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Children’s Corner — Two from Zonderkidz

15 Jan

Zonderkidz has two adorable children’s books for your special child. Check them out!

 

Love You, Love You is a cute and cuddly board book that shows the love between family members of all kinds. With heartwarming read-aloud rhymes and sweet illustrations by international artist Alison Brown, Love You, Love You is the perfect way to say, “I love you!” to the little ones in your life any time of year.

With an adorable cover case adorned with glitter, this book is perfect for Valentine’s Day, baby showers, baptisms, birthdays, new parents or grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, or anyone who wants to express love to the precious child in their life.

Love you, Love you,
Mama squeaked.
Into her nest she quickly peeked.
Sleeping babies
softly snore.
I couldn’t love you any more.

My Impressions: 

Love You, Love You is headed to my new grand baby this Valentine’s Day. The sturdy board book perfect for the littlest reader shares how much a child is loved — any time of the year. Every member of the family gets involved — parents, grands, and siblings. I thought the illustrations were adorable, even when Nana is portrayed as a snake 😉 ! Simple rhymes and bright colors will keep your child engaged.

Recommended.

Audience: babies and toddlers.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Piper & Mabel is written by Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author of four books and the hilarious voice behind the wildly popular Big Mama Blog. In her debut children’s book, Melanie shares the adventures of her two very wild but very good dogs, Piper and Mabel.

When the family plans a vacation to the beach, Piper and Mabel are shocked to discover they won’t be joining their people. Instead, they’re headed to doggie day care at the Happy Tails Ranch where they create all kinds of mischief when they discover the accommodations are not exactly what they were expecting.

Dog-lovers everywhere will enjoy the adventures of Piper and Mabel. 

My Impressions:

Piper And Mabel is so stinking cute! The two dog sisters are described as wild, but very good — a pretty apt description as they navigate being left behind when their family goes on vacation. An engaging story with two adorable main characters is complimented with highly detailed and whimsical illustrations. This book is great for a family read-along or for readers practicing their skills. It is definitely a must-read for the dog-loving child in your life!

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — Exciting Christmas Books from Zonderkidz

4 Dec

Looking for some books to put under the tree for your favorite child? Then you are in luck! Zonderkidz has you covered. Check out some of the books available below. And if those aren’t enough, they have a handy gift giving guide too!

 

Board Books

Christmas Cookie Day!, written by Tara Knudson and illustrated by Pauline Stewart, celebrates the beloved tradition of making Christmas treats and even features a special Christmas cookie recipe for you and your child to create. The bright illustrations by Pauline Siewert and sweet, rhyming text by Tara Knudson are sure to capture the wonder of young readers and parents alike. Perfect for building new memories, this board book has a beautiful, glittery cover.

My Christmas Story Tree, written by bestselling author Mary Manz Simon and illustrated by Gavin Scott, is a board book that sparkles with glitter and foil and leads little ones through the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree. Follow along to add the angel, ornaments, candy canes, lights, and finally place the star on the top of the tree while learning the story of the very first Christmas.

 

Storybooks

In Mouse’s Christmas Gift, written by Mindy Baker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk, one tiny church mouse must find a way to bring Christmas spirit to his little town when Parson gets sick and the usual Christmas Eve service is cancelled. Mouse never gives up hope as he prepares the nativity set and lights a small candle in the window to signal the villagers. Mouse’s small act of faith sparks a chain reaction of hope and love, demonstrating that even the smallest creature can make a big difference. This adorable book, with a cover adorned with foil and glitter, captures the spirit of Christmas and the joy of doing for others during the holiday season.

Mary Engelbreit presents A Night of Great Joy, a delightful picture book that celebrates the joyful season of Christmas. This book tells the story of the nativity through the performance of a children’s Christmas pageant. With adorable illustrations and simple storytelling, Engelbreit paints a wonderful picture of the night that Jesus was born.

