Book Spotlight: Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science: Louie Giglio


SYNOPSIS: We all know that kids love to ask questions. Why? How? When? For parents, it can be hard to know exactly how to answer those questions—from the small ones like why the sky is blue to how big the universe is. And, when it comes to questions about science, there is often an intersection between faith and fact. Thankfully, a new children’s book, Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science (October 10, Tommy Nelson / Passion Publishing), helps parents fuse the two and cover both of those topics with ease.

MY THOUGHTS: I was thrilled to see a devotional based on Scripturally-sound science. There is literally SO much to love about this book. First, of course, is the author. Pastor Louie Giglio is a well-known and well-respected man. As Pastor of Passion City Church, he has made a magnificent difference in the lives of his parishioners (and around the world, too). He has written a number of well-received titles and this one will be loved as well.

He has taken a hugely controversial topic in Christianity- Science- made portrayed it to children so that they will understand & be able to bear witness to its Creator. I’ll never understand how anyone can view the beauty of creation and not believe in the God who created it all! I love the gentle way in which Pastor Giglio shows the reader both illustrated and photographic images pertaining to the daily devotional topics. Then, he accurately points out the correlation to the day’s Scripture.

Although potentially geared to the elementary set, ‘Indescribable’ can be enjoyed by readers at any age. I loved every page and I’m WAY passed elementary school. Each day offers a new view at the world around us, our health, the weather and more. I highly recommend getting a copy either for a young reader or even yourself. It is a way beyond 5 star devotional!
*Synopsis & pics belong solely to the author & publisher.
**I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

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Book Spotlight: Proggy Menagerie: Hayley Smith


Synopsis:Learn the basics of the Proggy technique with step-by-step photo guides, then set your creativity free with the easy-to-follow patterns. In Proggy Menagerie, designer and author Hayley Smith provides a collection of adorable three-dimensional rag-rug projects that can be adapted for use as children’s toys, pet toys, or home accessories. The technique is easy to master—simply cut your fabric into strips and push it through the holes in some Hessian backing—and has been a traditional way of creating mats for centuries. This technique, known as “progging” in northeast England, is familiar the world over. Proggy Menagerie puts a refreshing modern twist on the technique, moving it beyond the usual two-dimensional rug format, with instructions for making twenty fun and funky three-dimensional stuffed animals. With a few adaptations to the backing, filling, and eye materials, the projects can be safely used as soft toys for children, chew toys for pets, or be used as doorstops and draft blockers around your home. Designs include:

Woodland creatures
Farmyard favorites
Perfect pets
Feathered friends
Water babies

About the Author
Hayley Smith creates all the products, designs, and patterns for her successful craft business, Craft Yourself Silly. Her Proggy kits, supplies, and tools are stocked by retailers throughout the United States. The author lives by the sea in northeast England.

My Thoughts: If the term ‘progging’ is new to you, you’re not alone. It was new to me, too. However, the look & feel of the technique reminded me a lot of the latch hook kits my sister used to do. What I love about the book is the easy way the author describes the how-to’s. Once the basics are mastered, the sky’s the limit in what can be made. These projects are perfect for groups that have a little time on their hands (Girl Scouts, seniors projects, etc.) In fact, I’d highly recommend giving them a try as a missions project for your Church to send along to humanitarian organizations. I wish I still had better motor skills in order to make these myself. I give the book 5 stars for originality and ease of use.

On Sale: October 3, 2017
ISBN: 9781680993370
Price: $14.99

*Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author & publisher

**I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Book Spotlight: Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women: Lindsay Franklin

SYNOPSIS: In an ever-changing world, we can be certain of one thing: we are beloved by God. Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women tackles tough topics girls face, from bullying and social media to friendships and dating, all the while showing readers how infinitely precious they are in God’s sight.

Each day features an easy-to-read, relevant devotion paired with a scripture verse and journaling space to help readers reflect on the day’s message. With honest, poignant, and sometimes humorous text, every page will speak to the pressures and changes girls face, giving them real-world applications to find God in their hearts and in their lives. Perfect for everyday use, Adored will resonate with girls searching for truth and guidance. Gift givers will love this highly designed book featuring a beautiful, foiled cover, and two-color interior pages.

