Friday, May 31, 2013

"Little Blessings – Bedtime Stories and Prayers" by Dandi Daley Mackall and Kathleen Long Bostrom

ISBN:  978-1-4143-8111-4
Hardcover $14.99
About the book: Bedtime routines often include a story and prayer. Now parents and kids can combine both with a special Little Blessings compilation book. The padded hardcover book includes the following sweet stories:
  • Bedtime Blessings, which reminds kids that God created nighttime too and they have nothing to fear
  • Thank You, God, which reminds kids to be thankful for everything
  • Blessings Everywhere, which helps readers remember their blessings
  • God Loves You, which carries the most powerful message of all to comfort and guide little ones through the night and through their lives.
Each page is filled with full color art of the endearing multicultural Little Blessings characters with illustrations by Care Bear creator Elena Kucharik.
We heartily recommend this lovely book!
Review:  This was an absolutely delightful bedtime story book.  It is a collection of four different stories talking to God about "Bedtime Blessings," "Thank You, God!," "Blessings Everywhere," and "God Loves You." Beautiful thoughts and prayers for nighttime, blessings, and thankfulness. 

I can see this book as becoming a bedtime ritual with small ones.  The illustrations were beautiful and very engaging.  While the actual copy that I have read will probably be going into our school library, I have every intention of purchasing one to read to my granddaughter.  I hope to create wonderful memories through this small but rich little book. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for our honest review by Tyndale Blog Network on behalf of Tyndale Kids and the authors, Dandi Daley Mackall and Kathleen Long Bostrom, and illustrator, Elena Kucharik. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

“Shark Baby” by Ann Downer & illustrated by Shennen Bersani

“Shark Baby”  is a cute book about a shark trying to figure out who he is.  He sees other animals of the sea and asks if he is one of them.  The story is cute.  I don’t particularly like the use of  “Mother Ocean” in the story but that is a personal preference for me.  The pictures are delightful and would keep the attention of young children. The illustrator uses lots of lively colors with lots of detail.  I especially like the large character on each page that jumps out and catches your interest.

The teacher help pages are very good in this book and give added information about the ocean animals as well as questions for teachers to use to increase interest and knowledge. (Reviewed by: Claudette Delorge, Librarian)

About the author: Ann Downer has never lived very far from the ocean. When she was little, her uncle took her to a beach to see horseshoe crabs, and she has been interested in sea creatures ever since. She spent part of her childhood in and around the Pacific Ocean, living first in the Philippine Islands and then in Thailand. Now she lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, not far from the Atlantic Ocean. With her husband and son, she likes to go looking for sea creatures in tide pools in Maine. She once had a chance to go out in a very small boat with some scientists who study whales, and got to listen to the whales coming up for air. She used to be scared of sharks (she still is, a little!) but mostly thinks they are some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures on Earth. Ann helped edit two books about the ocean for grown-ups: Oceans: Heart of Our Blue Planet and Underwater Eden: Saving the Last Coral Wilderness on Earth. She is the author of five novels for young readers and Elephant Talk, a book about the ways elephants communicate.

About the illustrator: Award-winning children’s book illustrator Shennen Bersani has two million copies of her illustrated books cherished and read by families throughout the world. She has been a freelance illustrator since 1989. She works primarily with colored pencils, sometimes using a mixed-media technique of colored pencils, crayon, and paint. Her art delivers a unique blend of realism, heartfelt emotion, love of nature, and life lessons for children of all ages. In addition to Home in the Cave, The Glaciers are Melting!, and Astro:The Steller Sea Lion for Sylvan Dell, Shennen has illustrated a number of best-selling books, including, Snakes: Long, Longer, Longest; Sharks: Big, Bigger, Biggest; Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers; Icky Bug Shapes; and My Sister, Alicia May. Her art also appears in many magazines, newspapers, and publications. Shennen lives with her family near Boston.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Shark Baby was provided by Sylvan Dell Publishing in exchange for our honest review. Opinion expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Toy State CAT Dump Truck & Road Rippers Fire Truck (Review & Giveaway)

Road Rippers are a great cars for the 3+ crowd!  Road Rippers provides a varied assortment of vehicles for the 3+ crowd to enjoy. The sturdy toy vehicles pack a lot of fun play into each toy. They are designed for the little one's hands and provide noises that enhance their play. Kids will "varoom" with the best of them when they kick in playing with Road Rippers.

