Category Archives: Book Review

A Girl’s World Coloring Book for Girls

Title: A Girl’s World Coloring Book
Author: Mary Johnson
Publisher: Mary Johnson
ISBN: 9798355829797

“Every page of our book provides educational facts about inspiring women through history, encouraging young girls that they can achieve anything,” the introduction states in Mary Johnson’s children’s book, A Girl’s World Coloring Book.

~ What ~
This over-sized seventy-four paperback targets young girls four years of age and older who like to color. With over thirty pages to color on the right side of the book, quotes by famous women and educational facts are printed in white against black backgrounds on the left side.

After an ownership page to fill out, the theme of this coloring book is to empower young girls so that they can achieve whatever they set out to do. The artwork is simple yet related to the opposite pages noted. Quotes are included by Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Anges E. Benedict, Edith Wharton, Anne Frank, Doctor Francoise Barre, Michelle Obama, Audrey Hepburn, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Kalpana Chawla. The facts involve women such as Jane Austen, Serena Williams, Vera Rubin, Katie Lendecky, Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Jane Goodall, Sau Lan Wu, Margaret Hamilton, Dorothy Lawrence, Amelia Earhart, Clare McCardell, Frida Kahlo, Akiki Fujimoto, and others.

~ Why ~
Coloring can relax and soothe a child as it can be mindless, especially if the drawings are relatable to a girl filling them out like this one is. I appreciate how each page of art focuses on the desired topic. I love that the artwork can be removed from the book and placed in a frame.

~ Why Not ~
Young girls who are not artistic may have no interest in a coloring book. Others may not like that the book contains only a girl’s perspective of “I am …” or “I can …” without considering others. The black backgrounds use a lot of wasted ink.

~ Wish ~
The book is listed under Shintoism on Amazon; I prefer Christian/Biblical approaches to educate children.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a coloring book with cute pictures that is secular in promoting girls to be successful, this is helpful, but I wish it was more Biblically based in content.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#MaryJohnson #AGirlsWorldColoringBook #ColoringBookforGirls #MotivationalEducationalColoringforGirls

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3F3FjN0

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens

The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook

800 Instant Pot Recipes

Title: The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook
Author: Simon Rush
Publisher: Simon Rush
ISBN: 978-1-699451953

“No matter if you’re a solo-eater, or if you cook for your family or friends — you’ll always find dozens of recipes to satisfy everyone,” Simon Rush writes in the introduction of his book, The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook: Foolproof, Quick & Easy 800 Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners and Advanced Users.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-forty-seven-page paperback targets those interested in making a myriad of quick recipes with their Instant Pot. Containing multiple choices on each page, the book offers many variations for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts while also adding the writer’s favorites, a cooking times chart, and index.

After a table of contents and introduction, the 800 recipes are divided into basic & simple, breakfast & brunch, beans & grains, pasta & rice, fish & seafood, poultry, pork, beef & lamb, vegetarian & vegan, soups, stews, & chilis, side dishes, snacks & appetizers, and desserts. Each recipe has a bold heading followed by a list of ingredients in used order and serving size. Directions are in paragraph format and include the total time to make.

Some interesting recipes are Fluffy Quinoa, Vanilla Sweet Potato Oatmeal, Rosemary Butter Beans, Pasta alla Peperonata, Pouched Trout with Pomegranate, Drunken Chicken Tenders, Basil Chicken Casserole, Fall Pork Stew, Addictive Beef Minestrone, Mughlai Eggplant, Ceaser-Style Veggie Soup, Coconut Red Cabbage, Warm Reuben Dip, and New York Brownie Cake.

~Why ~
If you enjoy using an Instant Pot, you will enjoy the multitude of recipes. I like that the recipes are varied, with some of them being unique. The instructions are simple and to the point.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or use an Instant Pot will have no need for this book. Others may wish there were photographs of the finished dishes. Some may want caloric and nutritional information if they watch their diet.

~ Wish ~
I prefer books with fewer recipes that always contain photographs so I know what to expect the dish to look like. It may be less daunting to find something to make if there were half of the recipes. The only way to pick and choose a recipe is to look through the table of contents to find something and then search the page number to see what ingredients are required.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a cookbook for your Instant Pot, this may be a good option, but it may be a little overwhelming with so many options yet too simple in its instructions.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#SimonRush #TheUltimatePotCookbook #800InstantPotRecipes

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3OGACx2

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

A Thousand Tomorrows by Karen Kingsbury

Title: A Thousand Tomorrows
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0364-9

“Whatever drove Cody Gunner to ride bulls for a living, Ali guessed it wasn’t far off from what drove her. A passion born of something intensely private,” Karen Kingsbury writes in her novel, A Thousand Tomorrows.

