Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Review :: Promises for You Coloring Devotional: 60 Days Discovering God's Hope & Love by Faithgirlz

The Promises for You Coloring Devotional is a new coloring devotional from Faithgirlz. It is a hardcover book with some foil accents on the cover to add a little extra pizzazz. The pages in the Promises for You Coloring Devotional are a nice, thick weight - cardstock, basically. The weight of the pages will be an advantage for certain coloring mediums. 
The Promises for You Coloring Devotional contains 60 devotionals in total, with 12 each according to certain promise topics. 
The topics are:
- Promises of Strength, Courage, and Hope
- Promises of Forgiveness, Comfort, and Safety
- Promises of Truth, Wisdom, and Beauty
- Promises of Faith, Trust, and Joy
- Promises of Gifts and Blessings

Each devotional has the same basic format - a verse, a few sentences on the topic including a short prompt, and some lines to respond with thoughts and/or prayers. And of course there are plenty of images to color. The images range from patterns and swirls to plants and animals...and a few delicious treats are thrown into the mix, too.

My 13 year old daughter took a peek at the Promises for You Coloring Devotional and she felt that the devotional portions of this book were too short. She also recognized that some of the artwork had been duplicated from other Zondervan/Zonderkidz coloring books that we own. With that said, I know she will still enjoy this book, and she can use it as a jumping off point to dive deeper into God's word.

In my opinion, this devotional is a coloring book with a boost - and a great choice for any tween or teen girl.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Review :: The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets by Mike Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets is the newest of The Berenstain Bears books. In general, The Berenstain Bears books are instant classics, as far as I am concerned. I have to say, though, I was left confused and unimpressed after reading The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets.
In The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets, the Chapel in the Woods hosts a Blessing of the Animals event. The Berenstain family, along with others in the community, bring their pets (dogs, cats, fish, birds, lizards, snakes, turtles, a goat, a calf, mice, a spider, etc.) to an outdoor service where the preacher is going to bless the pets. A pet ruckus breaks out, but is quieted immediately when the preacher cries, "Peace!" It all ends in a big bear hug.

Maybe I am just not up with the times, but I can't see this special pet service being a reality that many kids can relate to. On top of that, the pet commotion that is "miraculously" quieted just seems odd.

Personally, I don't recommend buying The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Pets. Stick with the other Berenstain Bears books.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Reviews :: The Beginner's Bible Coloring Book & The Beginner's Bible Activity Book

The Beginner's Bible Coloring Book is a 64-page paperback book.
What I noticed right off the bat is that The Beginner's Bible Coloring Book has nice white pages that are a great weight. Many coloring books are on a very thin paper or brownish newsprint-like paper and I much prefer these quality pages. The areas to color start even before the actual coloring pages - there are images to color in on the presentation page and copyright page. 

The coloring pages are grouped by theme, in order of the books of the Bible. There sections are titled: Creation, Adam and Eve, The Story of Noah, The Story of Joseph, The Story of Moses, The Story of David, The Story of  Daniel, The Story of  Jonah, Jesus Is Born, Jesus' Ministry, Jesus Feeds Thousands, Jesus Walks on Water, Jesus is Crucified and He is Risen! On average, there are 4-6 coloring pages per section/topic. The illustrations are done in the style of all of The Beginner's Bible products. 

I think that The Beginner's Bible Coloring Book is a great choice - especially with the retail price being below $5. 


The Beginner's Bible Activity Book is a 64-page paperback book.
What I noticed right off the bat is that The Beginner's Bible Activity Book has nice white pages that are a great weight. Many activity books are on a very thin paper or brownish newsprint-like paper and I much prefer these quality pages. The activities start even before the actual activity pages - there are images to color in on the presentation page and copyright page.

The activity pages in The Beginner's Bible Activity Book follow the general scope of stories found in The Beginner's Bible Coloring Book, but are not as clearly marked. There are images to color on almost every page, as well as a range of activities including:
- tracing (numbers, letters, lines, shapes, etc.)
- simple word searches
- simple mazes
- counting
- same or different
- find the rhyme
- smallest/biggest
- letter sounds
- connect-the-dots
- direction (beside, between, left, right, etc.)
- color-by-letter
- patterns
- ...and more

What I think sets this activity book apart from others is the drawing prompts to: draw a prayer, draw a gift that Jesus gave, and draw something for which you are sorry. These are a little more reflective than most children's activity books. I wish there were more of these pages.

As a homeschooler, I liked the fact that the activities seem to grow in difficulty throughout the book. I do think that the range of difficulty is pretty limited as far as age goes, though, so I would probably stick with 3-5 year olds on this one.