The CAT Job Site machines - dump trucks, bulldozers, wheel loaders and excavators make play time seem real to little ones. Kids will load the trucks and then dump the stuff out.  They will push stuff around with the bulldozers.

The Alamance Christian Preschool K3 students were so excited to receive the new dump truck and fire engine for their class.  They watched excitedly as the teacher opened the boxes and pulled them out.  The kids quickly  had both vehicles on the floor loading the dump truck with toys and pretending to put out fires in the doll house.  (And yes, they "saved" the doll house!)

These toys have been sturdy enough to handle the three year old rough play and  the teachers like the fact that they can flip a switch to turn off the sounds when they need to.  Thank you so much for the opportunity to play with these toys! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: We received these two toys in exchange for our honest review. No compensation was received. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Ashton Park" by Murray Pura

ISBN: 9780736952859
About the book:  For fans of the hugely popular Downton Abbey series, comes this equally enthralling story of the Danforth family of Ashton Park.

Among the green hills and trees of Lancashire, only a few miles from the sea, lies the beautiful and ancient estate of Ashton Park.

The year is 1916.  The First World War has engulfed Europe and Sir William’s and Lady Elizabeth’s three sons are all in uniform—and their four daughters are involved in various pursuits of the heart and soul.

As the head of a strong Church of England family for generations, Sir William insists the Danforth estate hold morning devotions that include both family and staff. However, he is also an MP and away at Westminster in London whenever Parliament is sitting.

Review: This is a very clever book about class and station. Each character has to overcome the place society has put them in whether it's wealth or service. Money nor work provides everything a person needs in life; and as each character finds out on their own, only with faith in God do they gain the world and all it holds.

Pura's use of history to weave this tale together make for a great story. The characters come to life with each detail. At end I found myself wanting to know what happens next.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Harvest House Publishers on behalf of the author, Murray Pura, to facilitate our honest review.

"Wisdom of the West Riding Trails and Telling Tales" by Tom Browning

ISBN: 9780736950664
Hardcover $14.99
About the book: This invitation to the insights and inspiration of the old West features artist Tom Browning’s stunning paintings of fearless cowboys, noble horses, and nature’s vast beauty. Readers are drawn into an era when a person’s good reputation garnered trust, a handshake sealed a deal, and the cowboy spirit lived large. Filled with the wisdom of the West—shared along the dusty trails and by glowing campfires—this beautiful gift book warms the soul and fuels the call to adventure. It’s a timeless gift to bless those who feel a kinship with those who rode west and who wish they could have answered that call themselves.

Review:  Two of my favorite things, art and quotes.  This book has some of the best I have seen.  One of my favorite quotes is by Leigh Richmond....
"There is a time to be born, and a time to die, says Solomon, and it is the memento of a truly wise man; but there is an interval between these two times of infinite importance."
The illustrations in this book are gorgeous! Each page is a work of art. I love the embellishments on the corners, around the pictures, and highlighting the quotes. I could see an art project on designing a page layout. The "wanted" poster at the beginning would make a great class project. This book would be excellent to teach character traits and have a cowboy theme in your classroom. (reviewed M.Free, Art Instructor)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Wisdom of the West was provided to facilitate our honest review by Harvest House Publishers on behalf of the author, Tom Browning. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

“Nature Recycles How About You” by Michelle Lord & illustrated by Cathy Morrison

Paperback  $9.95
ISBN: 9781607186274
About the book: From sea urchins in the Atlantic Ocean to bandicoots on the Australian savanna, animals all over the world recycle. Explore how different animals in different habitats use recycled material to build homes, protect themselves and get food. This fascinating collection of animal facts will teach readers about the importance of recycling and inspire them to take part in protecting and conserving the environment by recycling in their own way. key phrases for educators: recycling, animal adaptations and behaviors, geography

Review:  Nature Recycles How About You”  presents recycling in the animal world and challenges us to recycle too.  The repetitive text makes it a good read aloud for small children to join in and repeat with you.  Large full color illustrations are bright and cheery, drawing you into the page.  Young children will enjoy the illustrations and older children will learn of the many different ways to recycle. 

