drives the Hummer to get groceries, shocking the rest of the sisters because it’s normally Annie’s job. Mr. McG springs a surprise test on everything which Marcia scores the highest on. Next, they find out Marcia’s power – telescopic and X-ray vision so she is able to find out that the Wicket, their evil neighbor, has written a note to social services, telling them the girls are living without parental supervision. The girls call the Pete’s to help them with social services, so they worm their way out of that problem. Turns out, Marcia had seen all the answers to the test with her X-ray vision. Marcia finds her gift, a purple, plaid cloak.

Final thoughts: A very exciting book because of the adventure and tension that springs up. I especially liked the advance planning they did to get them out of trouble with social services.

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Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express by Megan McDonald

Published: 2008

Genre: children’s chapter fiction

Length: 118 pages

Setting: present time, East Coast

Interest: It’s the fourth book that features Stink. The book has lots of pictures within the story and large type, so it doesn’t take long to read. There are also a series of Stink’s Furry Facts within the story.

Summary: Webster, Sophie, and Stink (the main characters) find 101 guinea pigs in the Great Wall of Cereal Boxes they are building. They go to Fur and Fangs, the local pet shop, to see what to do with the guinea pigs. Fur and Fangs suggest selling the guinea pigs to people on the East Coast, so the friends end up converting a van into Squeal on Wheels in order to do that. Their first stop was Bull Run Castle, where they sell their first six guinea pigs. Webster, Sophie, and Stink continue to sell guinea pigs down the coast until they end up at Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach where they sell the rest of the guinea pigs. Stink keeps one for himself.

Final thoughts: A very exciting book because of the travel and adventure. The pictures explained a lot of what was happening in the story. I will read more in this series.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Author: J. K. Rowling

Published: 1997

Length: 309 pages

Summary: Harry is delivered to his Aunt and Uncle’s house by Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper. After 10 years at the Dursley’s, life had not improved very much at their house. Harry goes to the zoo for the Dursley’s son’s birthday, Dudley. In the reptile house, a boa constrictor tells Harry it has never seen Brazil. Then, he accidentally sets it free. This earned Harry a very long suspension in the cupboard under the stairs. Harry then receives about 1,000 letters from Hogwarts so his Uncle Vernon tries unsuccessfully to find a place where he thinks Harry won’t be able to receive any more letters. At the rock out to sea, Hagrid finds the family to deliver Harry’s letter on his birthday. Then, Harry and Hagrid go on a shopping spree, stopping first at Gringott’s, the wizarding bank, and then getting all the supplies for Hogwarts. The Weasley family helps Harry find his way onto the train to Hogwarts. Harry and Ron Weasley ride together on the train to Hogwarts. Once there, Harry is sorted into Gryffindor with Ron. A troll is lose in the dungeons of Hogwarts. The students are commanded to go back to their house dormitories, but Harry and Ron go to warn their soon-to-be-friend Hermione, who is hiding in the girl’s bathroom with the troll. Ron and Harry defeat the troll. Harry is also selected to be the seeker on the Gryffindor house quidditch team after saving Neville Longbottom’s remembrall from Malfoy. The adventures continue, including saving the sorcerer’s stone from Professor Quirrell who is possessed by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Final thoughts: A very interesting and exciting story that even gets scary at some points. I personally think this book is so good that I read it over and over again. One of my favorite books.

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Stuart Little by E.B. White

Published: 1973

Genre: YA

Length: 131 pages

Interest: Mr. Curiosity received the book as a present. He brought it to camp because he hadn’t read it before.

Summary: Stuart Little is a mouse who lives with a family of humans, Mr. and Mrs. Little, and their son George, as their second son. The Littles make Stuart a bed, slippers, skates, and other items, out of household items. One day, Stuart has an adventure in the piano, because there was a sticky key. Another day, Stuart gets stuck in the blinds and the rest of the family think he is lost in the mouse hole in the back of the pantry. Then, everyone thinks Stuart has died, but George pulls down the blinds and Stuart falls out. Stuart has many other adventures, like manning a schooner named The Wasp to win a boat race, and taking a ride on a trash barge out to sea. Stuart has a bird friend, named Margaol, and an enemy, Snowbell the cat. Finally, Margaol leaves, and Stuart goes off looking for her, having even more adventures.

Final thoughts: It has a very interesting plot with lots of excitement. I recommend it to 8-10 year olds.

Title comes from: The main character’s name.

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The 39 Clues Book 3,The Sword Thief

Author: Peter Lerangis

My interest in this book is because it’s cool

Summary: Amy and Dan go to Tokyo on a hint from two tungsten swords. They meet their Uncle Alistair and they form a alliance with him. They find a parchment hint in the subway tunnels of Tokyo and travel to Seoul, South Korea. After escaping the tunnels and the yakuza, they meet Ian and Natalie Kabra, forming another alliance. After finding information in Alistair’s secret library, they travel to Pukhansan and find a secret chamber and discovering the 3rd clue:gold. After the Kabras betray them, they destroy the chamber and Alistair dies. (supposedly?)

Final thoughts: It was exciting and adventurous, even scary at times, but very interesting. I was excited that I finished another 39 Clues books, and I recommend this to all 8-10 year olds.

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