Category Archives: Childrens

The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids

Title: The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids
Author: Ginjer L. Clarke
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-149-7

“The male narwhal’s long, spiral tusk is really a tooth growing out of its top lip. It has only one other tooth inside its mouth,” Ginjer L. Clarke explains in her children’s book, The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-ten-page paperback targets children ages nine to twelve years old who enjoy books about animals and their distinct features. With no profanity or scary scenes, colorful photographs are on every page with several one to two sentences about various animals. The ending includes the author’s biography.

Divided into six chapters of Magnificient Mammals, Creepy Crawlers, Water World, Scaly Things, Amazing Amphibians, and Feathered Friends, this educational book packs tons of information on all types of animals from the quviut, cicada, and the red-lipped batfish to the reticulated python, marsupial frog, and oropendola to name a few.

~ Why ~
I love children’s books that teach young ones, especially if they are about animals and nature. I appreciate how this one not only has some of the common creatures but also the absurd, unusual, or unknown ones. With a six-year-old granddaughter who is fascinated by narwhals, it was great to see them listed in the book.

Some random wild animal facts include:
Virginia opossum babies are so small that up to 20 of them could fit into a teaspoon.
A fishing spider can stay underwater for 30 minutes while it waits for its fish prey.
Sharks never need to visit a dentist. Their teeth never get cavities.
The tuatara has a small, sightless third eye on top of its head.
The wood frog is the only frog that lives in the Arctic Circle.
Malleefowl nests can be 3.3 feet (1m) tall and 16 feet (5m) wide.

~ Why Not ~
Some children will not like that there is usually only one fact about each creature, yet sometimes there will be a full page describing several kinds in one animal family. Others may prefer less photographs and more information. The book may be too sophomoric for some fourth to seventh graders. Beginner readers may have trouble with some of the three- and four-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
Although I greatly appreciate this book that focuses on God’s creations, I wish there was an index so one could look up the animal’s fact and feature quickly. Due to its limited information per animal, it would be a hard book to use for a school report.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun book about the strange and interesting characteristics of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, this one would be a good option that will keep a child’s attention and offer adults insights to the amazing animal kingdom. I am sure my young grandchildren will enjoy learning a thing or two also.

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

Rated 4.5 of 5 stars.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2sLq5LL

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Business / Money / Education, Childrens

Big Dreams & Powerful Prayers Illustrated Bible

Title:  Big Dreams & Powerful Prayers Illustrated Bible
Retold by Mark Batterson with Glenys Nellist
Illustrator: Omar Aranda
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-74682-9

“Jesus is the ‘author’ of our faith, and if we give him complete editorial control over our lives, he writes amazing stories through us,” Mark Batterson with Glenys Nellist writes in the introduction of their children’s book, Big Dreams & Powerful Prayers Illustrated Bible.

~ What ~
This two-hundred-and-twenty-four-page hardbound book targets young children from four to eight years old.  The book covers thirty stories taken from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. With no overtly scary or violent scenes, it would best be read out loud to non-readers or beginner readers who like to look at pictures due to their limited reading comprehension level.

After an ownership page, two-page introduction, and table of contents, the book contains fifteen stories from both the Old and New Testaments, with each being six to eight pages long. Having colorful, easy-to-decipher illustrations, the designs show expressive characters and scenery on almost every page. Each story ends with a Prayer Point that is a paragraph or two applying the chapter’s theme personally with a short prayer and Bible verse written out.

~ Why ~
This chapter book has short, to-the-point stories written in a positive way. Although not all the stories told offer some facts (there is no mention of everyone dying except those in Noah’s ark, Jesus’s birth does not explain the immaculate conception, and His resurrection does not mention Christ died for our sins), it generalizes the events. Some of titles include In the Garden, By the Sea, In the Pit, With the Angel, In the Storm, In the Jail, and On the Island. Adding the prayer discussion is appreciated.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about Bible stories will pass on this book. It may be too advanced for beginner readers due to the two and three syllable words. Some may not realize this is not a fully-illustrated Bible but thirty stories. Others may notice sin is rarely mentioned or no full plan of eternal salvation is given.