There are teacher helps at the end of the book that would be good to integrate into the classroom.  Children will leave the book with a new sense of recycling and perhaps find ways to recycle things in their own way as well. (reviewed by Claudette Delorge, Librarian)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Nature Recycles. How About You? was provided by Sylvan Dell Publishing in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

"The Winnowing SeasonL Book 2 Amish Vines and Orchards" by Cindy Woodsmall

About the book:  The tornado that devastated Kings’ Orchard pushed Rhoda, Samuel, and Jacob to make a new start in Maine. Are they strong enough to withstand the challenges of establishing an Amish community—and brave enough to face the secrets that move with them?

On the eve of their departure to begin a new Old Order Amish community outside of Unity, Maine, Rhoda Byler is shocked to discover that choices made by her business partner and friend, Samuel King, have placed her and her unusual gifts directly into the path of her district’s bishop and preachers. She is furious with Samuel and is fearful that the Kings will be influenced by the way her leaders see her, and not what they know to be true—that Rhoda’s intuition is a gift from God.

Review: In Cindy Woodsmall's Book 2 of the Amish Vines and Orchards series, The Winnowing Season opens days before the group of Amish is moving to start a new community in the state of Maine. The main characters and their families have purchased a new Apple Orchard in Maine after the devastation of the one they owned in their current state and community.

Rhonda Byler is a gentle, caring young Amish lady who has a gift that lets her intuitively see what is about to happen. She has ended up being viewed suspiciously because of this gift which is not accepted within Amish communities. The two King brothers, Jacob and Samuel, are leaders both in the apple orchard business and spiritually. Both are emotionally drawn to the lovely Rhonda Byler. Jacob has a past to hide and come to terms with.

Though this is a stand alone story, it is best to first read book one in the series so that the characters are better understood.  The internal conflict of characters over whether to stay or leave their faith community and go establish one less restrictive is interesting. Recommended for those who enjoy good clean reading and for the young-adult to adult reader. There is no bad language or behavior.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Blogging for Books on behalf of the author and publisher to facilitate our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Fortress of Mist: Book Two Merlin's Immortals" by Sigmond Brouwer

About the book:  The throne is redeemed, but the battle is just beginning.          

In the dark corners of an ancient land, evil lurks in the shadows. Powerful druids haunt the spaces of their lost territory. Double-minded noblemen fight for domain and influence. Invaders from the north threaten the kingdom of Magnus. This land of promise and redemption is mired in deceit and corruption.

The Orphan King, once victorious in conquest, appears to be losing his grip on his seat of power. Thomas rules Magnus, but does not know whom he can trust. His enemies anticipate his every move, thwarting him at each turn. Something is not right.

Under attack, both in the supernatural and natural worlds, Thomas must reach back into the secret layers of his past to find the strength and wisdom to fight his battles. When the mist clears, who will stand with him?
Review (spoilers included): This book was full of mystery. It starts out with the main character Thomas being visited in his bedroom by a young lady that he thought was dead. Isabelle came to see if Thomas would be part of a mysterious alliance. Thomas had been curious about this group before Isabelle "died." He finds himself cautious now and not sure that he wants to be a part of this alliance. He is not sure that he can trust some one who was able to make him think she was dead. He suspects some type of magic or trickery. He begins to study herbs and potions and figures out how Isabelle was able to seem dead. Thomas learns that the alliance Isabelle is with is known as the Droids. They are known for witchery and are not spoken of highly. They are a group that the people in his kingdom are scared to confront.

