Natural Color

Title: Natural Color
Author: Sasha Duerr
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications
ISBN: 978-1-60774-936-3

“Making natural color from scratch is much like cooking – it’s the same process of using recipes, finding the right ingredients, experimenting, and timing,” Sasha Duerr writes in her book, Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-seventy-two-page hardbound targets those who want to learn more about dyeing fabrics with natural plants, trees, and flowers. After an introduction and explanation of the practice of plant dyeing, five chapters cover the topic, ending with a bibliography, glossary, resources, acknowledgments, and index. Full-color, full-page photographs gracefully cover many pages.

While the beginning is an in-depth discussion what is needed and how to do plant dyeing correctly with different types of fibers, the four following chapters are divided into spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons based on available plants and foliage. Throughout these chapters are instructions for a rose petal curtain, mint table runner with matching napkins, aloe tunic, indigo bedding, hibiscus summer hat, sunflower seed wool rug, madder root scarf, red cabbage baby hat and mittens, and redwood cone sweater to name a few. The last chapter covers mordants, modifiers, and techniques.

~Why ~
Since I have a degree in art, I appreciate books that are detailed in directions and tips when using colors. I like how this one takes common, everyday plants, trees, flowers, and fruits and shows how they can be used as dyes, mainly involving fabrics. Since I have dyed silk scarfs using a microwave oven and powdered dyes that are set with vinegar, I like Duerr’s concepts of using natural items for dyeing instead.

~ Why Not ~
Those who find dyeing messy and time-consuming at times may not appreciate this book that goes into details on coloring fabrics using nature. Others may prefer a book with step-by-step numbered instructions for more simplicity.

~ Who ~
Living in Northern California with her husband and family, the author is a professor at the California College of the Arts with a joint appointment in textiles and fine arts. This is her second book dedicated to natural plant dyes.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a detailed book with many crafts and projects to make that involve natural plant dyeing, this is a keeper. It is ideal for the novice dyer as well as the experienced one who is seeking a particular color in nature.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for a sample to read and review.

This review will be posted on Blogging for Books, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Eden Hill

Eden HillTitle: Eden Hill
Author: Bill Higgs
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1083-2

“The good Lord may yet have something in mind for both of you,” Mavine is told in Bill Higgs’s book, Eden Hill.

~ What ~
At four-hundred pages, this paperback targets those who like Christian historical fiction dating back to the 1960s in America’s South involving small town living. With no profanity, topics of divorce, injury, and death may not be suitable for immature readers. The ending includes a dozen discussion questions and acknowledgments.

Set in 1962 in Kentucky, the unsure Virgil Osgood is perplexed and irritated when he learns a new service station will be built across the street from the one that has been in his family for decades. He does all he can to ignore its new owner, Cornelius, as they vie for clients. With both men’s wives and others in the town including a frustrated pastor’s input, the two must work together to achieve goals they never anticipated.

~ Why ~
If you were born in the late forties or fifties, you remember thinking life was less complicated. In addition to recalling food and household brand names as well as famous actors and singers, you might have experienced your community working together if you lived in a small town. This book shows how men of the era strived for success, women desired attention, and the church was not only for social gatherings; it reiterates reaching out to others, loving your neighbor, and acknowledging God’s constant presence.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories devoted to the 1960s that show daily living including products and brands will pass on this book. Being in my late fifties, I sometimes felt like I was reading an advertisement of the latest item to buy during the period, which may not be interesting to those younger than I.

~ Who ~
Living in Kentucky with his wife, Higgs is a formal broadcasting engineer who embraces his baby boomer status with nostalgia and enjoys storytelling, especially when learning lessons from the past. This is his first novel.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. For my age bracket, it was nice to mention the many products used during the time, but having fewer noted may make the read less commercialized.

~ Want ~
For those who were born in the late nineteen-forties to fifties, many will enjoy this story that takes the reader back in time while promoting being a good Samaritan over competition, cherishing your spouse, and being thankful to God for your status in life. For a debut novel, it could be the start to a series.

Thanks to the Book Club Network for this book to read and review.

This review will be posted on The Book Club Network, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Pinterest, Godinterest, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Christian, Fiction

Time for Bed, Sleepyhead

Title: Time for Bed, Sleepyhead
Author: Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Illustrator: Gail Yerrill
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75822-8

“If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t have enough time to clean up,” Momma Bear explains to Little Bear in Daniel G. Amen’s children’s book, Time for Bed, Sleepyhead.