A Night of Great Joy recalls that fateful night with wonder and awe. From the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem to the gathering of many before the baby Jesus, this holiday treasure leads children through the tale of the birth of Jesus, guiding them with the star of Bethlehem

For over 200 years, families have gathered on Christmas Eve to hear the much loved words of Dr. Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This year, families can gather together to share the real Christmas story — the story of Jesus’ birth. ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas, by Glenys Nellist and illustrated by Elena Selivanovaechoes the familiar language and rhythm of Dr. Clements’ poetry, but instead of focusing on Santa, it focuses on the baby Jesus, who is, after all, the true hero of Christmas. All families will delight in this simple retelling of the most famous story ever told. With a cover that comes alive with foil and sculpted embossing, this book is sure to become a Christmas classic.

 

Bibles

Millions of children and their parents can’t be wrong. The bright and vibrant illustrations throughout and stunning binding of The Beginner’s Bible Gift Edition enhance every word, introducing boys and girls to the timeless stories of the Bible in a way they can read, remember, and, most importantly, live out. Kids will enjoy reading the story of Noah’s Ark as they see Noah helping the elephant onto the big boat. They will learn about the prophet Jonah as they see him praying inside the fish. They will follow along with the text of Jesus’ ministry as they see a man in need of healing lowered down through the roof of a house.

Parents, teachers, and pastors, if you’re looking for a gift that isn’t just beautifully presented but is also a proven, memorable way to introduce children to the beloved stories and parables of Scripture, look no further than The Beginner’s Bible Gift Edition.

All the beauty and love poured into the original Moonbeam Award gold medal winner in a clothbound gift edition that includes a ribbon marker. Whether for baptisms or First Communions, birthdays or Christmas, this is one gift that never fails to be a family favorite. If you are a parent, grandparent, pastor, or teacher looking for a way to teach the children in your life about God’s “Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love,” look no further than The Jesus Storybook Bible Gift Edition.

 

The Cracking of Monday Egg Blog Tour

25 Nov

The Cracking of Monday Egg JR Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Cracking of Monday Egg by B.T. Higgins, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Cracking of Monday Egg by B.T. HigginsTitle: The Cracking of Monday Egg
Author: B.T. Higgins
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Release Date: November 21, 2019

An Egg World Allegory

The Maker created Monday Egg for a very important reason. Monday just doesn’t understand it yet. Being an egg with arms and legs has its advantages. Monday can run like the wind and climb trees easily, but he is an egg. What happens when he cracks?

The Cracking of Monday Egg is the story of a cranky crow, a sick little girl, a kind squirrel, and Monday’s struggle to deal with his own crackability.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook

 

EXCERPT

A rush of wind pressed the new spring grass against the ground, and in that moment Monday Egg dropped. The bump woke him up. He’d never felt before, so the non-violent drop really caught his attention. 

“I don’t like that,” Monday Egg decided. “I don’t like it at all.” 

Then the wind pulled back and the young grass rose up around him. Monday watched the green sprigs sway in the natural wind and he decided he liked the green grass and big blue above it. 

“This. I am sure that I like this.” 

As the morning sun rose Monday Egg listened to the sounds of the world. Birds chirping, bugs crawling, leaves whispering, and one more thing. A distant thing. It sounded like a voice, low and calm. 

“I like that sound.” Monday Egg confirmed. 

“Good Morning,” said the voice. 

Monday Egg looked around and saw no Body, but the voice was clearly some Body. 

“Hello,” whispered Monday, “I like the green grass and big blue.”

“Sky. The big blue Sky.”

 “Yes. It is wonderful.”

“You have excellent taste. The sky is one of my favorite things too,” said the low voice.

“When I look at it closely, it seems to swallow me up completely.” Monday Egg thought about it for a moment. “Is that normal?”

“That is what the sky is designed to do. Swallowing you up. Taking your breath away. Calming your yolk,” said the voice.

“What is a yolk?” 

“It is your inner part. The part that can feel the big, blue sky. Your yolk is especially big, so you can feel the sky more than others. Don’t forget to enjoy the sky, Monday Egg.”

