Friday, February 28, 2014

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan



Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy Book 1) by Sarah Rees Brennan

Random House Books for Young Readers (September 11, 2012) 386 pages

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

While it's really *much* more complicated than this, Unspoken is about an imaginary friend come to life. How cool is that?! Kami has always talked to and heard someone in her head named Jared. Little did she know that he's a real person.

There's a great mystery throughout most of the book, and I found myself flipping the pages to find out what it was. I don't read much paranormal. I tend to stick to the fantasy/fairy tale realm of books when I venture that direction. There's two groups in the paranormal realm that I really don't like. They typically make me a little uncomfortable. BUT! I have enjoyed books in the past with these groups. Again, though, if I know ahead of time, I'm most likely to stay away. Unspoken contains one of those groups that I avoid. It'd completely be a spoiler to tell you, so I won't. It made me a little uncomfortable at times after I knew, though.

The humor in this story was such a joy! Oh, how I loved the sarcastic humor of Kami and Jared. I laughed out loud quite a bit. Thankfully, when my children hear me randomly laugh out loud, they laugh with me. Really, who needs a reason to laugh?!

Mercy, how I disliked the ending of this book! It made me furious, and I felt so helpless, and I wanted to CHANGE it! Plus, it's a cliffhanger, and reminded me why I like to wait for all the books in a series to be out before reading it. There were also some issues that came to light that clashes with my Christian beliefs.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book!!!! I really did! But, I'll probably read spoiler reviews for the remaining books.

Content:

Mild profanity throughout, with a one or two requests for God to "da**" a person. Religious expletives. Homosexuality.

*Thanks to my local library for providing me with an e-copy of this book to read!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck



Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding Series) by Rachel Hauck

Zondervan (February 4, 2014) 368 pages

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

Princess Ever After is a story about a small town girl being told one day that she's actually a princess. If you're like me, your mind automatically thinks of The Princess Diaries(in my case, the movies, not the books). I just adore those movies, and if the chance arises, I'll gladly spend a rainy day watching them. Really, though, I'm a sucker for princess stories in any form!

Reggie loves old cars and restoring them. She's working to start her own car restoration business when the news of her princess status is made known to her. Though a shock at first, she remembers more and more of her time with her great grandmother, and the news isn't so surprising, after all.

This is now my third book to read by Hauck, and I'll gladly pick up anything she's written! Being a Southern girl myself, I adore the Southern charm she always brings into her stories. Within the 3 that I've read, there's always been a bit of a supernatural element, too. (As *fiction*, I'm fine with this and actually enjoy it.)

The romance takes a long while to show itself in this story. I'm all for a romance coming along slowly, but I do wish that there was more within more of the story. When it does show up, it's very sweet, though! I spent most of the story not really caring for the leading male, but thankfully, he was redeemed in my mind by the end.

As is the case with the life of a princess, the story does turn political at times. To be honest, these parts went right over my head, and I didn't overly care for them. Even if you don't like political topics in your books, I still think you'll enjoy this one just fine.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed myself in another Hauck book. It wasn't my favorite of hers, but still a lovely story!


*Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and Zondervan for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!


PRINCESS EVER AFTER $200 “Princess” Giveaway and Facebook Party with @RachelHauck!

Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of her latest "swoon"-worthy romance,  Princess Ever After, with a fun $200 "Princess" prize package giveaway and a Facebook "Princess" party on March 6th. Grab your tiaras and RSVP today!



princessever-400-click


 
One winner will receive:


  • A $200 Visa cash card (buy your very own "princess ever after" gown or tanks of gas for your "royal" ride)
  • Princess Ever After, Once Upon a Prince, and The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 6th. Winner will be announced at Rachel's "Princess" Facebook Party on March 6th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of "royal" book chat, princess-themed trivia, laughter, prizes, and an exclusive look at the next book in the Royal Wedding series!




So grab your copy of Princess Ever After and join Rachel and friends on the evening of March 6th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 6th!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Like Giving by Brad Formsma



I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life by Brad Formsma

WaterBrook Press (February 18, 2014) 224 pages

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

I was able to squeeze in an extra review this week! :D

At the end of last year, I read(and loved) Hospitality: In the Spirit of Love by Peggy Simpson, which is a wonderful little hidden gem in the world of books! This seemed like a great follow-up read. And, it was!

