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Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones

Once Upon a Time Bible for Little OnesTitle: Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones
Illustrator: Omar Aranda
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-76170-9

“Once Upon a Time … There lived a woman named Hannah. Hannah loved God. But she was sad,” the fourth story begins in the Once Upon A Time Bible for Little Ones.

~ What ~
This unnumbered thirty-two-page board book with a padded front cover and rounded corners targets children four to eight-years-old looking for a book of stories from the Bible. With no scary scenes, colorful illustrations cover both sides of the pages. It would best be read out loud to beginner readers due to some of the complicated three syllable words.

With four stories from the Old Testament and four from the New Testament, each story is four pages long with a Bible verse noted under its title. While each begins with the words “Once Upon a Time, they end with a “Happily Ever After” section that connects it to the young reader.

Stories covered include Creation, Noah’s ark, Moses as a baby, Hannah’s prayer, Mary being visited by the angel, and Jesus’s birth, feeding the crowd, and resurrection.

~ Why ~
Every child should know stories of the Bible, and I liked how this one as a few of the less known one. 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, it is a quick bedtime read.

~ 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 on the cross for our sins).

~ Wish ~
I feel that beginning and ending every story with the standard wording of make-believe tales may still instill in a young child the stories are not true. Having all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence would be thoughtful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s short Bible story book that is loosely rewritten with 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 Soldier Who Killed A King

The Soldier Who Killed a King: A True Retelling of the PassionTitle: The Soldier Who Killed a King
Author: David Kitz
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4485-2

“I have a future for you,” Marcus Longinus hears the words in David Kitz’s retold novel, The Soldier Who Killed a King.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-eighty-eight pages, this paperback is a rendition of the last week of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, told through the eyes of a veteran Roman centurion. Dealing with demons of his own, the soldier in charge of many witnesses the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem to the aftermath after our Lord is risen from the dead. Due to topics of torture, crucifixion, and death as well as using the word hell once as a swear word, the story may not be apropos for immature readers. With italicized quotes from Scripture taken from the NIV, CEV, MLB, NKJV, and TEV versions of the Holy Bible, the ending has notes of listed chapter verses.

~ Why ~
If you are interested in the Passion week and the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising after three days, this detailed book focuses from a first-person viewpoint. I liked how the writer molded and shaped a loyal soldier who was broken from his past and questioned why the “donkey king” had to die. His portrayal of Herald the Fox, Pilate the Badger, and Caiaphas the Weasel showed the power play of the three for political positioning by sending Christ to the Skull. While explaining Jesus’s miracles, personality, and love, the novel hones in on dealing with guilt, forgiveness, and eternity.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personable relationship with Jesus Christ may avoid this book. Some may not like such an iconic story being retold. I felt the ending was a little odd involving the main character’s conversion.

~ Wish ~
Since the author did take ample liberties involving the centurion in many facets of Christ’s miracles and His crucifixion, it may confuse readers of documented Biblical passages, especially regarding a young boy.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a reminder story of what the Son of God did for you and me by shedding His blood on the cross for our sins told through the eyes of a confused soldier who is called for a purpose, this will keep you thinking hours after finishing.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

Thanks to Kregel Publications and the author for this book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Assault

The Assault (Harbingers): Cycle Two of the Harbingers SeriesTitle: The Assault
Authors: Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-2975-7

“Maybe you can tell me why we should think we are a team just because a pack of liars and deceivers from another universe say so,” the professor explains in Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky’s novel, The Assault.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-sixty-eight pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy supernatural suspense with Christian overtones. Including using words like heck and hell as slang, topics of paranormal, dying, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending contains a chapter of the upcoming ninth episode.

Cycle two in the Harbinger series, this book is divided into four tales, each by a different writer, with all written in first person by one of four characters contained in each story. Being a part of a series, the stories in order involve the same four plus a ten-year old boy searching for The Gate, a mysterious group from an altered universe trying to control our world.

With the first story focusing on a tattoo artist who draws the future, she helps find Hitler’s powerful Spear of Destiny in Rome; the second one involves the professor having to trust when it comes to a plague of phytoplankton in Florida. The next has his assistant being hypnotized due to her connection to a non-carbon based life form orb, and the last finds an ex-football jock learning about change while fog creatures vie to take over a California high-rise building. As the team works together in their bizarre circumstances, they realize they have been brought together by their handlers to find and conquer The Gate.

