Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Water Sings Blue

Kate Coombs and Meilo So have teamed up to bring us a wonderful collection of ocean poems called, Water Sings Blue.  AND, if the title alone won't pull you into this fabulous picture book - I am not sure what else will!  This book is truly one-of-a-kind - the poems are fabulous - you can just about imagine you are right on the beach exploring the sea life with their lilting feel.  The illustrations are watercolors - and give you the strong feel of the ocean as well.  Some of the two-page spreads are simply amazing!  DO NOT miss this fabulous collection of poems - just in time for National Poetry Month in April!

*I was sent a copy of the book by the publisher for review purposes.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's a Big World, Little Pig!

I am not sure how you can pick up this incredibly sweet picture book and not want to read it!  Kristi Yamaguchi has written It's a Big World, Little Pig! and it is such a sweet way to show kids that they can follow their dreams - even though they might feel a little scary.  Poppy the pig is such a lovable character with tons of charm and honesty.  I think kids will enjoy following along on her adventure to the World Games.  She finds new friends and gets to do all sorts of new things along the way - kids will relate and get a chuckle or two while they are reading this fun picture book.  Tim Bowers is to be commended on his amazing illustrations as well - the characters are delightful and the story has such a fun feel because of the sweet illustrations.

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

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Jane Eyre is a book I can read over and over and it never ceases to capture me!  I love so many things about that wonderful book.  SO, when I hear of modern versions, of course, I must read them and see if I approve!  Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a modern version of Jane Eyre that is one of the best I've read that follows the storyline of the traditional book.  What I enjoyed about Livesey's novel is the intricacy in the history of the life of Gemma - you follow her life from her very young days all the way to when she meets Mr. Sinclair.  It isn't a contrived book that has to follow the Jane Eyre storyline so closely that it looses it's own story.  It veers just enough from the original that it is truly its own story - and that is what gives it the strong like-ability factor!  During my reading, I came to feel for Gemma and her very tough life - I found myself cheering for her, although she didn't need it - she is plenty tough all on her own!  This is a great read - read it if you love Jane Eyre, read it even if you don't since it's a wonderfully strong story all on its own!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Straight to the Heart - Acts

This is a book that is fresh and NEEDED!  Sometimes studying scripture can be intimidating and frustrating and this tool is sure to make your study easier!  Phil Moore has crafted the Straight to the Heart series to help give insight to entire books of the Bible by biting off small chunks and explaining and expounding on those sections.
The Straight to the Heart series does not cover the whole text, but focuses on key sections that communicate the main themes of each book. There is so much useful application in each of these books and you can tell it is backed by a lot of study. "Its clear, thought-provoking insights will feed both mind and soul."   There are currently seven books published in this series.
About the Author: Phil Moore leads a thriving church in Wimbledon, London. After graduating from Cambridge University, Phil spent time on the mission field and then in the business world. He has devoted many years to the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and he brings them to life in the language of today in the Straight to the Heart series. Visit his website to learn more.

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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Beautiful Wife

I was asked to blog about a book for women - it was probably one I would not have picked up on my own.  I have read A LOT of books for women and wives, and I have not always found what I was hoping for.  SO, I was pleasantly surprised at this book.  The Beautiful Wife by Sandy Ralya is a very powerful book - I was shocked over and over when I read parts that I felt were aimed right at me.  I have been inspired and encouraged by this book.  It's simple - one of the main points was so refreshing and simple - "How do you turn to God and receive His wisdom and power for your marriage?"  Take these four steps:  "Be still, Worship, Read the Bible, and Pray."  It isn't rocket science but all throughout the book, Ralya gives practical advice to women - from remembering to take care of yourself to ways of looking at beauty in new and different ways.

I was also privileged to receive the Mentor's Guide - which helps you, as a leader, to teach this in a small group.  What a great tool!  I loved how it even gave you ways to pray before you ever meet as a group.  This is a very handy tool.

The Prayer Journal is another fabulous tool.  I am just so impressed with this whole series for women - it is practical and something that women, even being busy, can tackle and learn from. The Beautiful Wife by Sandy Ralya answers serious questions women have about their roles as wives - discussing everything from romance and money to beauty, communication, and sex.

Celebrate with Sandy by entering her Kindle Touch Giveaway and coming to her "Beautiful Womanhood" Facebook Party {3/8}!

One beautiful winner will receive:
  • A Brand new Kindle Touch with Wi-Fi
  • The Beautiful Wife By Sandy Ralya
  • The Beautiful Wife Prayer Journal and Mentor's Guide
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 3/7/12. Winner will be announced at Sandy's "Beautiful Womanhood" Facebook Party on 3/8. Sandy will be hosting an evening of chat, laughter and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, prayer journals and a live chat with Sandy for your Bible study or small group!

So grab your copy of The Beautiful Wife and join Sandy and friends on the evening of March 8th for an evening of fun.
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on March 8th!

To visit other blogs on this tour go HERE.

ALSO, watch a video promo HERE.

