Category Archives: Books

The Sparkle Box

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Let me start this review with a confession: I had heard of this book before.  Last year, somewhere around Christmas, I heard an interview with the author on Focus on The Family.  It really touched my heart and I’ve literally thought about it all year long.  The author’s goal seemed to truly be the lesson the book teaches: to give to others.

It is not often that I am inspired by a children’s book.  I read the book in order to do the review and had to force myself to come in and write.  Not because the task is so daunting, but because the book has me so inspired I don’t want to sit down and write.  I want to do something.  Anything.  Make bread for the shelters, donate, something!  Not simply to fill a box, but to make a difference in someone’s life.  One of my favorite scriptures, and one my husband and I remind each other of constantly is this:  “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Matthew 25:40 KJV. 

This book will not only teach your children the joy of helping others, but it will make you want to go out and help someone else, anyone else.  My family has taught me throughout the years to help others.  Even my little brother who seems to be on a poor attempt at running from God has reminded me through his actions to do whatever I can to help others.  When we were kids we went through a period where our Mom couldn’t afford to pay the bills, much less provide for Christmas.  That year, a man we had never heard of, came to our home with a basket of fruit and a gift for my brother and I.  I don’t remember what my brother got, but I got a curling iron gift set.  I’ve never been a girly girl, don’t even know if I ever actually used that set, but what I do know is that I hold that as one of my fondest memories.  It was a great lesson and has been a constant inspiration for me to help others throughout my life.  Granted, I don’t wish that upon anyone, but the lesson could never be the same.  The closest I’ve seen to something teaching this lesson is this book.

About The Sparkle Box 

A Gift with the Power to Change Christmas

Sam is so excited about Christmas! He’s thinking about his Christmas list, looking forward to holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift: a sparkly box sitting on the mantel. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family’s good deeds. Sam’s mom explains that the things that they’ve been doing are, in fact, a gift for Jesus, for Jesus said that whatever we do for those in need, we do for Him.

Author Bio

Author Jill Hardie and her family began placing a gift for Jesus under their Christmas tree as a way of bringing more meaning to the holiday.  The first time they opened His gift, the commercialism of the season melted away and they felt a profound joy and peace.  Jill hopes that The Sparkle Box will spark a new Christmas tradition, bringing light into thousands of lives.

Illustrator Bio

At a very early age, Christine Kornacki developed a love for painting and bringing stories to life.  After receiving a BFA in illustration from the University of Hartford, her dreams of illustrating children’s books began to take shape.  She spends her days painting in her studio, which adjoins a charming cafe in New Haven, Connecticut.

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Giveaway

Must leave a physical address.  However, if you are a military family and have an APO, I will personally ship it to you if you win, so go ahead and enter!

Originally posted 2013-11-19 10:07:11.

Audrey Bunny: A Great Kid’s Story Book

Audrey_Bunny_coverI must really be getting soft these days because Audrey Bunny almost made me cry.  LOL.  It’s such a sweet story!  It reminds us all that those little flaws we fear are sometimes just what other people love about us!  Audrey Bunny is a beautiful story about a bunny who had an imperfection which made her feel like she could never be loved.  A very good reminder of how we are so very loved!

Included in the book is a Parent Connection in the back so that you can interact with your child a little more about the story.  It shares some good talking points and I think that any little girl would love to have this book read to them over and over again!  It will keep you all grounded in knowing that you are special, no matter what flaw you think makes you unlovable you are not!  I think that this story is a great confidence builder and is especially great to help with insecurities!

Audrey Bunny

From best-selling women’s author Angie Smith (I Will Carry You, Mended) comes this sweet children’s book about a stuffed animal named Audrey Bunny who fears her imperfections make her unworthy of a little girl’s love. She’ll learn the truth soon enough, and young readers will learn that everyone is special and wonderfully made by God.

About the Author

Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer of Dove Award winning group Selah), best-selling author of MendedI Will Carry You, and What Women Fear, and one of the most popular speakers and blog writers in the country. She holds a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University and lives with her husband and daughters in Nashville, TN.

 Details

Written by: Angie Smith

Publisher: B&H Publishing

Hardcover with jacket:  32 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2013
$14.99

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Originally posted 2013-10-29 00:01:32.

Green Golly & Her Golden Flute

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What an adorable and fun little book!  I love the story they have created in this one!  It made my imagination go wild!  That’s always great in a story!  This book stands out from others in that it has a CD and story stickers.  The CD tells the story along with a flute accompaniment while the story stickers enable you to use a mobile device or computer to listen to the story and hear the music as they go from page to page.  Each book comes with a CD, or the disc can be purchased separately.

