Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whats In the Bible??

When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for the new DVD series, What's In the Bible?: Battle for the Promised Land - I had no idea what an advocate I would become. I have to just say right up front - ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS series! I have always thought Phil Vischer was marvelous (think Veggie Tales) but this new series, published by Tyndale, is loaded with content that I am so excited about. The series takes individual books of the Bible and teaches our kids history and contextual material that otherwise I am afraid would be lost to most children. We watched just one volume, vol. 4, Battle for the Promised Land, and that covered the books, Joshua, Judges and Ruth. We watched it once with our older kids and then with our younger daughter, age 6. What was amazing was that when we watched it with our teenage sons, we laughed at humor our six year old would not understand, but even our teens said they learned biblical things they had not known before. Then, we watched it with our six year old and she came away laughing at the humor that was definitely prevalent and also said she learned some new things as well. And the best part?? Even my very strong Bible-knowledge husband said he learned some things he hadn't known before either!! What a versatile and useful Bible teaching tool - that is what I love most about it.


Here is my interview with our six year old daughter:
Did you learn from it? YES!! I learned LOTS - I didn't know there were so many judges!
Did you find it funny? (Well, I wouldn't have had to ask her really - she was laughing OFTEN!!) YES!! It was very funny - especially the old ladies!
Would you want to watch more of these? YES! Can we go get one now??
Who was your favorite character? Michael made me laugh! He is funny.

My husband had this to say: (And he's the authority on this sort of thing with his seminary background!!)
I really enjoyed episode 4 of the What's in the Bible Series. It was the first time I had seen the series and I was very impressed. I appreciate the chronological approach to teaching the Bible. There are many advantages I see in this. So often we teach children the Bible in a shotgun approach. We jump from one story to another without connecting the dots. There is a greater story and flow to the scriptures and children need to see the plan of redemptive history as it unfolds.

I also appreciate the emphasis on teaching doctrine along the way. Explaining the "whys" to the stories helps children understand the deeper truths of scripture.

Another great technique is the use of repetition. Stories are told in one format and then often retold in another. This is great in helping children to understand and remember the truths that are presented. The review at the beginning of each series also helps children understand where things fit in and how they are connected. The review of the books of the Bible along with the breakdown or divisions of the books helps children become more literate in their Bible knowledge.

Basically what I am trying to say is that these videos are packed full of great stuff. I hope to get the entire collection not only for myself but also for my kids.
So there you go - and if you needed one more reason to go get these for yourself - my husband and I were even saying what a wonderful family Sunday School curriculum this would make - or any family learning at our church - they are just as enjoyable to adults as children. They really are NOT to be missed!!



Now - for the best part - I actually have a DVD certificate to give away to one lucky reader!! So - leave a comment and we will choose a winner next Monday, December 6!!!

*I was provided a copy for review purposes by Tyndale Publishers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Care for Creation

Christy Baldwin has written a children's book that I think is very worthy of sitting up and taking notice!! Her book, Care for Creation, is just that, a call for us to think about how we care for our Earth. Each page is carefully illustrated and given a scripture verse to show how each mandate can be traced back to the Bible. I really liked this - it is not "over the top" but it creatively shows us how to take care of what we have - as we are called to do. This is a children's book that will be fun to share with our little ones - and may plant seeds while you are reading!!


Here is a little background on the author:

Writing has been a passion of Christy's since she was very young. As a child, she loved to write stories for her grandfather and poems just for fun. She lives in Mason, Ohio with her family and is active in church, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and volunteering with various organizations. Christy has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Cedarville University and a master's degree in Special Education from the University of Scranton. She is a stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her kids and being involved in their schools. Her previous children's titles include Nine Things Nathan Noticed at Night and Remembering Wilma.


*I was provided an ebook for review purposes by the publisher.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

If I Could Keep You Little

Marianne Richmond's If I Could Keep You Little is, in a word, WONDERFUL!! What a tender, touching story for parents and children to share together.


My favorite lines:
If I could keep you little, I'd tell you stories every night.
But then I'd miss you reading the words you've learned by sight.
If I could keep you little, I'd keep you close to me.
But then I'd miss you growing into who you're meant to be!

