Category Archives: Book Review

All Fish Faces

ALL FISH FACES: Photos and Fun Facts about Tropical Reef Fish (Ocean Friends)Title: All Fish Faces
Author/Photographer: Tam Warner Minton
Publisher: Independently Published
ISBN: 978-1-521807781

“Tropical fish all over the world have faces that are alike in their characteristics, yet are still unique,” Tam Warner Minton writes in the introduction of her children’s book, All Fish Faces: Photos & Fun Facts About Tropical Reef Fish.

~ What ~
The first book in the Ocean Friends series, this numbered seventy-page paperback targets children ages four to twelve years old who enjoy educational information and photographs about tropical fish. With no scary scenes but containing the possibility of being poisoned, it may be best read out loud by adults to beginner readers due to some complicated wording.

In this informative book, the author explains the different types, features, and characteristics of tropical fish that include puffer, angel, butterfly, parrot, trigger, file, frog, toad, scorpion, lion, and box fish as well as groupers, clownfish, anemonefish, and others. Also mentioned are ways to protect and preserve our oceans and coral reefs. All pictures include the name of the fish and location where found.

~ Why ~
Although I am not one who has tropical fish, I appreciate the dedication and enthusiasm the author/photographer has for these creatures. The photographs in full color are stunning and beautiful, showing details of underwater life. I enjoyed learning about “cleaner fish,” those that sleep with a transparent covering, how some can change their sex, and those that are venomous.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like fish may steer away from this educational book, but they may learn a thing or two of interest. Others may want formatted descriptions listed such as average length, weight, eating habits, lifespan, et cetera.

~ Wish ~
I wish more books were written that provided knowledge and information that a young child could learn in a fun, engaging way. It would be helpful if there were an index or glossary at the end of the book. With many grammatical and punctuation errors, it has been marked down a full point and would be changed if the writing were corrected.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about fish for preschool to elementary aged children, this will delight young readers, but you should be aware the copy reviewed had writing errors in it.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

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, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens

Lizzy the Lioness

Lizzy the LionessTitle: Lizzy the Lioness
Author: Lisa Bevere
Illustrator:  Kirsteen Harris-Jones
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9658-8

“Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to ask for help,” Lizzy is reminded in Lisa Bevere’s children’s book Lizzy the Lioness.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound targets four to eight-year-olds who enjoy stories about a little lion learning about bravery. With potentially frightening scenes of baboons trapping a little girl and lions scaring them away, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers. The colorful and detailed illustrations grace both sides of the pages with an easy-to-read font. After an ownership and dedication page with a Bible verse, the story ends with a note to parents and short prayer.

Young lioness Lizzy wishes she was grown up like others in the pride. She loves to play and frolic but is frustrated having to obey rules being so small. When she falls out of a tree and meets a little girl and her mother, she realizes she has something in common with the child. One day she sees baboons encircle the girl; the child prays to God for help. Knowing the lion is too little to approach the baboons, she runs to the pride and asks for help. Her father and other lions chase the baboons away, and the girl thanks Lizzy for answering her prayer. The lioness is praised for being brave by coming and getting help instead of trying to take on the challenge herself.

~ Why ~
This book is ideal for young ones who are timid or unsure of themselves as it reminds them that God is there for us all the time and sometimes going to adults or others for help is the best answer. I like the frog depicted throughout the story that follows Lizzy and the expressive artwork.

~ Why Not ~
Some readers may not care for books about lions or be fearful that they and baboons can attack others. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the tw0- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
Lions and baboons living in their natural habitat have to be violent to survive. The story has the mother and child walking around unprotected, so it may give some children a false sense of security when around the predators.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a brief tale about learning that bravery is more than standing up for oneself but also asking for help from others, this is a good starting point.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am evaluating by choice.

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, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

One Christmas Bear

One Christmas BearTitle: One Christmas Bear
Author & Illustrator: Anne Vittur Kennedy
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9014-2

“Little acts of kindness, our friends and families dear,
Merry time together – gifts from God to last all year!”
Anne Vittur Kennedy ends her children’s book, One Christmas Bear.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this cut-out board book with sparkles on its front cover targets children ages three to six years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about counting animals at Christmastime. Full page color illustrations of the animals in the snow cover the pages.

Written in four-lines of rhyme with some complicated wording that cover two open pages, this story begins with an adorable polar bear finding a friendly pup on Christmas day. As the reader turns the pages, the counting of animals and birds frolicking in the snow goes up to ten, including mice, foxes, squirrels, rabbits, eagles, snowmen, caribou, ginger cookies, owls, candy canes, snowballs, sledders, skaters, stockings, parents, stars, and friends. The scenes are charming and expressive as they show the bear and his friends enjoying the holiday.

