Monday, April 4, 2016

Play and Learn Bible Stories: Noah's Ark Wipe-Clean Storybook

Play and Learn Bible Stories: Noah’s Ark Wipe-Clean Storybook by Shiloh Kidz, is an interactive storybook about Noah and the ark. Each text page includes some type of activity that goes along with the story segment on that page.

Most of the activities are sticker-related, with over 100 bright stickers to paste in various places throughout the book. The text pages are numbered, and the stickers are grouped according to corresponding page numbers, making them easy to locate. There are also some tracing activities scattered throughout the pages. The tracing can be done with any type of dry erase marker (not included). The activities can be repeated again and again, as the stickers are reusable and the pages can be wiped clean.

What I Like: Just about everything. The pages are bright and colorful, the activities are kid-friendly, and the activities can be repeated.

What I Dislike: The book is supposed to be for ages 3+. The activities will be fun for all, but the language used in the text is not what I would consider kid-friendly for this type of activity book. Youngsters will enjoy the bright pages and the activities, but most of them will have trouble with the language level used to tell the story.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: The book is listed for ages 3+, but I think an appropriate age group would be about 3-8.

Publisher Info: Shiloh Kidaz, 2015; ISBN: 9781630588946; Paperback, $6.99.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Glimmer Girls: A Dolphin Wish

Glimmer Girls: A Dolphin Wish, by Christian Grammy winning artist Natalie Grant, is the second book in the FaithGirlz Glimmer Girls series.  Once again, Mia and Maddie are solving a mystery  again with their little sister Lulu!  Their mother is a famous singer so the entire family gets to travel with her around the world to her concerts. In the last book they traveled to London.  In this book they travel to the San Diego, California. While there, they visit an amusement park and encounter a mystery involving the animals.  The sisters also deal with feelings of jealousy between them while in San Diego.

What I Like: I appreciate that this book can stand alone from the first book in the series.   You will not be lost at all if you haven't read the first book and decide that you want to start with this one.

If you read my review of the first book, you will remember that I was concerned about  one of the characters sneaking out at night and not receiving consequences.  This disobedience was addressed more thoroughly in this second book.   I also appreciated the family discussions and their reliance on God throughout the book.

What I Dislike:  There was nothing I disliked about this book.

Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 8-12.
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2016; ISBN:0310752531; Paperback, 144 pages, $8.99.

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Special Info: You can read my review of the first book in the series, Glimmer Girls: London Art Chase by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Berenstain Bears Mother's Day Blessing

Mother's Day Blessings by Mike Berenstain the latest book from the Berenstain Bears Living Lights Series. This series incorporates faith and values into the story line of each book. The Berenstain Bears Mother's Day Blessing is about the Bear family's tour through Bear Country as they celebrate Mama Bear and learn about why mothers are so special to all of us.  On the very first page the author shows a picture of Mama Bear with a passage from Proverbs 31... "She is worth far more than rubies.  Her children arise and call her blessed. Honor her for all that her hands have done."

What I Like: I enjoy how this series weaves the scriptures and values into each story. The series was designed to "help children learn how God wants them to live every day."

I also liked that the book showed mothers in a variety of different roles.  There were moms that stayed home with their children, moms that worked, moms that owned a business and a mom that worked in ministry as a Pastor's Wife.
What I Dislike: I wish that the book was a little longer.  I feel that the conclusion of the book was a bit rushed. 

Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: 4-8 years old.

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2016; ISBN:0310748690; Paperback, 32 pages, $3.99

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Beginner's Bible: All About Jesus Sticker and Activity Book

The Beginner’s Bible: All About Jesus Sticker & Activity Book by Zonderkidz, is filled with very short stories and activities relating to Jesus. The stories are about Jesus’ birth, his baptism, his first miracle, etc. A short story is told on each page, and activities relating to that story are included on that page.

Activities include stickers, tracing objects, coloring and drawing pictures, counting exercises, and several different kinds of puzzles. Colorful, cartoonish illustrations fill each page.

What I Like: This looks like a great book to not only keep little ones busy, but also to help them learn about Jesus.

What I Dislike: Although there are lots of stickers (more than 50) included with the book, and many places where they go throughout the pages, the stickers are not marked according to what page they are supposed to go on. I looks like it would be rather complicated for youngsters to locate the stickers themselves.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: No age group is given, but I would say this is the type of book for children in preschool and kindergarten.

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2015; ISBN: 9780310746935; Paperback, $3.99.


Monday, March 21, 2016

7 Days of Awesome

7 Days of Awesome by Shawn Byous is a picture book written in rhyme about Creation. The story's Dr. Seuss-like narrative and whimsical illustrations take children through the 7 days of Creation.  The book stays in rhyme throughout the entire book.  The scripture references in the book are taken from the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

What I Like: I liked that the book was based on the Biblical story of Creation that was written in Genesis.  The book is accurate in referring to what was created on each day according to the Bible. 

What I Dislike: I am not a fan of books in rhyme.  I feel like the wording is forced more often than not in order to make the rhyme work.  I also did not find the drawings to be appealing.  The style of artwork looked old fashioned to me. 

Overall Rating: Ho-Hum.

Age Appeal: Ages 4-8.

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2016; ISBN: 03010743494; Hardcover, $16.9.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Glimmer Girls: London Art Chase

Glimmer Girls: London Art Chase, by Christian Grammy winning music artist Natalie Grant, is the first book in the Faithgirlz Glimmer Girls Series.  Mia and Maddie are 10-year-old twins who fly to London with their little sister Lulu to watch their famous mother Gloria Glimmer sing in concert. While there they encounter a mystery.  The girls and their nanny try to solve who stole art from the National Gallery.

What I Like: I liked the elements of faith that were written throughout the book.  The characters struggled with feelings of jealousy, not fitting in and fear.  These were all addressed with the characters being told to pray and trust in God.

What I Dislike: There is a part in the story where the 10-year-old main character sneaks out of her hotel room in London to try to solve the mystery on her own.  She ends up being okay but I was disappointed that she did not receive consequences for sneaking out and putting herself in danger.  I think this really would have been a good opportunity for a teaching point on honesty, obedience and safety.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: 8-12.

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2016; ISBN: 987-0-310-75265-3; Paperback, 208 pgs., $8.99

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Under The Sea Holy Bible

The Under the Sea Holy Bible, NIV, is a perfect gift for children ages 6 to 10. Themes of underwater fun and sparkling fish grace the interior of this wonderful children’s Bible. The outside is covered in foil and sparkle. The interior has color inserts featuring whimsical underwater scenes with themes of God’s care and love for each of us and all of creation.

What I Like: The cover of the Under The Sea Holy Bible is absolutely adorable with the sparkly and foiled illustrations. Kids will be drawn to it. Within, there are several bright blue pages mixed within the bible pages that highlight teachings that kids could relate to easily. The ten commandments are listed in a simplistic form that makes sense to children. Another page highlights all of the children and teens mentioned throughout the bible and a small reference to who they were and what they did along with the scripture where you can find their story.

There is glossary in the back as well.

What I Dislike: Because I love the special blue pages so much, I was disappointed that there weren't more of them.

Overall Rating: Very Good.

Age Appeal: 6-10 years old.

Publisher Info: Zondervan, 2016; ISBN: 978-0310754046 ; Hardcover, 1152 pgs., $24.99

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