Forever My Little Girl, by Karen Kingsbury

This is a pint-sized gift book. This is the perfect time of year to purchase and gift this book to a special little girl who has grown into a woman you want to honor. Graduation, or Weddings, any special occasion that you would want to honor your daughter. The rhyming verses follow the life of a special child from birth to adulthood. Karen Kingsbury’s words are always sweet and full of grace and this book is no exception. Have tissues handy when you read this book. It is sentimental and sweet and guaranteed to send the message to a young woman you love that she is cherished and special. The illustrations are poignant.I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers IMG_5596.jpg book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. A copy of this book has been placed in Little Free Library #36424, Nonni’s Place, Huntsville, Alabama.

Kid’s Quest Study Bible Review

The updated version of the Kid’s Quest Study Bible is 1618 pages long and in hardback. The cover has been updated with more color. The text is New International Reader’s Version and is printed in easy to read blue ink instead of harsh black. The thing that I find interesting about this children’s Bible is the blue cartoon inserts at the bottom of some pages. These illustrations take questions that might arise from the text and answer them in child-friendly language. The illustration also contains related verses for the reader to look up. The chapter headings are in red ink, which makes them stand out well. The words of Christ are not in red, which I would have preferred. It always seems easier when you are studying to already have His words highlighted, but they chose not to do that in this version. There is a Topical Index at the back of the Bible, which I find helpful. The best feature at the end of the Bible is the Dictionary. I’m thankful they included this as I feel it gives children a ready resource if they are not familiar with some of the Biblical terms. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <[…]> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. This book is now available in the Little Free Library #36424, Nonni’s Place in Huntsville, Alabama.IMG_5597.jpg

Great Bedtime Story for Little Ones

Night Night, Mommy by Amy Parker is an 8 inch by 8 inch glossy board book. This sweet rhyming story is told by baby otter, recounting the day with mommy otter. From a day at the zoo, dinner, bath time, story time and prayers, Night Night, Mommy follows a schedule that is familiar to many toddlers. I love the way baby otter looks into the mommy’s eyes. Illustrator Lee Holland did a great job of capturing the emotions of the otters. The soothing rhythm of the story and the earth tones in the illustrations are quieting for little ones winding down from the day.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

Night Night, Mommy is now available at Little Free Library #36424, Nonni’s Place.

IMG_5406

Perfect for Rainy Days or Car Trips

The Berenstain Bears, Bear Country Fun Sticker and Activity Book is a paperback activity book for children ages 4-8. It has 26 activities spread over 32 pages. Activities include matching, crosswords, find the word and circle, and many activities use the 50 stickers included in the book. The stickers are said to be reusable. To test this I selected one of the stickers and stuck it to the appropriate page. I waited 20 seconds (about the length of time it would take for a child to change their mind, or decide they wanted to reposition the sticker. The sticker was easily removable and stuck back to its position in the back of the book. I don’t think they would stick well enough to reposition them more than once or twice. The coloring pages are glossy and would be good for crayon but probably not coloring pencils. All illustrations are trademark Berenstain Bears, familiar to anyone who has read any of these books. The bears engage in summer activities. Zonderkidz has produced another charming book that will be great to take on vacation trips to keep little ones occupied on rainy days or long car trips. Perfect for Spring Break.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”IMG_5403

A Special Mother’s Day with the Berenstain Bears

The Berenstain Bears Mother’s Day blessings is a paperback book for children ages 4-8. As with other Berenstain Bears stories, this one is sentimental and sweet. It centers on the bear cubs going to Papa Bear for advice on how to honor their mother on Mother’s Day. Papa Bear suggests taking Mama out to eat after their Sunday Church service and the cubs agree, adding that they want to also invite Grizzly Gran. My favorite part was how, along the way to the church service, Mama bear had a sermon of a type of her own. She points out the many workers in the town who still had to work on Mother’s Day and their importance in the community. I appreciated the author giving a nudge to children to think about other’s sacrifices for the community even at the expense of their own family time. Some of the working moms include; a police officer, a doctor, and a farmer. It was nice to see all moms included in the storyline, working moms and stay-at-home moms. The illustrations are colorful and bright and very familiar to Berenstain Bears fans. The last page has Activities and Questions. I liked this page as it gives action ideas for the values represented in the story.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Hands-on Activities for Pre-teens