I Like Giving is filled with stories of people who have went beyond the ordinary ways of giving, and thought outside the box. While there's nothing wrong with the little ordinary ways of giving(!!!), there's SO much more that all of us could do to help someone in need. It was a great way to open my mind.

Jonathan will quickly tell you I'm the least trusting person out there. I'm OCD about locking doors. I dislike the dark. If we're driving down the road, and we see someone walking on the side of the road, I'm hitting the lock button on the door. That said, I still think that the world is generally full of hospitable people. I think more than not, we're people with good hearts. We WANT to help. For me, though, I struggle with talking myself out of things. I've witnessed this with others, so I know I'm not alone. I worry about someone thinking I'm "stupid" for doing this or that. I worry it won't be received well. And, really, I have some UNsuccessful stories I could share(but I won't). Rejection, in any form, hurts. So, I need constant encouragement in the area of hospitality.

This book covers all the bases with giving, though! It covers the rejections and the "bad" stories. It won't always be easy, and it encourages you to keep moving. It covers the instances of "failure" and/or being taken advantage of.

"The key in all these situations is to remember that giving to others is not only about how the receivers respond. Sometimes we need to give more than other people need to receive. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own little worlds of self-focused living that, even in giving, we can get caught up focusing on ourselves." (page 50)

It also covers being on the receiving end of hospitality.

When Grasshopper(5) was born, he was 3 months early. He was at a hospital about an hour away from our home. We were prepared to drive back and forth, but a local congregation took us right in. They provided us an apartment(rent free) just minutes away from the hospital. They paid the water and the power. (All for the 3 1/2 months he was in the NICU) Members of the congregation donated furnishings for the apartment. They even gave us a gift basket that included gift cards to some local restaurants. We were(and still are) AMAZED at the generosity shown to us(complete strangers!)! When we were first approached by the minister at this congregation we were a little hesitant to accept such a generous offer. He told us that people WANT to help! They enjoy it! BUT, we have to LET them. Sometimes it's harder to be on the receiving end, but it's just as important to accept hospitality given to us. I loved that this book touches on that very thing, too.

"Once you experience the joy of giving, you realize that other people feel the same way when they give to you. Receiving might be harder than giving, but if you think about the joy the givers are receiving when they give to you, that will help you open up to receiving. You know that refusing the gift would deny them that joy." (page 164)

My only complaint is that *to me* this book comes off a little "braggy" at times, and I struggled with it(because I am far-so very far-from perfect). Don't get me wrong! I'm not claiming anyone had less than honorable intentions, but I wish that all the stories had been done completely anonymously. (Matt. 6:1-4)

Overall, though, I found this to be a super quick and encouraging read! Although there's mention of Christianity and God, I wouldn't overly call this a Christian book. Of course, I would have preferred a little more focus on the Lord's hand in things, but it's one I think both Christians and Non-Christians can benefit from reading.

*Thanks to Shelton Interactive and Waterbrook Multnomah for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Golden Daughter by Anne Elisabeth Stengl Cover Reveal



Y'all know how excited I am about this right?! :D Just a few days ago, my copy of Shadow Hand arrived. I was one happy girl! I looked at the clock and asked Jonathan if he thought the mail had arrived yet, and he asked me if I was expecting anything. "Yes!" :D I plan on reading it this/next week.

Make sure you stop by Anne Elisabeth's blog today. She will have links to other cover reveal participates and an interview with her cover designer.

I won't keep you waiting any longer! Here it is. The cover for Golden Daughter.




BACK COVER COPY:

BEYOND THE REALM OF DREAMS IS A WORLD SHE NEVER IMAGINED Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch? For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn.


Here are all the covers together:



Aren't they all just beautiful together?! :)

Hannah Williams created this work of art of go along with the cover reveal.



I can't stop looking at it! I'm just amazed at the talent! I'm especially loving the unicorns at the top.

Which cover is your favorite?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Didn't Finish

Despite the fact that I chose not to finish any of these books, there's still potential. I'll mention them in case there's one you might like.




Pretenders

I started reading this one thinking it was non-fiction. Sad, I know! It's told in diary form by several characters, and I had a hard time keeping them straight. Honestly, though, I just felt like I was wasting my time reading it. It wasn't my kind of read(at least right now).