~ What ~
At thirty-two pages, this oversized hardbound with a front cover that has shiny colored accents targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about falling asleep. With some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers. The beginning contains a warning note to adults regarding the hypnotic nature of the book.

In this quaint story, an all-white momma bear is putting her little bear to bed, explaining how important sleep is to the brain. She prompts the bear to imagine going to the beach with several of his friends. A tale is told about driving to the beach, playing in the sand, and swimming in the sea. The little bear and his friends take a rest and play some more. Although the gang is tired when they return home, they take a bubble bath and eat dinner before drifting peacefully off to sleep.

~Why ~
Our out-of-state three-year-old granddaughter loves a bedtime story, and this one she can look at the pictures by herself after the book is read to her. I like how the words are soothing, promoting resting, relaxing, and yawning, The colorful full-page illustrations are interesting yet calm with a carefree tone to them.

~ Why Not ~
Advanced readers may find the book sophomoric and childish; younger ones may appreciate the book more. I did not understand the page mentioning hearing something besides the sound of the mother’s voice that is a signal to be more relaxed, comfy, or sleepy; it sounded hypnotic, and a child may wonder what other sound is to be heard.

~ Who ~
Ten-time best-selling author, Dr. Daniel Amen, is a physician, adolescent psychiatrist, teacher, and storyteller who promotes visualization techniques to encourage and exhaust imaginations before sleep. Artist Yerrill has illustrated many children’s books as well as designed products.

~ Wish ~
With sleep as the goal, this book is calming and relaxing. I wish others were written based on imagination and creativity slowing the brain to shut down, especially in young children.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a soothing but engaging story about imagining a fun day at the beach with friends as you fall asleep, this one is a keeper for preschoolers who like to be read to at bedtime. Watch out as you may find yourself yawning after reading it like I did while writing this review.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for furnishing this complimentary book to read and review.

This review will be posted on Deeper Shopping and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Babel Conspiracy

The Babel ConspiracyTitle: The Babel Conspiracy
Author: Silvia Bambola
Publisher: Heritage Publishing House
ISBN: 978-0-9899707-23

“Why would a U.S. president want to destroy his own cities and foment unrest?” Joshua asks in Sylvia Bambola’s novel, The Babel Conspiracy.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-ten-page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian contemporary suspense. With no profanity, topics of abuse, torture, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning contains a note regarding the book being recently rewritten while the ending has a helpful list of characters, glossary, author’s note, and eight discussion questions.

This current day story set in America, two women who are around thirty years old may work close to each other at Patterson Aviation, but their personalities and beliefs are opposite. Trisha Callahan, a Christian who is collaborating on a top-secret project, regrettably is in love with her married boss and does not want to succumb to adultery. Audra Shield works for Trisha but refuses to have any personal or romantic relationship as one night stands and alcohol are her vices.

When riots break out and supposed accidents keep happening, the two women and men they are involved with are pulled into a web of deception that reaches the White House as well as the Islamic State of America as the clock ticks toward a presidential election.

~ Why ~
This books not only focuses on two women’s viewpoint on sex, adultery, and addiction, but it also examines the makings of a nuclear-powered aircraft, the interworkings of the Mossad, and how politicians use others to get their way. Many will like the diversified characters from a quirky senator’s niece and a Jewish soldier out for vengeance to a spoiled, materialistic wife and a loyal friend watching out for others.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books about conspiracies, kidnapping, torture, and death will avoid this book. Others may become annoyed with the punctuation errors that slow down the reading process.

~ Who ~
Having written eight novels, the award-winning author who has two adult children lives in Florida where she teaches women’s Bible studies and loves gardening and playing the guitar.

~ Wish ~
Having read a prior novel by the author, I was looking forward to reading this one, but, once again, I was surprised with all the punctuation errors that experienced writers usually do not make. I wish the book were professionally edited or proofread as it is frustrating for an avid reader to have to stop and reread a sentence to try to figure out what it means when there are missing commas.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy a novel that blends the United States government with terrorists, the Mossad, and two women with different beliefs, this is a good read. I have rated it down because the many writing errors slowed the fast-paced tone of the book.