Don't miss sharing this one - with your kids, your grandkids and other little ones in your life! Truly a wonderful story!

*I was provided a copy for review by the publisher.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Widow's Season

I just finished Laura Brodie's The Widow's Season - I am still trying to take it all in. It is a read that kind of threw me for a loop - the ending was not was I was sure was going to happen - although I wondered - just a very interesting read. Now I want to talk to someone about it.....


It is the story of Sarah McConnell - she looses her husband after he is in a boating accident. But what comes next totally kept me guessing. She thinks she is seeing his ghost occasionally - or is it really him??? Oh dear, see why I need someone to read it!!

It is compelling, I will say that. Wasn't thrilled with all of her choices after her husband's death, but then I'm not the author, now am I!?!?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Active, Creative Child

The Active, Creative Child is Stephanie Vlahov's work on how to parent a child that is in perpetual motion. I SO enjoyed reading her book - it rang true to me, not only with some of my own children, but also with many children I saw in the classroom - those so quickly labeled ADD - may have easily fit into this category of being active and creative and may have only needed another outlet. Vlahov's degree and background, even her own children, have given her credibility in an area that many just label and move on. Vlahov provides hints for coping with these children, establishing boundaries that will work with them, and avoiding labels and judgments that are so easy to fall into with these kinds of children. Interesting and helpful read.


*I was provided a copy for review by the publisher.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Other Goose

J. Otto Seibold is simply one of the best for taking an old and making a new!! You may remember, Olive the Other Reindeer, which was simply wonderful - but his latest, Other Goose has to be just as good!! How could you even improve on Mother Goose?? Well, simply by making them more "Goosian" says Other Goose. You will love these new-fangled rhymes as much as the old. I was laughing out loud at some of them - what fun!!


I leave you with one of my favorites:
Little Miss Muffet (muf-fay)

Little Miss Muffet
held an insect buffet
featuring curds and whey.
Along came a spider
whit a jug of cherry cider
who said,
"I think I'll join you today."

**I was sent a review copy by Chronicle Books.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Day Leo Said I Hate You!

Robie H. Harris has written a book that kids just resonate with - The Day Leo Said I Hate You! is truly a book that kids love. I took it to a classroom to share and they begged me to leave my copy with them - and the teacher shared that it was THE BOOK that was asked for day after day. I think kids live this often - we all say things we wish we hadn't said - and we know we can't take them back. So what do we do then to make things alright?? That is the topic that Harris explores on a child's level - and I am telling you - they get it! Molly Bang is the illustrator that superbly gives you the feel of anger that Leo expresses in this book - as well as his repentant heart that comes through in the end. This books is available in paperback this November!!


*I was provided a copy for review by the publisher.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sea of Bath

The Sea of Bath by Bob Logan is wonderful!! This is a winner for reading aloud together - whether in story hour or just at home with your own kids. I love this little sailor that is sailing away at sea, meeting creatures of all kinds, even soap bars while he passes them at sea - all while not knowing which sea he is floating on!!! Will he ever find out!??! This is a fun one to read together and explore the sea or your own bathtub!!



*I was provided a copy for review purposes by Sourcebooks.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Story of Little Red Riding Hood

The Brothers Grimm gave us this wonderful story that has been handed down from generation to generation. But when Christopher Bing illustrated it- it became a family heirloom! What magnificent illustrations - they just add to the beauty of the story! This edition of Little Red Riding Hood is not to be missed!!


*I was provided a copy for review purposes by Chronicle Books.

Monday, November 08, 2010

FOOD - 25 Amazing Projects

Kathleen M. Reilly has written a book that is just a great way to learn a lot of history while not knowing you are learning!!! FOOD 25 Amazing Projects is full of history, science and FUN!! Readers will get to investigate the history of what we eat. Through science experiments and other fun activities, readers will learn about food in ancient times - all the way up to now. The book touches on the route from farm to market, vegetarians, and how modern technology plays a part in food production and more!! Great for a food unit - don't miss this one!


*I was provided a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Let's Eat!