101 Ways to Have Fun from the editors of Faithgirlz and Girl’s Life magazine is a great go-to book for those rainy days when your pre-teens say “I don’t have anything to do.”
This book’s bright and colorful pages will give them tips on mini-makeovers, staycations, scavenger hunts and book swaps. For the crafty or crafty wanna-be, there are sections on building your own party games. My favorite are the entrepreneur ideas such as “Start a dog walking biz” and “Set up a Spritzer Stand.” The ideas are wholesome and provide ideas for fun that promote imagination and ways to stretch personally. The books are listed as appropriate for grades 4-7. With a dearth of books available in this genre for this age group, this book provides many great ideas to stretch their mind and imagination. This book will be one you keep around and pull out time after time when you and your pre-teen need that extra boost of ideas for fun. I was happy to see most of the ideas listed were low cost to do. The section listed as “Fun Ways to Make $ Fast” had helpful tags with breakdowns of what they could expect to earn from each suggested job. I wish there had been a book like this when my girls were young, as we would have had great fun trying out the hands-on ideas.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My Bedtime Story Bible for Little Ones

My Bedtime Story Bible for Little Ones, by Jean E. Syswerda is a board book just the right size for little hands. This toddler appropriate book features 8 Bible stories ranging from Adam & Eve’s Garden Home to The Lost Son Comes Home. The stories are just short enough to hold a toddler’s interest and are happy and upbeat. The illustrations are bright and simple, eye-catching for little ones. The pages are sturdy cardboard and have a glossy finish which would probably wipe clean easily. This is a quality book produced by Zonderkidz and would be a great little book to slip inside this year’s Easter basket!

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

img_5301-1

Bonhoeffer Abridged, by Eric Metaxas

This detailed biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life is laid out methodically and skillfully by Eric Metaxas. The narrative flows time-wise from the early years of Dietrich’s life and progresses unerringly to Bonhoeffer’s last day on this earth. The chapters in between paint a rich theological and academically full life of Bonhoeffer, a life that seemed set on a collision course with evil. Students of World Wars I and II will appreciate the events portrayed in this book.This book is somber and startling in it’s similarities to today’s world situation. Readers are challenged by Bonhoeffer’s commitment to Christ and the quotes at the beginning of each chapter both enlighten and set a high bar for the reader. This is not a quick read, nor one to sit and enjoy as light entertainment. This is a serious telling of the life of an individual sold out to Jesus Christ and His church. However, having said this, this book is a treasure for the soul. It is like a vitamin and will benefit greatly those who read it.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”Bonhoeffer

The Daring Heart of David Livingstone, by Jay Milbrandt

The Daring Heart of David Livingstone is a cohesive look at a complicated man. Jay Milbrandt does an excellent job of trying to present Livingstone as a human being with flaws as well as a strong moral compass. Most of us are only familiar with Livingstone as in the quote by Henry Morton Stanley, “Dr. Livingstone I presume?”.
I found Milbrandt’s depiction of Livingstone to be interesting in that the Dr. seemed to be sincerely trying to bring about the end of slavery, an aspect of the man I had never heard about before. Livingstone used America’s abolition of slavery to champion a similar movement in Britain.
I found this book to be a detailed read and it seems to be well researched. I enjoyed the many quotes from the journals of the actual people in the story.

#BruceSpringsteen and the Boy in a Coma

I don’t remember his name. I’m ashamed of this. He lay still, his eyes barely open, his breaths soft. Hands cupped neatly at his sides. His hair curled in brown waves, stale and oily, the way coma patients get.

“What was he like before the accident?” I asked, trying to gain some foothold on his personality. “His mother said he loved Bruce Springsteen,” My instructor said. “But his mother said a lot of things. She’s one of those religious types, believes he will come back to his senses.” She laughed derisively, low and throaty, resembling a growl.

“Good luck, let me know if you need anything.” She headed out of his room and down the hall to her office. The door swung shut with a click and then all was silent in the small room.

All but the breaths of the boy.

The next therapy session I showed him a tape recorder. I told him how his Momma said he loved Springsteen, that I borrowed this tape just for him. I pushed the play button and a melancholy voice started low, like a lullaby.

The River, by Bruce Springsteen.

As the last strains of the song faded, I glanced at the boy. I looked closer, willed him, Show me you’re in there. There was no movement and yet, something small and shiny flickered at the edge of his eye. I leaned closer. A single tear welled in the corner of his eye. I watched in amazement as it wound its way down his cheek and onto the pillow.

The boy heard.

Somehow Bruce brought back the boy who remembered. Maybe he had a girl once, or wished he had. For one brief moment, the boy in the coma spoke with the only voice he had.

Tears.

“Now those memories come back to haunt me

they haunt me like a curse

Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true

Or is it something worse

that sends me down to the river

though I know the river is dry

That sends me down to the river tonight

Down to the river

my baby and I

Oh down to the river we ride.” The River, Bruce Springsteen 1980

I graduated with a degree in Occupational Therapy that year, 1981. The boy in the coma still haunts me. I like to believe the prayers of his mother came true, and that he was made whole. Mr. Springsteen, if somehow this makes its way to you, know one thing: your song opened a closed door in the mind of a young man. Your music made a difference.

 

IMG_4971