Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Candle Prayers for Kids by Claire Freedman

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

My Thoughts:

At first, I didn't like this book at all. Jonathan and I made fun of it a bit as we read through some of the prayers. While I still don't like parts of it, I DO appreciate it more than I originally did. You just have to keep in mind that not all of the prayers will be appropriate for every child at every time. Think of them as examples!

Many of the prayers are *super* specific.

"Dear God,
My uncle and auntie came to visit.
They brought me a huge teddy.
My uncle told me funny jokes.
Thank you for my uncle and auntie, God.
Goodnight, God.
P.S. Teddy says goodnight, too!"

I don't imagine it's that common for aunts and uncles to bring a huge teddy when they visit. Maybe occasionally. ;)

This didn't bother me at all, but just so you know, there's lots of British talking within this book. For example, Mummy, maths, "get on" instead of "get along", etc.

This did bother me.

"Dear God,
Our world is millions of years old....."


There ARE lots of wonderful, beautiful examples of prayers for little ones in here, though.

"Dear God,
Thank you for the changing seasons.
For the beauty of spring,
When lambs are born and flowers
bloom everywhere.
For long hot summer days,
When we can play outside and
enjoy the sunshine.
For autumn, when the fruit is
ripe for picking,
And leaves tumble from
the trees: red, gold,
and yellow.
Thank you for the snows
and ice of winter,
That turn our fields
into white winter
Thank you for the
seasons, God.

Overall, we'll take some and leave some!

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Purchase Link:

Candle Prayers for Kids

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Move On: When Mercy Meets Your Mess by Vicki Courtney

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

You may remember that Vicki’s book, Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos, was one of my favorite reads last year. I couldn’t resist this one!

I’ve been hanging onto this post for awhile now, because I’ve had so much going through my mind about the book. Honestly, I’d prefer to just hang onto my thoughts, and not even write them out. I do tend to get personal in many of my reviews, but I’m choosing to discuss the basics in this one, and keep a great deal of the thoughts I’ve had to myself. I’ll add in right here that there was a great deal of deleting going on as I wrote this.

I will say that the Lord has really been working on me in the area of “judgment”. He’s showing me just how judgmental I’ve been, and it’s been a hard lesson to chew on. This book has been one of the ways He’s worked on me.

Also, I’ve made it no secret that I’m probably the most emotional person you could ever meet. Vicki made me cry on page x. That’s right. I cried in the preface, before the pages were even numbered. I cried and learned my way through this book.

You can really read this book in two ways: the person in the mess, or the person judging the one in the mess. We’ve all been on both sides! Some of us may *seem* to have smaller messes, but we all have messes in some way or another. Vicki starts out by telling us a little more about her life before accepting Christ. She tells about her experience as a child(and even older) going to church service and feeling like an outsider. She tells about some of her bad decisions, including an abortion, and the price she’s paid and the judgment she’s faced. She also tells of her life after becoming a Christian and some of the judgments she’s doled out, or the times she’s did the right thing. I learned a great deal about both sides. I don’t remember a time not going to worship service as a child, so seeing through Vicki’s eyes as a child has changed me.

I’m just a mess, in general, right now, and I’m grateful the Lord is constantly working on me. I’m grateful He put this book in front of me, too.

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Purchase Link:

Move On: When Mercy Meets Your Mess

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Slave Again by Alana Terry (Book Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!!!)

Special Discount ~ Limited Time Only
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About Slave Again: After escaping a North Korean prison camp, Mee-Kyong is
hustled over the border and sold into the Chinese underworld. She vows to
survive, but sheer determination and willpower won’t save her this time. Is she fated to remain a slave forever?

Slave Again is a Christian suspense novel from award-winning author Alana Terry, whose debut novel, The Beloved Daughter, won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, The Book Club Network, and Readers' Favorite.

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 Slave Again book trailer (contains one mildly violent image)

About the Author: Alana is passionate about human-rights issues in North Korea and has devoted her writing to raise both awareness and funds to help North Korean refugees find freedom and safety. You can learn more about her work with Liberty in North Korea at

Check out Slave Again now before the price goes up, and don't forget to enter the giveaway!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Draw-A-Saurus: Everything You Need to Know to Draw Your Favorite Dinosaurs by James Silvani

Purchase Link:

Draw-A-Saurus: Everything You Need to Know to Draw Your Favorite Dinosaurs

My Thoughts:

As I've recently mentioned here at my blog, I have the desire to learn to draw/paint/color. I've been practicing with some of the step by step drawing books. Nope. I'm still not any good at it, BUT I did draw a Viking a few days ago, and without me telling him, Grasshopper knew what it was and seemed pretty proud of me. ;)

When I saw this book, I couldn't resist! I knew if I could learn to draw a dinosaur, my boys would automatically think I was a little more fun. Who doesn't want to be a fun mommy?!