Having won the 2011 Parents Choice Gold Award and getting rave rewards across the board, this story is one you’ll want to enjoy with the little ones over and over again!  The book can be purchased on the website and will be available on Amazon after the book is available for sale (October 15, 2013).

About The Book

The book was written and performed by Keith Torgan and Barbara Siesel and illustrated by Suzanne Langelier-Lebeda.

For Ages 4-10

Publication Date: October 15, 2013

Publisher: Eifrig Publishing

SRP: $19.99

Length: 52 page book, 57 minute audio

The Green Golly Project – Green Golly and her Golden Flute 

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Originally posted 2013-10-15 00:01:00.

Rufus & Ryan Go to Church

IM_4586I love the age where I can sit and read a book to the little ones and they listen intently, then go back and try to read it on their own.  Adding in questions and commentary throughout the book, always great fun!  We really enjoyed reading Rufus and Ryan Go To Church!  It was super cute!  The book is perfect for new readers as there aren’t many words per page so there is a lot of room for conversing.

Rufus and Ryan Go To Church!

In Rufus and Ryan Go to Church!, four-year-old Ryan explains to his stuffed monkey, Rufus, what is happening as they attend church on Sunday morning. He lets Rufus know when it’s time to sing and to pray and to be quiet. Author Kathleen Bostrom brings a delightfully light touch to the text as she provides an introduction to an experience that most children are exposed to long before they understand why. And children everywhere will relate to the idea of explaining their surroundings to their favorite companions as they go about their daily activities.

This is just one of the first titles in a new series of inspirational books for preschoolers.

About the Rufus and Ryan

Rufus

Rufus and Ryan is a new series of books for preschoolers, featuring Ryan, an energetic little boy, and his stuffed monkey Rufus. Basic Christian and church concepts serve as the foundation of the series, with an additional focus on character traits and development. The text is presented in young Ryan’s voice as he teaches Rufus about the concepts he is learning himself. Each story is about 150 words, using age-appropriate vocabulary and themes.

Also available now, Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers

About the Author

Kathleen Long Bostrom is a published children’s author in both the Christian and trade markets. She has a Master’s in Christian Education and a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching, and she has worked in children’s ministry for many years. Kathy and her husband, Greg, have three grown children and live in Illinois.

About the Illustrator 

Rebecca Thornburgh began illustrating children’s books full-time in 1996 and today has almost 100 books to her name. Rebecca’s vibrant watercolors have been showcased in previous Ideals titles, including the new edition of The Story of Christmas. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters.

Rufus and Ryan Go to Church! 

Written by: Kathleen Long Bostrom

Illustrated by: Rebecca Thornburgh

Publisher: Ideals Books

Board book
$7.99
Available at IdealsBooks.com

 

Originally posted 2013-10-04 10:35:31.

Let’s Hatch Chicks: A Review You Can’t Miss

Let’s Hatch Chicks is an adorable and informative book about ‘the Wonderful World of Chickens and Eggs’.  This is the perfect Spring or anytime book! Lisa Steel does a wonderful job helping kids understand raising, caring for, and hatching chicks.  

My own adorable (and there is absolutely no bias here) niece now has her own little chicks and is loving them so much!  This delightful little book will no doubt be very helpful for her, and I look forward to the time when she decides she is the little chicken expert and starts schooling my Dad.  Haha.  For disclosures sake, if there is any way you don’t believe that said niece is adorable the pictures included in this review will definitely squash those doubts.  If it doesn’t, one may need to check their vision.  Haha!  But seriously….  Okay, we’ll move on…A Childrens Book Review You Cant Miss

Let’s Hatch Chicks

One of my favorite parts of Let’s Hatch Chicks is the day by day growth and development explanation of their entire lives, from embryo to hatch day!  Even having grown up on a farm with chickens, there is still so much learned in this little book!  There is even a glossary in the back!  Violet, our sweet chicken guide, takes us through all we need to know with wonderful illustrations drawn by Perry Taylor.

Get Your Copy Here

One could easily utilize this book to do lessons, whether homeschooled or not.  My brain came up with so many cute lesson plans with this one!  I love that so many things can be used to educate our children!  This girl truly feels that there are lessons in everything, and that teaching them is essential to the success of our children.  I included lessons for you to use in my review of Don’t Ever Look Behind Door 32 but I’ll let you come up with your own on this one.  Seriously toying with the idea of creating little lessons to go along with these adorable books!   Perhaps that project will come to fruition one day.  Anyone interested?

Be sure and check out my post on How to Boost Your Child’s Learning, it’s got some well tested advice!

Mother Sea Turtles

Let me start by saying I have a deep love for turtles.  Not sure why.  One of my dearest friends, T, will pull over and get any turtle she sees out of the road.  Love that woman!  Not just for the turtles, but because that is really a sign of her inner spirit to me.  I guess it’s symbolic!  Anyway, on with the post! Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-05-22 11:23:56.