~ What ~
Originally published in 2005 and recently rereleased with a bonus chapter, this two-hundred-and-seventy-two-page book targets those who like a tragic story of finding love among anger, fear, and illness. With no profanity or graphic sexual scenes, the topics of hatred, illness, and death may be inappropriate for immature readers. While the beginning has a dedication and author’s note, the ending includes fifteen discussion questions, acknowledgments, and a list of books by the writer.

In this current-day story, young Ali Daniels is determined to be the best barrel racer in the country. Although she appears to be aloof to those around her, only nationally renowned bull rider Cody Gunner has uncovered her secret. Yet, Cody has issues of his own regarding why he insists on being the best in the rodeo circuit. As their friendship grows, each must deal with the sacrifices and challenges of love, both with each other and others.

~ Why ~
This is a good read if you love cowboys, horses, and the rodeo with fortitude, encouragement, and perseverance. I liked learning about bull riding and barrel racing. The underlying anger and fear both protagonists experienced were written with depth while being emotional and tender. The hardships of cystic fibrosis and the characteristics of Down syndrome were explained well without going into too much detail.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of illness and heartbreak may pass on this read. Others may not care for the hatred and angst of a young man who always wants life to be perfect, not realizing it never can be. Some may think that since the author is a Christian, the book would promote God and Jesus, but there is little reference when facing illness and death. The new addition of a bonus chapter was more of a recap that leads to the next book in the series.

~ Wish ~
With the book’s dedication and author’s note mentioning God Almighty and a Bible verse, I expected Jesus to be more of a focal point between the two protagonists, yet the chapters mentioned prayer minimally, never calling on Him for redemption, grace, or mercy. I felt the author missed a wonderful opportunity to share the eternal plan of salvation and God’s love several times.

~ Want ~
If you like an emotional cowboy romance that deals with acceptance and forgiveness, you might enjoy this read but do note it is love-based not faith-based.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WorthyPublishing #HachetteBookGroup #KarenKingsbury #AThousandTomorrows #CodyGunner

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3U6r2Wj

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

Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman

Title: Honor’s Refuge
Author: Hallee Bridgeman
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-4022-1

“He just wanted to quit fighting, to quit resenting how the failures in his life, the decisions he’d made, and the loss of his leg made him feel,” Phil realizes in Hallee Bridgeman’s novel, Honor’s Refuge.

~ What ~
The third book in the Love & Honor series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in romantic suspense involving moving on in life despite its challenges and heartbreaks. With no profanity, topics of drug addiction, physical abuse, drug cartels, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes reviews, a list of the author’s written books, and a dedication while the ending has a dozen discussion questions, food recipes, a biography, and advertisements.

In this tale, it has been two years since Phil Osbourne lost his leg in a Special Forces mission, and he still has been having trouble accepting his new identity as a man. But Melissa Braxton, a woman who runs a domestic abuse shelter, has had him in her sights, begging for his attention and love. When Phil and his friends find Melissa’s missing sister is the wife of a Columbian cartel teniente, the couple works together to keep her only family safe, even during a hurricane.

~ Why ~
This is a quick read that follows one of the military members in the previous books in the series. It is detailed and descriptive regarding what mainly women go through when they are abused in the home and how they fear retaliation when they have escaped. I like that Phil’s insecurities and inadequacies were realistic and honest.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not care for the prayers to God or Biblical references. Others who are not interested in stories about domestic abuse may avoid the book. While I appreciated Melissa’s often confrontational manner, I found her a bit pushy, demanding, and always right.

~ Wish ~
Although the protagonists included God in their daily lives, it would be encouraging if the read added the plan of eternal salvation.

~ Want ~
If you enjoyed the other two books in the Love & Honor series, this one focuses on one couple’s love during hardship and offers grace and redemption in dealing with feeling unworthy and unimportant.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Honor’sRefuge #HnonorsRefuge #Love&HonorSeries #LoveandHonorSeries #Revell #HalleeBridgeman #ChristianRomanceMilitarySuspense

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3TWbF2O

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

Sundown by Susan May Warren

Title: Sundown
Author: Susan May Warren
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3983-6

“We’re both driven by our hope to matter. To save lives,” Tae is told in Susan May Warren’s novel, Sundown.

~ What ~
The third and final book in the Sky King Ranch series, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like a Christian contemporary romance about saving the world and finding true love. Containing no profanity, topics of insecurity, illness, physical abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes acknowledgments, a teaser from another book by the writer, the author’s biography, and advertisements.

Continuing the tale of three brothers who are dealing and healing from their pasts, this one has Colt, a former Delta operative, keeping a careful eye on the beautiful Tae, who seems to have dark secrets that include why Russian thugs seem to be trailing her. When the truth is discovered, both of them take it to task to save the world while they learn to rely on God and each other.

