Saturday, April 25, 2015

Ephesians 6: 10 -18 Review Plus Giveaway!

Children learn about the protective armor of God, and how they can apply this Biblical principle. Relatable illustrations help clarify the verses and applications presented, while historical facts support the concept of the armor.

What I Like: In the book, each piece of armor is described with scripture and an easy to understand explanation of the scripture. The author also used a Roman soldier's armor as a visual to help a child understand the meaning of the Armor of God. Each piece of armor is detailed on a separate page.

The illustrations in the book are awesome. I really love them. They are all so full of detail and add an element to the story beyond just seeing a picture. My eight year old son read this with me and the illustrations invoked conversations about how he thought the images related to what he read.

What I Dislike: The title of the book is a little unimaginative and I would have much preferred Armor of God as opposed to Ephesians 6. Although I know the book is based on Ephesians 6,  the scripture on each page didn't include the book name, chapter or verse. I found it a little bothersome because I didn't know which verse I was reading. I also prefer that it be included to help children memorize it.

Overall Rating: Very Good!

Age Appeal: 7 and under, but my 8 year old liked it.

Publisher Info: iCharacter, 2014; ISBN: 978-1623870119; Paperback, 32 pgs., $8.45
Buy it Now at Amazon.com for $8.45
Also available is the Ephesians 6 Activity & Coloring Book

Additional Info: Author Page www.iCharacter.org

CCBR - Ephesians (Armor of God) Paperback & Activity Book




Thursday, April 23, 2015

Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship and Fashion Disasters (Desperate Diva Diaries Series)

Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or The Dork Diaries series will likely enjoy Angie Spady’s Christian version, The Desperate Diva Diaries. This first book, Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters, introduces the reader to middle school student Catie Conrad. Catie is not terribly athletic (she hates P.E.) and a bit socially awkward (especially when she smiles with broccoli stuck in her teeth), but she does have a creative streak (art is her forte) and a sharp eye for fashion.


In the pages of her diary, Catie gives the reader the details of her life: daily struggles with her annoying little brother and his pet skunk, numerous run-ins with a popular but mean girl, and the regular teenage drama—like boys and zits. Catie also shares her prayer list and various verses of the Bible that inspire her to be a better person. Things foremost in Catie’s mind are the upcoming school dance, boy crushes, the art contest she hopes to win, and a family mission trip.

Visually, the pages of the book are lined like a real diary and filled with concise entries. Because each day is a new adventure, the story moves along at a fast pace. There are also frequent (and sometimes funny) cartoonish sketches of people or situations in her life, the skunk, and fashion designs. Since Catie dreams of becoming a fashion designer, she focuses in on brands and clothing styles she enjoys.

What I Like: Because of its style (short entries, fun pictures, fast pace) I think this book will appeal to tweens who are both avid and reluctant readers. The content is clean and the chapters often swing back to focus on God with a short thought about adding things to a prayer list or a helpful verse. These books may even encourage teens to keep their own diaries. My favorite character was her best friend Sophie, who was loyal, encouraging, and down-to-earth.

What I Dislike: Catie’s character was fun but lacked depth for me, which made her “struggles” seem superficial. She began to emerge a little (I thought) as a more complex and believable character when she finally started thinking about others and the larger world in general rather than herself. However, that third dimension came fleetingly and later in the book. Maybe the next book will dive into that aspect a little bit more. But it's a clean, light hearted book, which holds its own merit. Some kids will love it, some will prefer Diary of a Wimpy Kid or The Dork Diaries, but it's definitely worth checking out!

Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: 8-12 years
Publisher Info: B&H Kids, 2014; ISBN:  978-1433684609; Hardback/Kindle, 304 pgs., $12.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $9.99 or buy the ebook for $5.99
OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $11.69
OR Buy the Kindle version for $5.99.

Special Info: Readers might enjoy the second book in the series, Catie Conrad: How to Become the Most (un)Popular Girl in Middle SchoolYounger readers might enjoy this author's popular $5.99 Channing O'Banning series for ages 7-9, which include Channing O'Banning and the Turquoise Trail , Channing O'Banning and the Tickled Pink Pencil Problem , Channing O'Banning and the Rainforest Rescue or their $3.99 Kindle versions at Channing O'Banning and the Turquoise Trail and Channing O’Banning and the Rainforest Rescue.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Kiss Won't Miss

If you’re looking for a ritual bedtime tale for youngsters, check out My Kiss Won't Miss by Lesley Dahlseng. The story starts where the day ends…with a mother tucking her beloved child in to bed for the night.

Using friendly banter, the mother in the story connects with her child quite beautifully. She makes it clear: if he runs and hides, she’ll blow a kiss, which will always find him. It’s a comforting reminder of how a parental love follows children no matter where they stray. It’s a love that’s faithful, and echoes the even more powerful, pursuing love of our Heavenly Father. To make doubly sure children understand this blessing, the tale ends with the words from Romans 8:38-39. (Nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.)


The book is written in rhyming couplets, which makes it kid friendly and memorable. Timeless illustrations by Mirela Tufan accompany the text. They are whimsical, loaded with delicate details, and tied together with a wispy dream-like thread that flows from page to page. Tufan depicts children from around the world in playful but sleepy splendor… showing the universal aspect of love.

What I Like: Everything. As a side note, Amazon states that the book won these awards:
*Gold Medal Winner of the Feathered Quill Awards
* Gold Medal Winner of the Illumination Awards
* INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist
* Five Star Publications Award for Best Children's Illustrated


What I Dislike: Nothing

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: Pre-K through Kindergarten.