Thanks to Book Crash for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on my honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Book Crash, Book Club Network, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

A Tapestry of Secrets

A Tapestry of Secrets (Appalachian Blessings Book #3)Title: A Tapestry of Secrets
Author: Sarah Loudin Thomas
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1227-7

“Anything God gives you is sure to be better than what you thought you wanted in the first place,” Ella is told in Sarah Loudin Thomas’s novel, A Tapestry of Secrets.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-four pages, this third in the Appalachian Blessing Book series paperback targets those who enjoy contemporary romantic fiction. With no profanity or sexual scenes, discussions related to an unplanned pregnancy may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes acknowledgments, the author’s biography, and advertisements.

In this book set in the small town of Wise, Virginia, twenty-eight-year-old Ella has returned to her hometown to take care of her almost eighty-year-old grandmother, Perla. After the aging woman has a stroke, she reflects how she wishes she could tell her children and granddaughter about the choices she made in the past. With the nearby church possibly being sold, Ella also deals with similar decisions regarding romance that involve three different men in her life until she realizes God is in control.

~ Why ~
Many will like the non-violent, easy read of this book as it examines family, faith, choices made in life, and when those decisions are kept secret and why. Others may like its small town inferences and interjections of how God is always there for us, no matter what.

~ Why Not ~
Those that do not care for a story involving guilt and secrets from the past will avoid this book. Others may find it a slow read with its protagonist trying to decide who she likes as she waffles back and forth with her emotions.

~ Who ~
Growing up on a one hundred acre family farm in West Virginia, author Thomas is a fundraiser for a children’s ministry while living in North Carolina. As a published freelance writer for magazines and newspapers, this is her third novel.

~ Wish ~
I wish Perla’s frustration of not being able to tell her secret were more pronounced, especially when she was able to talk yet repeatedly did not bring up the topic. Having read two other books by this author that I did enjoy, I struggled to finish this one as it did not grab my attention and lacked the excitement and drama I expected.

~ Want ~
If you like a story about a young woman trying to find her true love and another who hid her past with regret, this may interest you, but it did not hold my attention.

Thanks to the Baker Publishing for this book to read and review.

This review will be posted on Baker Publishing, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, Pinterest, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Food Forensics

Food Forensics: The Hidden Toxins Lurking in Your Food and How You Can Avoid Them for Lifelong HealthTitle: Food Forensics
Author: Mike Adams
Publisher: BenBella
ISBN: 978-1-94036328-8

Mike Adams writes in the introduction of his book, Food Forensics: The Hidden Toxins Lurking in Your Food and How You Can Avoid Them for Lifelong Health, that it “will enrage unethical product manufacturers but empower consumers with a new source of information that should appear on Nutritional Facts labels but doesn’t.”

~ What ~
At three-hundred-twenty pages, this paperback targets those who want to learn more about the heavy metals and chemical contaminants in our food today. After an introduction, the book is divided into three parts, ending with the author’s biography, acknowledgments, endnotes, and an index.

The first section covers heavy metals, chemical contaminants, and food ingredients as contaminants. These involve anything from Arsenic, Mercury, and Tin to Hexane, Pesticides, Aspartame, MSG, and chemical preservatives. The second section is the author’s guide to natural detoxification through avoidance, eliminating in water,  plant and air filters, defensive eating, and detoxifying. The final part covers eighty-five pages of charts of groceries, superfoods, supplements and vitamins, personal care, pets and plants, and fast food restaurants, shading in areas of potential harm.

~ Why ~
It is highly important to know what we are eating, especially if we are unsure and are blindly consuming dangerous products. With the data section covering food and household products, it is helpful to see the breakdown of metals and chemicals of everyday items we eat or touch.

~ Why Not ~
I found several things frustrating with the layout of the Data section. There is no table to follow, so laypersons have no clue what some chemical codes such as Sr, Cs, Pb, or U are if they are not a chemist (there is no way to look these up by their abbreviations in the index either). Except under the fast food section of the data, rarely any company was named or product was given by its title, and there were too many postings of Rice Protein, Protein Powder, Cacao, Greens Blends, and Spirulina to name a few so how can the reader know which one is bad? Example: Showing one of two unbranded Ginko Leaf has a high concentrate of Lead (Pb) of 2,402, the five unnamed Ginko Biloba’s are well above the 0.70 average PPM – so are all forms of it dangerous?