~Why ~
Having grandchildren, I like how this book is the type to cuddle up with them on a cold winter’s Christmas day as we look at the animals playing in the snow. With page numbers on the bottom right side the pages, the book helps young ones learn to count as they search for objects in the illustrations. With the repetition, it is an educational tool that will delight kids.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books that mention God may not approve of this book, but He is mentioned only once at the end. The book has little to do with the birth of Christ, but it does mention Christmas trees, snacks, and stockings. Due to the two- and three-syllable wording, it should be read out loud to beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
I prefer a Christmas book that promotes Jesus’s birth, but the animals depicted in this one are cute.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book to read during the holidays when it is cold or snowing outside, this is a good selection, but be aware it does not mention the main reason we celebrate Christmas.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

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, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Vengeance

VengeanceTitle: Vengeance
Authors: Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 978-1-4789-2304-6

“Besides, there’s nothing like hatred and a need for revenge to motivate someone. I want Major Grant on our KTB team,” the president of the United States demands in Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley’s novel, Vengeance.

~ What ~
The third in the series, this four-hundred-and-thirty-two-page hardbound targets those who enjoy current-day political fiction with intrigue and covert planning. With light profanity, sexual situations, torture, and murder, it may not be apropos for immature readers.

Minutes before Marine Major Brooke Grant’s can say her wedding vows, she and her daughter become the only survivors of a Washington D.C. terrorist bombing. Recruited to be on the elite but subversive KTB team to eliminate her zealot nemesis, the Falcon, she joins a Saudi intelligence officer and an Israeli Mossad agent to find the diabolical killer who plans on detonating a “nuclear sword” on America.

~ Why ~
Having read one of the prior books in the series, I like that the protagonist is challenged deciding when killing someone crosses the line of hatred and vengeance versus self-defense. The well-written scenes involve a bitter reporter, African billionaire, and serial murderer being tracked by a determinedly focused female, aloof assassin, and questioning woman of motives.

~ Why Not ~
If you do not like fiction with minor profanity, adult situations, religious differences, and scenes of torture and murder, pass on this one. This is another book that has an ending that leaves the reader a little frustrated in not tying all the loose ends, offering the avenue of a future story. I found the survivorship of a couple of characters questionable.

~ Wish ~
While I appreciated the book’s explanation of the differences between Christianity and the Muslim religion, I wish all pronouns of the Almighty God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like political intrigue with a protagonist struggling between right and wrong in a world of good versus evil, this page-turner will have you pondering how realistic an another assault on American soil could be.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for offering this book to review for my honest opinion.

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, Fiction

Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions

Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions: Don't Let the ANTs Steal Your HappinessTitle: Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions
Author: Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Illustrator: Brendan Kearney
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75832-7

“Don’t surrender to this bad ANT! Challenge it with your Super Power Questions,” Captain Snout suggests in Daniel G. Amen’s children’s book, Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions: Don’t Let the ANTs Steal Your Happiness.

~ What ~
At forty pages, this oversized hardbound with a front cover targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a story about a superhero anteater who helps children overcome negativity and disappointment and to look at the brighter, happier side of situations. Containing some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers.

When the Pennypepper children want a puppy, they decide to do a car wash to earn money to buy it. Later the car wash sales diminish, and the three children are discouraged, believing they will never get a puppy. Captain Snout comes to their rescue by explaining his automatic negative thoughts (ANT) theory. Naming the five types of ANTs, he advises ways to avoid the All or Nothing, Just the Bad, Fortune Teller, Mind Reader, and Blaming ants. This form of psychotherapy helps the children overcome their insecurities, anxieties, and frustrations.

~Why ~
This is a charming tale of an anteater and ants for those who understand how life is not always cheerful and happy as they work through daily challenges. I like how an anteater is a hero who helps the children change their negativity into truer and happier thoughts to accomplish their goal.

~ Why Not ~
The story has a happily-ever-after ending so may not mimic real life situations when a child is going through a crisis or problem; however, changing one’s perspective into a positive will help some situations. There are some who may find the large eyes of every character being the focal point in the illustrations, distracting them from the meaning of the story. A few may wonder why the anteater did not simply eat up the ants to get rid of them.

