Category Archives: Childrens

Review: You Can Shine So Bright

Title: You Can Shine So Bright
Authors: Jinger & Jeremy Vuolo
Illustrator: Naomi C. Robinson
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-1381-5

“One act of love or kindness can change the world. Let your light shine!” states the back jacket cover of Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo’s children’s book, You Can Shine So Bright.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardcover with a matching jacket targets children ages four to seven years old who like to learn about letting their light shine by loving others. With no scary scenes, it contains easy-to-understand colorful illustrations on almost every page. A simplistic font covers the pages.

Written by the television couple who promotes their faith and values, this book teaches young ones about the Biblical fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. With engaging artwork that includes many nationalities, there are usually four-line rhymes about the topics along with two-line rhyming statements. The story reminds us how God loves us so we should love others as we shine in the world.

~Why ~
This is a lovely way to encourage children to care for and love others, especially by befriending others, sharing toys, giving of ourselves, and helping one in need. I appreciate the drawings were interesting and included a boy in a wheelchair in some of them.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like a book that mentions God and Jesus may not approve of this one, but both are pivotal to letting our love shine. Some children with visual stimulation issues may not like a couple of the illustrations as they may be too busy, but they will keep a child entertained.

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

~ Want ~
If you want a book that helps little ones learn about the many Biblical fruits of the spirit, this read will wet their tender minds to want to shine like God does.

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

#Hachette #WorthyKids #JingerJeremyVuolo #YouCanShineSoBright #NaomiCRobinson #ChildrensBiblicalFruitsoftheSpirit

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

Leave a comment

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

Review: The Stories of God (and Kiki)

Title: The Stories of God (and Kiki)
Author: Dave Connis
Illustrator: Amy Domingo
Publisher: WaterBrook
ISBN: 978-0-593-23357-3

“God thinks Kiki is awesome. He loves when Kiki does Kiki things. And because God thinks you’re awesome. He loves when you do you things,” Dave Connis writes in his children’s book, The Stories of God (and Kiki).

~ What ~
A part of the Made in His Image series, this forty-page hardbound targets three to seven-year-old children who like reading how God is writing our story. With no scary scenes, there are colorful illustrations on all the pages that contain one to two sentences each.

In this short tale, Kiki is a young child who is creative and imaginative as she is compared to God and how He made her like Him. Correlating her designing artwork and writing stories to the Almighty, it describes the similarities and differences between them. As she writes the biggest story ever, it reminds us how God is also writing a story of each of us plus making all things new in the future.

~ Why ~
This is a story that contains silly writing ideas of an inventive girl mixed with the awesomeness of God. Not only does it have an otter prince, sea cucumber, and gerblins, but it also mentions in passing the Bible stories of creation, the Garden of Eden, Queen Esther, Jesus’s resurrection, God being all-knowing, and a reference toward eternity.

~ Why Not ~
Some children will not like the confusing choppy sentences with the overly-busy artwork, especially if they have issues with visual stimulation. Others may not realize the book is more about feeling special in the way God made you and your God-given talents. With such a title, I expected this book to have Biblical stories in it, so I was disappointed at its minimal reference to Scripture. Often I did not understand what was going on in the writing and illustrations until I reread the book several times.

~ Wish ~
Although I appreciate the book mentioning how we are created in God’s image and He brings us joy, it does not give the plan of eternal salvation. Stating that God loves you “when you do you things” may be misconstrued as there is no right or wrong included.

~ Want ~
If your child does not mind a read that has a lot more of a little girl’s imagination and creativity than actual stories from the Word of God, this may be perfect for him or her, but I didn’t care for it.

Thanks to WaterBrook and Multnomah Book Launch Team for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

#WaterBrook #MultnomahBookLaunchTeam #TheStoriesofGodandKiki #DaveConnis #AmyDomingo

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

Leave a comment

Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Review: In the Shadow of His Wings

Title:  In the Shadow of His Wings
Author: Roslynn Long
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-3948-9

“Each bird photograph in this book is a kind of ‘Ebenezer’ of my birding expeditions–they are reminders of the love and care of the Lord in even the smallest matters of life,” Roslynn Long writes in the introduction to her devotional, In the Shadow of His Wings: 40 Uplifting Devotions Inspired by Birds.

~ What ~
This square one-hundred-and-sixty-page hardbound targets those who enjoy a devotional devoted to birds and how they correlate to God. With beautiful photographs by the author, it contains Biblical stories and applications that are taken from the Holy Bible. The NIV, ESV, NASB, NKJV, and NLT versions are referenced.

