Thursday, December 31, 2009

Corrie ten Boom: Are All Of The Watches Safe? by Catherine Mackenzie

Corrie ten Boom: Are All of the Watches Safe? (Little Lights) Corrie ten Boom: Are All of the Watches Safe? by Catherine Mackenzie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a world where the heroes that kids look up to are falling all around us, it is important to give them some heroes of the faith to pattern their lives after. Are All Of The Watches Safe? is book 3 in a 6 book series of biographies written for young children ages 4 through 7.

This book about the life of Corrie ten Boom is a shortened version of her full story with the focus on God's ability to watch over His children. It begins with Corrie as a little girl learning about God and ends with her teaching others about God after the war had ended.

I liked being able to introduce my children to a woman of faith in simple terms that allowed them to understand she went through being in prison without scaring them. There is no need to wait to share Corrie's story with them, they can begin to learn about her now!

The simple phrases and illustrations are just right for reading to young children or for 6+ year-olds to read alone.

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I review more biographies here!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Look Out For Mater! by RH Disney

Look Out for Mater! (Little Golden Book) Look Out for Mater! by RH Disney

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a whimsical story of Lightening McQueen and Mater having fun that isn't so fun when Mater gets tangled up. While void of any meaningful lesson, it is still a fun story to read for those who like CARS so much. {Ahem.} Like my two-and-a-half-year-old son!

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You can read here for more good books for 2 to 6 year olds.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A fun story about a cute puppy makes your young reader want to read. Twenty-four pages with words repeated over and over help the young reader become familiar and confident while enjoying the process.

It is nice to find an early-reader that is fun to read and has a wholesome storyline. This would be a good book for a child to read aloud to siblings for practice and entertainment.

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For more early-reading recommendations or cautions, please check out this list of reviews.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Roadwork by Walt Disney Company

Roadwork (Step into Reading) Roadwork by Walt Disney Company

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A post CARS story picks up with the cars of Radiator Springs getting ready for many visitors now that Lightening McQueen lives there. Easy to read and a fun story for those who like CARS.

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For more Beginner Reading book click here.

5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter, by Vicki Courtney

5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter by Vicki Courtney

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Vicki Courtney has written a wonderful resource for mothers. 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter is full of encouraging advice about how to approach the tough topics with your daughter at each stage of her growing up years. Topics like:

  • Your are more than the sum of your body parts.
  • Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up.
  • Sex is great and worth the wait.
  • It’s OK to dream about marriage and motherhood.
  • Girls’ gone wild are a dime a dozen – dare to be virtuous.

She not only shares her advice, but her experiences - both good and bad, and information from a lot research that helps you understand the battle we are facing in raising daughters.

While I personally do not agree with absolutely everything Vicki wrote (mostly technique or a particular approach) I would still highly recommend this book for any mom to read no matter how old your daughter is. I have always anticipated having these conversations with my daughters because I want to be the one to share with them rather then let them fall into the world's false beliefs.

I noticed that at times Vicki seemed to be ultra careful in one area and then more "liberal" in another compared to what I would be. When reading/listening to this book I highly suggest you think about the information given and prayerfully make changes in your family in agreement with your husband. I think you will find a lot of helpful information and ideas to aid you in being a better mother to your daughter(s).

The one and only negative I have on this book is that I really did not like the way that it was read on the audio version. However, it was not bad enough to cause me to stop listening. The one caution I have is to make sure you listen to it out of the hearing range of any children of any age. This is most definitely a book for mothers only.

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This review copy was courtesy of Oasis Audio.  Be sure to check out all the wonderful audio books available that can keep you reading despite your busy schedule!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Westley The Big Truck, by James McEwen

Westley, the Big Truck Westley, the Big Truck by James McEwen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Westley, The Big Truck is perfect for any boy (or girl) who really likes trucks. Westley is a shiny red truck that finds himself stuck on a street in the rain. When he gets hauled to the shop to be fixed he learns about the engineer who made him special.