~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. This is a lovely Bible devotional, but it is sophomoric in its storytelling, so it may be best for preschoolers who are just hearing about our Savior.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book of thirty simplified stories from the Bible, this would be a good selection for a young one who is just learning about God’s Word, but note it is not fully accurate.

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

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2PJ1gZw

#Zonderkidz #ZBlogSquad #BigDreamsandPowerfulPrayers #IllustratedBible #MarkBatterson #OmarAranda

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Piper & Mabel

Title: Piper & Mabel
Author: Melanie Shankle
Illustrator: Laura Watkins
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76086-3

“I’m just not sure Happy Tails Ranch is the place for two very wild but very good dogs,” the manager suggests in Melanie Shankle’s children’s book, Piper & Mabel: Two Very Wild but Very Good Dogs.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound with a matching jacket cover targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a story about 2 mischevious dogs who want to go on vacation with their owners. Detailed, expressive colorful illustrations cover the full pages.

In this short tale, Piper and Mable are two white-chested large black sibling pups who think they will be going to the beach with their family. However, when they learn they will have to stay at Happy Tails Ranch, they question if it will be full of excitement or dull and boring. When they realize they have nothing to do at the kennel, they escape and get lost, only to be found and reconnected to their peoples where they can happily play.

~Why ~
This innocuous, charming story shows how two dogs would rather be with their owners than anyone else. I like how they fantasize about being at the ranch chasing rabbits, running after cows, and digging in the mud and become disappointed in the boredom so jump a fence, only to be alone and lost in the woods. I appreciate how one dog writes several haikus of their situation.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like any references to God may not like this book, although He is only mentioned once at the end. Kennel owners may not like the suggestion that a dog ranch or doggie daycare is not a fun place for dogs. Due to some of the three and four-syllable words, it may be hard for beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
I wish the ending had a page explaining a haiku is a seventeen-syllable poem divided into three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, usually about nature.

~ Want ~
If you want an adorable tale with fun-filled drawings for someone who loves or has dogs, this engaging book will delight kids as they read about two wild but good dogs enjoy their lives.

Thanks to Zblog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2rYQiWV

#Zondelearnrkidz #ZblogSquad #PiperandMabel #MelanieShankle #LauraWatkins

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Words to Love By

Title: Words to Live By
Author: Rick Warren
Illustrator: Ag Jatkowska
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75357-5

“The words you use show others what’s in your heart. God wants you to have a heart filled with love,” Rick Warren reiterates in his children’s book, Words to Love By for Little Ones.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it focuses on how the words we use and speak to others can make an impact.

With colorful, engaging illustrations on every page, the story explains how important words are – both to endear or hurt others. With words being so powerful, they can spread love and kindness, show respect or thankfulness, and heal. However, they can also be spoken in anger and be hurtful. The book states that by saying what is in your heart or simply listen to others, words can change you and those around you.

~Why ~
This is a thoughtful and heartfelt way to remind young ones how words can be loving and nice or sometimes mean and cruel. I like how it promotes being kind to others through words, followed often by positive actions. Including that God wants you to have a heart full of love is appreciated and important when taught to our children. The artwork is endearing and will keep children interested.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like any references to God may not like this book, although He is only mentioned once (and Jesus is not). Others may not like the one negative comment about anger being unkind, but it does show the reality of saying something harmful to another person as it cannot be taken back.

~ Wish ~
I enjoyed this read and think it is important for children to learn early how words – good and bad – impact others. Since the author is a well-known Christian pastor, it would be thoughtful if his book reminded us that Jesus is the best example of showing love through His Word. Adding a Bible verse or two would be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a way to gently show your children or grandchildren how vital it is to be careful of what we say, this one reminds us to use words to encourage, forgive, express gratitude, heal, and love.