MY THOUGHTS: I know you should never judge a book by its cover, by I have to say, that this cover is stunning. The picture doesn’t do it enough justice. Its content is just as beautiful. From the Scriptures chosen to the perfectly worded devotional thoughts, it illuminates how beautiful we are to Our Lord.

Day 134 is one of my favorites. It deals with pain and being brokenhearted. Day 6 is more humorous as it discusses the ‘scandal’ of yoga pants. I especially love that it refers to the reader in such ways a ‘beloved daughter’. It is a way girls & even adult women are seldom talked to or about nowadays. Today’s young ladies can never have enough exposure to the Grace & unconditional love of their Heavenly Father. I highly, highly recommend gifting this devotional to any and every young woman in your life.

With the holidays on their way, give this as a gift of encouragement and a lifelong knowledge of Our Lord. It’s published by Zondervan and can be found at Amazon & other Christian book retailers.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

**Picture and synopsis belong ONLY to the author/publisher.

Book Spotlight: The Misadventures of Michael McMichaels, Vol. 3: The Creepy Campers: Tony Penn


Michael finds himself caught up in competing with his fellow campers. After each event, the winning camper is awarded a ribbon. As the challenges get harder, Michael finds it easier to cut a few corners, even if it’s considered cheating. Winning feels really good and soon Michael is in over his head. Is it worth winning if you’re breaking the rules?

‘Creepy Campers’ is the third installment in the Misadventures of Michael McMichaels. Primarily, it’s for children in grades 1-5. If they’re reading independently, I’d recommend for grades 4-5. It’s about 90 pages (including pictures). Each book in the series provides a strong message geared to helping kids make strong, morally sound choices. Here, we have Michael having to make a choice between easy & right. It’s a timely, real-life message delivered within an engaging plot.

Michael is the type of character that both boys and girls will like and will likely find he has a lot in common with them. His antics are typical for a boy his age- nothing too over the top. As an adult reader, you may find his behavior humorous, but children will easily identify why it becomes a moral dilemma for him. In this book, he has to make choices in regards to cheating as well as ‘telling’ on people who may seek retribution. Also, he must choose whether or not to go against what everyone else is telling him in order to stay true to himself.

What makes Michael’s series great is that the message isn’t preachy or even easily noted. It simply blends in with the normal flow of the plot. Tony Penn has done a great job with putting his hero into situations that come up everyday and showing kids the consequences of Michael’s actions. It’s not a fluff piece. It’s fiction with a lot of real scenarios.

I feel it’s a great series and highly recommend it for the elementary set. I give it 4 stars.

 

*Pic belongs ONLY to the author/publisher.

The book is published by Boys Town Press. http://www.boystownpress.org The name may sound familiar to you as Boys Town is celebrating its 100th year and was represented in the famous Spencer Tracy (1938) movie of the same name.

I received the aforementioned book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Book Spotlight: Christmas Papercrafting: Holiday Cards, Gift Tags, and More

With the Holiday season right around the corner, turn the attention away from electronics and back to basic, fun with papercrafting. ‘Christmas Papercrafting: Holiday Cards, Gift Tags, and More’ features 112 pages of every paper craft you can imagine! Featuring designs and projects from artists Thaneeya McArdle, Robin Pickens, Angelea Van Dam, Valentina Harper, and Valerie McKeehan, you’ll have no trouble creating your most beautiful Christmas yet!

If you aren’t familiar with papercrafting, think greeting cars, bookmarks, scrapbooking, etc. With the rising cost and lessening quality to boxed greeting cards, making your own, personalized cards may just be the way to go. I was thrilled with the beautiful, high-quality designs in this book. The cards are easily removed from the book and are pre-colored for convenience. Add your own personal touches and you’re good-to-go.

Another thing that definitely caught my attention were the bookmarks. As a former, longtime Sunday School teacher, I recognized these as the perfect, time-sensitive craft for all ages. Kids love bookmarks, especially ones that they’ve created themselves. If you are an educator in homeschool or brick and mortar schools and need some fresh ideas for this year’s season, try papercrafting. With an MSRP of $19.99, the book will pay for itself in the time and money you’ll save trying to come up with seasonal activities. Also included are gift tags and frameable art.

I love the originality of the crafts and appreciate how many crafts they’ve included in the book. It’s being offered for a very economical price considering all it provides. You can find out more along with additional titles from the publisher, Fox Chapel Publishing, via: http://www.foxchapelpublishing.com. I highly recommend picking up copy.