~ Who ~
Founder and editor of NaturalNews.com and other health-conscious websites, Adams is also an outspoken consumer health advocate, award-winning investigative journalist, internet activist, and science lab director who is known as the “Health Ranger.”

~ Wish ~
With Part 3 containing no table at the beginning or ending, the vague listings of products, and the duplication of many items, the book needs to be written for a common person to understand.

~ Want ~
For those who know chemistry and want to learn what percentages of metals and other ingredients are in our food and day-to-day items, this book may help, but I found it confusing and hard to understand.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for this book to read and review.

This review will be posted on Bookpleasufres and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Pinterest, Godinterest, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Home / Garden / Food

* CONTEST * The Berenstain Bears’ Holiday Cookbook ~ 1 Free Giveaway!


WIN MIKE BERENSTAIN’S CHILDREN’S BOOK,
THE BERENSTAIN BEARS’ HOLIDAY COOKBOOK!

ONE WINNER will be randomly selected to win FREE from Zondervan this recently released book.

REVIEW  TEASER: “Be part of the fun and join Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear as they cook up holiday favorites and some unique eats for friends and family,” the back jacket states in Mike Berenstain’s book, The Berenstain Bears’ Holiday Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult.

SIMPLE steps to enter this 3-day contest

1.  Follow my blog if you do not do so already.
2. Click on the headline ** CONTEST ** to be sure you are on the Reply page.
3. Post in the “LEAVE A REPLY” section below why you want to read this exciting book (could be funny, clever, serious, or the words “I want” since the winner is randomly chosen).
4. Like at least one social media site on the internet.

5. If you are the winner, please consider posting a review regarding what you thought of the book on at least 2 websites.

This is a FAST CONTEST ending SATURDAY, AUGUST 13th, 2016 after 6 PM PST so follow the requirements above and try for a chance to win a book that is mailed from the publisher directly to you! Winner’s physical shipping address (no P.O. Box) must be in the U.S.A.

I read & reviewed this book & it’s a 5 STAR!
Here is my review: https://connywithay.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/the-berenstain-bears-holiday-cookbook/

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The Berenstain Bears’ Holiday Cookbook

Title: The Berenstain Bears’ Holiday Cookbook
Author and Illustrator: Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75499-5

“Be part of the fun and join Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear as they cook up holiday favorites and some unique eats for friends and family,” the back jacket states in Mike Berenstain’s book, The Berenstain Bears’ Holiday Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult.

~ What ~
Part of the Berenstain Bears / Living Lights series, this numbered ninety-six-page hardbound targets child four to eight years old, especially those that like making food recipes with adult supervision. With no profanity or scary scenes, it has full-page, full-color photographs of completed food dishes. Due to some complicated wording, its instructions would best be read out loud to beginner readers.

In this book, there are forty food creations, divided into six chapters covering special holidays throughout the year. Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Fall Festivities, Thanksgiving, and Christmas have six to eight recipes each.

From suggested Red Bear-y Smoothie, Rabbit Food, and Freedom Trifle to Candy Corn Punch, Grizzly Gran’s Famous Pumpkin Pie, and Accordion Potatoes, the title of the recipe is on the left side of the page with the ingredients needed in a goldenrod highlighted rectangle and directions in number format. The opposite side of the page has a photograph of the completed dish.

~ Why ~
Some children love to make food, and most of these concoctions are simple with easy to follow directions that range from two to nine steps, so they will need an adult to supervise them. Every holiday section begins with Bible verse written out, a simple Bear story, and a four-line saying; the ending includes a measurement chart. Some of the recipes sound and look mouth-watering.

~ Why Not ~
With the book not having an index, one must look up the recipe on the contents page, keeping in mind some could be used for other holidays with some adjustments. Having no preparation time mentioned in the instructions, the recipe may take longer than expected.

~ Who ~
Since Stan and Jan passed away years ago, their son Mike continues to follow in his parents’ footsteps with the Berenstain Bear series and products. He lives in Pennsylvania.

~ Wish ~
I wish the book had preparation times as well as caloric content for those that have to watch their diet (including children).

~ Want ~
If you like the Berenstain Bears series, this one will make a fun addition to year-round cooking of delicious meals, drinks, and treats on holidays and other special occasions.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for providing this book for reading and reviewing.

