Archives For Book Reviews

Little Angels Prayers for Everyday by Roma Downey

Little Angels Prayers for Everyday by Roma Downey

Remember your own bedside prayers? This book, Little Angels Prayers for Every Day, by Roma Downey with Illustrator Lisa Reed, brings back memories of some of my favorites.

This is so sweet for children ages about 2-6, in my opinion. Through this series, which teaches about God’s love, children can derive comfort and have their own special book!

Little Angels Prayers for Every Day offers children their own handbook of prayers. With likeable characters, such as the twins Alex and Zoe and their guardian angels and plenty of rhymes this book will be a nice gift for little hands. I like that the book is a padded board book, with 32 pages and a smaller size for young children. (6.25 x 7.25)

There are over 50 simple prayers for children to identify with and enjoy. The rhyming prayers start with morning prayers and continue throughout the day.

The book includes prayers for specific times, such as prayers to ask the Lord for help or guidance. Relevant Bible verses are included on many pages. I really think this is a good book for little ones to pore over.

We will be sending ours to a special little cousin!

See more on the website, on their Facebook page, on the author’s twitter or even on youtube.

Want to win a copy? Just leave me a comment letting me know who you want to win this book for!

I will draw a winner on March 15, 2013.

“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.”

Christian Children's books, Faith, Children's Books

Well written Children’s Books

I just got an email about this and wanted to share~ we have some of these and they are very well written and discuss issues important to children with a Christian perspective. Things like, why does Dad not have a job to why should people have faith. Here are some:

Select Seasons of Faith picture books are just $5 each. That’s 50% off! Choose from the following titles for your little valentine:

  • The King’s Daughter
  • The Red Boat
  • The Prize Cake
  • Saying Farewell
  • Race with Midnight
  • Braving the Storm
  • Seventy Times Seven
  • You Can’t Come In

Sale ends February 14, 2013! Online: www.shopcbh.org

Just a solid series of books. The illustrators vary, but they are usually cute. This would be a real heart gift! 

You may also want to look into their devotional magazine for kids, called Keys for Kids.

My daughter loves these. They do ask for a donation, but they also offer a free subscription (one per family).

*I am actually not an affiliate, I just like these:)

CBH Ministries

CBH Ministries

Ryken’s Bible Handbook Review

Heather —  February 6, 2013
Ryken's Bible Handbook, Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, Bible as literature, Bible Reference

A great addition to a home library.

Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, James Wilhoit , Hardcover, 672 pages, Trim Size 5 1/4 x 8

One of the fun things for me in reviewing faith based books is finding out things my husband knows and never mentions! Yes, my husband went to Wheaton and I love asking his opinion.

When I received this book my husband picked it up and mentioned that Philip Ryken is currently the President of Wheaton College.

I found it interesting, that one of the authors of this Bible Handbook is the president of Wheaton. (although, psst, he was not yet when this book published)

I became curious about Ryken’s history. Turns out, Ryken’s father is Christian literary scholar and Wheaton professor, Leland Ryken, and Philip Ryken graduated from Wheaton College with a double major in English literature and philosophy. He also received a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1992, and a Ph.D. in historical theology from Oxford in 1995.

After learning all this about the authors, I understand better why they would write such a Bible handbook, a Biblical reference that looks at each individual book in the Bible as literature, while also looking at the Bible as a whole, complex piece of literature full of literary genres, from the poetry of the psalms to the story parables.

This is a reference book that is extremely detailed, yet somehow fun to read! The reference goes through each book of the Bible, all 66. It is very easy to pick it up as you are studying a particular book of the Bible and just glean a little bit more about what you are reading. You also can just read the entire book as a book, it is so fascinating. I like how the authors break everything down into bits of information.

The beginning portion looks at how the Bible functions as a whole piece of literature. What the main storylines and themes are. You’ll look at the big characters. For example, God is the chief protagonist. (no surprise there, right?)

The main section is where you will go through the Bible book by book. For example, in looking at the Book of Esther, you will see an explanation on how Esther is a unified narrative, with a single main plot.

You will see the structure and unity of the story in (of) the Book of Esther. Little sidebar extras mention the “numbers” that are important in the story of Esther (i.e. 10 banquets). You get a rundown of the key places and characters, key doctrines and themes, tips for teaching the book, a quick overall overview and a lesson in what a “Hero” story is. As you finish up, there is a portion that describes the “Contribution of this Book to the Bible’s Story of Salvation in Christ.” This is a great bit of wrap-up, I think. Finally there is a bit on applying the book and some quotes that offer other’s perspectives on this book. In about eight pages, you can learn so much about what to look for in the book of Esther.

This is done for each book of the Bible. Some are, understandably much longer than the Book of Esther, yet still not ever boring.

