Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easter Stories and Prayers (Little Blessings), by Kathleen Long Bostrom

From the publisher:

Celebrate the real meaning of Easter with your kids. This special edition of Little Blessings books includes four books in one: Who is Jesus, Why is there a Cross, What about Heaven, and What is Prayer.

Each title is designed to help kids learn more about Jesus and his sacrifice for us. This volume includes a special note from author Kathleen Bostrom on how to help kids understand the meaning of Easter and the good news of Jesus’ resurrection.

Full-color art of the adorable characters draws kids in and makes them want to hear the stories over and over again. Scripture references support each answer to the questions so parents can study more.

Make Easter about Jesus this season.

My Review:

I am saving this book for our daughter as it gets a little closer to Easter, but I have read through it and really like it. It has colorful illustrations that I know she will enjoy. I appreciated the stories and the way that they are written. They explain who Jesus is, why He died, talks about heaven and prayer. I like the simple, but clear way that those things are talked about.

I really appreciate the scripture references as well. The stories aren't just making things up but are based on biblical truths... and I like that we can read about it, not just in the book, but in the Bible too.

I recommend this book.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Snuggle Time Devotions That End with a Hug, by Steven Elkins

From the publisher:
Children will grow in their understanding of faith and look forward to spending time with God as they read, play, hug, and get inspired through these 52 heartwarming snuggle time devotions. Along with the short devotional reading and Bible story, each snuggle time moment features a game or activity to help kids remember the lesson and tuck it away in their heart. This book will get you and your child talking together, laughing together, and hugging together! It’s a great way to strengthen your parent-child relationship while introducing young children to the joys of spending time with God. It’s also an effective resource for helping to shape behavior and for teaching kids biblically based life principles.
My review:
We have started doing this devotional with our 4 year old. When she saw the cover, she immediately said, "That's Jesus!" It has a sweet little picture on the cover. Each devotion is very short and written in a cute, rhyming way that summarizes the story. As far as a Bible story book goes, my opinion is that this doesn't do the Bible stories justice. We still prefer to read from one of her other Bible story books if we're really wanting a Bible story with information... But as a family devotional that brings us together, is cute, and has a fun activity, I think it's a great way to supplement what you're already doing.

I really like that it has questions/ activities that young children can do. Our daughter seemed to get excited about pretending to be an animal and us pretending to be an animal... She also very quickly got the point of the story.

I would recommend this book.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Like a Flower in Bloom, by Siri Mitchell

From the Publisher:

He Stole the Work She Loved.
Will She Let Him Steal Her Heart as Well?

It's all her uncle's fault. For years Charlotte Withersby has been free to pursue her love of plants and flowers by assisting her botanist father. But now that she's reached the old age of twenty-two, an intrusive uncle has convinced her father that Charlotte's future--the only proper future for a woman--is to be a wife and mother, not a scholar.

Her father is so dependent on her assistance that Charlotte believes he'll soon change his mind...and then Edward Trimble shows up. A long-time botany correspondent in the South Pacific, Trimble arrives ready to step in as assistant so that Charlotte can step out into proper society--a world that baffles her with its unwritten rules, inexplicable expectations, and confounding fashion.

Things aren't perfectly smooth between Trimble and her father, so Charlotte hatches a last gasp plan. She'll pretend such an interest in marriage that the thought of losing her will make her father welcome her back. Only things go quickly awry, and she realizes that the one man who recognizes her intelligence is also the person she's most angry with: Edward Trimble, her supposed rival. Suddenly juggling more suitors than she knows what to do with, Charlotte is caught in a trap of her own making. Will she have no choice but to leave her beloved flowers behind?

My Review:

Like a Flower in Bloom is a wonderful book by Siri Mitchell. The story is so good. Siri Mitchell writes characters that are genuine and believable, and each with their unique quirks that help to keep them all straight. I love the issue that is addressed in this book regarding who women are called to be... I'm not a feminist in any way, and would love to "just" be a wife and mother, but I love that it addressed the issue of being who God made you to be and glorifying Him with your gifts even if they don't fit others' expectations.

This book was absolutely wonderful. I won't share about the story, but I do want to share a piece in the "Note from the Author" afterward of the book that meant a lot to me:

As Mr. Trimble suggested to Charlotte, Eve's designation in the Bible as a helper should not consign women to a fate of eternal servitude. That word, ezer, is used only twenty-one times throughout the Bible. The first two are in reference to Eve. The other specific references are used when God refers to himself. Perhaps you are familiar with this one: "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help [ezer] come? My help [ezer] comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1-2_. It's a shame that the vitality and strength of that description has been lost in translation. It lends a different slant to the idea of Woman to think that God gave that trait, that strength of His, specifically to the female of our species.

Read this book! You'll love it.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.