~ Why ~
This story ties all three brothers and their significant others together in a group effort to keep America safe. I liked the humanity of some of the characters and how Colt dealt with feeling unworthy while Tae insisted on going it alone to initially deal with her problems. The hope and joy one finds when trusting in God and each other were well orchestrated.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like a tale that includes the possibility of a worldwide catastrophe. Others may tire of the machoness and bravado interspersed with gawking at the opposite sex and descriptive kissing. While I loved the first book in the series and liked the second one, this one was more frustrating in some of its scenes being unfeasible, especially due to medical reasons.

~ Wish ~
Having the protagonists calling out to God for guidance and protection, the read missed the opportunity to explain that Jesus is our one and only savior, who died and shed His blood on the cross for our sins and rose the third day. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you have read the other two books in the series, this one ties up the loose ends as the Sky Ranch family deals with hope, redemption, forgiveness, and putting the past behind them.

Thanks to Revell and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Revell #SusanMayWarren #Sundown #SkyKingRanch

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3Wj5w2i

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

The World’s Longest Sock by Juliann Law

Title: The World’s Longest Sock
Author & Illustrator: Juliann Law
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0258-1

“Ah, yes, the World’s Longest Sock. This is quite the remarkable story about two people who simply would not give up,” Juliann Law begins in her children’s book, The World’s Longest Sock.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound with a matching jacket cover targets children ages four to seven years old. With no scary scenes, it is about two adults competing to knit the longest sock in the world. Colorful illustrations grace the pages with a decent font size.

In this tale, Nana Nina in Chile has recently set a record for the world’s longest sock. When Lumberman Chuck learns about the competition, he determinedly wins, happy to have friends and be famous. Of course, Nina is upset she is no longer the record holder, so the two become fiercely competitive, even with their friends having to choose sides. After both are physically exhausted, a smart decision is made to declare the winners.

~Why ~
This is a quick story that shows how ardently two people want to win yet together make the perfect pair. I liked that both tried and tried to succeed and did not give up. Competition is good to a point if monitored carefully.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not competitive may not like a book that promotes trying to obsessively win a contest. The book mentions being lonely and zombies, which some young children may not understand. Beginner readers may have issues with the two- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
I do not care for books that use the slang word, heck, especially when they are for young readers.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that promotes striving to be the best, this is a nice read.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, WorthyKids, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Hachette #WorthyKids #TheWorldsLongestSock #JuliannLaw

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3TmKQo6

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

The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry

Title: The Story of Christmas
Author: Patricia A. Pingry
Illustrator: Alice Buckingham
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0233-8

“Do you know why we give gifts at Christmas? We give presents because it is Jesus’s birthday,” Patricia A. Pingry begins her children’s book, The Story of Christmas.

~ What ~
This twenty-two-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages one to four years old. With no scary scenes, it is the story of the Nativity. Colorful, engaging illustrations cover both sides of the pages with an easy-to-read font size.

Beginning and ending with a family of four celebrating Christmas, this includes the story of Mary being visited by an angel, Jesus being born in Bethlehem, shepherds worshipping Him, and the wise men bringing Him presents.

~Why ~
This is a wonderful reminder about the true meaning of Christmas being about Jesus’s birth. I appreciate it is Biblical instead of secular regarding the holiday so that young ones can learn about our Saviour. There is enough activity in the pictures to keep a child interested while listening to the story.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like a book that explains the real meaning of Christmas. It does not discuss the eternal plan of salvation, but that may be due to the targeted age group. There are many complicated words that young ones may not understand or comprehend, but they could be explained by the reader. The book may be too hard for beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of Jesus were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Christmas book for toddlers that promotes Jesus’s birthday, this would be a nice present that will be loved.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, WorthyKids, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Hachette #WorthyKids #TheStoryofChristmas #PatriciaAPingry #AliceBuckingham

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3DfKCt7

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

Joy to the World by VeggieTales

Title: Joy to the World
Author: Pamela Kennedy
Illustrator: Lisa Reed
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0285-7

“Then all the Veggies gathered round to clap and shout and cheer … and sing of joy that Jesus brings at Christmas and all year!” Pamela Kennedy ends in the VeggieTales children’s book, Joy to the World.

~ What ~
This twenty-page board book with rounded corners targets children two to five years old who like celebrating the true reason for Christmas. With no scary scenes, it contains simplistic illustrations of playful vegetables that keep the attention of little ones. An easy-to-read font covers the pages.

Part of the VeggieTales series, this one told in rhyme focuses on all the characters participating in the Veggie Christmas show. Including Pa Grape, Peas, Larry, Junior, Laura, Petunia, Madame Blue, and others, the story shows how they perform a Christmas reenactment of Jesus’s birth, complete with shepherds, angels, and a manger.