In the back, you’ll find a one year Bible reading plan and about 15 pages of colorful maps.

I really recommend adding this book to your library. Five stars from me.

 

*I received a copy of this book to review from Tyndale House Publishers.

 

 

The Vertical Self Review

Heather —  February 5, 2013
The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers

The Vertical Self by Mark Sayers

When I read about this book, through Tommy Nelson and Booksneeze, it sounded fantastic. The theme of the book seemed to be about sifting through our misguided media driven culture to find our true self in Christ.

However, when I received this book for review, I had trouble getting into it. The prose seemed too wordy, almost verbose and I found my mind wandering while reading. I was surprised as I rarely do that. So, I put the book aside for awhile. I got it out again, and read a few more chapters several months later. I thought some of the author’s examination of our media driven culture to be interesting and I agree that we, individually are more controlled by imagery in the media than we suspect, yet, I still felt the book was lacking cohesiveness to me. I figured it might be written with a really specific audience in mind and I was not that audience.

I did feel that the information given was good and reflected biblical truth, yet it just was too dry for me. I ultimately did not even finish this book and donated it to our church library.

*BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

 

Margaret McSweeney’s Aftermath

Heather —  August 26, 2012

aftermath

Have you ever felt totally at a loss to know how to help when someone experiences a loss? Do you sometimes worry about how you will handle loss, or have you experienced the difficulty of losing a loved one?

If so, I recommend this book.

I decided to review the book because I really want to be more able to help others when they experience loss in their lives. I was a bit worried the content would be unsettling and sad, and of course in some ways it is!

Yet, grief touches us all and I want to understand ways to help. I am about halfway through this book, and so far, I feel I have more tools to understand grief and ways to help people who are grieving. I especially like Margaret’s openness about her relationships, the poetry in the book and the tips from grief experts.

The Official Word:

Growing in Grace Through Grief

“Loss is a four-letter word that grips our hearts and gridlocks our lives. Grief can hold us captive until we surrender it to God. How do we find the necessary grace to journey through the mourning process?

Juxtaposed to the outpouring of her mother’s words about grief, the author shares her parallel journey from the emotional abyss of grief after becoming an adult orphan. With candor, the author shares her own emotions experienced along the spectrum of loss after her parents’ deaths: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—adding interactive options for readers.

Five sections cover these common emotions and provide:

  • comfort Scripture lists
  • counsel sections from grief experts
  • chronicling sections with detailed helps
  • tangible handles on dealing with grief during holidays, capturing loved ones’ legacy, and more. ”

Margaret McSweeney is a well-published author often writing online articles for Make It Better (the former North Shore Magazine) and freelance articles for the Daily Herald, the largest suburban Chicago newspaper. In addition, she has authored and compiled several books including A Mother’s Heart Knows; Go Back and Be Happy; Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace and most recently, Mother of Pearl. www.margaretmcsweeney.com

Buy the Book and See the Blog Tour

I received the book Aftermath in order to review. I have given my opinion.

child using e-reader on iPad

It is Summer! An extra good time to relax and learn while having a good time…

As a home educator and a mom, I really count on technology to provide my kids with all kinds of resources and activities.

The tech resource getting the most use lately in our homeschool and home is my our iPad.

From using safari for quick research, to watching documentaries, to reviewing apps with whiteboards and algebra, my teens get a lot out of the iPad. My youngest really likes the iPad most for watching shows and playing games. I am okay with that, but I try to find at least educational games and things for her on there.

A new e-reading platform launched by Ruckus Media Group called the Ruckus Reader turned our iPad into a fun e-Reader for my baby!

The Ruckus Reader IS the main technology. Within that, there are loads of digital storybooks you can download for your children. Right now, I think there are about 30 titles that work with this format. The titles range from the storybooks to interactive readers (iReaders and eReaders) that have both the story and then games and maybe video as well, and also some of my favorites — the video books, great stories narrated by celebrities.

The titles are basically for kids 3 to 8. You will see old favorites like My Little Pony, Curious George, Crayola. Many publishers are working with Ruckus Reader, so there are many ebooks so far, and more are being added all the time. I just got a notice to go update and get a new ebook that was just added, in fact.

I like that there is a real variety of fiction and non-fiction, and the videos and such. My daughter is already a good reader, so I am not using the app to teach reading so much, but for the younger children, many of the titles are designed to build upon each other and help children learn to read, while the included games actually measure the child’s progress.

You can download Ruckus Reader titles individually, but it is great to download the whole library! The price is very reasonable at $24.99 for six months, as you get access to over 25 titles. OR, you can get the first title in a series for free, then pay $3.99 each or 2 for $5.99. My daughter and I loved getting the entire library, it felt like Christmas downloading like crazy!

