Category Archives: Christian

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

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

Treasured Grace

Treasured Grace (Heart of the Frontier)Title: Treasured Grace
Authors: Tracie Peterson
Publisher: BethanyHouse
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1327-4

“Try not to worry. I’m doing what I feel God has called me to do – help the sick,” Grace tells her sisters in Tracie Peterson’s novel, Treasured Grace.

~ What ~
The first in the Heart of the Frontier series, this three-hundred-twenty-page paperback targets those who like historical fiction with suspense and romance during the mid-nineteenth century in Oregon County. Its topics of illness, murder, rape, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. A note to the reader, the author’s biography, and advertisements for other authored books are included.

Set in 1847, widowed Grace Martindale and her two younger sisters have finally arrived in Oregon. With her husband recently deceased, the eldest who uses natural healing arts decides they should stay at the Whitman Mission to help a sibling and others recover from measles. When the Cayuse Indians start dying from the same disease, the doctor at the mission is blamed for their illnesses.

After Grace encounters trapper Alex Armistead, both are caught between a rock and a hard place in their relationship that waxes and wanes as they each face their past and pain. As the mission deals with the heightened anger and rage of the Cayuse, Grace and Alex want to protect those caught up in the fray before they can consider each other.

~ Why ~
Fictionalizing the history of the Whitman Mission and what happened to it, the book shows the frustration and fear both sides experienced when lives and land were involved. I enjoy the detail the author adds regarding herbal remedies such as vinegar and how hard life was starting anew out West. The plan of eternal salvation is thorough and understandable.

~ Why Not ~
Some may wish the book was not so romantically predictable. Others may not want to read about a historical massacre that involves rape, murder, and its aftermath.

~ Who ~
Award winning author of over one hundred novels, Peterson focuses on both historical and contemporary genre. She lives in Montana with her family.

~ Wish ~
Due to the book’s abrupt ending, many are left wondering what happens next to secondary individuals such as Grace’s sisters. I wish there were consistency in capitalizing all pronouns of God for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like historical Christian fiction that examines the clash between Indians and settlers in the West while including a growing romance, this first book in the series may grab your attention.

Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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

Without Warning

Without Warning: A J.B. Collins NovelTitle: Without Warning
Author: Joel C. Rosenberg
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0616-3

“I was doing everything I could to bring Abu Khalif to justice, to safeguard my family, to give us a chance at a life of freedom and security. But I was failing. I’d almost died — again,” J.B. Collins realizes in Joel C. Rosenberg’s novel, Without Warning.

~ What ~
At four-hundred-and-eighty pages, this hardbound targets those that enjoy Christian contemporary fictional suspense involving hunting down the leader of ISIS. Using words such as hell and damning, its topics of terrorism, chemical weapons, and murder may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes a list of characters and preface while the ending has acknowledgments, the author’s biography, and advertisements for other authored books.

The final book in the J.B. Collins trilogy series, the protagonist finds himself at the U.S. Capitol for the State of the Union to be recognized for previously rescuing the president. When a series of bombs hit the building, J.B. makes it his quest to find and kill Abu Khalif, the ISIS emir. After several well-orchestrated attacks on America involving sarin gas, the New York cynical war correspondent becomes a target and joins the Israelis to out-smart the evil leader of the Islamic State. Only when J.B. is dealt a personal blow and gives his life to Christ does he understand sacrificing for freedom.

~ Why ~
Those who like action-packed current day war stories of terrorism in the Middle East involving several countries will appreciate this book. I enjoyed the short chapters written in first person that were to the point, showing Collins’s frustration and fear. The pace of the book shoots bullets of dire warnings, death threats, and chemical attacks while J.B. and the team ardently reflect their line of fire. The eternal plan of salvation is stated succinctly and with purpose.

~Why Not ~
Those who do not like graphic violence, chemical weapons, and death will avoid this series that explains how deeply ISIS and their leaders want control of the world for the coming caliphate. Some may not like the limited first person view, but I feel it accentuates the emotional and personal aspect of dealing with good versus evil.

~ Who ~
The best-selling author of a dozen fiction and five non-fiction books, Rosenberg has sold more than three million copies. Founder and chairman of the Joshua Fund, he and his family live in Israel.

~ Wish ~
Not expecting an abrupt ending in this read, I wish creative writing allowed a fourth in the series. I prefer all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you enjoy geopolitical “go get ‘em no matter what” stories of global terrorism in Christian fiction, this series will keep you rushing through the chapters to find out what happens to J.B.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and the author for this book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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

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

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

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

The Beginner’s Bible Coloring Book

The Beginner's Bible Coloring BookTitle: The Beginner’s Bible: Coloring Book
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75013-0

“With loads of coloring fun and faith especially for little ones, the finished pages can be displayed to encourage creativity and memory of the classic Bible stories,” the back jacket book cover states in Zondervan’s children’s book, The Beginner’s Bible: Coloring Book.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this sixty-four-page oversized paperback targets young children from four to eight years old. The book involves thirteen well-known stories taken from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible in the form of sixty black and white illustrations to color.