From looking at reviews, it seems it ends on a huge cliff-hanger, which bugs me anyway. :P Ultimately, I decided to move along.




The Lord of Opium

This book is the sequel to The House of Scorpions. I had full intentions of reading it first, but it didn't work out. I really wish I'd made time for The House of Scorpions first, though. I felt like I was missing so much back information. I've heard great things about The House of Scorpions, so maybe if I'd read it first, I'd like this one more. I kept coming back to it over and over for weeks, and just couldn't get into it.

The book has a very dark, political, science-y feel to it, so if that's your thing, give it a try!




Sidekicked

I'll still probably come back to this one at some point, just because I fully expected to like it. I know it's sad, but my biggest turn off was when the main character's dad was heard appreciating another woman's body(while his wife was in the next room). I find that completely inappropriate in a middle grade book. Y'all are used to me by now, though! ;) Also, I just didn't find myself liking it as much as I thought. For the most part, I seem to be in a reading slump right now, so maybe that's more of my problem.




Crazy Stories, Sane God: Lessons from the Most Unexpected Places in the Bible

This one was much different than I expected. I guess I was hoping for more of a Bible study. It seems to be more like Bible events summarized, and then the author's opinions on what we can take away from it(about God, the people, or us).

Mostly, I just didn't connect with the voice of the book, nor did I like some of the wording. I actually stopped reading when the author said he hated Jacob, and he hated that story.

There really was potential for this one, though!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mind Games by Kiersten White



Mind Games by Kiersten White

HarperTeen (February 19, 2013) 261 pages

Description:

"Fia and Annie are as close as two sisters can be. They look out for each other. Protect each other. And most importantly, they keep each other's secrets, even the most dangerous ones: Annie is blind, but can see visions of the future; Fia was born with flawless intuition—her first impulse is always exactly right. When the sisters are offered a place at an elite boarding school, Fia realizes that something is wrong . . . but she doesn't grasp just how wrong. The Keane Institute is no ordinary school, and Fia is soon used for everything from picking stocks to planting bombs. If she tries to refuse, they threaten her with Annie's life. Now Fia's falling in love with a boy who has dark secrets of his own. And with his help, she's ready to fight back. They stole her past. They control her present. But she won't let them take her future."
My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Thoughts:

The writing style in this book drove me INSANE!! The main character, Fia, comes across as highly hyped up on some caffeine. She's repeating little phrases constantly and jumping from one thought to the other. (I highlighted several examples through the book, but forgot to write them down before returning it.) Really, the author did an amazing job of capturing her troubled mind through the writing. Still, I couldn't deal with it.

The chapters alternate between the two sisters, Annie and Fia. To me, the book still seemed to be Fia's story, though. She has a very dark mind, and though I think I was supposed to, I didn't overly like her. There are some decisions she makes that kind of turned me against her.

I DID enjoy the book enough that I'm curious to know what happens! I think I'll find some spoiler reviews somewhere to find out, though.

Content:

I'd say this is a clean read for an older/more mature YA reader. There's some partying scenes, with dancing, kissing and drinking. There's some violence, and mention of killings/murder. As far as I remember, there was no profanity at all.

*Thanks to my local library for providing me with an e-copy of this book to read.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fun Loving You by Ted Cunningham




Fun Loving You: Enjoying Your Marriage in the Midst of the Grind by Ted Cunningham

David C. Cook (September 1, 2013) 226 pages

My Thoughts:

It was almost by mistake that I ended up reading this book! Another blogger, whose opinion on books I highly value, has recommended the marriage book What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. I've had it on my wish list for awhile. When I saw Fun Loving You, for some reason I thought it was the same author. Since I knew he could write a good book on marriage and it was available for me to read, I grabbed it. I kept thinking the more I read, the more it didn't seem like a book(or writer) this particular blogger would overly enjoy. I finally went to do a little research, and realized my mistake. Paul David Tripp....Ted Cunningham...They almost sound the same, don't they? ;)

Also, if I'd known this was the same author that wrote Young and in Love: Challenging the Unnecessary Delay of Marriage, I'd probably have avoided it. He mentions his thoughts concerning the subject a little in this book. I'm not so sure how much I agree/disagree with him yet. I'm leaning towards disagree from what little he mentions, but I can't say for sure. I only mention that so you know, I'm not necessarily on his side concerning that book.