Denise Burroughs has written a cookbook of her family favorites called, "Let's Eat!" Coming from an Italian background, Burroughs' cookbook has flavorful recipes that include a wide variety of foods. She has some standard Italian favorites, but also some new recipes that sound like they are sure to become family favorites. I appreciate that her recipes are not overly fancy - they are recipes that anyone can attempt and call for ingredients that you may even have on hand! I haven't made any recipes out of her cookbook yet, but I plan to - they sound tried and true and sure to be favorites!!

*I was provided a review copy by the publisher.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Scholastic Goodies

I was thrilled with the new books for this Fall in my Scholastic Box!!


Will you Wear a Blue Hat? is a Rookie Toddler book. This is a wonderful series of books aimed at Toddlers and the things they are experiencing. This particular title could be used for winter clothes or colors - what a great board book!

Dot and Dash is a new series by Emma Dodd! I can't say enough good about this new series. What fun!! Dress Up and Go To Bed are both fun books with stickers inside. The outlines of the stickers are left blank on the pages for the kids to add them. I LOVE the illustrations on these - they are whimsical and fun! The stories are ones our little ones will relate to as well - WONDERFUL!! Dot and Dash Eat Their Dinner is a fun board book - I love how they name the animals "Tall" and "Small" - the kids will love that! Dot and Dash Meet Their Friends is a board book with flaps - something all little hands enjoy! What a wonderful variety of books and characters Dodd has created in this delightful new series!


**All of these books were provided as review copies by Scholastic Books.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Classic Horse Stories

What more can I say about this wonderful title? Classic Horse Stories compiled by Christina Rossetti Darling and Blue Lantern Studio will be a favorite of all of you horse fans. My daughter saw it lying here and said, "Oh mom, can that be mine??" Yes - it is a superb compilation that horse lovers are sure to enjoy - shortened versions of Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, C.S. Lewis' The Horse and His Boy, and poetry as well - all illustrated with that classic look that brings back such fond memories! Thank you, Chronicle Books, for finding this gem!!


*I was provided a copy for review by Chronicle Books.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Need Nonfiction??

These books are fabulous non-fiction choices for our young readers.
Sterling Publishers has a series the "Inside" series that will capture young readers and excite them about learning. (Reading level ages 9-12)

Inside Hurricanes by Mary Kay Carson
Inside Dinsoaurs by Andra Serlin Abramson, Jason Brougham, and Carl Mehling
Inside Human Body by Dr. Aron Bruhn, MD and
Inside Tornadoes by Mary Kay Carson

FABULOUS books - fold out pages, photograph images, factual information - SURE to PLEASE!!


*I was provided all copies for review purposes by Sterling Books.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Christmas LOVE!

Yes, we take a break from our regular blogging to share some CHRISTMAS LOVE!! I got a box that you need to hear about - Sterling Books - has some great Christmas titles that I am sure your younger readers will ask for over and over!


Richard Scarry's Best Christmas Book Ever! is a classic that never fails to delight young readers. In our library, Richard Scarry's books were the ones that I was constantly replacing - kids just thrill to look through them over and over. This Christmas compilation is sure to be another winner! His fans will be thrilled!

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Iowa by Sue Cornelison is a read that us Iowans are sure to put on our shelves!! I mean really, how often do we get books about Iowa that are also about Christmas!?!?! You will love this tale told to "The Twelve Days of Christmas"!!

Little Critter's The Night Before Christmas by Mercer Mayer is another timeless classic told "Critter-style" - I love everything about this one - and there is a CD included with a recording of this holiday classic.

The Toymaker's Christmas by Marilyn Scott-Waters is a book of paper toys that you can make to decorate for the holidays. I groaned remembering all of my attempts at origami - but this book is REALLY very do-able. They are already illustrated, perforated, and labelled - all you have to do is punch out and assemble. My girls are going to LOVE these!!

Merry Sparkling Christmas by Elizabeth Spurr is a board book that sparkles! Kids will love this one - it is told in rhyme and truly is Christmas through a child's eyes!!

Jingle-Jingle by Nicola Smee brought a smile to my face before I even opened it up - Smee is MAGNIFICENT and all of my favorite characters are back in this very fun board book! Poor Mr. Horse - he is always taking his friends for rides and telling them to "hold on tight" but they always seem to bump into trouble!! Another wonderful read!!



*All of these titles were provided by Sterling Publishers for review purposes.

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