As your child learns about how Westley was created, it leads to setting the stage to talk about how God designed them special, too. This charming short story ties together an adorable story and an important lesson into a well written and illustrated child's book.

My two-and-a-half-year-old son enjoyed this book a lot. It will be one that sits on his shelf and becomes worn with love and reading. It would make an ideal book for any little boy from 2 year of age to 6. There is many a father who would enjoy reading this to their son(s).

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For more good stories for boys please read my “Trucks & Such” reviews!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Read & Share Bible by Gwen Ellis

Read and Share Bible: More Than 200 Best-Loved Bible Stories (Read and Share (Tommy Nelson)) Read and Share Bible: More Than 200 Best-Loved Bible Stories by Gwen Ellis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thomas Nelson has created a children's Bible that has over 200 Bible accounts written in story format based on the International Children's Bible. The illustrations are bright and attention capturing while remaining accurate to Bible times.

Each Bible account/story includes a title, the passage it is taken from, easy-to-read text, and a thought provoking question at the end. I like the format and really have enjoyed using the questions to start good conversations with my 4 and 6-year-olds.

While, I personally would not use that as a Bible for my child, we do enjoy using it as a devotional book or for general reading. It is a good way to read Bible stories to young children ages 1 to 6.

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You can check out my other Devotional recommendations here.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Skid & The Too Tiny Tunnel by Jeffery Stoddard

Skid and the Too Tiny Tunnel: A Story of Courage Based on Deuteronomy 31:6 Skid and the Too Tiny Tunnel: A Story of Courage Based on Deuteronomy 31:6 by Jeffery Stoddard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My almost-three-year-old son has an obsession with trucks, tractors, and all equipment. I have a passion for reading and books. This book mixes both of those things and adds a Biblical lesson, too.

Skid & The Too Tiny Tunnel written by Jeffery Stoddard is a little boys delight to read. skid's adventure is full of big machines and problems to solve. Is Skid really too small to be off use? What will Pillar, the big bulldozer, teach Skid about being a machine?

This book would be perfect for a Father or Grandfather to read to a little boy or maybe a not-so-little boy. I would recommend this for ages 3 to 8 or maybe an "older" 2-year-old. We hope to add the sequel to our bookshelf soon and treasure them for years to come.

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Browse more good books to read for 2 to 6 year olds.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Little Teacup That Talked by Emilie Barnes

The Little Teacup That Talked The Little Teacup That Talked by Emilie Barnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Grandmother is looking for the perfect gift for her Granddaughter. After the Little Teacup shares her story, the Grandmother and Grandfather decide that it is the perfect gift for their Granddaughter.

The sweet Little Teacup is not perfect, in fact she has a chip, but she knows that God uses all things to create beautiful masterpieces of His love. This sweet book with adorable illustrations will have your daughters listening intently and learning how God uses even hard things in their life to mold them into what He wants them to be.

I would recommend it for ages 4 and up. It would also make a very good gift book for a grandmother, mother, or friend. This would also be a wonderful book to read at a Mother/Daughter banquet or any kind of ladies gathering.

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For more good Bible-based kids books, please visit my “Bible Based Kids” reviews.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Hidden Flame by Janette Oke & Davis Bunn

The Hidden Flame (Acts of Faith) The Hidden Flame by Janette Oke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I awoke this morning eager to pick-up where I left off on the fourth CD of this 6 CD audio book. Bunn and Oke had me hovering in my kitchen thinking of more tasks that I could do just to stay near the audio drama brought to my ears.

This is the second book of the Acts Of Faith series authored by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke. They have taken Biblical accounts found in the book of Acts and woven them together with the fiction of their imaginations to create a story that brings life into characters of old.

Never before have I thought about how people must have spread rumors saying that Peter killed Ananias and Sapphira; or thought of how the women must have felt when treated with loving respect by transformed men.

This audio book allows you to step back into time and use your imagination to be there when God shows His power through miracles and His peace through a martyr's death.