~ Why ~
With four authors blending each of their diverse characters into one story, the good versus evil theme shows how disbelief reigns and the future can be changed. The first person dialogue is interesting as it contains only one viewpoint. I like how each tale could be a stand-alone yet linked together as if a television series. Although some of the experiences the team faced seemed unrealistic, they were written with detail and purpose.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like mystic, supernatural books may skip this read. With four individual stories, the book may confuse some readers. Readers may be frustrated with the disjointedness as one story ends and the next begins.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were more cohesiveness between the ending of one tale to the next although there is minor backtracking, but it is understandable being written by four different writers.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for supernatural suspense by four Christian authors, this series of four quick reads may entertain and interest you, but you may find some confusion between its pages.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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A Very Thankful Prayer

Title: A Very Thankful Prayer
Author: Bonnie Rickner Jensen
Illustrator: Natalia Moore
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9883-4

“I’m thankful for the seasons,
And I am thankful God made fall.
But for His love that fills the earth,
I’m thankful most of all,” the ending states in Bonnie Rickner Jensen’s children’s book, A Very Thankful Prayer.

~ What ~
This twenty-four-page board book with rounded edges and small bronze leaf and word embossings targets children preschool age or older who like praying to God and are thankful for Fall. Focusing on the season, there are no scary or frightening scenes. Full page, full colored illustrations of animals grace every page.

With cute animals going through activities of the day during Fall, four lined rhymes cover the opened pages. Whether a bunny waking up, mice raking leaves, squirrels in a corn field, bunnies picking pumpkins, hedgehogs collecting apples, cats feasting, or owls watching over a town to name a few, the words promote being thankful to God.

~ Why ~
Christian parents will appreciate how this short book urges the young reader to thank God for all the things that have to do with Fall. Whether it is beginning the day with prayer, thanking Him for clothing, food, family, friends, Thanksgiving, or helping others, the book reminds us the importance of God’s love. Children will enjoy looking for the falling leaves on most of the artworks.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not approve of books that mention God or pray to Him may not want this book. With multiple-syllable and a few hard-to-comprehend words, the book would best be read out loud to beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
Although the rhyming is charming, it would help if some of the wording were easier to read for beginner readers.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a children’s book that helps young ones to be mindful of thanking and praying to God, this is a good start.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging

Title: A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging
Author: Vivien Brown M.D.
Publisher: Barlow Books
ISBN: 978-1-988025-22-3

“But this book will give you both solid information and practical tools to tilt the odds in your favour and reduce your risk of serious physical and cognitive problems as you age,” Dr. Vivien Brown writes in the introduction of her book, A Woman’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Seven Essential Ways to Keep You Vibrant, Happy, and Strong.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-seventy-six pages, this advanced-reader copy paperback targets women over fifty years old who are anticipating getting older and wondering how to approach it. After a foreword, preface, and introduction, seven chapters cover the topic, followed by an appendix, notes, index, and author’s biography.

Being a Canadian family physician, Brown takes the reader through seven facets of aging that involve diet and nutrition, exercise and sleep, the brain, immunizations, menopause, heart health, and bone protection. Discussing these concepts are to maintain a woman’s health as she gets older and understands how her body is changing physically and mentally.

~ Why ~
Beginning with having a non-diet mentality, the book recommends eighty percent smart foods and twenty percent of the indulge-type. The author promotes scheduled exercising, sleeping routines, and using meditation to help the brain. She strongly supports vaccinations of all types and goes into detail regarding menopause. Recognizing the signs of a heart attack and osteoporosis are also dissected in detail.

~ Why Not ~
Women who are in their late forties or early fifties may not be ready to learn what their bodies and minds will be doing in ten years. Others may feel the book is slanted to mainly medical aspects with no natural or homeopathic suggestions for eating or going through menopause.

~ Wish ~
Since the book seems to be geared more for women who are starting to age, it mentions little about vitamins, herbs, social interaction, and dealing with emotional stress (such as a move, divorce, or spouse’s death). Recommending hormone therapy using prescription drugs, the doctor does not encourage herbal remedies, soy-based products, and bio-identicals which may help some females, and I wish this topic was mentioned more in detail.