~ Wish ~
With the book concentrating on changing a mindset from negative to positive regarding a situation, it would be helpful if it added how praying and depending on God can help the most. Although I understand and respect the author’s techniques completely, I noticed the book is from a Christian-based publisher so expected a Biblical aspect to its contents.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a psychotherapeutic book for children on positive thinking, this may be a good selection for you, but I assumed more from a Christian publisher.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

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, Childrens

God Loves Me: My First Bible

God Loves Me, My First BibleTitle: God Loves Me
Author: Susan Elizabeth Beck
Illustrator: Lisa Mallett
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75931-7

“It’s never too early for little ones to learn that ‘God loves me!’” states the back cover of Susan Elizabeth Beck’s children’s book, God Loves Me: My First Bible.

~ What ~
This unnumbered thirty-four-page board book with a padded front cover that includes glitter targets preschool-age to third-grade children who want a beginner’s Bible. Containing sixteen stories rewritten in rhyme from the Old and New Testaments, there are corresponding full-colored, fanciful illustrations. It would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some of the complicated three syllable words.

After an ownership page, each short story covers two open pages with a title in bold and four rhyming lines with an ending about God’s love. With eight from each testament, the stories range from Adam and Eve, Joseph, Samuel, and Esther to Mary, the twelve disciples, little children, and the risen Jesus to name a few.

~ Why ~
I like that each story is short and to the point in rhyme so they can be memorized by a young child while providing the opportunity to discuss them further in detail. Including the “God loved …” ending to each reinforces to a little one that God is love and loves each of us. The pictures have enough detail to keep a child’s attention.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God and His Son may not be interested a book of Bible stories. Others may be concerned that the shortened stories do not exactly retell those in the Word of God, but they are concise. Some may be concerned regarding Daniel and the lions and Jesus dying on the cross, but there are no vivid pictures depicting the violent circumstances.

~ Wish ~
I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s book that has shortened Bible stories told in rhyme with engaging illustrations, this is a good choice.

Thanks to Z-blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

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, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Coloring Christmas Devotions

Title: Coloring Christmas Devotions
Illustrators: Lizzie Preston, Claire McElfatrick, and Suzanne Khushi
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-08809-7

“Because of Christmas, Lord, we can be made new,” the ending prayer states in the book, Coloring Christmas Devotions.

~ What ~
Part of the Coloring Faith series, this ninety-six-page small paperback targets both young and old whose creativity and artistic interests enjoy focusing on Christ at Christmas. The book has thirty-one devotionals with Bible verses and prayers on the left side of the pages and black and white drawings on the right sides. Including a few Bible verses printed in a fancy font, the versions used are the ESV, HCSB, NKJV, NIV, and NLT.

Each devotion has a title with a written-out Bible verse and several paragraphs followed by a short prayer. Some topics include the stress of Christmas, family traditions, ornaments and lights, memories, jammies, and the birth of Christ. Colorists can fill the pages of simple to complex drawings while relieving stress and doodling as they read the short devotions on Christmas. The illustrations include animals, birds, Christmas decorations and trees, churches, ornaments, shepherds, kings, and the nativity to name a few.

~ Why ~
With the book being smaller in size than others, I like that the designs are well defined and easy to interpret. Focusing on the true Spirit of Christmas and the birth of Christ are important when it is such a stressful, busy time. I was glad to see no pictures of Santa or his sleigh.

My favorite was the devotional titled Real Christmas Trees about artificial ones, correlating them to being fake and artificial with our walk with Christ. The Bible verse is from Matthew 15:8 with the prayer about asking God to examine our hearts. The illustration is patterned holly.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not care for coloring or doodling will pass on this type of book. Some may not like that there are only a few pictures of Jesus being born and the shepherds or kings visiting our Savior. Due to the paper quality, gel pens, watercolors, and felt tip markers may bleed through to the other side, but colored pencils and crayons may not.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were more scenes about Christ’s birth such as the star, angels singing, and the manger than what is included. It would be helpful if the pages were perforated or printed further out from the binding so they could be removed and framed as gifts.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for an adult coloring book that centers on Christmas, this may work for you, but I expected more scenes that included Jesus and thicker paper.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for this book that I am freely evaluating.

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

I’m Not a Scaredy Cat

Title: I’m Not a Scaredy Cat
Author: Max Lucado
Illustrator:  Shirley Ng-Benitez
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-7491-3

“I’m a big cat. I’m a strong cat. I’m not a scaredy-cat … except when:” Max Lucado writes in his children’s book, I’m Not a Scaredy Cat: A Prayer for When You Wish You Were Brave.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound targets six to ten-year-olds who enjoy stories about overcoming fear by trusting in God. With no blatantly scary scenes, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers. The bright and expressive illustrations of a cat cover both sides of the pages with an easy-to-read font.