Publisher Info: Whetword Press LLC, 2014; ISBN:978-0615987040 ; Hardback, 32 pgs., $17.99
This book is not available at Christianbook.com.
Buy it at Amazon.com for $13.36.

Monday, April 13, 2015

God Talks With Me About Friendship

Casey’s family relocated and she’s insecure about making new friends. She talks with God about her feelings and he reminds her of Bible verses that trigger ideas on how to gain a new friend.
 
What I Like: The illustrations in this book are fantastic. There is such detail and such scenery that children will be drawn much more into the story. The illustrations help add another layer to help kids understand what the author is truly trying to say.

There are several verses used throughout the story. The verses resonate one with another creating a basis of faith for children to easily grasp and remember. In the story the little girl reads and remembers her scripture.

There are questions at the end of the book to ask young readers to help create conversation regarding God's role in friendships.

What I Dislike: Some of the language used is better suited for older children and not the intended age group of 7 and under.

Overall Rating: Very Good

Age Appeal: 7 and under.

Publisher Info: iCHARACTER, 2012; ISBN: 978-1623872083; Paperback, 32 pgs., $8.99

Buy it at Amazon.com for $6.86
Be sure to visit the author and illustrator's web page, www.iCharacter.org





Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Story of King Jesus

People of God pass their faith to the next generation by telling the story of how God rescues his children. This richly illustrated book continues to tell that story—from the creation of the world to Jesus’ victory over death. Designed for children ages 4 to 8, The Story of King Jesus is the gospel told in a single story—a story meant to be read from start to finish in one sitting.

 The Story of King Jesus will captivate your child’s imagination, nurture their spiritual curiosity, and draw them into the full Bible story as they embark on a lifetime of following Jesus the King.

What I Like: It is a rarity for me to find a book for children where Jesus is referred to as King Jesus. It opens up the door for children to understand the divinity, majesty and greatness of Jesus before and after his life here.

The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous and full of so much detail. The bright colors and details are captivating and add so much to the story.

The story covers Creation, Abrahamic Covenant, the creation of the Nation of Israel, Jesus' birth, ministry, death, resurrection and return and a few other stories in a very condensed version.

The story is sure to invoke lots of questions and create opportunities to discuss Jesus as he relates to stories of the Old Testament like the Abrahamic Covenant and the prophecy being fulfilled as well as his return.

What I Dislike: Nothing


Overall Rating: Very Good

Age Appeal: 4-8 but I would say its better suited for 6-8.

Publisher Info: David C. Cook, 2015; ISBN: 978-1434707727; Hardcover, 48 pgs., $14.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $11.99
OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $12.02

Special Info: The book mentions Jesus being stripped of clothing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lucy's God


Lucy is a child being tucked into bed by her father. Her dad tells her the story of how the universe was created. However, in Lucy’s God, author David Stephen Lahm relates the events in a rather unusual way. He depicts God as a man with a beard who is wearing a suit. In this version, God creates the universe in one step. Then he adds people.

The author references Job 38:4, 7 for the creation part of the story and cites Psalm 145:3-4 as his basis for why parents should tell their children about God and his creations.

What I Like: I like the idea for the book. The author is showing the great joy and love God displayed when he created the universe. Also, I like the creative way the story is told.

What I Dislike: However, having said that, I must add that there are many things I don’t like about the story. For starters, I don’t like the omission of so much of the story. There is no mention of the creation taking six days, with God resting on the seventh day. There is no mention of how Adam and Eve were created.

Also, the story is told in rhyme. Anyone who is familiar with my reviews knows I am not a big fan of stories told in rhyme. This book is an example of why I’m not a big fan. The rhyme scheme is way off and so is the rhythm. The author tries too hard to make words rhyme when they shouldn’t – and they don’t.

And, although the illustrations by Andrew Frazer are colorful and are done in a creative way, Lucy doesn’t look like a child. When I first saw the cover of the book, I thought the person pictured there was Lucy’s mother, not Lucy herself.

Overall Rating: As you might imagine, I give this book a Ho Hum rating.

Age Appeal: 4-8.

Publisher Info: CreateSpace, 2014; ISBN: 9781499176759; paperback, $12.99.



Friday, April 3, 2015

Undaunted: Daring to Do What God Calls You to Do - Student Edition

Have you ever felt that God has called you to do something special?  Have you answered the call? Or have
you held yourself back because you don’t feel you’re qualified to do the job? You can answer God’s call, whether you feel like you can do it or not. Author Christine Caine says, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”

In Undaunted: Daring to Do What God Calls You to Do – Student Edition, Caine uses the incredible events in her life to illustrate her belief that God has called everyone to live an “undaunted” life. She was abused and abandoned, unnamed and unwanted, but God showed her how be undaunted, even in the face of great adversity. You may not be called to be a missionary in some foreign land, but God can give you the courage to face whatever He wants you to do, so you can be “undaunted,” too.

The book is divided into four sections, each with multiple chapters. Each section ends with a list of discussion questions.

This is a great book for teenagers to read on their own. I think it would also be a good book to be or used for study and discussion with youth groups.

Christine Caine is the director of Equip & Empower Ministries and co-founder of the anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign.

What I Like: Almost everything.

What I Dislike: The one thing that I didn’t like were the typos I found in the text. There were several of them.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: Teens and up.

Publisher Info: Zondervan, 2013; ISBN: 9780310743101; Paperback, 202 pages, $9.99.