A Book & A Board Game: March 2020 Edition

A Book & A Board Game: March 2020 Edition

April 2, 2020 0 By Ryan Sanders

Collecting March 2020’s A Book and A Board Game posts.

Every Monday on our social media accounts, we feature a book and board game together. This article is to collect the month’s A Book and a Board Game selections and expand on them a tiny bit. 

Note: A Book and Board Game only recently started, thus we will not only collect March’s but the one Feb. 2020 entry. 


A Book & A Board Game for the week of February 24, 2020 was A Unicorn Named Sparkle and Unicorn Glitterluck

  • A Unicorn Named Sparkle

Young, Amy | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | 2016 | ISBN: 9780374301859

When Lucy sees an ad in the newspaper for a unicorn, she sends in her twenty-five cents and waits four to six long weeks for her very own unicorn to arrive. She imagines the flowers that she’ll braid into his beautiful pink mane, and she even picks the perfect name for him: Sparkle. But when Sparkle arrives, his ears are too long, his horn is too short, he smells funny–and oh, he has fleas. Lucy isn’t pleased, but in the end she warms up to Sparkle and realizes that even though he wasn’t exactly the unicorn she wanted, he might be just the one she needs. — macmillian

  • Unicorn Glitterluck: Cloud Crystals

2-4 Players | Ages 3+ | Published by HABA | Designed by Kristin Mückel

In a land, far, far away lived four unicorns who were the best of friends. They enjoyed galloping across the soft, billowing clouds, sliding down rainbows and playing with cloud crystals. One day, they noticed a terrible thunderstorm approaching. They thought it would be best to head directly for the sun, and collect as many cloud crystals as possible along the way to keep them safe from the storm. Players start by choosing a colored unicorn and placing their piece on the big blue rain cloud. The player who reaches the sun cloud with the most cloud crystals is the winner. A sparkling die competition! — HABAusa.com

Adventures in Gameschooling note: Both A Sparkle the Unicorn and Unicorn Glitterluck are family favorites in our household, and one that I will most likely hold on to even after all our children are grown. Sparkle is about a girl who wants a unicorn but ends up with a unigoat (yes, I said uni-goat) and teaches a heartwarming lesson, of loving even when we don’t get our way. Unicorn Glitterluck is an excellent roll-and-move game that I would recommend for any unicorn love over classic roll-and-moves like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. You can find our review of it here: https://www.adventuresingameschooling.com/haba-special-pirates-dragons-and-unicorns-oh-my/

It should be noted that BOTH the book and the game are a series, so if your child enjoys either one, there are more out there. When it comes to the games they use different game mechanics. 


A Book & A Board Game for the week of March 2, 2020 was The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors and ToeShamBo 

  • The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors

Daywalt, Drew | Balzer + Bray | 2017 | ISBN: 9780062438898

You’ve played the game. Now read the legend of how it all began…Long ago, in an ancient and distant realm called the Kingdom of Backyard, there lived a warrior named ROCK. Meanwhile in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office, a second great warrior sought the glory of battle. And his name was PAPER. At the same time, in the Kitchen Realm, in the tiny village of Junk Drawer, lived a third warrior. They called her SCISSORS. These three were the strongest, smartest, and fastest in all the land. Time and again they beat the most fearsome opponents they could find: an apricot, a computer printer–even frozen, breaded, dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets! But when the warriors finally meet each other, the most epic round of battles begins…and never ends. That is why, to this day, children around the world honor these worthy adversaries by playing ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS! — HarperCollins

  • ToeShamBo

2-Players | Ages 8+ | Published by Zafty Games | Designed by Frank Alberts

A fast and strategic card game where you’re playing Tic-Tac-Toe with cards, but the Xs and Os have been replaced with Rock, Paper, & Scissor! If your opponent is blocking your three in a row of Rocks, Papers or Scissors, you can play over their card if your card beats it, Rock-Paper-Scissor style. (Rock>Scissor>Paper>Rock) There’s no ties in the fresh mashup of classic games, and is great for gamers of all ages! — Zafty Games

Adventures in Gameschooling notes: The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors is another picture book that will most likely never leave our collection, and that we will be keeping to read to our grandkids, when and if that ever happens. I am not sure I could give that a high recommendation (though parents be warned there is some talk about an apricot looking like a fuzzy butt). ToeShamBo, is a great 2-player game to play with your kids. I am not sure I play it with adults vs adults in most cases, but this is excellent game to play either with kids or them playing against each other. It certainly one of those games where you think, why hasn’t this been done before now, and really is a hidden gem of children card games.


A Book & A Board Game for the week of March 9, 2020 was Grandpa Green and Topiary. 