With this book I'm torn on whether or not to recommend it. My blog is pretty much intended for a female audience, and I can't overly recommend this for *most* female readers. Here's where I'm going to be super vague, because I feel that's best. There was a couple of particular aspects of the book that had a negative impact on me. I'm still working through one of them. If you connect with me at all, just take my word, and avoid it. ;)

On the other hand, there were things I really enjoyed about the book!

First of all, I laughed, and that's always fun. There are even some things in here that were so super corny that I shared them with Jonathan and we both had a good laugh. There was some humor that I felt would be more appropriate for a male reader, though.

Secondly, this is an author that is pumped up for good marriages. Reading this book just made me think of someone hyped up on a few dozen energy drinks. He has a very energetic and humorous writing style. He celebrates two people working towards a good marriage, though, and I have to appreciate that.

Thirdly, the author does a little mini study on The Song of Solomon throughout the book. I loved this! I learned a great deal from it. As much as I hate to admit, there's so much in that book that goes right over my head, yet I've never did a Bible study on it. Fun Loving You not only taught me a great deal about that book, it also gave me the desire to study it more.

Fourthly, there are tons of date ideas and conversation starters within the book. Admittedly, as I mentioned above, a great deal of these are about as corny as you can get, but there were some good ideas in there. They center around a theme, like adventure. It was this list that made me want to try a new restaurant on mine and Jonathan's next date. We tend to stick with a couple of favorites, and who knows, we might add another favorite to our list! (If you get this book for the lists, I'd recommend getting a hard copy, as opposed to an e-book version.)

So. Overall, I came away with some positive. With three little ones, it's too easy to allow the exhaustion to drown out the fun in our days, and this book reminded me how we need to laugh more together. But, there was the negative, too. If I had it to do over again, I'd skip it. :S IF you don't so much connect with me, and you like humorous non-fiction, then this might be a perfect book for you!

*Thanks to Netgalley and B&H Publishing for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

**Through February 19, 2014, you can grab the e-version of this book FREE from Amazon. If you think you might like it, make sure you grab it quickly!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Only the Best by S. Craig




Only the Best by S. Craig

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

Jet's dad has just passed away, and left her with nothing but a run down farm. Her siblings were given millions of dollars worth of money/things. She's used to living the life of luxury, and is left with anger and bafflement as to why her dad would leave his "favorite" child with so little. Then she meets Scott, and he adds humor and frustration to her days as he helps Jet turn the farm around.

Admittedly, it took a little while to appreciate this story. Jet is completely unlikable at the beginning and Scott isn't much better. Jet actually shoots a bull at one point because he looked at her wrong! "What?!" (She pays the price, and it turns out to have probably been a wise decision.) Both Jet and Scott are childish and mean. They fight and argue more like brother and sister a great deal. They called each other names throughout, with stupid being a favorite of theirs.

BUT!

There IS growth! I loved that there wasn't so much as to make one think being a Christian makes a person perfect, though. This is very much a Christian story! (Most would think it gets preachy at times.) At the end we are still left with imperfect characters, and with this story, I think it fit perfectly. Scott and Jet encourage each other to grow and improve in different ways.

A unique feature in this book is the fact that Scott is completely deaf. He reads lips and uses sign language to communicate. Jet knows sign language well, so that greatly helps her relationship with him. It's not everyday that you come across books, especially Christian fiction, that feature main characters with traits such as within these pages.

There is romance within the pages, but it's very tame, which I greatly appreciated. As Christian fiction becomes edgier and edgier, I'm grateful for the authors who do chose to keep their stories gentler for those who prefer it that way. This story is perfectly clean!

The more I read through the story, the crazier the animal events were getting. I was a little confused, and left thinking maybe "farm" books aren't the best fit for this vegetarian, but it DOES all come together! A little mystery and suspense adds itself to the story, becoming my favorite part!

Overall, this was a fun little escape, and I enjoyed it.

*I was provided an e-copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Weekly Randomness

I'm a procrastinator! After some gentle encouragement from my hubby to change that unfortunate trait of mine, I've decided it's time to change!

