Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I Can written by Kathryn O’Brien and illustrated by Gillian Flint

About the book:  Plant God’s Word in Your Heart!  Nothing is too hard for me when God is on my side!  He will give me strength to do all the things I need to do every day.  Turn Scripture memory from duty into delight with the Sit for a Bit series.  Scripture is presented one powerful word at a time, along with charming art and applications to build meaningful connections between God’s Word and a child’s everyday live.  Memory-verse learning has never been so effortless, effective, and fun!

Review:  This is my first time reading a book from the Sit for a Bit series.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.   I Can is a wonderful book that teaches small children the popular Bible verse – Philippians 4:13.  The way the author has laid out one to two words per page and then given explanation/description on the next pages is great method to teach small children Bible verses.  This is definitely not a new method, but the author’s way “putting it on paper” is both simple and so enjoyable.  While this book may be for smaller children, no doubt you can use it to teach scripture to anyone.

The illustrations are lovely.  The watercolor effect is beautiful and each page has something that also catches the eye and can generate additional conversation about God’s creations.

In the front of the book, the author shares a gentle reminder to parents about our responsibility to not only to know and hide God’s Word in our hearts, but that it is also our responsibility to teach Scripture to our children.  It’s more than just a responsibility – it’s our opportunity to grow our children in the Lord.  This book – I Can – is one that I most definitely will be sharing with my grandchildren and probably will be gifting to my grown children for their children.  A wonderful book!! (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the Tyndale Blog Network review program on behalf of the publisher and author.

One Spring Lamb written and illustrated by Anne Vittur Kennedy

About the book: Follow little spring lamb’s adventures as Easter draws near!  Your little one will love counting God’s many springtime blessings.
Review:  A very nice “counting” book for your toddler.  Even though it references Easter, this book can be read year around.  I adore the cover – I know, I know…that may seem a little dramatic, but the cover is beautiful.  A picture of a sweet little lamb and glittering flowers just grabs your attention.  The 3D effect on the front is a great sensory item for little one’s hands.  The book’s pages are thick cardboard and easy for little hands to turn the pages.  The illustrations are beautiful as well  -- simple, but very colorful and enjoyable to look at.
“One Spring Lamb” is so easy to understand for toddlers.  The way the author has written in a rhyme style that is one of my favorite for small children.  Each page is full of items to talk about with your little one and #7 is probably my favorite page because of the “hide and seek”.  Children love looking for things while reading and the author accomplished this through both her writing and illustrations.
No doubt that you may have several “counting” books already on your toddler’s book shelf, but “One Spring Lamb”  is a must add to your collection. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the BookLook Blogger Review program on behalf of the publisher and author. Opinions are those of the reviewer.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Keeper of the Stars (A Kings Meadow Romance) by Robin Lee Hatcher

About the book: Forgiveness is the only cure for heartbreak.  But can Penny forgive the man she holds responsible for her brother’s death?  When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken.  But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated.  Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny’s mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain – but that’s exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town.

Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can’t get off the ground.  While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn’t behind the wheel, but he still blames himself…and so does Brad’s sister, Penny.  Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his final promise to his friend.

Still feeling the pain of Brad’s death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts.  And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heart break.

Review: Keeper of the Stars is the third book in the series A Kings Meadow Romance by Robin Lee Hatcher.  I have not read any of the other books in this series and as I found out, you do not have to have read the other books before reading Keeper of the Stars.  There is no confusion of the characters or storyline.

When I started reading Keeper of the Stars, I anticipated it to be your typical romance novel and while it didn’t have any great surprises, it was very enjoyable to read.  I found myself sympathizing with both Penny and Trevor in how they were dealing with the loss of a brother and a friend.  I like how the author had “flashbacks” from the brother’s perspective that filled in details of why Brad was with Trevor when he died and also why he wanted Trevor to go to Kings Meadow.

Even though the book is fiction, there is nothing fictional about the way Robin Lee Hatcher writes about the forgiveness of God.  It is woven through each chapter of this book.  True forgiveness only comes from God and can only be extended to others through the help of God.  The author makes this very clear in her writings and I enjoyed that aspect as much as the actual story and characters.

“Keeper of the Stars” is a keeper! (rev. P.Howard)

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DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group to facilitate this review. Opinions are those of the reviewer. No compensation was received.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Step by Step (Crisis Team) by Candace Calvert

About the book: Three years after a tragic accident left her a widow, ER nurse Taylor Cabot is determine to move on, checking off one item on her Survival List after another.  Her relationship with a handsome plastic surgeon even gives her hope for the last point – “fall in love again.”  At least until crisis chaplain Seth Donovan steps back into her life, reawakening unanswered questions about her husband’s death.

While in San Diego to train community volunteers, Seth hopes to learn why Taylor is backing away from the crisis team and from their friendship.  But nothing prepares him for the feelings that arise when he sees Taylor again…and sees her moving on with another man.