When it comes to dinosaur books, I expect to read about evolution. Most of the time, I can ignore it. There's only been a few that were so overwhelming with the "millions of years ago....." that I decided to just remove them from our home. This book DOES include a bit of evolution talk, but a young Christian artist can still learn from the drawing lessons without very much "overlooking". There's little dinosaur facts mixed in with the drawing lessons.

This book is definitely targeted towards children! It's filled with bright and fun colors, and lots of humor and silliness. I didn't notice it until the book was in my hands, but there's a dinosaur skipping along with a basket of blueberries. There's lots of fun things like that throughout.

As a beginner myself, I don't think this is the best book to get a child just learning to draw. I definitely think it would be best for a child that already knows some basics. I've been using super beginner step by step books. This one has far fewer steps, along with much greater detail, and even lessons in coloring the dinosaurs. That's definitely not a complaint! I just think I will benefit from it a little more into my journey. That hasn't stopped me from practicing the dinosaurs within this book, though. Mine just don't look anywhere near the finished product(and that's okay, right now).

If you have a young person in your life that has a bit of drawing practice already, this is a fun option! 4 of my nephews have requested drawing books/supplies for Christmas within the past few years, so I'm keeping this one in mind should they request another one.

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the Author:

JAMES SILVANI is an artist and illustrator and has drawn characters for Disney, Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Comics. Currently he is a comic book illustrator for titles like Disney’s Mickey Mouse, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and The Muppets. Silvani has drawn dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts since childhood, and now puts those skills to use in art workshops at libraries, schools, and comic book conventions. Silvani is a resident of Kihei, Hawaii.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Your Core by Callie Grant

My Thoughts:

We've greatly enjoyed the other Graham Blanchard books, so I was more than thrilled to give this one a try, too.

Your Core is a simple book, with very few words within it.

"A core is something on the inside.
Balls have a core.
Apples do too."

(5 page spread)

Each page has bright, colorful pictures to illustrate its point, and the book ends with a Bible verse.

Ephesians 3:16-17

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith."

In Your Core, your little one gets a lesson in cores, tying it to their core(soul). Admittedly, tying the core lesson to souls was difficult for my 3 and 5 year olds to grasp. They understand cores, in general. They realize an apple has a core, and that's where the seeds are. Telling them that their core is their soul was confusing for them. We haven't really talked about "souls" as a topic, though, and the fact that they have one. I hope it would go without saying, but we DO talk about God and Heaven(even though we get questions sometimes we don't know how to answer). We just haven't taught using the term "soul" very much. (I don't know whether to feel horrible about this or not now!) ;)

That said, I still appreciate this book! We got a mini science lesson(like some of the others in this series), and what's not to like about that?! I also like that you can go to the Graham Blanchard webpage and get extra resources for each book. I downloaded a "tip sheet" with various ways to help teach the book's message to my little ones. This is a perfect, gentle way to add a science lesson into our day, and it's been a great way to encourage me to teach my little ones about what exactly a soul is. Challenging their minds is a good thing, so I'll keep talking with them about it.

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

**Just a heads up: There's 8 copies being given away at Goodreads, so make sure you get your name in the hat!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Berenstain Bears: Blessed are the Peacemakers by Mike Berenstain

Purchase Link:

The Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights)

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

You may remember a couple of weeks ago, I posted about how The Berenstain Bears are hit/miss for me. Since we enjoyed God Shows the Way, I thought we could give this one a try, too. Also, we recently talked about how Joseph(Son of Jacob) was a peacemaker while he was in prison, attempting to tie that to how we shouldn't fight with our brothers. I thought this book would be a good read to reinforce that lesson.

In Blessed are the Peacemakers, we meet two "gangs". One gang is a group of troublemakers, and one is a group of smart kids. Since Brother and Sister Bear like to get along with everyone, they weren't a part of either group. They become the peacemakers when these two groups are fighting. At one point, the fighting becomes so bad that a few adults have to step in and be the peacemakers.

Bullying is such a tough topic! In this story, Brother and Sister step in between two *groups* of fighting bears and Cousin Fred says a Bible verse, which stops the fight. In reality, that most likely would have bought him a punch in the face, instead of peace. Even so, I think the author did a pretty decent job of getting the message across, especially with such a short read. With bullying, I would recommend to my children that they find an adult, if possible, especially when so many others are involved. Of course, I don't ever want them to stand by and do nothing at all. They're still so young(Grasshopper isn't an average 5 year old) that I haven't really got into what they should do if someone is being bullied. Again, it's a tough topic, and there's so many possibilities to consider.

For the most part, I focused on how we don't fight with our brothers, and how we don't make fun of others because they are different than us, or like different things. We're all God's children. Grasshopper is very sensitive to things like that. Typically when I explain that we don't say certain things that could embarrass or hurt someone's feelings, he takes it pretty seriously. I like when books like these give us openings to discuss different topics that don't come up in everyday life for us. With many things in life, it's better to discuss things before it happens, as opposed to after. (There's also some discussion questions listed in the back.)

Overall, while not perfect, I appreciated this book and the discussions that resulted from it.

*I was provided a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.