My ultimate goal is to read any review books and write all of my posts 2 weeks in advance, but for now, I'm aiming at a week in advance.

I've decided that a weekly wrap-up/planning post might be good for me. In this post, I'll mention a few highlights from my week(mainly for my own remembrance). I'll mention what posts are coming up in the next week, and I'll also mention what books are mandatory reads for the coming week and what books I simply want to read. I'm hoping this will help me focus more. Planning my reading a month in advance just doesn't work so well for me, as much as I've tried! There's still quite a few books I read at the end of last year that I liked and want to feature on my blog, and hopefully, put them on your radar, too. Hopefully, this will inspire me to finally get that done.

The setup of this post has been inspired by Bookworm1858's "Weekly Ramblings" posts. I always enjoy reading these! ;)

So, here we go:

Personal:

We got SNOW in our little part of the world!!!!! :D It's a rare event!



My boys were excited to build a little "Frosty" and make some snow ice cream.

*****

I've had some severe pain in my face in the past few weeks. I can't even describe to you just how bad this pain is! After some antibiotics, inflammation medication, Tylox, and Lortab that didn't even begin to touch it, my doctor believes I have some nerve damage. He's sending me to a neurologist, and gave me Neurontin. After a few days on that, I'm giving praises to God for blessing someone out there with the knowledge to create that medicine. I still have pain, but it's not near as often. It wears off by the end of the day, and I'm still having trouble making it through the night due to the pain, but I'm grateful for any relief. I'm planning on a dentist visit as soon as possible to make sure there's not a wisdom tooth problem or tooth nerve damage. I'm ready to be rid of this horrible pain, though. (I'd love any prayers you'd like to send up for me!) ;)

*****

Our oven is fixed!!!! :D After a month and a half of no oven, I've learned just how much I appreciate the thing! We were grateful for Annette's Fettuccini Alfredo recipe! And, these Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake bars were a blessing for my chocolate cravings!

*****

Posts coming up next week:

Only the Best by S. Craig

Fun Loving You by Ted Cunningham

Mind Games by Kiersten White

A post featuring several books that I chose not to finish.

*****

What I hope to read this week:(not set in stone)

Mandatory:
Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck(hardcopy review)

As far as my "fun" reads, these are calling me the most right now, so I'll choose whatever is calling me the loudest as I go, and read as many of them as I can fit in my schedule.

Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl(library e-book)

Death Sworn by Leah Cypress(edelweiss e-ARC)

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley(library e-book)

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (Library e-book: It has the pictures!)

*****

So, how has your week been? What are you reading/planning to read this coming week?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Candle Bedtime Bible



Candle Bedtime Bible by Karen Williamson and illustrated by Cristin Tappin

Candle Books (October 1, 2013) 160 pages

My Thoughts:

The older I get, the more picky I am about Children's Bible related books, I think. I need to go back through many of the Bible related books on our shelves and see if I missed things in the previous years.

This book is somewhat divided into chapters. For example, there's a chapter called, "Troublesome Twins". Within that chapter, there are 7 events about Jacob and Esau. (I try hard not to call anything in God's Word a "story", but it is so hard sometimes!!!) There are 5 pages total for that chapter, and one of them is a full page picture. Many of the "stories" are really one event broken into parts.

At the beginning of the book, there a "contents" section, where you can see what "stories" are 3 minutes, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes. I guess depending on how much time you have when reading will depend on what "story" to pick. ;)

Now to the content. I haven't read through the whole book. I kind of read here and there, but I'm not overly a fan. As always, there ARE some "stories" that I liked the wording. There ARE some of the "stories" that I will most likely use in our Bible study with the boys.

But!

There's also many that I didn't like the wording. There's a great deal of additions of things that MIGHT have happened or things a person MIGHT have thought. Based on my previous experience with a children's Bible book, I went to the rewording of "The Ten Commandments". Once again, this book has Moses writing the ten commandments on a tablet(even in the picture, too), when in Truth God wrote the ten commandments with His own finger. (Exodus 24:12, Exodus 31:18)

Because of that, I know to be especially careful with this book. I haven't read it with my boys yet. I'll pre-read anything that I do use with them. (Of course, that's pretty much true with all of these kinds of books.)