Thanks to Zblog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/34OBw2k

#Zonderkidz #ZblogSquad #WordstoLoveByforLittleOnes #RickWarren #AgJatkowska

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Love You, Love You

Title: Love You, Love You
Written by: Mary Hassinger
Illustrator: Alison Brown
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76841-8

“’Love You, Love You,’ Mama squeaked. Into her nest she quickly peeked. Sleeping babies softly snore. ‘I’ve never felt such love before,’” Mary Hassinger rhymes at the beginning of the children’s book, Love You, Love You.

~ What ~
This twenty-page board book with rounded corners targets children ages three years old and older. With no scary scenes, it focuses on animals and their families as they go to bed.

After a presentation page to fill out, this cute tale told in rhyming format shows an animal mother, father, grandparents, aunt, uncle, and siblings showing love as they put their charges into bed. The animals include mice, bears, snakes, dogs, chickens, ducks, cats, and frogs.

~Why ~
This is a nice story for those who like bedtime reads about animals getting snuggly and cozy as they hit the hay. I like the pretty illustrations and sleepy-looking critters that are calm and serene.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do care to read to their young ones when they get tucked in bed may have no interest in this short tale. Others may find it too sophomoric in content, as it only has animals in their sleeping areas.

~ Wish ~
I wish this book had more than the families simply going to bed with four-line rhymes and was more realistic to animals’ bedtime rituals. For example: The Nana snake makes sure all her grandchildren are kissed and then turns off all the lights, yet it could have been more engaging if the illustration was in a dark den than has no lamps in it.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a nice bedtime story about animals, this may satisfy your child’s interest, yet I do not think it will hold our grandchildren’s attention for long.

Thanks to Zblog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/35M62v0

#Zonderkidz #ZblogSquad #AlisonBrown #LoveYouLoveYou #MaryHassinger

 

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Spies, Code Breakers, and Secret Agents

Title: Spies, Code Breakers, & Secret Agents
Author: Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Rockridge Press
ISBN: 978-1-64611-101-5

“Spies appeared out of nowhere in many cities during World War II. Where did they come from, and where did they learn to be spies?” begins the second chapter in Carole P. Roman’s children’s book, Spies, Code Breakers, and Secret Agents: A World War II Book for Kids.

~ What ~
This one-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets children ages eight to twelve years old who enjoy books about secret intelligence and the rogue side of war that includes spy biographies. With no profanity and a few adult situations, several black and white illustrations are added.

After an introduction, this is a collection of six chapters regarding mostly undercover intelligent agents for the Axis Powers and Allied Forces during World War II. It discusses the spies on both sides, their missions, gear, secret armies, super spies, code breakers, and spies today. It ends with a glossary, resources, bibliography, and index. There are “Did You Know” and “Espionage by the Numbers” sidebars with information. Over fifty words are highlighted in the book and explained in its glossary.

~ Why ~
As the years go by, the sacrificial events of World War II are slowly ignored and forgotten, so this book confirms how spies from opposing viewpoints showed their patriotism by secretly serving their country. I loved how the writer explains the devastating history of the massive war that had over one-million Resistance fighters in underground armies plus over thirty-two-hundred British women, who were often recruited through social and athletic clubs, trained at Camp X in Canada, became code breakers and talkers, and learned how to use coal grenades, limpet mines, and hide maps in playing cards.

Some of the male and female short biographies include:
Josephine Baker
Morris “Moe” Berg
Eddie “Fritz” Chapman
George Dash
Tor Glad & John Moe (Mutt & Jeff)
Christine Granville
Virginia Hall
George Wood
Takeo Yoshikawa

~ Why Not ~
Some of the technical information may be above the reading level for some children. Others may not like the topic of war,  yet the book does not contain too much graphic content about abuse, torture, or death.

~ Wish ~
Although I greatly appreciate this book that focuses on spies and how they were recruited, trained, and served their countries, I wish photographs of the tools and people were added instead of drawings.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a wonderful book that not only teaches young ones about life during World War II as a spy but also has stories and sidebars, this would be the perfect gift for those who are fascinated by the topic or need to write a report about an interesting time in history. I think the author was spot on by ending the book with her teaser that “There are countless numbers of spies out there. If you pay attention, you may spot one yourself!”