Can’t-Wait Willow: A Children’s Book Review

***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my 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***

Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-05-11 20:50:05.

The Whale’s Side of the Story! A Children’s Book Review

Originally posted 2013-04-29 15:46:00.

Top Ten Books for Teens by Nicole Grotepas, Author of Blue Hearts of Mars

It seems like there’s a never-ending stream of young adult books coming out on the
market. As a parent, how can you possibly read each one to make sure that you want your
kid reading them? Sometimes you just can’t. So here’s my answer: read the old ones! I
went ahead and made this incredibly helpful list of awesome books that I read when I was
a teenager. A lot of these books I still read, because they’re that good. Unless I have the
memory of a goldfish, all of these books have a PG rating unless otherwise noted.

1. Singularity, by William Sleator. If you want to feed a budding mind, many of
Sleator’s books are perfect for helping the average person understand intriguing and
difficult concepts. I read Singularity when I was in junior high and it turned me on to
nonfiction books by Michio Kaku, a physicist who writes about theoretical physics for
the layperson.

2. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey. I read this series in junior high and loved it. I’m
pretty sure if you have ever fantasized about having your own dragon, the Pern books
will do you good. Dragonflight is great because you get Lessa, the first woman to be a
dragon-rider. So if pioneering women is your thing, and I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t
be, then this is a read for you. This one is more of a high school read.

3. Alanna, by Tamora Pierce. The start of a great series about a girl who becomes a
knight disguised as her twin brother. Need I even mention that I wanted to be a knight, as
well? I did. I wanted to be Alanna.

4. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. I read it as a teen and loved it. It was the first
sci-fi book for me and it’s been a major influence on me regarding leadership, honor,
and character. High school, perhaps, but if you’re concerned, read it first then let your
fourteen-year-old try it.

5. The Girl with the Silver Eyes, by Willo Davis Roberts. I read this when I was pretty
young, but it stuck with me for a long time. The main character is an introvert with the
ability to move things with her mind. I really identified with her because I, too, can move
things with my mind. No, but seriously, she’s a bookworm and I was too.

6. The Boy Who Reversed Himself, by William Sleator. OK, so this seems like cheating,
but Sleator’s books actually deserve to have multiple spots on this list. This book was so
good at helping me visualize what a higher dimension would look like for human eyes,
and not only that, it’s got a thrilling plot that makes you want to keep reading!

7. Seventh Son, by Orson Scott Card. An excellent story. It was such an influence on me
that I really believed I might be able to learn to communicate with cockroaches. Never

happened. But I still love the book.

8. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. I remember thinking it was
such a stupid title. When I finally read it, I really just wanted every book to be this
awesome. But they’re not. Because there can only be one book that is this fantastic,
beautiful, magical, and moving.

9. The BFG, by Roald Dahl. There are so many great books by Roald Dahl, it was hard
to pick just one. I chose this one because it’s the first book of his that I read and it led me
to read all of the others. I’m pretty sure I hoped that I’d get kidnapped by a big, friendly,
giant after I read this book.

10. Strange Attractors, by William Sleator. Yes, yes, I know this list just looks like a
promo piece for Sleator, but I just found out he died in 2011 and I had no idea. I met him
in 2010 at the Southern Festival of Books, and I’m just glad I got to run into him before
he died. He really, really influenced my appreciation for story and science. Strange
Attractors helped me grasp Chaos theory and the book is written as a compelling thriller.

Originally posted 2013-03-30 05:00:00.

Roma Downey’s Little Angels Prayers for Every Day Review and #Giveaway #RealRomaDowney

Praying is such a personal thing, our own personal talk with God where we know He is listening to us, the Bible says he hears our cries.  I know that praying is something I’ve always done, but I don’t remember being taught how to do it.  I am fairly certain that I probably learned at the table with my parents and grandparents, as well as by watching my Pa-Pa, who is a preacher, pray every Sunday.   Regardless of how I learned, I am so very thankful that I learned how to do so.  I’ve spent many times crying out to God in prayer!
Roma Downey has written an adorable children’s book of prayers, “Roma Downey’s Little Angels Prayers for Every Day.”  It is amazingly adorable and full of short little prayers that can be the beginning of teaching little ones to pray, not just for mealtime and bedtime, but also for other times.  The book includes prayers for praise, guidance, help and more.  They are short and sweet and a great beginning to helping your little one learn to talk to God.  I really think it is adorable!
The book has over  50 rhyming prayers covering a variety of worries for children.  There are also Bible verses throughout the book.

Originally posted 2013-03-07 02:42:00.