 Thomas later meets the Earl of York. The Earl wants to see where Thomas' loyalty lies. The Earl asks Thomas to join him in battle against the Scots.Thomas agrees to go to battle to show the Earl of York that he is not the enemy. Thomas and the Earl defeat the Scots and form a friendship. The friendship is threatened when the Earl's son lies to him and tells him that Thomas is not who he says.

Once Thomas has returned to his kingdom he is visited by one of the Druid leaders. This leader wants Thomas to join him but Thomas refuses. The leader then threatens Thomas and his kingdom and tells him that Thomas will not prosper. He tells Thomas that he will send a sign of bats falling from the sky to scare his kingdom and make them turn against him. Thomas is not threatened. He loves his kingdom and knows that he can prove to them that he is here to protect them from people like the Droids.

A young lady by the name of Katherine has been hiding through out the book in a disguise. She had helped Thomas take the kingdom of Magnus. She had to fake being burned and go in hiding for Thomas' sake. She is now coming back to see if Thomas is going to become part of the Droids. She hides in the secret passage ways and hears Thomas talk to the leader of the Droids. She is impressed that he does not join them but is still uncertain of his loyalty. She decides to show herself and try and learn more of Thomas' loyalty. He is glad to see her and wants to restart their friendship. He starts to put things together and realizes that Katherine has secrets and was able to trick him too. He wonders if she is part of Isabelle's plan? He has a hard time trusting her. He realizes that the mask on her face is not really hiding burns and that it was a ploy. He makes her take her mask off and tell him the truth. She refuses because a man by the name of Hartwood told her to not let her emotions get in the way. She has to wait and see if she can trust Thomas. Thomas is hurt that she will not trust him so he asks her to leave Magnus.

The book ends there. It is setting up for book three. I think that this book would be one that students would enjoy reading. It is full of mystery and keeps you guessing. (rev. S.Wall, Food Services)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of fortress of Mist was provided by Waterbrook Press on behalf of the author, Sigmund Brouwer in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.
Author Info:  Sigmund Brouwer is the author of eighteen novels with nearly three million copies in print. His recent novel The Last Disciple was featured in Time magazine and on ABC's Good Morning America. Reader's Haven Review's review of The Orphan King.

Monday, May 13, 2013

“Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer” by Mary Holland

Paperback  $9.99
ISBN: 9781607186267
“Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer” chronicles the life of a young fox kit as it is first coming out of the den to when it learns to find food and become self sufficient.  The large white print on top of the photographs highlights the type and makes the story easy to read.  Real photographs capture the movements and actions of the fox as it goes about daily activities.   

All children love baby animals and this book is no exception.  The pictures are large and cute, making them fun to look at.  The author presents interesting details in an easy to read fashion.  Teacher helps at the end of the book enhance learning about the life cycle of the red fox.(reviewed by C.Delorge, Librarian)

Author/Illustrator info: Mary Holland is a naturalist, nature photographer, columnist, and author with a life-long passion for natural history. After graduating from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources, Mary worked as a naturalist at the museum of the Hudson Highlands in New York state and directed the state-wide Environmental Learning for the Future program for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. She also worked as a resource naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and designed and presented her own “Knee-High Nature Programs” for libraries and elementary schools throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. Mary’s latest book, Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey through the Fields, Woods and Marshes of New England, won the 2011 National Outdoor Book Award for the Nature Guidebook category. Also, her children’s book, Milkweed Visitors, received national acclaim when it was placed on the AAAS Science Books and Films list for the best books of 2006. Mary lives is Hartland, Vermont with her lab, Emma.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary paperback copy of Ferdinand Fox's First Summer was provided by Sylvan Dell Publishing in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

“On the Move Mass Migrations” by Scotti Cohn

Paperback $9.95
ISBN: 9781607186281
“On the Move Mass Migrations” is an informative book with wonderful pictures depicting the migration of various animals.  I love the bold easy to read print and the delightful, colorful pictures that fill the page and give the eye much to take in. 