When a community crisis hits home and puts lives at risk, emotions run high and buried truths are unearthed.  Will hope make the Survival List?

Review: Step by Step is the second book in the Crisis Team series written by Candace Calvert.

When I started reading this book, I did not realize this was a series, much less the second book in that particular series.  However that did not keep me from enjoying this book.  The characters are easy to like or dislike and the story line is not too challenging to follow.

Candace Calvert knows “her stuff” when it comes to writing medical mysteries and Step by Step does not disappoint.  Good, clean fiction books are getting harder and harder to find.  Candace Calvert is an author you can depend upon to give you good characters and good story lines; and when an author also includes in her writings the underlying note that ultimately God is in control, then that is a win-win all around and Step by Step falls in this win-win category. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Story of the Nativity retold by Elena Pasquali and illustrated by Sophie Windham

  • ISBN-13: 978-0745965413
  • Hardcover $16.99
No doubt the Nativity Story is one of the greatest true stories ever told and generally one that is easily retold and enjoyed.  However, I absolutely did not like this particular re-telling of the Nativity Story.  To be more definitive, the illustrations used to re-tell the story I immensely dislike.  They feel very depressing and the illustrator has included these strange looking cats in most of the pictures.  The drawing that I dislike the most however is the one at the very end of the book that is apparently her thought of how Christ looked as a young boy.  It has a very effeminate and unreal look.  While we cannot know exactly what Christ did look like, I don’t believe he looked like a girl!
“The Story of the Nativity” has no obvious errors as retold, it most definitely is not a re-telling that I enjoyed.  There are other books that have done a far better job in both the story line and the illustrations and would be a better investment of both your money and time. (rev. P.Howard)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Win or Lose, I Love You! By: Lysa TerKeurst Illustrated By: Jana Christy

Win or Lose – I Love You! By Lysa TerKeurst (illustrated by Jana Christy)
ISBN-13: 9780529104007
About the book:  Win or lose, one thing that’s true…No matter what, I love you! Competition can bring out the worst in us, but it can also be an opportunity to learn impactful life lessons.  That’s why it’s so important for kids to understand how to handle winning and losing?  Join Lulu and Max as they help Bear-Bear, Goosey, Coyote, and the rest of their animal friends in the Field Day contests to determine who will be the leader of Lulu’s forest.  But as the animals soon find out, not everyone can win.  Sore losers, unkind winners, flaring tempers, and a few tears are taking the fun straight out of Field Day!

Review:  The thing I liked most about this book is the little phrase – “Win or Lose, I Love You!”  The illustrations are very nice and I do like the look of water color to the pages.  The topic of the book is a much needed one.  Teaching our children that it’s not about winning or losing, but that it’s about how our attitude shows itself in winning or losing is something that every parent, grandparent, or educator has a responsibility to do.  We have to look for the opportunity and this book can help in that area.  If instilled in our children when they are young, it definitely makes it easier to address as they grow.  I appreciate the verses at the back of the book that will certainly help in teaching what God says about winning and losing and how we are to react.  In my opinion, this book is geared toward 1st grade and up.  While we need to be teaching our children how to win or lose gracefully long before 1st grade, the book is too long for most toddlers to sit through.

Again, my favorite part of this book is….  “You may not win, but you must try. Sometimes you’ll lose, but there’s no need to cry. Win or lose, one thing that’s true..No matter what, I love you!”

DISCLOSURE: We received a complimentary copy from BookLook to facilitate this review. Opinions are those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Thank You,Lord,for Everything by P.J. Lyons – illustrated by Tim Warnes

Love surrounds you beauty, too.
Notice how God blesses you!
Clap your hands, shout and sing:
“Thank you, Lord, for everything!”

Thank You, Lord, For Everything is a sweet and gentle rhyme – perfect for bedtime, quiet time, and anytime in between

Review:  What a wonderful little book!!  With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, this short story is a pleasant reminder that we should be grateful, thankful, for the very simple things of life.  The sing-song, rhyming tempo of the book is one of my favorite styles for children.  I love the way each page ends with the title of the book and encourages you to be dramatic and have fun while reading to your children.

The illustrations are charming and  with a very soft water-color effect.  The characters are drawn with such sweetness and are entirely appropriate for children of all ages.  The construction of the book is thick cardboard and should hold up to many readings.

At this time of year, the holiday Thanksgiving seems to disappear in the onslaught of Christmas commercialism.   This sweet little book is a gentle reminder that we absolutely do have much to be thankful for and it is our responsibility to teach and show our children that it’s more of who you have in your life than what.  “Thank You, Lord, For Everything” would make a great addition to your children’s library! (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: We received this book from BookLook book review program to facilitate this review. Opinions are those of the reviewer only. We received no compensation to review this book.