Category Archives: Childrens

Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

Love Letters from God; Bible Stories for a Girl's HeartTitle: Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart
Author: Glenys Nellist
Illustrator: Rachel Clowes
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75328-5

“Full of warmth and love, this picture book will fill girls’ hearts with the wonder of the Lord,” the inside jacket flap states in Glenys Nellist’s children’s book, Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart.

~ What ~
This letter-size hardbound of thirty-two pages with fifteen lift-the-flap note cards targets young girls four to eight years old. Having no scary scenes, it is a compilation of fourteen rewritten Bible stories about women taken from the New International Reader’s Version. Illustrator Clowes’s expressive and detailed designs fill both sides of the opened pages, leaving lightly colored backgrounds for black wording in an easy-to-read font.

Focusing on females of the Bible, the stories include Eve, Miriam, Rahab, Deborah, Hannah, Naaman’s servant girl, Esther, Mary, the Samaritan woman, the lady to be stoned, Martha, a widow, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene. Each story has a Bible verse and fold-out love letter from God. The ending has a large heart-shaped letter to write a note to God.

~ Why ~
I like how each story is titled about different types of girls and that the fold-out love letters from God apply to the reader. Inside there is a place for the reader’s name to be written followed by encouraging words that God supposedly writes, reminding what is to be learned from the story. Adding the final page with a large blank heart-shaped note card offers an invitation to write to God

~ Why Not ~
While the concept of having letters from God inserted in the book is clever and cute, the stories written with ample creative liberties in only a positive light may misdirect young ones to incorrectly learn about the Bible. The author’s intention is a charming idea; yet one should be cautioned there are major theological flaws in many of her stories.

~ Who ~
Author Nellist has had stories and poems published in children magazines and produced other books in this series. She lives in Michigan with her husband. Illustrator Clowes illustrates children’s books and lives with her husband and family in Yorkshire, England.

~ Wish ~
I wish the stories were more accurate according to Scripture. I prefer all pronouns of God and Jesus capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you know of a young girl who wants an interactive book of fourteen Biblical stories for girls with letters written to them from God and a place to respond, this is a good choice if you can make sure the reader knows the Bible stories correctly.

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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Grandpa Hugs

Grandpa HugsTitle: Grandpa Hugs
Author: Laura Neutzling
Illustrator: Cee Biscoe
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8940-5

“Grandpa’s chair is comfy-cozy
With room enough to share.
Before it’s time to go to bed,
We say a nighttime prayer,”
Laura Neutzling writes in her children’s book, Grandpa Hugs.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets children ages two to five years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about grandpas. With full-color scenes on both sides of the open pages, young animals are shown with their grandfathers in different activities.

Written in rhyme with some complicated wording, this short tale shows many of the different things that grandfathers do with their grandchildren. Bunnies, foxes, monkeys, elephants, sheep, giraffes, tigers, owls, dogs, and bears depict the unique love between the generations.

~Why ~
Our three-year-old granddaughter loves being read books before she goes to sleep, and I enjoy how this one focuses on a grandpa and what he does that is special. The pictures are engaging and fun to look at for the age group.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in praying to God may want to avoid this book, but it is only mentioned in one line, and no Bible verses are included. Due to some of three syllable words, it would be best to read it out loud to beginner readers.

~ Who ~
Having a career in entertainment, Neutzling has been focusing on writing scripts, discussion guides, and books for children. She and her husband live in Florida.

~ Wish ~
Being a grandma, I hope a book for grandmothers will be coming soon.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a bonding book about a granddad with pictures of animals, this is a nice choice. It would be an adorable book to have in the grandparents’ home when the young ones come for a visit and sit in grandpa’s lap to be read it.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Princess Prayers

Princess Prayers (The Princess Parables)Title: Princess Prayers
Author: Crystal Bowman
Inspired by: Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson
Illustrator: Omar Aranda
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75869

“Dear Lord, I love you very much. It makes me glad to know your love is always with me no matter where I go,” Crystal Bowman writes in her children’s book, Princess Prayers, which is inspired by Jeanna Young and Jaqueline Johnson.

~ What ~
Part of the Princess Parables series, this thirty-page small hardbound with a glittery embossed padded front cover targets young girls ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes except two scenes of lightning striking, the book contains prayers to God.

With brightly colored drawings that are easy to understand on the right side of the pages, there are fifteen rhyming prayers on the opposite pages that are two stanzas each. Some of the titles that involve the princess sisters include My Morning Prayer, God’s Beauty, Happy Times, When I’m Afraid, I’m Sorry, and Near to God. Small ovals on the left sides have written out Bible verses under the rhymes.