“Oh. How could I forget,” said Monday Egg, and then fell softly into a mid-day nap.  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

B.T. Higgins

 

B.T. Higgins lives in the wild urban jungles of Alaska with his wife and four children. As you might expect, he is an avid fan of long naps and noise-canceling headphones. He has been a garbageman, a propane technician, a teacher, a tutor, a musician and an exotic-bird-cage scrubber, but writing stories is, by far, his favorite job.

CONNECT WITH B.T.: Facebook


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card & free collection of short stories by the author!

The Cracking of Monday Egg JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 22, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 29, 2019. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE


 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Children’s Corner — Two for Christmas

20 Nov

Zonderkidz has two cute and colorful storybooks for kids available now — A Christmas Gift for Santa and A Very Fiona Christmas. While I liked both of these books, they were very secular in nature. But . . . they do offer parents an opportunity to expand the conversation about what Christmas is all about and being reminded to give to those who give us so much. Check out my impressions on each book below

A Christmas Gift for Santa

The Christmas story you haven’t read: What happens after Santa Claus delivers all the Christmas presents to boys and girls around the world?

Is there a gift waiting for Santa at the North Pole? Cuddle up with your little ones and follow the journey through Santa’s Workshop in search of Santa’s Christmas present. With bright and whimsical illustrations, this new take on the Christmas story is sure to become the newest addition to your holiday reading tradition — especially at bedtime!

Has Mrs. Claus forgotten Santa on Christmas Eve? He searches and searches their cozy North Pole home until he finds homemade gifts waiting for him next to a beautiful handwritten note. But what does it say?

My Impressions:

Santa is finally at home after his gift-giving spree across the world, but he feels a little left out when there is apparently no gift for him. This book has cute and colorful illustrations and a rhyming narrative as Santa searches for a gift. I think this book could serve as a springboard for parents to remind their kids of all those who give so much, but may not receive in return — policemen, firemen, nurses, etc. In the midst of gift-giving excitement, A Christmas Gift for Santa is a good reminder to show gratitude to those who selflessly share with others.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

A Very Fiona Christmas

A follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Fiona the Hippo picture book comes A Very Fiona Christmas!

It’s Fiona the hippo’s very first Christmas, and the zoo is sparkling with holiday spirit. When the adorable little hippo asks her friends, “What’s Christmas?” they set out to show her all the wonders and excitement of the season. With each new experience Fiona lets out a snort, wiggles her ears, and asks, “Is THIS Christmas?”

Amidst the snow, twinkling lights, mistletoe, and stockings, Fiona ends up meeting a new friend at the zoo who helps her discover the true meaning of the holiday: Love. Snuggle up with your little ones and join Fiona and her adorable animal friends for a heartwarming holiday romp through the zoo. 

My Impressions: 

I have to say that while I loved the illustrations and the premise of this book, A Very Fiona Christmas left me wanting more. The book details Fiona’s search for what Christmas really is. She sees glittery decorations, sparkling snow, and fun gifts, but knows those aren’t really what Christmas is all about. At the end, with the help of all her zoo friends, she discovers that Christmas is Love. When I turned the final page, I thought where is the rest? While Christmas is about love, it is a very specific love — that of God for His people. Parents who choose this book for their kids can certainly expound on that concept, and I recommend that they do, to truly communicate the real meaning of Christmas.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

 

 

Children’s Corner — The One And Only Wolfgang and One Big Heart

30 Oct

Today I have not one, but two colorful children’s books to share with you! Each will delight your child. All the details are below –

The One And Only Wolfgang

From Instagram sensation Steve Greig and New York Times bestselling author Mary Rand Hess comes this humorous, heartwarming story about Greig’s real-life menagerie of senior rescue animals that affirms, in a family, everyone belongs.

What makes a family? Is it sharing favorite foods, cuddling up for snuggle time, loving each other no matter what you look like in the morning?

For Steve Greig’s oddly wonderful, real-life family of senior dogs, chickens, rabbits, and a pig named Bikini, family is all those things and then some! And this lovable bunch is now starring in their very first children’s book that showcases the importance of family.

Meet the Wolfgang, a loveable bunch of animals belonging to Steve and each other. Greig looked for the most “unadoptable” animals and gave them a home . . .  his home! Strange and unique, The One and Only Wolfgang will remind readers that no matter how old or how odd, everyone has a place where they belong.