The account of firm faith, deep betrayal, and overwhelming loss will keep you riveted and give you a great appreciation for what our Brothers and Sisters went through in the early years of the Church.

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The original book is published by Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group. This audio copy for review has been provided by Oasis Audio.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Marriage: Whose Dreams? by Paul David Tripp

Marriage: Whose Dreams (Resources for Changing Lives) Marriage: Whose Dreams by Paul David Tripp

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is your marriage on the verge of breaking? Do you feel like you're being tossed against the rocks on a seashore?

Do you love your spouse yet feel like there is something missing? Are you longing to experience passion again?

Marriage: Whose Dreams? is a short booklet that will help you answer those questions and redirect your thoughts to the purpose of marriage according to God.

In 17 small and simple pages, Paul David Tripp leads you through several passages found in John and in 1 Peter to show you the meaning of your marriage and how you can rejoice no-matter the state of your marriage.

Sit down for 20 minutes and have your thoughts and heart be re-focused on God and His plan for your marriage.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett

Gingerbread Friends Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jan Brett does not disappoint. This is a charming little story with illustrations that will real you into the story and having you pouring over this book.

The Gingerbread Baby wants some friends and starts his search in the bakery. Despite his cute sing-song rhyme no one can be his friend. But when the adventure heightens and he finally gets home he finds something sweet just for him!

This book if finished by an fold out poster of the last seen that is colorful and bright as every other page. And you will enjoy the wonderful gingerbread recipe that unfolds on the sidebars with each turn of the page. If you like gingerbread and lollipops, you will enjoy this book!

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The One Year Book Of Did You Know Devotions for Kids 2, by Nancy Hill

978-1-4143-2014-4 The One Year Book of Did You Know Devotions for Kids 2, Vol. 2 by Nancy Hill

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Have you ever wondered about how a frog helped to invent the battery? Or maybe better yet, is how that can relate to the spiritual life of a 6-10 year old?

You can find the answer on page 293 of The One Year Book of Did You Know Devotions for Kids, Vol. 2 by Nancy Hill. This year-long devotional for young elementary kids is not only fun and informative, but packed with a powerful Word of Scripture for each day. It is easy to do together with your child or let them read it alone.

The fun facts will get your children excited about coming back for more silly tid-bits and the devotional thought and verse for each day will challenge their young hearts and minds.

Did You Know Devotions, 2 is easy to use with clearly marked pages so that you can begin any time of the year and grow in your knowledge of fun facts...and more importantly in your knowledge of Jesus Christ.

We found this devotional book to be fun, interactive when done together, and applicable to the daily life of a child.

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The review copy was provided by Tyndale House Publishers.

The One Year Did You Know Devotions 2 (One Year Book)

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Theodore: The Adventures Of A Smudgy Bear

Theodore: The Adventures of a Smudgy Bear Theodore: The Adventures of a Smudgy Bear by Edward Ormondroyd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Theodore the bear sometimes gets forgotten by his little girl, Lucy. This time it causes a wild adventure in the washing machine and dryer!

This book is cute with a sweet little story line. However, I would not recommend it to any parents of kids who don't like their stuffed animals to be washed. The scenes where Theodore is being washed and dried are fairly dramatic for short children's book.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pastorpreneur: Outreach Beyond Business as Usual by John Jackson

Pastorpreneur: Outreach Beyond Business as Usual Pastorpreneur: Outreach Beyond Business as Usual by John Jackson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pastorpreneur is a good book for any pastor, deacon, or leader in the local church. This book will challenge you to think outside of tradition and "they way it's always been done" to what is the best way to impact your community for the Glory of God.