This is a good book to introduce the concept of migration to young children.  I especially enjoy the teacher help pages at the end of the book presenting additional information and questions that can be used in a classroom setting.  This book would be appropriate to use with small preschool age children, that will love the colorful pictures, as well as older elementary children that will benefit from the text.  (reviewed C.Delorge, Librarian)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the Sylvan Dell Publishing in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. 

Author info: Award-winning author Scotti Cohn has had a love for poetry and fiction writing since childhood. In addition to authoring On the Move, Big Cat, Little Kitty and One Wolf Howls for Sylvan Dell, Scotti has written eight nonfiction books as well as short stories and poems. Scotti’s two grown children have done their own moving on. She and her husband live in upstate South Carolina with five little kitties. Visit her website at, or visit her School Visit Info and Facebook Page for more information.

Illustrator info: Susan Detwiler is the illustrator of several books for children including On the Move, Big Cat, Little Kitty, and the award-winning titles Pandas’ Earthquake Escape and One Wolf Howls. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and her illustrations have appeared in the children’s magazines, Highlights for Children and Ladybug. Susan’s artwork has also been used for puzzles, games, and greeting cards. Books have always been a source of joy in her life, and as a child she particularly loved books with beautiful illustrations. Susan was educated at the Maryland Institute College of Art and lives with her artist husband and their two sons in Baltimore. Visit her website at

“The Deductive Detective” by Brian Rock

“The Deductive Detective”  is a very cute book to teach deductive reasoning to elementary children.  The author uses clever language to add humor and interest to the reading of the text.  The story is almost whimsical in nature as Detective Duck tries to eliminate those that could not have stolen the cake.

The illustrations are large and colorful to keep the interest of young students.  Older elementary students will enjoy the book as they will understand the humor.  This would be a good book to read to an elementary class that is learning how to subtract by ones.  Deductive reasoning helps are located in the back of the book and are very helpful to the teacher. (reviewed by C.Delorge, Librarian)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of The Deductive Detective was provided in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Author info: Brian Rock received a master’s degree in Children’s Literature and Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brian’s short stories for children appear regularly in the regional magazine Kid’s World and his poems for children have appeared in Highlights for Children, Poetry Train, and various regional publications. His short story, The Frog Dad,was selected as one of the inaugural titles for iPulpFiction’s “Don’t Read This in the Dark” series. For six years Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students. Visit his website at

Illustrator info: Sherry Rogers spent twelve years as a corporate graphic designer and artist before "leaving it all behind" for the freelance world. In addition to illustrating The Penguin Lady for Sylvan Dell, Sherry has illustrated Ten For Me; Hey Diddle Diddle; Paws, Claws, Hands & Feet; Kersplatypus; Burro's Tortillas; and the award-winning Moose and Magpie; Newton and Me; Sort It Out!; and If You Were a Parrot for Sylvan Dell. Sherry lives in Northern California. Visit Sherry's website.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Sweet Sanctuary" by Kim Vogel Sawyer

A Story of Hope and Love Set Against the Backdrop of World War II
Lydia Eldredge longs to provide sanctuary for her young son, Nicky. But a constant threat comes from Nicky's drug-addicted father, who wants the boy and seems willing to do whatever it takes to get him.

Dr. Micah Hatcher faithfully serves the immigrant population of Queens, New York. But under cover of darkness, he has a secret mission that challenges everything he thought he wanted out of life.