Thanks to Callisto Publisher’s Club and the author for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2MaYpGF

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Biography, Book Review, Business / Money / Education, Childrens

Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables

Title: Frog’s Rainy-Day Story and Other Fables
Author: Michael James Dowling
Illustrator: Sarah Buell Dowling
Publisher: Carpenter’s Son Publishing
ISBN: 978-1949572-46-9

“You were created to make words. If you don’t make words and stories, what are you going to do?” Frog asks the rebellious letters in Michael James Dowling’s children’s book, Frog’s Rainy-Day Story & Other Fables.

~ What ~
This numbered seventy-two-page over-sized hardbound targets four to eight-year-old children who like stories about animals and valuable life lessons. Ideally for second and third graders, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some complicated wording. Fanciful illustrations are on most pages. The ending includes a two-page glossary, the author and illustrator’s biographies, and a further learning website link. Using mainly the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible, the Good News version is also referenced.

This collection of eight stories are written about a frog, duck, pig, turtle, owl, rabbit, hen, and goose as they deal with life’s challenges of personal glory, trusting their own wisdom, disobeying rules, being proud, seeking happiness, rejecting truth, making foolish choices, and wasting time. At the end of each tale is a highlighted saying, two quoted words of worldly wisdom along with written-out Bible verses, all relating to the moral of the story.

~ Why ~
Teaching young ones about family values should be a top priority for parents, teachers, and loved ones. This storybook hones in on building character, moral consciousness, and knowing right from wrong through the eyes of animals. Containing an unappreciated alphabet, duck adamant about direction, demanding pig with set rules, bragging turtle, wise owl recommending thinking about others, too-trusting rabbit being hoodwinked, flippant, demanding hen, and gander with a lost opportunity, the fables are cute, to the point, and charming.

~ Why Not ~
Children who do not know or have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand the validity of the “Wisdom of the Word” sections. Some young ones may get upset reading about a fox wanting to make rabbit stew. There are several two to four-syllable words that may be too complicated for beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
While I loved the stories and expressive illustrations that were easy to understand, I wonder if young readers on their own will realize that the quotes by famous people such as Lucille Ball, Ethan Embry, Swami Vivekananda, Eckhart Tolle, the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, and others in the “Wisdom of the World” sections are counter-intuitive and opposite than the Word of God written below them. I fear some may praise these quotes that are often not true to Scriptures and nowhere in the book does it explain or state their wrongness, so I have discounted the rating accordingly.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a kid’s storybook of lovely animal fables, this may be a favorite, but please be sure to clearly discuss with your children that the worldly outlook is not always in line with the Bible and Christian beliefs.

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

#Frog’sRainyDayStoryandOtherFables #MichaelJamesDowling #SarahBuellDowling #CarpentersSonPublishing #Bookcrash

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/2q5sL5E

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A Very Fiona Christmas

Title: A Fiona Christmas
Author & Illustrator: Richard Cowdrey
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76773-2

“It was in that moment that Fiona finally understood. Christmas is friends and fun and snow and lights and trees … and love!” ends Richard Cowdrey’s children’s book, A Very Fiona Christmas.

~ What ~
At thirty-two pages, this oversized hardbound with a front cover that has glitter targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about one’s interpretation of the meaning of Christmas, experienced through the eyes of Fiona, a charming hippopotamus. Containing some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers.

In partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo, this story is about Fiona, a young hippo who lives at the zoo who is trying to understand the meaning of Christmas. As the animals start celebrating the holiday by talking about presents, decorations, trees, and more, Fiona slides down hills with penguins, plays with polar bears, and enjoys the festivities, but she does not understand the holiday. On Christmas morning the animal befriends Chloe, a koala, who is not given a Christmas stocking. Fiona lovingly gives the critter her favorite scarf as a gift and introduces her to others, later realizing that giving is the reason for Christmas.