~ Why ~
Little girls who are into being or reading about princesses may like this book that concentrates on praying from morning to bedtime and for any reason needed. I like how colorful and expressive the designs are that will keep a young reader’s attention as they read the prayers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God or praying to Him will avoid this book. Some may not like that it is geared toward girls with the princess connotations as there is only one male depicted in one illustration. Beginner readers may find the two- and three-syllable words hard to comprehend or understand so would be best if someone read it to them.

~ Who ~
Author Bowman has written over eighty children’s books. She lives in Florida with her husband.  Young is a cancer survivor who has written over a dozen children’s books. She lives in California with her husband and four children. Also residing in the sunshine state, author Johnson and her husband have seven grandchildren, and she is devoted to teaching young ones about God. Illustrator Aranda was born in Argentina and has produced artworks worldwide, focusing mainly on children’s products.

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

~ Want ~
If your young princess has enjoyed other books in this series, this prayer book would be a thoughtful addition.

Thanks to the 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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If You Were Me and Lived in … the Mayan Empire

If You Were Me and Lived in....the Mayan EmpireTitle: If You Were Me and Lived in … the Mayan Empire
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Paula Tabor
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1535046213

“If you were me and lived during the Mayan (My-an) civilization, you would be born around 1500 years ago in the year 572 and would have made your home in one of the many Mayan cities,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived in … the Mayan Empire  – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time series, this sixty-four-page paperback targets elementary to middle school-aged children and readers who like learning about historical eras. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words. Full-color illustrations cover the right side of the open pages with black wording against yellow backgrounds on the left side. A dozen pages at the end of the book include Mayan contributions to the world, brief information on eight famous Mayan individuals, and a five-page glossary that also includes pronunciation for each word.

In this book dedicated to the Mayan Empire, its history, religion, culture, clothing, and activities are explained. Readers can learn what their names would be, employment, city and home environment, famous buildings, food choices, necessary attire, monetary values, education, hobbies, and important people and what they accomplished.

~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational and detailed account is a way for children to learn about another period in history and how it changed the world. As an adult, I appreciate the information on the Mayans’ societal hierarchy, communal living, foods eaten, attire worn, and gods worshiped. Learning about why Mayans gave specific names at birth, hunted for agouti and peccary, ate food with obsidian and flint, females wore a huipil, forced-formed babies’ head shapes, and got tattoos were interesting.

~ Why Not ~
While the book contains long paragraphs and three- to four-syllable words, it would have to be read out loud to new readers. Some may think its contents may be too advanced for young children, but the pictures are interesting.

~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written several series for children of books based on countries, eras, and the pirate genre. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren. Illustrator Tabor is also a portraitist, caricaturist, and art show award winner who lives in Texas.

~ Wish ~
I wish more creative books like this one were available that promoted historical events to be used as educational tools for teaching children.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a new series that covers a gambit of historical places and people, this one will teach your children about living during the Mayan Empire

Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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If You Were Me and Lived in … Germany

If You Were Me and Lived in...Germany: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World (Volume 20)Title: If You Were Me and Lived in … Germany
Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Kelsea Wierenga
Publisher: CreateSpace
ISBN: 978-1539135944

“If you were me and lived in Germany (Ger-man-nee), you would call your country Deutschland (Doytch-land), but the rest of the world would know it as the Republic of Germany,” Carole P. Roman writes in her children’s book, If You Were Me and Lived in … Germany – A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World.

~ What ~
Part of the international series, this thirty-six-page paperback targets preschool to early elementary school-aged children and readers who like learning about other countries around the world. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, it would best be read to beginner readers based on some complicated words that usually include pronunciation. Often, colorful, expressive illustrations cover one side of the page with a nicely sized white font wording against a brown background on the opposite side. Four pages at the end of the book reiterate how to pronounce certain words and their meanings.

Readers learn that Germany is part of the European Union, has sixteen states, two rivers, and is located as the crossroads of the continent. In addition to explaining names given to children and relatives, it discusses forms of money, places to visit such as the Neuschwanstein Castle and Miniatur Wonderland, Oktoberfest, favorite foods, and five interesting facts.

~ Why ~
Not written as a fictional story, this educational book is a simple way for children to learn about Germany. I love reading about the miniature model railway and the marvelous food such as sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel, apfelstrudel, hot brezel, aal, rollmops, and schweinebraten.

~ Why Not ~
The book contains many multi-syllable words that may frustrate beginner readers, but it also is a way to learn new words related to Germany.

~ Who ~
Award-winning author, Roman has written several series for children of books based on countries, eras, and the pirate genre. She lives in New York with her husband and close to her children and grandchildren. Illustrator Wierenga has a self-publishing background and is a freelance children’s book illustrator who lives in Michigan with her family.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were books like this so children could see and learn about countries around the globe.