John Jackson shares from experience some "outside the box" ideas, including check lists, to help you creatively and effectively reach the un-saved and un-churched.  He addresses 5 strategies in the 156 pages of this book:

  • Grab the Community’s Attention
  • Build Strategic Partnerships
  • Conduct Faith-Building Events
  • Challenge People to Find their Niche
  • Multiply Your Impact

While I can't say that I agree with everything he writes, I do think that this book will help strengthen your vision and plan for reaching new "fish for the bowl" rather than just "swapping fish*". (*Page 55)

As the wife of a pastor I walked away from this book being challenged to really focus on reaching beyond my church connections.  As the author writes about, it’s very easy for the “church goer” to become surrounded by Christians and forget connect with the unsaved by building relationships that will show them the difference in your life.

This book may be a bit wordy at times, but the overall message and challenge is worth your time if you are involved in ministry of any type.

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The review copy was provided by Abingdon Press.

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Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are books that you like and recommend. Then there are those books that you wonder how they even got published. And then there are books like this one that stay with you and you rave to all your friends about it.

Lysa has written a book that will cling to you for days...even weeks...after you have read it, and then browsed the "notes" section because it was that good!

When the book arrived in my mailbox I flipped through the pages in search of the lists telling me what t-do and what not-to-do in my journey of Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl. But it didn't have any lists or nicely bullet-ed points.

Instead this book was like grabbing a steamy cup of something yummy to drink and sitting down for a heart-to-heart talk with my best friend. I laughed. I cried. I laughed some more. I cried again. And I rejoiced!

I rejoiced because Lysa knows how I feel. She knows what it's been like to try and be that good Bible study girl and never seem to arrive. She knows what it's like to do the daily devotional duty and long for something more. And she knows what it's like to desire perfection in life and always be filled with frustration that it's just not happening.

Lysa's book won't tell you what to-do or what not-to-do in the right order at the right time to reach the goal you are desiring so desperately. No, it won't do that. But it will encourage you, refresh you, and excite you as you smell, taste, and hear of hope and real life.

It may be letting go of your expectations or replacing your doubt-filled thoughts with truth. Whatever it is for you, Lysa is your friend, in cream pages in black ink, that will walk you hand-in-hand on this journey to Becoming More Than Just A Good Bible Study Girl.

Oh! And Lysa, if you are reading this...I'm sorry about the cookie crumbs, coffee stains, and tear splatters on the pages...but I had so much fun with you! Thank you for your ministry.

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I received this book unexpectedly from Zondervan and what a blessing it was to me!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Am A Promise by Gloria Gaither

I Am a Promise I Am a Promise by Gloria Gaither

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the song "I Am Promise" and Gloria Gaither has given us a beautiful way to enjoy this song with your children.

This colorful and cutely illustrated book weaves a short storyline together with the words of this song to make it clear to children that God has made them special. The message is that they can do anything that God wants them to do and be anything that God wants them to be.

An audio CD comes with the book so you can read and listen to the song. This makes a great bedtime combo for young kids. It is recommended for ages 4-8, but my younger children enjoy it a lot, too.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Flea’s Sneeze by Lynn Downey

The Flea's Sneeze The Flea's Sneeze by Lynn Downey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All kids like a good bedtime story and what better way to tuck your kids into bed than with one that brings smiles to faces and laughter to the room.

This book of rhythms and repetition is both a kid and parent pleaser. All the barn animals are sleeping soundly except for one. After a good sneeze everything seems better. Well, at least for that animal!

It's silly storyline and verses make it a fun read for parents and a memorable tale for little ones.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tarantula Toes by Beverly Lewis

Tarantula Toes (Cul-de-sac Kids, #13) Tarantula Toes by Beverly Lewis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this 13th book of the Cul-De-Sac Kids club, Jason learns that telling lies and trying to trick your friends can hurt. Literally.

This easy-to-read book for 7-10 year-olds can easily be read out loud to younger kids and be used to teach basic Biblical principles to young readers and listeners.

Beverly Lewis has created characters that kids relate to and appreciate as they read through the series. These books are wholesome and encouraging for young hearts and minds.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2 by Carla Barnhill

 978-1-4143-3445-5 The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2 by Carla Barnhill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Several years ago I read through the first Devotions for Preschoolers and enjoyed it with my two daughters. And now with my son I am once again blessed by this simple book written for little ears and eyes.