Steve Greig is an accountant whose passion for animals has led to him becoming a sought-after advocate for pet adoption. He has appeared on television and in many publications, including NBC Nightly News, ABC News, Fox 5, Animal Planet, Bravo, Rachel Ray, Today.com, Huffington Post, and more.

Mary Rand Hess is a poet, screenwriter, mixed-media artist, and New York Times bestselling author of notable and award-winning books such as Solo and Swing (Blink YA), coauthored with Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Children’s Books), also coauthored with Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, Little Larry Goes to School (National Geographic Children’s Books), written with renowned photographer and filmmaker, Gerry Ellis, and The One and Only Wolfgang: From Pet Rescue to One Big Happy Family, coauthored with Steve Greig of @wolfgang2242 Instagram fame. Mary lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, sons, and quirky dogs (who sing to the piano and swear they’re human).

My Impressions:

The One And Only Wolfgang is the story of real life members of a very unique family — a real menagerie made up of rescues. While many might find these dogs, pig, and chicken (yes chicken!) unadoptable, they have found their forever home. I loved the hilarious photos that are inserted into the colorful illustrations with a narrative about the individual personalities of each member and the doings of this big, happy family. I think this book is a good reminder to everyone that finding a place among family is the very best place to be. It may even inspire you to welcome a rescue into your own home.

Recommended.

Audience: kids ages 4-8.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

One Big Heart

What do you get when you combine ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis’ lyrical rhymes with Lucy Fleming’s whimsical art? A culture-rich picture book that proudly showcases the beauty of diversity while celebrating all the wonderful things we have in common.

From skin, hair, and eyes in a multitude of colors to different personalities and interests, God gave us all special traits and characteristics that make us uniquely ourselves. And we all have things in common too: like sharing fun and laughter on the playground, a sense of curiosity, big feelings, and so many other things that show how we are all more alike than we are different.

Ready to celebrate all our likes and differences? So are we! And this diverse picture book — drenched in color and full of laughter and fun — will show you how.

Linsey Davis is an Emmy Award winning ABC News Correspondent, filing reports for World News, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Nightline. She has covered major news stories around the globe.

In addition to her role at ABC, she is a Christian, wife, mother and author. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Lucy Fleming has been an avid doodler and bookworm since early childhood. Drawing always seemed like so much fun, but she never dreamed it could be a full-time job! She studied art and practiced drawing every day, and in no time, she went on to graduate from the University of Lincoln (UK), having specialized in illustration. She leapt straight into a career as a professional children’s book illustrator and hasn’t looked back since. She lives and works in a small town in England, surrounded by farmland and trees and accompanied by a little, black cat. When not at her desk, she prefers nothing more than to be outdoors in the sunshine with a hot cup of tea.

My Impressions:

One Big Heart is all about differences and similarities — the variety found in people and the important things they share. With bold and colorful illustrations and a rhyming verse, the authors show the importance of being unique while celebrating the things that bind us together. Great lessons for both kids and adults!

Recommended.

Audience: kids ages 4-8.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — Two for Fall

16 Oct

I love the fall season — crisp temperatures, colorful leaves, and fresh sweet apples! I have two children’s books to share today that capture the essence of fall. Check them out below!

Snuggle Time Fall Blessings by Glenys Nellist

Snuggle up with your little one and enjoy all the best parts of autumn together—pumpkin picking, colored leaves, hayrides, and more — with this adorable padded-cover board book. Get ready for repeated readings and lots of hugs!

Carving pumpkins. Fresh baked apple pie. Leaf piles. Jack-o’-lanterns. Featuring Glenys Nellist’s whimsical read-aloud rhymes and Cee Biscoe’s cuddly illustrations, the Snuggle Time Fall Blessingsboard book will become part of your new autumn reading tradition.