I think that The Beginner's Bible Activity Book is a great choice for young learners - especially with the retail price being below $5. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Book Review :: Angels in the Bible for Little Ones by Allia Zobel Nolan, illustrated by Alida Massari

Angels in the Bible for Little Ones is a padded hardcover board book.
There are a lot of board books for little ones with Bible stories in them, but what I enjoy about Angels in the Bible for Little Ones is that all of the stories highlight the angels that are present. Each of the stories covers 4 board book pages, with a total of 8 stories in the book. 

The stories included are:
- Abraham and the Three Visitors
- Food for Elijah
- Daniel and the Lions
- A Surprise Visitor (Mary being told about her pregnancy)
- Voices Like Thunder (The birth of Jesus)
- Jesus, the Children, and the Angels
- The Best Message Ever (The empty tomb / Jesus is alive)
- A Place Filled with Angels (John being told about heaven)

The illustrations are pretty - a unique style for a book aimed at toddlers. I appreciated the artwork, but little ones may not appreciate it as much as an adult might.

As with most Bible stories adapted for children, prepare to have little flourishes added in to make it more story-like. If you are just looking for by-the-verse factual re-tellings, this probably isn't the book for you.

All in all, I think Angels in the Bible for Little Ones has a unique approach and is a good choice for a storybook for little ones.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Review :: The Legend of the Sand Dollar: An Inspirational Story of Hope for Easter by Chris Auer, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

The Legend of the Sand Dollar is another book in a long line of "The Legend of..." books by Zondervan/ZonderkidzThe Legend of the Sand Dollar is written by Chris Auer and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. 
The Legend of the Sand Dollar is a hardcover book with a dust jacket, and is written with the 4-8 age group in mind. The illustrations in The Legend of the Sand Dollar are big, colorful, and beautiful to look at.

Like other "The Legend of..." books that I have read, The Legend of the Sand Dollar is a story within a story. This story follows a girl named Kerry who is headed to her Aunt Jane's house at the ocean. Kerry's cousin Jack greets her in his new little boat and they head off toward a little island in the bay. Kerry finds a sand dollar and Jack proceeds to tell her about how the sand dollar tells of the Easter story. 

I did find The Legend of the Sand Dollar to be a bit confusing in the description of the sand dollar. (I hadn't heard this association before, so that may be why.) An Easter lily, a Christmas flower, and a star are all referenced as images on the sand dollar...and the illustrations didn't make it clear what was an Easter lily or what was a Christmas flower or what side of the sand dollar was being shown. The story also references 5 holes in the sand dollar (4 from nails and 1 from a spear), but then the illustration on that page shows one sand dollar with 5 holes and another with 3 holes. 

I enjoy that the "The Legend of..." books give us new ways to look at things we may not have previously associated with what we read about in the Bible, and The Legend of the Sand Dollar continues that tradition.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Book Review :: The Berenstain Bears Bear Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book

The Berenstain Bears Bear Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book is a 32 page activity book with an insert of over 50 reusable stickers. The pages in the activity book are full-color (with the exceptions of the images that are intended to be colored in by the child).

In my opinion, this sticker and activity book would probably work best for 4-7 year olds. There are a range of activities such as:
- basic coloring
- mazes
- finding stickers to complete the pictures
- word searches
- message decoding activities
- a crossword puzzle
- a connect-the-dots picture (with numbers up through 29)
- a color-by-number picture
- ...and more

The pages in The Berenstain Bears Bear Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book cover various Easter themes that you might find in any of The Berenstain Bears books. Although this book is not a read-through of the Easter story, you will find references to Jesus, church, and the events of the Easter story.

I am impressed at what you can get for under $7 retail. The full-color pages are fun to look at even without the activities, and the activities and stickers just add to the fun. I think that these sticker and activity books are a great value and would be a great gift for any child. 
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book Review :: Ready, Set, Find Easter

We love the Ready, Set, Find books, and Ready, Set, Find Easter is no exception. Ready, Set, Find Easter is is an adorable board book for the Easter season.
Each of the 5 thick board book pages in Ready, Set, Find Easter is tabbed, making it easy for little ones to separate and turn the pages. On each tab is a little preview image to show what is on that page of the book. (There are preview images on the backs of the tabs, too.)

On the left side of each page opening in Ready, Set, Find Easter is a portion of the Easter story along with 8 images to find. On the right side of each page opening is a full picture, including the images to find.

Ready, Set, Find Easter is adorably illustrated and has been one of my baby's favorites this season. It's a great book for Easter.
FTC Declaration: The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through their book review bloggers program. This does not change the fact that I will give my honest opinion in my reviews.