 *I was sent copies of the book, prayer journal, and mentor's guide for review purposes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Moon Over Manifest

Last year's Newbery Award totally escaped me - I hadn't heard of it or read it for that matter.  So - I just recently got a copy and read it and LOVED it.  Talk about fun - Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is truly a feast for book lovers - it has a little of everything - mystery, family, quirky characters, prejudice, friendship, humor - and all superbly well-written.  I felt like I lived in Manifest and really KNEW these characters.  The main character, Abilene Tucker is a guaranteed pleaser - she is sweet, innocent, and totally likable.  The friends she meets in the town of Manifest are brilliant and all add to her growth in life - some good, some bad!  You can't miss Abilene's journey down the "Path to Perdition" and Miss Sadie as she pays off her debt - that is how she learns much about her past and begins to also start her new future.

Monday, February 13, 2012

C. R. Mudgeon

Leslie Muir has written a fabulous children's book - C. R. Mudgeon is wonderful read about a hedgehog that just needs to "lighten up a bit!"  This book was perfect from the first page!!  C. R. is very set in his ways until Paprika the squirrel moves in next door and gives his boundaries a bit of a "push"!  I am telling you - you will LOVE this picture book - share it with a little one and enjoy the sweet story and perfect illustrations by Julian Hector - what a brilliant combination!  (And what's not to love about a hedgehog book, really!?!?)

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

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Great Sheep Shenanigans

The Great Sheep Shenanigans by Peter Bently and Mei Matsuoka is a laugh-out-loud read that will be perfect for story time or sharing with your little ones.  It is the story of Lou Pine the wolf that is out to get a tasty sheep for his supper - but it is NOT as easy as he thinks!  The rhyming storyline is catchy and fun and the illustrations are SUPERB!!  I love sharing this book out loud - it is a great read!

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

Monday, February 06, 2012

The Priest and the Peaches

When you read a realistic book that is not all happy and wonderful - it isn't always the easiest to read - BUT it is one of  my favorite types of books.  I don't need everything to be rosy - realistic is ok too.  The Priest and the Peaches by Larry Peterson is one of those books - in fact, it started out SO rough that I wondered if it could be too far fetched - five children left to rear themselves as they've lost a mother, grandmother, AND father.  But Peterson does a nice job of weaving humor into this story and the kids truly make their own fun - in spite of their circumstances.  This historical fiction tale is set in the Bronx in the mid-1960's and is strong with interesting tidbits set in this time period.  I was drawn to the character of Father Tim Sullivan who takes the children under his wing and loves on them with the love much like that of their Heavenly Father.  The family theme is powerful and the characters are strong - at some points in the story, I felt it dragging a bit, but for the most part - I was drawn to finish the story and see how the kids worked to succeed in spite of their situation, neighbors, lack of parents, etc.  Larry Peterson shows his creative abilities by writing a heartwarming picture book, Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes, previous to this and now, a novel that makes it worth turning every page.
*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.

The King Who Wouldn't Sleep

The King Who Wouldn't Sleep by Debbie Singleton and Holly Swain is a great story about a royal family with a problem - the king won't sleep - EVER!  So when the princes come to woo his daughter, they can't ever speak to her since the king won't go to sleep.  It isn't until he meets up with a plain young farmer that a plan is put into place to give the young farmer a chance!  What a fun story and illustrations that just add to the fun feel of the story.

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

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Elmer and Super El

I know I have told you that I do LOVE Elmer - so David McKee scores big with me with his latest Elmer book - Elmer and Super El.  All of our little super hero fans will LOVE this wonderful children's book about Elmer helping his little super hero friend.  What a great read - the illustrations are so colorful and fun - they just add to the whimsicalness of this fun jungle story.

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

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I Want to Win!

Tony Ross' A Little Princess Stories are a big hit in our house.  His latest, I Want to Win! is no exception.  The main character in these stories is a little girl that is about the farthest idea of a princess that one would imagine - she isn't fancy by any means but she does ALWAYS wear her crown!  In this story the Little Princess really wants to win - AT EVERYTHING.  It is a great lesson to us all - we can't always win and how will we handle it when we don't win?  I love the ending and it does encourage each of us to try our hardest!!
*I was sent a review copy of the book by the publisher.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Who Am I?

Simply Marvelous!!  Gervase Phinn and Tony Ross have teamed up to write and illustrate a simply wonderful children's book - Who Am I?  What a wonderful tale - a little chameleon is out to figure out what kind of animal he is.  He bumps into many other animals who share with him why they are each special and then he meets up with Mr. Crocodile who tries to lure him into being a tasty meal.  You will LOVE who finally saves the little chameleon AND then teaches him how special he is!  What a great read for you to share with the little ones in your life!
*I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Elmer Board Books

Oh how I love Elmer books!!  And now they are available in board book format - Lerner sent me Elmer's Opposites and Elmer's First Counting Book, both by David McKee.  They are both WONDERFUL board books that your young ones will love.  And how thrilled I am - because now even our youngest readers will be introduced to Elmer!!  They are the same great quality and pictures that we know and love with McKee - so make sure and find these for your little one!

*I was sent copies of each of these for review purposes by the publisher.

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