  • Grandpa Green

Lane, Smith | Roaring Book Press | 2011 | ISBN: 9781596436077

Grandpa Green wasn’t always a gardener. He was a farmboy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist. In this captivating new picture book, readers follow Grandpa Green’s great-grandson into a garden he created, a fantastic world where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten. — Macmillan 

  • Topiary

2-4 Players | Ages 10+ | Published by Renegade Games Studios | Designed by Danny Devine

It’s a fabulously sunny day – the perfect occasion for folks to visit the new topiary garden on the outskirts of town! Nothing spells a relaxing weekend like enjoying sculptures created with the assistance of nature herself. The garden can get quite crowded at times, though, so it’s up to you to make sure your visitors have a good experience with these beautiful botanicals. You’ll want to place your visitors in the best positions along the outer edge of the garden and rearrange the sculptures strategically to give your visitors the most spectacular view of the landscape! — Renegade Games Studios

Adventures in Gameschooling Notes: Grandpa Green was Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Picture Books of 2011 and is also a Caldecott Honor Book. Topiary would make a good game to introduce your family to hobby games, I would suggest 8+. This is due to children being able to understand how line of sight works in the game (you cannot see a topiary with a height number 3 over one that as a higher number, say 4. 4 would block all other topiares except a 5 for example.) which is the most important aspect of gameplay and scoring.


A Book & A Board Game for the week of March 16, 2020 was One Hundred Hungry Ants and Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants. 

  • One Hundred Hungry Ants

Pinczes, Elinor P. | HMH Books for Young Readers | 1993 | ISBN: 9780395631164

One hundred hungry ants march off single file to sample a picnic, but when the going gets too slow, they divide into two rows of fifty, then four rows of twenty . . . until they take so long that the picnic is gone! — HMH

  • Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants

2-4 Players | Ages 8+ | Published by Kids Table Board Gaming | Designed by Scott Almes

Take control of a colony of acts trying to steal the most delicious food from the picnic! Toss your custom ant dice with skill to snap up the best items, and arrange your stolen plates cleverly at your colony to score the most points! This picnic is about to get itself some problems!  — Back of Box

Adventures in Gameschooling Notes: Kids Table Board Gaming (KTBG) is currently one of the best board game companies putting out board game specifically for the family. In Problem Picnic they teamed up with Scott Almes (of Tiny Epic games fame) to bring a dice chucking game, were your are actually rolling the dice on top of the cards in the center of the table. This alone is most likely different from the vast majority of the games you have currently in your collection.


A Book & A Board Game for the week of March 23, 2020 was Dragons Love Tacos and Dragon’s Breath

  • Dragon Love Tacos

Rubin, Adam | Dial Books | 2012 | ISBN: 9780803736801

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble. — Penguin Random House

  • Dragon’s Breath

2-4 Players | Ages 5+ | Published by HABA | Designed by Günter Burkhardt & Lena Burkhardt

A beautiful ice column filled with frozen sparkling stones has been discovered by the dragon kids and they really want to keep them! Dragon Dad’s breath helps melt the column and removes one ice ring after the other, causing the stones to fall out. But be careful  – you can only collect certain stones. Which dragon child will collect the most sparking stones? — Back of Box

Adventures in Gameschooling Notes: Dragon’s Breath is Winner of the 2018 Kinderspiel de Jahres Award (Germany’s Children Game of the Year Award). It also one of the best games HABA offers (which is saying a lot). You can read our glowing review for it here: https://www.adventuresingameschooling.com/haba-special-pirates-dragons-and-unicorns-oh-my/


A Book & A Board Game for the week of March 30, 2020 was Some Bugs and Bugs of Rugs

  • Some Bugs

 DiTerlizzi, Angela |Beach Lane Books | 2014 | ISBN: 9781442458802

Featuring insects including butterflies and moths, crickets and cicadas, bumblebees and beetles, this zippy rhyming exploration of backyard-bug behavior is sure to have insect enthusiasts of all ages bugging out with excitement! — Amazon.com

  • Bugs on Rugs

2-5 Players | Ages 6+ | Published by Kids Table Board Gaming | Designed by Peter C. Hayward

So many bugs crawling around on beautiful rugs! Ants travel in big colonies. Fireflies love the bright rug colours. Spiders are on the lookout for juicy flies. Nine different bugs, and your job is to make sure they get what they want! In Bugs on Rugs, players take turns drafting bug cards to their hand to make sets. At the end of the game players reveal their bug collections. The player who has made the most valuable hand of creepy crawlers WINS! — via Publisher

Adventures in Gameschooling Notes: Some Bugs uses a lot of simple action “ing” words  like “Fluttering, buzzing, stinging..” etc, very simple but good for beginning readers. Bugs on Rugs is definitely for fans of Sushi Go or Go Nuts for Donuts,  we have a quick (Shaky – sorry about that) video about it how it plays that can be viewed below.


Ryan Sanders is the founder, owner, and editor-at-large of Adventures in Gameschooling. He’s also the guy behind its social media accounts. God has blessed Ryan and his wife Mary, with five children, which he homeschools. As a Christian, he believes that he should not only look out for your own interests but other peoples too (Philippians 2:4) and this is one of his guiding principles for Adventures in Gameschooling. Ryan’s expertise is informed by almost two decades of experience as a stay-at-home father and from the running The Inquisitive Meeple where he performed over 300 written and podcast interviews within the board game industry.