~ Want ~
Readers who want to learn about countries will look forward to future books in the series to learn more about a particular location. This is a wonderful, educational series that shows what life is like elsewhere.

Thanks to the author for furnishing this complimentary book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Thank You, God, for Grandma

Title: Thank You, God, for Grandma
Author: Amy Parker
Illustrator: Rosalinda Kightley
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8925-2

“Thank You, God, for Grandma;
There’s nothing I can do
I know she’ll always love me, and …
Grandma, I love you too!”
Amy Parker ends in her children’s book, Thank You, God, for Grandma.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book with a padded front cover targets children ages two to five years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about honoring a young one’s grandmother. Full page color illustrations of a bear with two of her grand cubs cover both sides of the opened pages.

Written in rhyme with some complicated wording, this short tale concentrates on a bear grandmom who cares, teaches, plays, spoils, sings, and interacts with her grandchildren. While there are fun scenes of bears romping in the field, reading books, dressing up, playing hide-and-seek, cooking, picnicking, and singing, it is also noted the grandmother shows how to care for others and let God’s love shine. The beginning and end of the book stress that young ones should be thankful to God for their grandparent.

~Why ~
Our three-year-old granddaughter loves being read books before she goes to sleep, and I love how this one focuses on a grandma and what she does that is special. The pictures are engaging and fun to look at for the age group.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with God may not understand why one would thank God for grandparents. Due to some of three syllable words, it would be best to read it out loud to beginner readers.

~ Who ~
The author of over thirty books that have sold over one million copies worldwide, Parker focuses on children, teens, and adults. Married, she and her husband have two sons. No information is given on the illustrator, Kightley.

~ Wish ~
Because this book only shows a grandmother and grandchild relationship, it should be noted there is a similar book about grandfathers too.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a bonding book about a grandma with pictures of bears, this is a nice choice.  It would be an adorable book to have in the grandparents’ home when the young ones come for a visit and cuddle up with their grammy and be read it.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Thank You, God, for Grandpa

Title: Thank You, God, for Grandpa
Author: Amy Parker
Illustrator: Rosalinda Kightley
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-8929-0

“Thank You, God, for Grandpa;
There’s nothing I can do
To make my grandpa love me less –
Grandpa, I love you too!”
Amy Parker ends in her children’s book, Thank You, God, for Grandpa.

~ What ~
At twenty pages, this board book with a padded front cover targets children ages two to five years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about honoring a young one’s grandfather. Full page color illustrations of a monkey with two of his grandkids cover both sides of the opened pages.

Written in rhyme with some complicated wording, this short tale concentrates on a monkey grandpa who loves, teaches, tells stories, spoils, explains Jesus, and interacts with his grandchildren. While there are fun scenes of monkeys hugging, playing games, fishing, skipping rocks, pitching trick curveballs, eating yummy desserts, and catching fireflies, it is also noted how the grandfather shows Jesus’s love and how to pray. The beginning and end of the book stress that young ones should be thankful to God for their grandparent.

~Why ~
Our three-year-old granddaughter loves being read books before she goes to sleep, and I love how this one focuses on a grandpa and what he does that is special. The pictures are engaging and fun to look at for the age group.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with God may not understand why one would thank God for grandparents. Due to some of three syllable words, it would be best to read it out loud to beginner readers.

~ Who ~
The author of over thirty books that have sold over one-million copies worldwide, Parker focuses on children, teens, and adults. Married, she and her husband have two sons. No information is given on the illustrator, Kightley.

~ Wish ~
Because this book only shows a grandfather and grandchild relationship, it should be noted there is a similar book about grandmoms too.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a bonding book about a granddad with pictures of monkeys, this is a nice choice. It would be an adorable book to have in the grandparents’ home when the young ones come for a visit and sit in grandpa’s lap to be read it.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Legend of the Sand Dollar

The Legend of the Sand Dollar, Newly Illustrated Edition: An Inspirational Story of Hope for EasterTitle: The Legend of the Sand Dollar
Author: Chris Auer
Illustrator: Richard Cowdrey
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-74980-6

“See the doves? This is the new life – the promise of Easter. As Jesus lives again, so can we,” Jack explains to Kerry in Chris Auer’s children’s book, The Legend of the Sand Dollar: An Inspirational Story of Hope for Easter.

~ What ~
At thirty-two pages, this oversized hardbound with a front cover that has shiny embossed purple wording targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary scenes, it is a nice story about the meaning of Easter by viewing a sand dollar. Containing some complicated wording, it would be best read out loud to beginner readers.