Our favorite titles in this Ruckus Reader?

I love, love the SeaWorld Bookshelf. This includes Sharks, Penguins and Whales.

My daughters favorites include My Little Pony and Transformers.

We are both looking forward to one that is coming: Cyberchase!

There is a nice twist on this App, as it keeps track of my child’s progress and emails me updates, called the Reader Meter, weekly.

So what are the Cons?

  1. I worry that I will lose all the ebooks we have if I do not get this again in six months.
  2. I wish all the ebooks would stay under one main icon on my iPad (I hate having lots of icons all over the screen)
  3. Although the technology for the reading is designed around state standards, it is still a new technology. So far, my meter reader is a little off and doesn’t “know” that my child is a good reader. I have seen this with several of our technologies that keep track of childrens progress. It is still a developing technology.

What are the Pros?

  1. I have tons of really well designed eReaders, iReaders and Videos right on my iPad desktop.
  2. With the six month subscription, I have almost 30 ebooks already, o that is less than .99 cents an eReader, iReader or video. And, I will continue to get more.
  3. All are educational in nature and suitable for her age. She does not get frustrated and need help, but sits and plays.
  4. The titles include tons of characters she knows like Curious George and My Little Pony, plus old classic stories that she enjoys.
  5. Most of these titles have options so they can read the book to the child and they lead the child in the games
  6. The reader meter does keep track of what my child spends time on and I can eve email that info to her dad and grandparents (you can set it to email to up to four email accounts)
  7. The App notifies me when new titles are available.
  8. I love the little library shelves in the App. Adorable setup

All in all, I really recommend the Ruckus Reader App. Go take a look! You can connect with Ruckus Reader:

Website

Facebook

*I received a trial membership for Ruckus Reader in order to do this review. I have given my honest opinion.

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emma holding Gabby's Stick to it Day Book

As you can see in the video, my daughter really enjoys Sophie and her guardian angel, Gabby. We have the two books that are currently available and I think this is a great series for little girls, ages 3-7, to collect and share with others. Sophie resonates with little girls and I know my little girl loves the idea of having a guardian angel.

The characters and events really help little ones see how our faith is lived out in the world. A memory verse is good, but teaching it through story makes the concept and meaning so much clearer.

I find the illustrations absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful colors, a bit of glitter and girly swirls. The facial expressions are so well drawn. This book is a pleasure to look at and I am glad it is hardcover.

Gabby’s Stick-to-It-Day

Gabby is a little guardian angel with a big job to do! Watching over Sophie is hard work, but Gabby knows that God wants her to stick to it.

Author Sheila Walsh is a Bible teacher, speaker, singer, and best-selling author. Visit www.sheilawalsh.com

Read more reviews or Buy the book. See our review of the first book in this series.

And there is more!

Meet Gabby for yourself here. || Read what people are saying here.

Enter today – Sheila and her publisher, Thomas Nelson, have put together a prize package worth over $200!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • A brand new KINDLE Fire with Wi-Fi
  • Gabby, God’s Little Angel
  • Gabby’s Stick-to-It-Day

But wait! There’s more …

The winner will be announced on the Gabby Landing page on 4/2/12. In the meantime, enter to win the Kindle Fire then head over to the TommyNelson site and download the Gabby coloring sheets, watch Sheila’s Gabby video, sign up for news about upcoming Gabby and Thomas Nelson products, and much more.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

*I received a copy of Gabby’s Stick to it Day for my review from LitFuse. I have received no other compensation and have given my opinion.

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Children and Love Languages

Heather —  March 27, 2012

Have you heard of love languages?

This basic idea is that people give and receive love and affection in various ways.  Sometimes, if the love language being used by one person is not understood or appreciated by the other, there is a lack of communication. The original Five Love Languages book helped couples learn to love each other even better.

Two new resources, The 5 Love Languages for Children and A Perfect Pet for Peyton, have just been released. One helps parents understand the love languages of their children and the second allows children to explore these concepts about love languages.

I got a copy of both of these books to review. I am reading through the adult one and meanwhile, my daughter and I have been having fun with the children’s book.

I actually find it easier to understand and remember the love languages using a kid’s book! The book’s concept is unique for kids and features a birthday adventure, almost a quest where kids learn about the five love languages.

Young readers can even take a quiz at the end to help determine their own love language. I like the colorful, fun illustrations and I appreciate that the book is a nice length at 64 pages and has a sturdy hardcover. This is a book children will want to read and reread again and again.

Buy or find out more, A Perfect Pet for Peyton: 

http://www.5lovelanguages.com/resource/a-perfect-pet-for-peyton/

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