*I received the aforementioned product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Book Spotlight: Mackenzie Goes Adventuring: J.L. Baumann


SYNOPSIS: J.L. Baumann’s new book, Mackenzie Goes Adventuring, takes place in the happy town of Snookton, full of Snookies, snooking all around. The main character, Mackenzie, decides to take a different path home after school one day. After convincing another friend to adventure with her through the enchanted woods, they soon find out why their teacher told them to “stay on the right path.” From the dangers of the Snarfling Snarfle to the delights of the Snookberry jelly roll at the Snookie Exchange, they encounter a whole new world. But after having met a whole new set of friends and learning the value of paying attention, they still have to find their way home.

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Mackenzie’ is about 90 pages long. Although the rhyming format is catchy, it is way too long for pre-k to K readers. They simply can’t sit still that long. However, it is perfectly suited for the elementary school scene. The illustrations are fabulous. Mackenzie and her friends are larger-than-life on every page.

The basic message is simple enough for young readers to understand. ‘Do what you’re told’. While their adventure initially seems fantastic, they soon learn how dangerous it can be for them to wander off on their own, with no adults. While the story’s villains are ‘mean’, they’re not too over-the-top that nightmares will be a problem. They are more like cartoon ‘bad guys’. It can become a teachable moment for the adult reading to or with the child. Avoiding ‘bad guys’ is a good thing. Stay with a trusted adult.

My only concern was the Shaman character. He took the story in a direction I wasn’t expecting. I felt that Mackenzie, despite her Snookie world, would have had a more real world feel without all the additional magic. It just didn’t strike the right chord with me.

If your kids are big into rhyming books and characters with off-the-wall names, Mackenzie would be a good choice for you. I give it 3 stars.
Available via http://www.snookton.com. Pic & Synopsis belong only to the Author & Publisher.
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Book Spotlight: Brave Beauty: Lynn Cowell


SYNOPSIS: What will my life be like? Who will I be? Whether girls put these concerns into words or struggle anxiously with these thoughts, during this season of change, girls have questions. Sometimes these questions also come with fears and they need a safe place to process these fears. From Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and blogger, Lynn Cowell, comes Faithgirlz Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You. For girls 8-12, Brave Beauty brings tweens 100 courage-building moments to reflect on Scripture and find confidence in God, rather than in someone, some place, or some thing, as culture will all-too-soon tell them to. Lynn will also prepare girls to:
Overcome confidence-defeating thoughts and stand on who Jesus says she is.
Shape her self-worth on Christ and overcome the temptation base it on environmental factors.
Build a strong foundation to face the fickle and flippant opinions of others.
Find approval of herself even when she lacks the acceptance of others.
Find security by turning to Christ as she steps through the exciting, yet scary world of growing up
Formatted as theme-based mini chapters, these moments can be read as one-a-days, one-a-weeks, or at the reader’s own pace. Simple and empowering, Lynn’s voice is relatable and conversational, making it easy for girls to feel like they’re spending time with a friend. This inspirational read will be set as a gorgeously decorated hardcover, with beautifully formatted pages in line with the well-known and loved Faithgirlz look, and with an easy-reference index to look up any topic.
MY THOUGHTS: In today’s world, girls are under pressure like never before. In an age group where girls struggle to learn who they are, they’re often bombarded with what others think they should be. While we as parents try to build them up, peers and media often provide them with a louder voice of cynicism. ‘Brave Beauty’ is a timely, and incredibly relatable book.

Parents of tweens know that they hate to be preached to or talked ‘at’. Lynn’s tone in the book is one of understanding without condescension. She’s captured the fine art of getting through to tweens while still be a nurturing, affective role model. While we surely do our best as parents to build self-confidence, it is a fragile thing easily broken. ‘Brave Beauty’ offers real world inspiration and encouragement to remain steadfast in an uncertain time in their lives.

I have 3 sons and no daughters, but, many of the reflections in the book easily apply to both boys and girls. Along with their faith in Christ, the one gift you should give your children is a feeling that they’re loved. Show them they support their self-esteem by gifting them a copy of ‘Brave Beauty’. I will become a book that’s re-read over and over again. I give it a full 5 stars.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.