When Lydia and Micah's paths cross, they are suddenly wrapped up in each other's callings. Together, they seek a refuge of safety-for Nicky, for themselves, and for the needy people God puts into their lives. Amid turmoil and discord, can hope and love prevail?
Review:  A very nice story about love, grace and redemption.  The characters in the book are easy to imagine because the author has done a very good job of bringing them to life for you.  I enjoyed the way she highlighted prayer and seeking God for direction in, through, and because of life’s circumstances.  She also did a good job in conveying that all things should be done for the glory of God.  I have no problem recommending this book and reading other books by this author. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary of Sweet Sanctuary was provided on behalf of the publisher and author in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.
Purchase a copy:

Author info: Meet Kim: Kim Vogel Sawyer is the author of twenty-one novels, including several CBA and ECPA bestsellers. Her books have won the ACFW Book of the Year Award, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award. Kim is active in her church, where she leads women's fellowship and participates in both voice and bell choirs. In her spare time, she enjoys drama, quilting, and calligraphy. Kim and her husband, Don, reside in central Kansas, and have three daughters and nine grandchildren.  Find out more about Kim at

"Balloon Trees" by Danna Smith (review)

“Balloon Trees” by Danna Smith is a wonderfully fun book to read aloud to young children.  The poetic verse cadence lends itself to joyfully singing the text.  Balloons are always fun and entertaining for children and so is reading about how they are made. 
 They slice the bark then add a spout--
white milky latex drip-drops out.
The simple cup the tappers use
collects the natural, sappy ooze.
Full color pictures accompany informative text about the making of rubber.  I found this book to be just delightful and will use it this summer for my summer reading program at school.  The fun text and pictures make it a good read for small children and the informative nature of the making of rubber makes this a great book for elementary children as well. (reviewed by Claudette Delorge, Librarian)
The new balloons then make some stops
where spinning brushes roll the tops.
Toward the tub they take a ride.
They soak in water side by side.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Balloon Trees was provided by Sylvan Dell Publishing in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Author: Danna Smith received excellent reviews for Pirate Nap and Two at the Zoo, which was featured in Parenting Magazine and is a Raising Readers board book special edition. The inspiration for her most recent book, Balloon Trees, came from her husband’s line of work running a rubber manufacturing plant. Although his company makes industrial rubber products, Danna chose to follow the creation of a fun product that is near and dear to a child’s heart: the balloon. She lives in Northern California with her husband, two grown children, and their cocker spaniel, Peanut. Visit her website at

Illustrator: Laurie Allen Klein has been a freelance artist for nearly 25 years. Over the last several years, she has worked as the on-staff artist for a marine park, where she does everything from painting life-size sea animal murals, to illustrating children's activity books. As evident by the extras included in the art, she has combined her love and fascination with outer space (and science fiction) with children’s illustration in both Solar System Forecast and Meet the Planets. Laurie also illustrated Fur and Feathers, Where Should Turtle Be?, Little Skink's Tail, and If a Dolphin Were a Fish for Sylvan Dell. Laurie lives in Florida. See more of her artwork at

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage (review)

Howard B. Wigglebottom is a delightful bunny that has a bit of difficulty with life.  He encounters bullies.  He doesn't listen.  He needs courage.

Author Howard Birkow understands children's needs and the struggles they face on the playground and in the classroom.  He and illustrator
Jeremy Norton have put together a  book that will help a young child manage the bully he encounters on the playground.  The feeling he has to keep all his toys for himself and not to share.  The tendency to not listen. And the need for courage to face obstacles.
In “Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage” Howard Binklow has his main character “Howard” face his fears and learn how to use his courage.  This delightful tale depicts Howard facing the monsters under the bed, the dark, and the first day of school.  All of these fears are exactly what young children face in their own lives.  The reader can relate to the fears faced by Howard and they too can learn to work through the fear and develop the courage to be brave.  

The continuing character building stories of Howard. B. Wigglebottom are always a joy to read and share with children.  (rev.C.Delorge, librarian)
DISCLOSURE: Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Courage was given to us in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

The We Do Listen Foundation has made the production of these books available and also a delightful website where you and your child can see the books in animated format.  You can listen to and download songs.  You can also print activity pages and play games.  This is at no cost to you.   Also, you can purchase the hardcover books at a discounted rate on the website.