Overall, if you don't mind reading about things that might have happened or been said, then you might really like this particular book! I still recommend being especially careful with anything that *changes* God's Word.


*Thanks to Kregel Publications for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Like Moonlight at Low Tide by Nicole Quigley



Like Moonlight at Low Tide: Sometimes the Current Is the Only Thing That Saves You by Nicole Quigley

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Thoughts:

Do you ever read a book that you really just don't want to review? I'm there right now, unfortunately.

I'm a mommy to 3 little ones. I spend more days in survival mode than anything else, and this simply wasn't the best pick for me right now. I'll let you know right now that my review is NOT the best one to look at as you're deciding to read this book. I'm finding the older I get, the less I can tolerate YA books. Don't get me wrong! I DO still enjoy them, but as I tried recently to re-read one I'd loved a couple of years ago, I couldn't finish it.

Last year, I read(and LOVED) Glass Girl by Kurk. This one sounded similar(though it wasn't) and it had lots of 5 star ratings. I decided to take a chance on it. The main character, Missy(nicknamed Messy), was bullied a few years ago before her family moved away from the torture. When her family moves back, things start changing. Missy is now "hot". When her former crush starts showing her attention, things are looking up in her world. But, there's the Christian neighbor that has grabbed her affections, too.

The main theme of Like Moonlight at Low Tide seems to be suicide and bullying. I appreciate those themes!!!! I think as a teenager, I would have enjoyed this book more. But, there is so much drinking and partying and kissing! It just bugs me like crazy to see a girl hang on so tightly to a guy that treats her like crap. That's pretty much the whole book! There's very little of the book dedicated to her "coming to her senses". (As a memoir of someone who made bad decisions and came to his/her senses, I'm a fan! I've grown to love memoirs, so no one take offense here!) It tells in the prologue that this isn't a suicide book, but I still feel like so much more could have been written in concerning that part.

Again, I appreciate the effort dedicated to the issues of suicide and bullying, but I can't say this book overly worked for me. Mostly, I didn't connect to most of the characters, and I wanted to shout some sense to them. ;)

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

Monday, February 10, 2014

Graham Blanchard Children's Books by Callie Grant WITH GIVEAWAY!!!!

A few months ago, we enjoyed several Graham Blanchard books, so when we got the chance to read more, I didn't hesitate!

First up, there's Little Seed: A Life.



This little board book revolves around Isaiah 61:11

"For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before the nations."(version used in back of book)

It takes us through all the seasons with Little Seed. The illustrations(done by Suzanne Etienne) have a folk-artsy look to them, which I enjoyed. I like that my little ones can even see what's going on underground throughout the pictures(in addition to above ground). I've enjoyed the Christian nature aspect in all of Grant's books! My little ones get a nature lesson AND a Bible lesson.

This excerpt is from the winter portion of the story.

"But God gave Little Seed everything it needed. Its hard coat protected it. Little Seed was safe. All was quiet."

Next, there's Close as a Breath, with illusrations done by Sarah Ackerley.



This book revolves around Romans 1:20.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made..."(version used in back of book)

In this book, we get another nature/science lesson. It follows a little girl asking her daddy various questions about nature and God.

"In God's world stars shine, clouds float, ice melts, and trees renew. God give us air. He gives us life. He keeps His promises to you."

And, finally we have Jesus Saves Me: Knowing My God series



As with all the other books in the "Knowing My God" series, the pictures in the book, done by Jodie Stowe, are realistic. In Jesus Saves Me, our little ones get a lesson in the sheep/shepherd relationship(our relationship with Jesus). So, once again, we get a little nature study AND Bible lesson.

"A shepherd's job is to watch over his flock, or sheep. Shepherds lead sheep to pastures for food........Jesus call Himself a shepherd. Can you guess who His sheep are?"

We've really enjoyed all of these books!

*Thanks to Shelton Interactive for providing me with review copies in exchange for my honest opinion!

Congratulations to Juju!!

Now for the giveaway!

We were sent two copies of each of these books, so one of you will get to own a copy of each of them, too! :D If you'd like to throw your name in the hat for a copy of all three of these books, just leave me a comment.

-For an extra entry, advertise in any way, and let me know how.

-US only
-Ends February 17, 2014
-Winner will be picked by Random.org
-Must be 13 or over to enter.

Good luck! :)