From three to five pages each, the forty devotions have one to two full-color photographs each of all types of birds that include bluebirds, cardinals, ducks, eagles, geese, hawks, herons, hummingbirds, loons, mallards, meadowlarks, owls, sparrows, swans, and more. The devotions relate to various topics such as the Garden of Eden, the attributes and characteristics of God, what Jesus did for us, and how we can be more Christlike. Bible verses are gleaned from books like Genesis, I Samuel, Psalms, Jeremiah, Nahum, Matthew, Luke, John, Galatians, Colossians, Hebrews, James, and I John to name a few.

~ Why ~
Those who like birds and reading short devotions that focus on God will enjoy this book. The photographs are simple yet stunning as they display our Maker’s creativity. The readings blend how birds can remind us of the Lord’s love, care, and encouragement.

One devotional I appreciated was Don’t Look Down about Peter faltering when he walked on the water to Jesus, which is mentioned in Matthew 14. The writer ties the story to a mallard duckling having to jump off a wooden ledge; he looked at his mother instead of down. Only by focusing on Christ can we address our fears and take a leap of faith toward Him as we go through day-to-day trials.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with the Almighty may not be interested in this type of book. Others may not care for the many stories that include the author’s personal experiences, although they do revert to God.

~ Wish ~
Since there are no page numbers listed, it is hard to find a specific bird listed at the back of the book. Adding a ribbon marker would be ideal.

~ Want ~
If you are or know a bird lover who loves looking at photographs and reading about God’s feathered creatures, this would be a thoughtful and uplifting devotional.

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

#BakerPublishing #IntheShadowofHisWings #RoslynnLong #BirdDevotional

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3ag5tRD

Leave a comment

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

Review: I Can Be Your Friend

Title: I Can Be Your Friend
Author: Pamela Kennedy
Illustrator: Lisa Reed
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0214-7

“We all need good friends.
Veggies know that is true.
You can be friends with others.
They can be friends with you,”
Pamela Kennedy writes in the VeggieTales children’s book, I Can Be Your Friend.

~ What ~
This twenty-page oversized board book with rounded corners targets children one to four years old who like having friendships with others. 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 how to be a friend to others shown through a bunch of veggies that include asparagus, cauliflower, cucumbers, peas, squash, tomatoes, zucchini, and more. It promotes that to have a good friend, one must be a good friend by caring, sharing, listening, helping, and being nice. It reminds young ones that friends come in all colors and shapes, play together, take turns, brighten another’s day, and always come through when there are problems. The ending confirms that God is our all-the-time, very best friend.

~Why ~
This is a cute way to combine vegetables with big eyes as friends who have fun outdoors and indoors. I like the expressive but simple artwork that keeps a toddler engaged. I appreciate the reference to God being our best friend.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like a book that mentions the Almighty may not approve of this one, but He is only mentioned at the end of the book. Others may not like scenes of veggies playing on playgrounds or sick in bed, but it is iconic of the VeggieTales’ series.

~ 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.

~ Want ~
If you want a book that helps little ones learn how to make and be a friend, this one would be a great addition, 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 #ICanBeYourFriend #PamelaKennedy #LisaReed

This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-can-be-your-friend-with-cd-veggietales/1132448874

1 Comment

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

Review: Elysium Tide

Title: Elysium Tide
Author: James R. Hannibal
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-3851-8

“You don’t want to let me in? Fine. I’ll keep at this without you. And I’ll beat you to every clue the way I did today,” Peter emphatically tells Lisa in James R. Hannibal’s novel, Elysium Tide.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback is targeted toward those who enjoy a suspense involving gangs, car thieves, and murders in Maui. With no profanity, topics of violence, injury, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

This lightly Christian-based tale focuses on Londoner Dr. Peter Chesterfield, an atheistic know-it-all neurosurgeon who is forced to attend a conference at a resort in Hawaii about proper etiquette and bedside manners after overstepping his bounds with a hospital colleague. The same night that he arrives, he becomes involved in the death of an athletic woman who he tries ardently to save but fails. Hearing the woman’s last dying word, the persnickety surgeon forces his way into helping Detective Lisa Kealoha not only track down the murderer but also uncover a new gang trying to infiltrate the island.

~ Why ~
I like reading suspense stories filled with mystery, twists, and a touch of romance without being obvious, ridiculous, or sappy, and this one fits the bill nicely. I appreciate learning about the Hawaiian history, cultural superstitions, buckyballs, slippahs, and how a doctor deals with stress while searching for inner peace. The writing is engaging, drawing the reader in with the chapters being short and interesting.

~ Why Not ~
Those who are not followers of Christ and do not like stories that include faith in God, praying for redemption, and realizing our Lord is the one in control will not care for this book. Some may not like violent gang references, but they flowed easily within the tale. I was somewhat skeptical that the protagonist always was the first to uncover clues in a case that he had unusual access to solving.