This story is about a young girl who goes to the beach. Her cousin, Jack, takes her beagle and her by boat to an island where they collect sea shells. When she finds a sand dollar, Jack not only tells her facts about the round-shaped shell, but how they tell the Easter story of Jesus birth with one side having a design of a Christmas flower and the other an Easter lily. The holes reflect Christ’s nail holes and a spear, and when the shell is broken, five white shapes flutter out with His promise. Kerry keeps the sand dollar and retells the story to her sister. The end has information regarding sand dollars and a poem.

~Why ~
This is a charming tale that accentuates the markings on something as simple as a sand dollar and how it relates to Jesus. I love the fanciful, detailed illustrations that cover the pages, with most including an adorable puppy that children will enjoy. While not completely explaining the plan of eternal salvation, the book offers an open dialogue with young ones about the topic.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not understand this book and its references to the true meaning of Easter. Some may wonder why the young boy was allowed to take the girl and dog out to sea on a boat, especially without them wearing life jackets.

~ Who ~
Living in Georgia, Auer is an Emmy-nominated screenwriter and author who teaches screenwriting and producing. Cowdrey has illustrated several books.

~ Wish ~
Although this is an innocuous story about a sand dollar, it does not mention that Jesus had to shed His blood on the cross for our sins. I wish Bible verses were referenced and all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beautifully illustrated children’s book about sand dollars, this is a lovely choice that will have your children searching the beach for this shell and noticing its details that may remind them of Jesus.

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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Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible

Once Upon a Time Storybook BibleTitle: Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible
Illustrator: Omar Aranda
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75792-4

“Inside these pages are some of the greatest stories ever told … and believe it or not they’re real!” the introduction states in the Once Upon A Time Storybook Bible.

~ What ~
This numbered one-hundred-forty-four-page oversized hardbound targets children four to eight-years-old looking for a book of stories from the Bible. Using the New International Version of the Holy Bible, it has a presentation page, introduction, table of contents, and thirty-three stories with full-colored, detailed illustrations. With some frightening and scary situations, some young children should be cautioned. It would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some of the complicated three syllable words.

With eighteen stories from the Old Testament and fifteen from the New Testament, each story is four pages long with a Bible verse written under its title. The artworks range from a quarter to full page and are expressive and detailed. Besides the typical iconic stories, also added are ones involving the battle of Jerico, Hannah’s prayer, Samuel listening to God, Esther’s bravery, Zacchaeus’s dinner invitation, Lazarus rising from the dead, and Jesus’s mission for us.

~ Why ~
Every child should know stories of the Bible, and I liked how this one covered the gambit of them. I appreciate that in two places on the cover it states “The Bible is not a fairy tale. Every great story happened once upon a time.” With each story being short and to the point, so many good ones are added. Although a complicated topic to explain to young ones, Jesus dying on the cross and rising the third day is included.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God 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 as liberties are taken (example: there is no mention Jesus dying for our sins). Young children may be frightened of the depictions of fierce lions, a fiery furnace, and a walking mummy.

~ Who ~
No information is provided on the writer of the retold stories. The illustrator was born in Argentina and has often been commissioned for his story artwork, comics, and character designs.

~ Wish ~
Having all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence would be thoughtful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s book that includes many loosely rewritten and shortened stories of the Holy Bible with beautiful, 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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The Beginner’s Bible Activity Book

The Beginner's Bible Activity BookTitle: The Beginner’s Bible: Activity Book
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75979-9

“Color this letter to God. Trace the letters. Sign your name,” the ending project states in Zondervan’s children’s book, The Beginner’s Bible: Activity Book.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this numbered sixty-four-page oversized paperback targets young children from four to eight years old. The book involves several well-known stories taken from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible in the form of creative activities for children to do.

The illustrations are taken from other The Beginner’s Bible sources and cover Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Daniel, Jonah, and Jesus’s birth, ministry, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection, plus John’s revelation. The activities range from word searches, counting, mazes, dot to dot, finding differences, and matching to tracing letters and numbers, drawing, and coloring.

~ Why ~
What makes this activity book special is that a child can read one of the other books in The Beginner’s Bible series and see the same pictures in color and copy them or make a different colorful design. The projects range from a preschooler to beginner reader to comprehend. I like that there are so many different topics, including letters to complete telling Jesus you are sorry for your sins and you love Him, as well as a Dear God letter to color and sign.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about Bible stories will pass on this book. Some drawings that may concern some might be Goliath dead and Jesus being taken and crucified on a cross. Others may misconstrue that baptism is necessary for salvation when it states Peter quoting, “Tell Jesus you are sorry for your sins and be baptized.”

~ Who ~
No information is provided on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
I wish more coloring books were published that mimicked stories in books for children to color. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical activity book that syncs with other books in The Beginner’s Bible series, this will keep children occupied during quiet time or a rainy day inside.

Thanks to Zondervan for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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