~Why ~
This is a charming story with an adorable baby hippo who learns the value of friendship and giving. I like the engaging, interesting illustrations that include other zoo animals. The idea of giving gifts instead of receiving them is important to teach to young ones.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not care for these large animals or zoos may not be interested in this book. Others, such as Christians like me, may not like that there is no reference to the real reason for the season: the birth of Jesus Christ.

~ Wish ~
While I loved looking at Fiona and her cuteness, I wish the book explained the spiritual background and why we celebrate Jesus and His birth.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beautifully illustrated children’s book about a thoughtful hippo named Fiora that has no mention of Christ being born, this may be for you, but I marked it down as I think it missed the point of the Real Reason to the holiday.

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

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2NNxDE7

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

Merry Christmas, Nighty Night

Title: Merry Christmas, Nighty Night
Author: Michael W. Smith with Mike Nawrocki
Illustrator: Tod Carter
Painter: Chuck Vollmer
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76707-7

“And as the soft strings of the instruments rang the kids closed their eyes and the Nighty Nights sang …” Michael W. Smith with Mike Nawrocki writes in the children’s book, Merry Christmas, Nighty Night.

~ What ~
Part of the Nurturing Steps series, this twenty-two-page board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets children ages four years old and older. With no scary scenes, it is a story about two children sung to sleep by a band of three stuffed animals called the Nighty Nights on Christmas Eve. Fully painted illustrations grace most of the pages.

With an introduction page that includes a space to write in the owner’s name, presenter, and date, this tale involves two children anticipating Christmas morning and unable to go to sleep. After their parents discuss sugarplums, pray, and say goodnight to them, the three beloved animals come to life and help the kids fall asleep by singing “Silent Night.”

~Why ~
This is a nice story for those who get excited about waiting for Christmas to come. I liked that the parents spent time with their children, especially when the father prays to God. Telling the tale in rhyme makes it engaging, and the critters are cute and adorable.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with God may not understand why it is necessary to pray to God. Some may think the drawings are too simplistic and lack details.

~ Wish ~
As a Christian, I wish that the father did not mention helping Saint Nick (aka Santa Claus) as it deters from the main reason for celebrating the holiday: it is Christ’s birth.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a nice bedtime story about Christmas that includes the words to an iconic holiday song, this is a thoughtful read.

Thanks to Zblog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2WPqnvt

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The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling

Title: The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling
Author and Illustrator: Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76363-5

“As they drove through the night, an even merrier sound was heard–Christmas carols being joyfully sung,” states Mike Berenstain in his book, The Berenstain Bears Go Christmas Caroling.

~ What ~
Part of the Berenstain Bears / Living Lights series, this unnumbered twenty-four-page paperback targets children four to eight years old, especially those who like short stories of the well-known family of bears singing Christmas carols. With no profanity or scary scenes, the story has colorful, expressive illustrations on every page. Due to some complicated wording, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers. Four postcards, a holiday door banner, and a word-search game are included.

This story has the entire Berenstain family going on a sleigh ride and joining friends as Christmas carols are sung. Often the little bears ask what words in the holiday songs mean such as bob tails, King Wenceslas, figgy pudding, a yule, and lowing.  At the end of the story, everyone meets at the chapel and sing more songs about Jesus’s birth.

~ Why ~
This book is a fun way to recall famous Christmas tunes that most of us know. I love the idea of explaining unusual words in the songs and adding the twelve cardstock postcards and doorknob card plus a word game. I appreciate the book promotes many songs about the nativity and does not mention Santa Claus.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or celebrate His birth may not be interested in this read. Some may not like the Biblical references or spiritual connotations in the songs. Due to the two and three-syllable words, some beginner readers may struggle through the pages.

~ Wish ~
Page numbers would be helpful for some readers learning their numbers.

~ Want ~
For those who like the Berenstain Bears series, this one that centers on Christmas carols, this is a great option that includes added bonuses a young one will enjoy.

Thanks to the Z Blog Squad for providing this book that I am under no obligation to review.

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/2qq5FX1

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