~ Wish ~
As with prior books by the author, I felt it missed the opportunity to give the eternal plan of salvation. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like a suspenseful mystery involving a doctor who helps the police track down the killer and uncover the true meaning of ‘aumakua, this will keep you turning the pages to the end.

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

#Revell #JamesRHannibal #ElysiumTide #MauiMysterySuspense

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/3tPq1qq

Leave a comment

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

Review: Love You S’More

Title: Love You S’More
Author: Melinda Lee Rathjen
Illustrator: Rob McClurkan
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0215-4

“You really are special – it’s you I adore! And however it’s measured, I love you s’more,” Melinda Lee Rathjen writes in her children’s book, Love You S’more.

~ What ~
This twenty-page oversized board book with rounded corners targets children one to four years old who love to be told how much they are loved. With no scary scenes, contains sophomoric illustrations that will keep the attention of little ones. An easy-to-read font covers the pages.

This short story involves two raccoons who compete to see who loves the other more, correlating it to eating iconic s’mores made out of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate and camping. As the two critters sit in front of a fire in the forest and toast their treat, they debate about their love for one another.

~Why ~
This is a cute tale that families can easily gravitate to if they are into camping and sitting around a fire. I liked the rhyming format that included keeping warm, melted marshmallows, sweet chocolate, and how the crackers hug together, just like the two animals. It also mentions trees, the large moon, a grizzly bear, and that they both win the contest about love.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like repetitive wording in books may want to skip this one that repeats “I love you s’more” on almost every page. Others may not like the huge eyes of the raccoon, as they may scare some young ones.

~ Wish ~
It would be nice to have the illustrations show less of the emotions in the raccoons’ eyes, but if a child is concerned or frightened, an explanation could be given about these interesting looking creatures.

~ Want ~
If you want a book that reminds young ones how much they are loved, this one is spot on, especially if you enjoy eating s’mores in the forest.

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

#Hachette #WorthyKids #LoveYouSmore #MelindaLeeRathjen #RobMcClurkan

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/38F6ulk

2 Comments

Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Fiction

Special Spots

Title: Special Spots
Author & Illustrator: Kelly Artieri
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-649492333

“We should never be mean to anyone just because they are different or can’t learn as fast as others, even when they have tails,” Taylor explains in Kelly Artieri’s children’s book, Special Spots.

~ What ~
This forty-eight-page paperback targets children ages three to nine years old. With no scary scenes, it focuses on a young girl who takes care of a deaf dog. The end of the book contains five discussion questions with comments and the author/illustrator’s biography.

In this tale, Taylor and her family adopt an adorable dog with special needs. Because the canine is deaf, Taylor gets frustrated with him at times, especially when others make fun of the animal and his challenges. When she learns how to train the dog using sign language and takes him to obedience school where there are other dogs with issues, she learns to be caring and loving of her special pet.

~Why ~
This is a nice book for any young reader who loves dogs, especially those with handicaps. I appreciate promoting accepting animals who are not perfect and need extra care, especially when they have been in shelters and need a forever home.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books about a dog with a disability may not appreciate the read. The background of the pages has muted black spots, which may be distracting and too busy for some children. Beginner readers may have trouble with some of the three- and four-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
Those with ADHD or over-stimulation issues may not like all the spots on every page.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a book that promotes compassion and caring for animals including those with special needs, this is a lovely story for elementary-school-aged children.

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

#ElkLakePublishing #SpecialSpots #KellyArtieri #SpecialNeedsDogStory

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/3OFWZme

1 Comment

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

Benny Learns a Lesson

Title: Benny Learns a Lesson
Author: Cheryl Rae Johnson
Illustrator: Courtney Smith
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-649491398

“Benny loved his forever family, and now he knew he could do all things through Christ too,” Benny realizes about God in Cheryl Rae Johnson’s children’s book, Benny Learns a Lesson.

~ What ~
The second book of the Benny the Dachshund series, this thirty-eight-page paperback targets children ages three to nine years old who like stories about a dog who learns Christ can help him with all things. With no scary scenes, it focuses on a dachshund who is worried and afraid he has to do something. The end of the book contains the author’s and illustrator’s biographies.

This tale is about Benny the canine who is adopted by his forever family, who happens to include Holly, a young girl who has to visit the doctor. As both the dog and child pray to God not to be scared, they both learn an important lesson about trusting God. With simplistic, colorful illustrations on the left side of the pages, the right sides have the story in a decent size font.

