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Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: The Awesome Book about God for Kids

The Awesome Book about God for Kids
The Awesome Book about God for Kids by Sandy Silverthorne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Written for upper elementary school kids, The Awesome Book about God for Kids has some good ideas. Share the character traits of God with children, include Bible verses and stories, spell out the morals of the stories so that children can understand them. The simple drawings included are cute, the chapters are short and as a result the child's mind doesn't wander while reading.

Perhaps I'm too old fashioned though, when it comes to retelling Bible stories. I tend to think that an author shouldn't take a lot of liberties with it. Ms. Silverthorne, in my opinion, does. From Daniel being portrayed as a clerk and the administrator's stealing his calendar to try to find some dirt on him, to Abram's birthday party, to the women who stood before Solomon with the life of a child in their hands saying "liar liar pants of fire". It's just a little too much creative license for me. At this age a child should be ready to read the accurate accounts from the Bible without having to turn it into a child's tale.

I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Daniel for Lunch: The Tasty Tale of Daniel in the Lions' Den

Daniel for Lunch: The Tasty Tale of Daniel in the Lions' Den
Daniel for Lunch: The Tasty Tale of Daniel in the Lions' Den by Kelly Pulley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a charming retelling of the Biblical story of Daniel and the lion's den. Kelly Pulley writes the story in rhyming prose that children will enjoy, and her illustrations are cute and captivating as well.

While there is no getting around the possible scariness of people being fed to lions, Kelly manages to tell the story in such a way that little ones can instead focus on the protection of God and Daniel's dedication. The only thing I would have liked to have seen in the story is that Daniel and King Darius were more than just king and servant. Still, this would be a wonderful addition to any children's library.

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Review: Sky Jumpers

Sky Jumpers: Book 1 
by Peggy Eddleman

My Review:

An awesome story of how we are all gifted differently, and how that is a blessing.  Hope, an orphan adopted by one of the town council families, has spent the first 12 years of her life attempting to do what the town thinks is important-invent.  In a world in which all technology is gone inventions are what are bringing the world back to a modern lifestyle.  But for Hope, each years Invention Day is just a reminder of what she isn't, an inventor.  Every invention she has ever attempted has failed.  

But when strangers come to town and try to steal the town's most important invention - an antibiotic for a deadly disease, Hope discovers that being a great inventor isn't always what is most important.  

I really enjoyed the story and the determination of Hope throughout the book.  She never gives up, which is a great message for our young people.  I also like the theme of the book, that being like everyone else isn't always the best thing.  Sometimes it is better to be your own person.  

The characters are well developed but there are a few elements of the story that I wish were a little more fleshed out.  Perhaps they will be in future installments.  We read about a sickness that is almost a death sentence without the antibiotics, but that is about all we are told.  We are told about the "Bomb's Breath", a layer of compressed are left behind after WWIII, that is deadly to all who breathe it.  However, I still don't really understand what it is.

Still, the message of this story make it worth reading, and who can resist a 12 year old hero that discovers being who she is is who she was meant to be?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Great Little Gifts to Knit review

Great Little Gifts to Knit: 30 Quick and Colorful Patterns

Publisher's Description:
Today's knitters are avid—and busy. Although they love to knit for friends and family, and enjoy trying out new patterns and stitch techniques, they're constantly faced with the challenge of finding enough time to complete their projects. Great Little Gifts to Knit solves this problem. Jean Moss, author ofSweet Shawlettes, has designed 30 fun, fresh, beautiful patterns that incorporate traditional knitting techniques from all over the world: from Fair Isle and Aran knits to Peruvian intarsia patterns and Japanese shadow knitting techniques. Beautiful, clever, and, most of all, quick to knit, these projects offer knitters a chance to learn and experiment with new techniques—all in projects that can be made in less than a weekend.

My Review:
When I began to explore the patterns in this book, I'll be honest - I didn't make it past the first pattern before I had to pick up my needles and start a project!  A friend had just welcomed his son into the world (a bit earlier than expected) so when I saw the Cuddle Cocoon pattern I just knew it was perfect.
(Say 'hi' to my preemie model, Thomas Michael, a Berenguer doll)

It took about a day to complete and I love the way the knit stitches spiral around the cocoon.  I also liked that the pattern included an advanced version (above) and a less advanced version (the knit stitches don't spiral).  And if this pattern is typical of the remaining patterns then they really are great gifts that knit up quick!

So, once I finished this cutie, I flipped through the remaining patterns and they are awesome too!  Legwarmers, shawlettes, scarves, hats, mittens, belts, smartphone sleeves, tea cozies, dog jackets and so much more!  What an awesome addition to my pattern library.  The photos are gorgeous, the patterns are things that I would really make and give as gifts and my finished project looks just as good as the ones photo'd.  Love.  Love.  Love!

If you want to add this to your pattern library you can order from Amazon here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Forever Friday: A Novel

Forever Friday: A Novel by Timothy Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an amazing love story of two people committed to not letting life divide them. If you enjoyed The Notebook then you will probably enjoy this one too.

The basic gist: Adam is given the task of selling the possessions of a deceased woman and happens upon some photo albums that contain numerous postcards dated every Friday for many years. Each postcard is a love poem. Having recently been divorced (not of his own choosing) he becomes determined to learn about the couple the postcards belong to and finding the secret to their lasting love.

Even better is that the story is loosely based upon the life of the author's great-aunt and uncle. So not only is this an amazing love story, but it really is an amazing love story. And the characters are so well developed you quickly grow to love both Huck and Gabe (the main characters). The book follows their romance from before their first meeting through their death and Adam's discovery. And it leaves us with hope for new love as well.

So if you are looking for a love story that will sweep you off your feet, this is it!

(I did receive a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Review: Invisible: A Novel

Invisible: A Novel by Ginny L. Yttrup

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Invisible follows three women, each struggling with their own problems, each life intersecting, and ultimately each woman helping the other to heal. The characters are real, the problems are real, and the plot is amazing.

Ellyn has struggled most of her life with image issues. That voice in her head condemns her body with labels like "fat" and has convinced her that she will forever be alone as a result. Anyone who has ever struggled with not meeting the American image of what a woman should look like, finding themselves tipping the scale, will be able to identify with Ellyn. She can easily see that others are awesomely made by God, but struggles to see that in herself.

Twila represents the opposite side of the scale, literally. A young woman that many would see on the street and assume the worst due to her facial tattoo, has also struggled with her body image. Rather than escaping life by turning to food she has attempted to control it by starving herself. A woman who has tried to literally disappear from sight. Twila has come to accept that she is created in the image of God, but she sometimes needs reminded of it.

Sabina is the gal that everyone thinks has it all together. She is beautiful, married to a great guy, and has a successful career. And yet, she feels lost. She struggles with depression and she has run away from her life.

In this novel all three lives weave together to show us how God can heal even our deepest hurts. How His truth an change lives.

You will forget you are reading a novel and instead feel like you are there chatting with these gals, or that someone has peeked into your life and written it. I look forward to reading Lost and Found: A Novel next. (I know, a little late getting to the game!)

I did receive a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.