Each page holds a dated entry for you to read as a devotional for your preschooler. A title and verse are followed by a short devotional thought and explanation that even a two year old can begin to grasp.

The adorable illustrations will have your attention captured along with your child's as they bring to life the words on the page.

At the bottom of each page is short sentence that sums it all up that you can use to remind your child through out the day of what they learned earlier.

My preschooler, Micah who is 2 & 1/2 as I write this review, loves this book and begs me to read it to him. He doesn't want to stop with just one day...he wants more! It's a book that we love to snuggle up with and spend talking in child terms about Biblical things.

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This review copy was provided by Tyndale House Publishers.

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The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor

The Children's Bible in 365 Stories The Children's Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Children's Bible is a beautiful book/Bible to use with your younger kids on a daily basis. In 365 days it gives a comprehensive overview of the Bible in level that kids can understand and remember.

Each chapter is only several paragraphs long which makes it easy to read in a short amount of time before bed. It tells the Bible accounts accurately at a level the kids will understand without taking away the feel of reading from the Bible.

The pictures are realistic and will stay in a child's mind helping them remember the account and the lesson from it.

This book is great for a kids Bible until they can read, or to use as a nightly devotional for kids in a wide range of ages. I would recommend it for 3 to 9-year-olds, and younger if there are older siblings being read to as well.

Our family uses it right now and all of our kids, (2, 4, & 6), anticipate their father reading to them from this classic and timeless resource.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Jesus Lives by Sarah Young

Jesus Lives Jesus Lives by Sarah Young

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jesus Lives is a beautiful little book filled with 180 short devotional thoughts and verses to go with each one. You can read through the book one thought at a time, or randomly read a devotional chosen from the topical index.

Written as if from Jesus Christ Himself, this book will leave you challenged and comforted. You will read of His great love for you, His desires for you, and His amazing grace.

This would make a wonderful gift for any woman or a great book to set on the coffee table to enjoy through out your day.

I appreciated the beauty of the book and was touched by the messages written through out it's 359 pages. The ability to look up a topic like "Thankfulness", "Emptiness", or "Faith" was very helpful, useful, and encouraging.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a devotional book to complement their daily Bible Reading. Anyone will enjoy and benefit from it.

You can go here to read about the author, Sarah Young.

(This review copy has been provided by Thomas Nelson.)

Shades Of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

Shades of Blue Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It won't be until the end of the book that you understand the title of this book - Shade Of Blue - but in normal Karen Kingsbury fashion, you will quickly be swept up into this story of struggle.

Brad, Emma, and Laura, the main characters, face betrayal, hurt, and forgiveness in a depth that will touch your heart and move you to action in your own life and in your own circumstances.

The focus of this book is on abortion. Karen has written in a way that will bring compassion and comfort to those who have had an abortion and give greater understanding to those who have not.

I almost didn't read this book, but am so glad I did. As I read, I cried more than I ever have with any other book. It's heart-wrenching and comforting all at the same time.

My one caution for this book is in the age of those reading it. Due to the intense nature of the topic I would highly recommend no one under 16 read it, or at least as the parent/guardian read it prior to them.

This will be story I have my daughters read when they get older because of the way Karen was able to capture the emotion of before and after that terrible day in the life of Brad and Emma.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Who Do I Talk To?

Who Do I Talk To? (Yada Yada Series) Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel like I am stepping back into the arms of a beloved friend when reading this series. Especially this book. The sacrificial friendship stood out to me in this story and I could relate to Gabby as she learns to talk to the Only One who can help her.

We pick up in this book right where we left off in the first one of the House Of Hope series. Gabby has been thrown out by her husband and has gone from the lap of luxury to next to nothing. The Yada Yada Prayer Group and other new friends reach out to her and her mother in a way that changes lives. Forever.

This is a long book, but also a very enjoyable one. You get your money's worth when reading this and walk away feeling encouraged.


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