Our school has a collection of 11 Howard B. Wigglebottom books in its library and I have read each of them.  Frankly, I can not pick my "most favorite one."  Each is delightful. I recommend these for the young child and for the school or classroom library.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Animal Helpers Sanctuaries" by Jennifer Keats Curtis

ISBN: 9781607186236, $9.95
“Animal Helpers Sanctuaries”  is an interesting book that presents the problems that can arise when wild animals are taken in as pets.  This book presents well the dangers involved in having wild pets as well as some of the unforeseen issues that occur as the cute little baby grows into a large adult.  Of ten people find it difficult to keep such large pets because of expense as well as providing proper habitats.

 Curtis highlights the need for caring people and facilities to care for such animals.  This book has beautiful photographs of people helping these animals and the facilities that are in place for such animal care.  Teacher helps at the end of the book are great to enhance the information presented. (rev. C.Delorge)

About the author:Award-winning nature author Jennifer Keats Curtis is frequently found among students and teachers, talking about literacy and conservation. In addition to the Animal Helpers series, Baby Owl’s Rescue, and Turtles In My Sandbox for Sylvan Dell, some of her other recent titles include Seahorses, Osprey Adventure and Saving Squeak: The Otter Tale. Recently honored with the SoMIRAC Literacy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Literacy. Jennifer resides in Maryland with her family and a wide variety of pets. Visit her website at

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Animal Helpers Sanctuaries was provided by Sylvan Dell Publishing in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Ring the Bell" (movie review)

"Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one or more of the products or services mentioned below for free in hope that we would mention it on this blog. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

DVD $19.99
About Ring the Bell:     Ring The Bell shares the story of a slick, big city sports agent Rob Decker who seems to have it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stand in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? This heartwarming story of redemption is sure to entertain and inspire the whole family.

Ring The Bell features a host of well-known Christian music artists, such as Mark Hall along with his band Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, all who play a role in this inspirational drama. Several former and current Major League Baseball all-stars are also featured in the film: ESPN analysts John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe (a former Cy Young Award winner), along with Ben Zobrist.
This family-friendly movie was produced by Mark Miller, Beach Street Records' founder and Casting Crowns’ producer. Miller, who is also the lead singer and founder of country music group Sawyer Brown, co-wrote the script with Thomas Weber and Weber directed the production.

Review:  “Ring the Bell” is a good family movie.  It has a good storyline and is awesome in its clear presentation of the gospel.  While I enjoyed the movie, I did feel that it was a bit slow at times – not a whole lot of action.  The story centers around Rod Decker, the owner of a sports agency, who wants to sign a high school baseball player from the small town of Middletown to a pro baseball contract.  Upon arrival in Middletown, Rod discovers that the people there have a very different life from his city life and they seem far more content than he ever has.  He encounters a brother and sister team who have opened their home to troubled youth.  On the farm, there is a dinner bell that only gets chimed when a person has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Rod sees something in these people that he knows he doesn’t have and wonders is it real. 

While there is not a lot of “action” in this movie, I really enjoyed “Ring the Bell” and can easily recommend it.  It is a family-friendly movie with absolutely no inappropriate language or situations.  So very refreshing to be able to sit down and watch with your family and children a movie that is clean. (rev. P.Howard)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

“We’ve Got A Job” by Cynthia Levinson

“We’ve Got A Job” by Cynthia Levinson is a wonderful book chronicling a very difficult time in American history.  Levinson present the information in easy to read sections that keep the interest of the reader.  Each section includes quotes and first hand accounts of the events and makes the reader feel a part of the action. 

The emotion of the day is clearly presented with a sense of clarity and honesty.  The reader can almost feel themselves in that same situation.  The photography depicts each event as it is unfolding and adds to the emotion of the text.    Each chapter and section is brief enough that a young person can choose a section and feel a sense of accomplishment and then proceed to the next section.   

This is a good cover-to-cover read and it may also be used as a reference book for information about specific events or people.  I enjoyed this book tremendously myself as it is packed with great information as well as stories from the past. (rev. C.Delorge, Librarian) Another review of this book on Reader's Haven Reviews.
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of We've Got A Job was provided by Peachtree Publishers in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.