This review will be posted on DeeperShopping and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Pinterest, Godinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under Book Review, Childrens, Christian, Home / Garden / Food

The Drawing Lesson

The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to DrawTitle: A Drawing Lesson
Author: Mark Crilley
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications
ISBN: 978-0-385-34633-7

“When it comes to drawing, it’s always the same process,” Becky tells David in Mark Crilley’s book, A Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel that Teaches You How to Draw.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-forty-four-page paperback targets preteens who want to learn how to draw. After a table of contents and introduction, eleven chapters cover the topic, ending with an epilogue. The author’s biography is on the back inside flap jacket.

Written as a graphic novel, this book has young David yearning to learn to draw. When he meets Becky at the park, he is enamored by her artistic skills. The woman who has been drawing for over thirty years offers to give David drawing lessons. As the graphic evolves, chapters discuss drawing what you see, shading, loose sketching, lights and shadows, proportions, simplifying, composition, bringing in all together, and learning through other avenues. At the end of each chapter is a written paragraph of suggested practice lessons.

~Why ~
Since I have a degree in art and have taught oil painting to teens to adults, I appreciate books that explain the many facets of drawing, especially when offering tips on perspective, highlighting, and dimensional proportions. I like the idea of offering ten to thirteen-year-olds a graphic novel that is about drawing. Tips on holding a pencil properly, squinting to view an object, and under-shading were included.

~ Why Not ~
While there is no explanation for the targeted age-group (except on Amazon), the book may appear sophomoric to adults in the dialogue, artwork, and format. The story of David and Becky’s relationship sometimes overshadows the art lessons. It may be creepy to some that David is like a stalker, appearing at Becky’s house unannounced and somewhat obsessed, especially at the end of the story.

~ Who ~
The author of almost twenty books, Crilley is well-known online for his drawing demonstration videos.  With his books featured in magazines and on television, he lives in Michigan.

~ Wish ~
Since the book focuses on a male preteen learning to draw, I wish it included young females. It would be helpful if the jacket cover stated the targeted age group for those buying the book as a gift.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beginner’s book for preteens and tweens on drawing, this may be a good selection, but it does not go into detail artistically. If the reader has potential as an artist, he or she may prefer taking art classes instead.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for a sample to read and review.

This review will be posted on Blogging for Books, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens

Pumpkin Patch Blessings

Pumpkin Patch BlessingsTitle: Pumpkin Patch Blessings
Author: Kim Washburn
Illustrator: Jacqueline East
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75819-8

“God’s creation is calling. Let’s go find more treasure! Pumpkin patch blessings – Oh, what a pleasure!” Kim Washburn writes in her children’s book, Pumpkin Patch Blessings.

~ What ~
At eighteen pages, this cut-out board book with a front cover that has shiny green writing and matching accents targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about going to a pumpkin patch.

Written with some complicated wording, this short book with four lines of rhyming on every page is about the wonders and fun of a pumpkin patch visit during the Fall. Bright, colorful, and expressive pictures cover both sides of the pages with the black easy-to-read font written innocuously within the illustration.

In this story, a little boy and girl with their dog follow down a path to the pumpkin patch where they eat roasted corn. After seeing a scarecrow tower over a field of pumpkins, the two go on a hay ride and chose their favorite pumpkins. At home, they eat pumpkin pie and carve pumpkins, thankful for having a blessed day.

~Why ~
Our out-of-state three-year-old granddaughter loves a bedtime story when she visits, and this one she can understand although it is for older children. I like the illustrator’s depiction of the fun going to the pumpkin patch. While a young one is being read out loud the story, there is plenty of action in the artworks.

~ Why Not ~
Advanced readers may find the book sophomoric and childish. I think it targets the three- to six-year-old beginner reader more accurately. Some may not like the repetition of one of the rhymes, but it is not too obvious.

~ Who ~
Writing for children for the past ten years, Washburn writes both fiction and non-fiction and has won an award. Illustrator East has been creating for several years and illustrates books that have been published around the world.

~ Wish ~
Not approving of Halloween and its satanic history, I wish the two carved jack-o-lanterns were not depicted.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a cute book about pumpkin patches and the fun they provide, this will make a perfect gift for a young one for the upcoming Fall season.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for furnishing this complimentary book to read and review.

This review will be posted on Deeper Shopping and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Childrens, Christian