~Why ~
This series is spot on by having both an animal and child praying to God for help, especially when it involves doing something that makes them apprehensive. I love how Holly’s mother promotes trusting in God to help as He is always with us.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not approve of a book that encourages praying to and trusting God. Others may not like that a dog thinks he can do anything with God’s assistance as the creature is not a true Christian believer. Beginner readers may have problems with some of the longer sentences.

~ Wish ~
I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence. A made-up word written several times may confuse new readers.

~ Want ~
If your child has to do something necessary but feels uncomfortable having to do it, this story may help them focus on Christ taking care of them instead of dwelling on the issue or outcome.

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

#ElkLakePublishing #BennyLearnsALesson #CherylRaeJohnson #CourtneySmith #ICanDoAllThingsThroughChrist

This book can be found at https://amzn.to/3LfXT6M

1 Comment

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

Papa Loves You, Tiny Blue

Title: Papa Loves You, Tiny Blue
Author & Illustrator: Jo Empson
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0221-5

“Some questions are so big we will never know the answer. Now, good night, Tiny Blue. I love you,” Papa tells the penguin in Jo Empson’s children’s book, Papa Loves You, Tiny Blue.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound with a matching jacket targets children three- to six-year-olds who love to learn about penguins and how they live and love. With no scary scenes except the suggestion that seals eat penguins, its beautiful watercolor illustrations and easy-to-read font cover the pages. The inner flap jacket contains the book’s description and the author’s biography.

This charming story involves a little penguin named Tiny Blue who idolizes his father by repeatedly asking him questions. As they walk on the seashore, stand on rocks, swim in the deep water, watch a sunset, and settle to sleep in their nest, the parent answers many questions about the age of the ocean, why penguins cannot fly, what jellyfish are, what is the biggest fish, and other interesting questions. When the father is asked if he knows everything, the dad says nobody does but that he loves him, which is the biggest mystery of all.

~Why ~
This is a heartfelt story as it not only contains interesting facts about animals that live in the sea but also how a little one completely trusts his parent to be told the truth. I love the amazing artwork that is beautiful and engaging for all ages. The story is tender in how it promotes love is a mystery that cannot be explained, but we know when we love someone else.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like large books with oversized artwork may want to pass on this read, but they would be missing out. A few may think the little one’s questions go unanswered, but three of them are explained after the story ends with a question to the reader if there are others to ask. Beginner readers may have trouble with the three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
It would be nice if other animal stories were written in this format that would include both educational information and an underlining theme of love, hope, or kindness.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a beautiful book that will be cherished by young ones, this one that explains penguins and the sea plus promotes a bond between a parent and child would be an excellent choice.

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

#Hachette #WorthyKids #PapaLovesYouTinyBlue #JoEmpson #PenguinStoryBookofLove

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/3L5HCkz

2 Comments

Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Animals / Pets, Book Review, Childrens, Fiction

Southern Baby: Southern Sayings for Little Ones

Title: Southern Baby
Author: Rebekah Moredock
Illustrator: Jennica Lounsbury
Publisher: WorthyKids
ISBN: 978-1-5460-0061-7

“This little board book introduces young ones to the uniquely charming language of the South,” states the back cover of Rebekah Moredock’s children’s book, Southern Baby: Southern Sayings for Little Ones.

~ What ~
With rounded edges, this twenty-page board book targets children ages three months to three years old. With no scary scenes, it focuses on words and phrases that relate to the southern states of America. Expressive and charming full-color illustrations grace the pages with easy-to-read font size.

In this cute book, the ten words or short sayings explain common languages that those in the South speak. Mentioned are Buggy, Bless Your Heart, Cuter than a June Bug, Cattywampus, Fixin’ to, Clicker, Madder than a Wet Hen, Knee-High to a Grasshopper, Commode, and Ya’ll.

~Why ~
This is a nice way to show how one talks is different than in other parts of the country, especially in the southern states. I like that the words are mostly specific to the targeted area, although some are used elsewhere. Those who live in the South will connect and relate to the sayings and artwork. My niece who lives in Louisiana and recently had a daughter will enjoy this book.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like books that concentrate on a specific part of America may not appreciate this read. Some may feel uncomfortable that a toilet is one of the words, which is used in other parts of the country. A few may find the three and four-syllable words too hard for beginner readers, yet it is geared toward toddlers.

~ Wish ~
While this one is only about the South, it would be nice if it could be a part of a series that covered all parts of the United States.

~ Want ~
If you like Southern charm, this would make a lovely gift for an expectant parent or young one, especially if they are moving to the area and need tips on fun and unique sayings and words.

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

#Hachette #WorthyKids #SouthernBabySouthernSayingsforLittleOnes #SouthernTalkforToddlers

This book can be purchased at https://amzn.to/389nu2h

Leave a comment

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