Whether you’re a parent or grandparent, Sunday School teacher or older bother or sister, the little ones in your life will be ready for all the joys fall can bring when they hear …

Let’s go apple picking,
Shake them from the tree.
Round and fat and juicy,
The big red one’s for me

Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England. The author of multiple children’s books, including the bestselling ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas and the popular series Love Letters from God and Snuggle Time, her writing reflects a deep passion for helping children discover joy in the world. Glenys lives in Michigan with her husband, David.

My Impressions:

Snuggle Time Fall Blessings is a great board book suitable for the tiniest reader. Adorable illustrations featuring woodland animals participating in fun autumn activities accompany easy rhymes. Each poem flows naturally into the next so that the book can be read in one sitting or during successive reading times. There’s all sorts of fun things within this book — apple picking, pumpkin carving, wagon rides — that your child will identify from your own family activities. And it opens and closes with the same sentiment — thankfulness to God for all He provides. Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: preschool aged children.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi

Love Is Kind is a heartwarming story about Little Owl who hopes to buy his grammy a heart-shaped box of chocolates for her birthday. On his quest for the chocolates, he’s thwarted at every turn, but ends up discovering the real meaning of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Told in simple prose by bestselling author Laura Sassi, this heartfelt and humorous picture book is a sweet reminder that real love isn’t found in a box – even one filled with chocolates. Love Is Kind takes a charming and gentle approach to teaching kids the true meaning of love, while celebrating the bonds that kids have with their grandparents, and the many forms that love and happiness can take.

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014), GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, 2018) and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie.

My Impressions:

Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi tells the tale of Little Owl and his determination to buy his Grammy a present for her birthday. But as Little Owl meets all kinds of troubles along the way, he is reminded of what love really looks like. The story has a simple, yet powerful message found in 1 Corinthians 13. In fact, snippets of the Love Chapter can be found hidden in the illustrations — added fun as you and your child look closely to discover truths from God’s word. While Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi is not specifically about autumn, it definitely gives off a fall-vibe in its illustrations. The cute animal characters are decked out in scarves and sweaters and colorful leaves cover the ground. The color palate is warm with oranges, browns, and yellows making this book perfect for a snuggly family read. Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8. 

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — The Trouble with Tryouts

13 Sep

Sister Bear is a super soccer player. She should be a shoo-in at soccer tryouts … except for one little problem. Sister Bear is too small. Find out if Sister makes the team despite her size in this engaging early reader chapter book featuring all your favorite Berenstain Bear family and friends.

Sister is fast on her feet. She kicks the ball with the power of a cub twice her size. Yet, even Mama, Papa, and Brother think she has set her sights too high because, compared to the other cubs, Sister Bear is too small to make the team … or is she?

Featuring all your favorite Berenstain Bear family and friends, this early reader chapter book helps kids connect plot to chapter structure, taking their love of books and reading to the next level. And, as part of the beloved Living Lights series, it’s the perfect segue for emerging readers and fans of the brand.

The Berenstain Bears Trouble with Tryouts:

  • Helps early readers ages 6-10 graduate from following along with picture books to reading chapter books on their own
  • Is the perfect steppingstone for readers who are ready to take the next important step in their reading comprehension
  • Includes all the Berenstain Bears family and friends who have been beloved by parents, grandparents, children, and grandchildren for decades
  • Features kid-friendly text and easy-to-read, easy-to-remember Scripture verses
  • Teaches valuable life lessons about always believing in yourself and never underestimating the power of an underdog
  • Is a fun, new book in the popular Zonderkidz Living Lights series, which has sold over 8 million copies since 2008

To purchase, click HERE

My Impressions:

The Berenstain Bears are back in an easy-to-read chapter book for young elementary school-aged kids — The Trouble with Tryouts. The story — a soccer tryout that goes awry for Sister Bear — will definitely resonate with every reader. Sister Bear learns valuable lessons about perseverance, dedication, and going the extra mile. She expresses herself pretty clearly too — sure to elicit a few giggles, chuckles, and guffaws. 😉 And as Sister Bear learns that sticking it out in tough situations pays off in the end, your child will be challenged by the story and the reading exercise. Engaging for both boys and girls, The Trouble with Tryouts is a great choice for practicing reading and learning life lessons.

Recommended.

Audience: early readers

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)