~ Want ~
For women who are clueless about what they are facing when they are in their fifties and older as they age, this may be a helpful tool. Since I am in my early sixties and have stayed on top of all content mentioned including recently getting my shingles shot, I did not glean anything new from this read but sure wish the hot flashes I have had for almost ten years were over.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and the author for this book that I freely evaluated.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The ICB Blessed Garden Bible

The ICB Blessed Garden BibleTitle: The ICB Blessed Garden Bible
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9220-7

The Blessed Garden Bible invites children to enjoy the treasure of God’s Word,” its back jacket states.

~ What ~
Targeting young girls ages six to ten years old, this International Children’s hardbound version of the Holy Bible has a pale green front cover with a red fox, birds, and floral designs with sparkles. Containing over thirteen-hundred pages, the book includes three-hundred-and-sixty-five highlighted verses, twenty-four colored study helps, dictionary, and concordance.

~ Why ~
Since the Bible is the most important book in history, this one for young girls will hopefully be used daily. I like the family history page, why read the Bible note, and timeline at the beginning as well as the inserted sections regarding Jesus’s love with a page to write favorite verses. Other inserts explain how to pray, forgive, express God’s love, and study the Bible. The ending provides the names of God, Jesus’s miracles and disciples, kids mentioned in the Word, and three maps.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not like how thin the pages are so the black ink bleeds through to the other side. There are those who may not approve of the version (it does not state Mary was a virgin).

~ Wish ~
It would be helpful if a ribbon marker were attached so the reader could keep track of daily reading.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a young girl’s Bible, this is a good choice if you do not mind the version. It would be a lovely gift for a graduation, baptism, or birthday gift for a first to fifth-grade female.

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

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Promise of Breeze Hill

Title: The Promise of Breeze Hill
Author: Pam Hillman
Publisher: Tyndale House
ISBN: 978-1-4964-1592-9

“Mistress Bartholomew, you may own my papers, but you are the most pigheaded lass I’ve ever known,” Connor confronts Isabella in Pam Hillman’s novel, The Promise of Breeze Hill.

~ What ~
At four-hundred-and-sixteen pages, this paperback that is part of the Natchez Trace Novel series targets those who enjoy a historical Christian romance involving plantation living in Mississippi during the eighteenth century. With no profanity, topics of bigotry, abuse, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.

In this story, beautiful and unmarried Isabella Bartholomew is doing all she can to protect her father’s Southern plantation after he is injured in a fire. With her brother being recently killed, she worries about the barrage of highwaymen causing havoc and attacks on the nearby trace they travel.

When Isabella buys the indentured Irishman Connor O’Shea to repair the plantation’s buildings, she notices the differences in his societal and financial station compared to hers. By realizing she is acting like Biblical Job’s wife, she must decide what it will cost her to keep the family’s legacy in tact.

~ Why ~
This tale of evil men trying to harm and hurt others while love overshadows expectations is a quick read that shows God’s established plans. I like that Isabella’s flaws in misconstruing other’s actions were realistic. The book promotes the importance of family and love.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like historical romances from the South involving two opposite characters may not appreciate this book. Others may wish the good versus evil scenarios were not as predictable, especially when it came to the villain.

~ Wish ~
With both protagonists flip-flopping on their feelings, they could have been portrayed with one being more determined than the other regarding establishing their relationship.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a historical fiction how love protects family, this is a sweet but predictable read that explores the world of the Natchez Trace in Mississippi.

Thanks to Tyndale Blog for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Lititi Water Squirt Gun

Water Gun 1TIME FOR A WATER FIGHT

~ What ~
Made of an environmentally safe ABS plastic, this toy pistol can be filled with water as it shoots out a stream approximately 8 to 10 feet long. Able to hold 12 ounces of fluid, the gun measures 6.8 by 1.5 by 4.5 inches and weighs 2.4 ounces. Made for those 3 years or older, it is white with 3 random colors of blue, purple, and green with no instructions in a cellophane bag.

~ Why ~Water Gun 2
With three grandkids who visit from out of state, we like to have plenty of fun toys around. This gun works great during the summer time as it shoots a steady stream by pushing a red trigger. It is easy to fill by adding tap water in its wide-mouth opening that has an attached lid. I like that it is has a white body but clear colored areas so one can see where the water level is.