In this short story, a skittish cat is afraid of anything from a squeaking rubber ducky, loud marching band, cabana monkey, leaves falling, and a slippery slide to an elephant at the zoo sneezing, a creeping caterpillar, donut sprinkles, ticking clock, or the splashing rain. By saying a quick prayer to God that acknowledges He is nearby, the feline fears diminish, and he feels brave and reassured.

~ Why ~
This is a charming tale about relying on God when frightened. I like how cat faces its fears and calls on God when afraid. The drawings are descriptive and expressive.

~ Why Not ~
Some readers may not care for books about being afraid. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
I hope sensitive or extremely emotional children do not acerbate their fears by learning of other concepts or ideas to fear by reading this book.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a short, happy read about a fearful cat depending on God, this is a keeper.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am evaluating by choice.

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

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

Title: The Dishonorable Miss Delancey
Author: Carolyn Miller
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4452-4

“For how could a humble sailor ever hope to win a viscount’s daughter?” Ben ponders in Carolyn Miller’s novel, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey.

~ What ~
Third in the Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace series, this one-hundred-and-ninety-six page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian romance in the historical setting of England in 1915. With topics of alcohol use, physical and potentially sexual abuse, and death, the book may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning has a modified family tree, and ends with author’s note, acknowledgments, and advertisements.

When twenty-five-year-old Clara DeLancey is tainted by scandal, she and her penniless viscount’s family move to Brighton, trying to forget the societal past of gossip, innuendo, and shame. On a dark windy night of the cliffs of Brighton, the once toast-of-the-ballroom is rescued by an injured navy captain, Benjamin Kemsley.

As both deal with their paths of guilt and misunderstandings, they wonder at the possibility of finding true love in each other in spite of their financial and social status upbringing.

~ Why ~
With a detailed explanation of the London season with the elite ton, Prince Regent’s Pavilion, and the beauty of the land, the story focuses on learning how to forgive and trust that God is in control and with us always. Miller does an excellent job showing the societal norms, insistence on family honor, and faith in the Almighty.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like the Christian influence the book offers. In an era where gossip, name-dropping, and up-one-man-ship were rampant, the story sometimes gets bogged down on frivolity, yet that was the protocol of the day.

~ Wish ~
With this being the third book in the series, there may be those who may not remember some of the characters previously written about, especially since there is not an extended character list of them.

~ Want ~
If you like historical fiction during the nineteenth century in England when name and lineage matters significantly, this would be a good series. It would be best to read the prior books first to understand the updated story.

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, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Here’s Some Happy

Here's Some Happy: A Coloring Journal to Lift the SoulTitle:  Here’s Some Happy
Author: Gina Graham
Publisher: FaithWords
ISBN: 978-1-4789-2062-5

“Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7 (TLB),” the first coloring page states in Gina Graham’s book, Here’s Some Happy: A Coloring Journal to Lift the Soul.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-twenty-eight-page hardbound targets mainly women who like to color and write in a journal with Bible verses that focuses on God and happiness. Often with full page black and white lined drawings to color on one side of the page, there are several blank lines with more designs on the opposite side. Bible verses are written out plus have their reference with version. The Holy Bible versions include the TLB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, ICB, and NLT.

While promoting and prompting happiness, joy, and love while concentrating on our Lord, the fanciful illustrations have flowers, animals, children, birds, hearts, et cetera. Be it scrolls, twirls, or repetition of patterns, there are plenty of objects to fill in bright colors, leaving ample room for writing down thoughts, prayers, or blessings among the pages.

~ Why ~
This is an ideal coloring book for any Christian woman who loves to spend time with God while reading a verse from His Word and penning in the journal. I love that it is a hardbound, not a hard copy so can be cherished, added to, and reread throughout the years. The drawings will bring a smile to the owner of this book, especially if given as a gift.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care or have time for coloring or are opposed to writing in a journal. Some may wonder if the color mediums may bleed through the pages, but they should thick enough for no bleeding of color pencils and some felt tips.

~ Wish ~
The only negative I could find in this book is that the finished artworks cannot be removed and framed. Adding a ribbon marker would be thoughtful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotional with coloring pages that are uplifting, joyful, and filled, this is a keeper and would make a special present for a loved one.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

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!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Christian