~Why ~
This is a cute way to combine vegetables with big eyes as friends who want to share their love for Jesus. I appreciated its teaching that we should welcome Christ to live within our hearts. The colors are vibrant and engaging.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like a book that mentions God sending Jesus to show His love to people everywhere may not approve of this read. Others may not like scenes of veggies celebrating Christmas, but it is iconic in the VeggieTales’ series. Due to some of the two- and three-syllable words, it may be hard for beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
Since this book is part of the VeggieTales franchise, adding their website link would be helpful for parents who want to know more about their videos, movies, television shows, and other merchandise. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you want a book that helps little ones learn about Jesus being the real Joy to the world, this is a keeper, especially if the child likes anything related to VeggieTales.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, WorthyKids, and VeggieTales for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Hachette #WorthyKids #VeggieTales #JoytotheWorldVeggieTales #PamelaKennedy #LisaReed

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3sf7qD0

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

Wreck the Halls by Melinda Rathjen

Title: Wreck the Halls
Author: Melinda Rathjen
Illustrator: Gareth Williams
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0226-0

“To break it all down, what makes Christmas a gift is the love that we share — it gives us a lift!” Melinda Rathjen rhymes at the end of her children’s book, Wreck the Halls.

~ What ~
This twenty-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages two to five years old. With no scary scenes, it focuses on a wrecking truck and how it helps make Christmas special. Simplistic, colorful designs grace the pages with a decent font size.

In this tale showing different vehicles helping to decorate Christmas, the wrecking truck is used to load up trees, set up festive displays, help wrap presents, tow cookies for Santa, pull a large weight of gifts, and deck the halls. Other vehicles such as cranes, police cars, trains, semis, race cars, snowplows, taxis, boats, and buses are mentioned and depicted.

~Why ~
This is a nice book to read to a young child who knows the difference between different types of vehicles and likes wrecking trucks and the holiday. The colors are bright and cheery, which could be used as a teaching tool for young ones. There is enough happening in the illustrations to keep a youngster engaged.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books about Christmas or vehicles may skip this read. Realists may feel that some of the statements are not true so will have to explain to an educated child that a wrecker cannot sing Christmas carols or wrap presents.

~ Wish ~
I had trouble with the concept of this book as it may be cute in its rhyming and pictures of a specific type of truck, but it didn’t correlate well with Christmas and Jesus’s birth.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book about trucks to give to a toddler for a Christmas present, this one may work well, but it doesn’t wreck any holiday halls.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, WorthyKids, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#Hachette #WorthyKids #WrecktheHalls #MelindaRathjen #GarethWilliams

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3CY7fkK

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

The Two-Cent Piece by Dennis Conrad

Title: The Two-Cent Piece
Author: Dennis Conrad
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-649496294

“Did you know that is the first coin with the words, ‘In God We Trust?'” Anne is asked in Dennis Conrad’s children’s book, The Two-Cent Piece.

~ What ~
Part of the In God We Trust series, this fifty-two-page paperback targets children five to ten years old who like learning about and collecting coins. Containing no scary scenes, it does mention the Civil War, but no injury or death is included. With endorsements and a dedication at the beginning of the book, the ending has a Read Aloud Bonus, information regarding coin collecting, a brief history of the two-cent piece, and the author’s and illustrator’s biographies. While colorful detailed illustrations are on the left side of the pages, the easy-to-read font on a white background is on the right side.

In this tale set in the late 1800s in America, seven-year-old Anne has several coins in her possession, including several newly minted two-cent pieces. After learning the special new coins contain the phrase “In God We Trust,” she correlates it to several Bible verses as she gives the money lovingly to her brothers and a newfound friend who have joined the Union Army. After the boys return from the war, they all realize how the coin helped them remember God as well as protected one from harm.

~Why ~
Since my deceased mother-in-law and I collected coins for years, this story brought back memories and the value of coins and the history behind them. I appreciated the many Bible verses that Anne read and quoted from II Samuel, Psalm, and Acts. The book teaches young ones not only about a coin and the war but also about relying on God and prayer.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like a book that promotes Bible verses and praying. Some may have no interest in collecting coins, but the ending has plenty of information and references to check out if interested.

~ Wish ~
I wish the plan of eternal salvation were somehow added to the story. Having the written-out Bible verses again at the end of the book may encourage memorization.

~ Want ~
If your child is fascinated about coins and their history, this is a marvelous way to learn about the two-cent piece while focusing on trusting in God.

Thanks to CIPA, Elk Lake Publishing, and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#CIPA #ChristianIndiePublishersAssociation #ElkLakePublishing #DennisConrad

This book is available at https://amzn.to/3yMBr0X

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