~ Why Not ~
Some may be wary of water guns as their spray can hurt if shot directly in the face. Others may think the plastic is thin and will crack easily. The water does leak out if you rest the toy on its side.

~ Wish ~
With the first photograph online showing 3 guns, it would be helpful showing only one so it is not misconstrued there are more in the bag.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fun water gun, this is is a viable option that will keep kids busy and cool during summertime; you may want to buy more than one for a water fight.

Thanks to Lititi for this discounted product that I am under no obligation to review.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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100 Favorite Bible Verses

100 Favorite Bible VersesTitle: 100 Favorite Bible Verses
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-9695-3

“You’ll find that each passage offers its own gifts of comfort, direction, hope, and inspiration,” the introduction states in the book, 100 Favorite Bible Verses.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-twenty-four pages, this small hardbound devotional that targets women centers on a hundred verses from the Bible. Using mainly the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, also referenced are the ESV, KJV, NAS, NCV, NIV, and NLT versions. After a table of contents and introduction, each verse covers two pages, and ends with four lined pages for writing down additional verses.

Containing a hundred of the most favored Bible verses, each verse in a random order has a theme title on the left side of the page with several paragraphs of a devotion under it and a short prayer. The opposite page has the written-out Bible verse with a few words highlighted in a fancy font. Both Old and New Testament verses are included, with numerous ones from Psalms, I and II Corinthians, and Philippians. Colorful designs of flowers, flora, and leaves border the writings.

~Why ~
I appreciate devotionals that have little information about the author but focus on God in day-to-day living, and this book does that by having favorite Bible verses. The topics are brief and to the point, often beginning with a question but rarely using the words “I” or “me.” Sometimes Old and New Testament characters are noted as they correlate to the struggles, goals, and achievements of daily life with Christ.

My favorite verse of Philippians 4:13 is included and titled “Giver of Strength,” with the devotional about Paul’s trials and tribulation as he learned to rely on Jesus’s unwavering source of strength. The prayer asks God to enable us to trust Him more.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not want to get a book that concentrates on Bible verses. Others may not find their favorite verse included.

~ Wish ~
With the Bible verses being the focus, it would be ideal if there were an index to look up a verse quickly. Including an attached ribbon to use as a page marker would be helpful.

~ Want ~
If you like devotionals that rely on Bible verses that can be memorized, this would be a thoughtful and appreciated gift for any woman who loves the Lord.

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

GRAMMARY was used to check for errors in this review.

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The Bedtime Book

Title: The Bedtime Book
Artist: Mary Engelbreit
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-73329-4

“From endearing poems and snuggly stories to sweet blessings and precious prayers, each page of The Bedtime Book features a way for you to read your little one to sweet dreams and sleep,” the inside flap cover states.

~ What ~
Focusing on bedtime, this numbered thirty-two page nine-by-eleven inch hardbound contains small to full-page colorful illustrations by the artist on almost all pages with short stories and poems about going to sleep. The target audience would be four to eight-year-old children, but any age group can enjoy it as well.

After an ownership page, cute short stories and poems of one to several pages are added with depictions of stuffed animals, friendly beasts, and playful pets. Some of the stories written out are”Twinkle, Twinkle,” “Sleepy Time,” “Sound Asleep,” “Counting Sheep,” “What Will Tomorrow Bring,” and “A Goodnight Prayer.”

~ Why ~
Immediately I enjoyed viewing the fanciful, fun, and engaging pictures of animals laughing, playing, or sleeping. Easy to read and see words in black are spread throughout, both separately and within the designs as the little ones get ready for bed and go to sleep. Some of the creatures are adorable and cute.

~ Why Not ~
Although the book has beautiful illustrations, it mainly contains content written by others. Those who do not believe in God may not want a book that mentions Him, but there are only five which include His name. Due to the complicated and three or more syllable words, the book would be hard for beginner readers.

~ Wish ~
With poems and stories, the book does not give the writers’ names, so I wish it had. With only five of the stories mentioning God, it would be ideal if there were more of them. I did not enjoy this book as much as some of the author/illustrator’s others as it mainly is other writers’ works, but the artwork is charming.

~ Want ~
If looking for a cute, quaint gift to give a young child or adult that enjoys fanciful drawings about animals and bedtime, this beautifully designed book has a few well-known poems and tales. It would make a lovely decorative addition to a child’s room.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to evaluate.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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