The drawings are taken from other The Beginner’s Bible sources and cover Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, David, Daniel, Jonah, and Jesus’s birth, ministry, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection, sometimes listing the corresponding chapter or chapters in the Bible.

~ Why ~
What makes this coloring 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 pictures are expressive while being detailed enough for advanced artists. The finished artworks could be removed from the book and displayed.

~ 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 the ten plagues, Goliath being killed, the fiery furnace, Jonas in the big fish, and Jesus’s crucifixion.

~ 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.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical coloring book that syncs with other books in The Beginner’s Bible series, this will delight a young artist.

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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The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book

The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker and Activity Book (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights)Title: The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book
Authors and Illustrators: Jan & Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75384-1

“Jesus’ friends found an empty tomb on Easter morning. Follow the maze. Help Jesus’’ friends find him,” the instructions state in Jan and Mike Berenstain’s book, The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book.

~ What ~
Part of the Berenstain Bears / Living Lights series, this numbered thirty-two-page oversized paperback targets children four to eight years old, especially those that like games, puzzles, and activities of the well-known family of bears and Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. Included at the back of the book are over fifty reusable stickers.

Set up as an activity book involving Easter, the pages are filled with projects related to the Berenstain bear family. There are mazes, counting, patterns, alphabet games, finding objects, following lines, crossword and word puzzles, spotting differences, matching seasons, key coding, connect the dots, coloring, and attaching stickers.

~ Why ~
This is a fun activity book at Easter for young ones as there are so many different things to do. I like the colorful designs, and many of the activities encompass Jesus being risen from the dead and the Berenstain Bear family participating in church and family events. Several of the games incorporate God’s creation, candy, springtime, going to church, dressing up, and spending time with the family, as it innocuously explains God’s love, Jesus’s Jerusalem entrance, His Last Supper, and the angel announcing His resurrection.

~ Why Not ~
Since the book is aimed at beginner to early readers, those in the four-to-five year age bracket may not know how to do some of the tasks regarding crosswords or key coding. Those who do not celebrate Easter’s true meaning may not like the inferences to Jesus’s resurrection although there are no Bible verse references, and it is one way to spread the Word. The stickers are mainly about the bears and spring, not Jesus’s death and resurrection.

~ Who ~
Since Stan and Jan passed away years ago, their son Mike continues to follow in his parents’ footsteps with the Berenstain Bear series and products. He lives in Pennsylvania.

~ Wish ~
With some of the more difficult activities, the book should be for six to eight-year-olds. It would have been nice to add a few Bible verses and mention Christ died on the cross for our sins. I prefer all pronouns of God to be capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If your child likes the Berenstain Bears series, he or she will be creatively occupied with this activity book during Easter and springtime. While a four-year-old may want to play with the stickers and color, older children will enjoy the more complex games and puzzles.

Thanks to the Z Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am evaluating freely.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Promises for You Coloring Devotional

Faithgirlz Promises for You Coloring Devotional: 60 Days Discovering God's Hope and LoveTitle:  Promises for You Coloring Devotional
Series: Faithgirlz
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76119-8

“Inside are coloring backgrounds you can fill in before or after your time with God,” the introduction states in the book, Promises for You Coloring Devotional: 60 Days Discovering God’s Hope and Love.

~ What ~
Part of the Faithgirlz series, this one-hundred-and-twenty-eight-page hardbound targets girls eight to twelve years old, but it could be used by older females. With sixty devotionals, the right side of the pages and part of the left side have black and white artistic design to color with a promise of God highlighted on the left side. The topic includes a written out verse or two from the Bible, followed by a paragraph or two about the subject. Below are several blank lines to write thoughts and notes. The ending has a page regarding asking Jesus into one’s life with a full blank lined page for notes. The New International Version of the Holy Bible is quoted.

The sixty short titled devotions are divided into five sections of promises of strength, courage, and hope; forgiveness, comfort, and safety; truth, wisdom, and beauty; faith, trust, and joy; and gifts and blessings. The drawings involve flowers, leaves, hearts, birds, foods, objects, and patterns to name a few.

~ Why ~
Girls who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books will love this book that promotes discovering God. I like that the written words are short and to the point, hopefully stimulating a young girl to consider all God offers while improving her relationship with Him. The paper used is thick so the ink should not bleed through to the other side.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling. Parents may wonder if the child will spend more time coloring than concentrating on the devotion to God, but it is a good starting point to be in His word over a sixty-day period if one is done each day.

~ Who ~
No information is given on the author or illustrator of this Faithgirlz book.

~ Wish ~
Although the last page is about eternal salvation, it does not mention Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. Including a ribbon marker would be thoughtful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotional with coloring pages for a young artistic girl, this will make an excellent choice.

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

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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