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Book Review: Daisy’s Search for Freedom

24 Dec

It’s the 1850s and Daisy, a slave girl from Alabama, is thrilled when her Mama is brought to her plantation to be the new cook. Six Oaks Plantation has been Daisy’s home for years, and the future looks bright now that she and her Mama have been reunited. The happiness doesn’t last, though, when a dangerous encounter with a notorious slave hunter endangers Daisy’s life. She has no choice but to run. Leaving behind everything she has ever known, Daisy strikes out alone on the Underground Railroad.

Daisy’s search for freedom leads her deep into the woods. Along the way she is joined by Simon, a four-year-old boy and his pet kitten. Pursued by dogs, uncertainty, and a slave tracker determined to capture them by any means necessary, Daisy starts to wonder if she will ever be safe again. Does Jesus care about runaway slaves lost in the woods?

Daisy’s Search for Freedom contains thought-provoking discussion questions for young readers.

Bertha Schwartz is a Swiss Amish transplant to the beautiful farmland of Nappanee, Indiana. She loves spending time with family and friends, including fifty-two nieces and nephews. Her hobbies include scrapbooking, sewing, and reading. Raised near the lovely Swiss city of Berne, Indiana, Swiss is her mother-language. Languages and different dialects are a special interest of hers.

My Impressions:

Thoughtfully-written, Daisy’s Search for Freedom by Bertha Schwartz is a wonderful book for children in grades 3-6. Set in the American South of the 1850s it features a young slave girl and her journey towards freedom. Daisy is a great character who will capture your child’s imagination. Smart, resourceful, and grounded in her faith, the young teen is determined to make her way North. I loved that Daisy is concerned for her fellow slaves and relies on God in times of fear and danger. There is plenty of suspense to keep readers engaged as Daisy eludes slave hunters. Surprises and twists are plentiful as well; some right up until the end. Along with great historical detail and a challenging vocabulary, a very thorough discussion guide for each chapter makes this book an excellent choice for a homeschool curriculum.

Daisy’s Search for Freedom is the first book in Schwartz’s Searchers series which focuses on a variety of topics in American history. And while I am well beyond the target audience 😉 , I would love to read more from this author.

Recommended.

Audience: children grades 3-6.

To purchase, click HERE.

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

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Children’s Corner — Who Sang The First Song?

19 Dec

Have you ever wondered who hummed the first tune?

Was it the flowers? The waves or the moon? Dove Award-winning recording artist Ellie Holcomb answers with a lovely lyrical tale, one that reveals that God our Maker sang the first song, and He created us all with a song to sing.

 

Too pre-order, click HERE.

 

Singer-songwriter — and now author — Ellie Holcomb began her musical career by touring the country with her husband in the Americana band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Her honest voice and rich lyrics shined on her first solo album and deemed her the Best New Artist at the 2014 Dove Awards. In 2017, she followed with the restorative and hope-filled Red Sea Road. Ellie, her husband, Drew, and their three children live and make music in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

My Impressions:

Who Sang The First Song? is a beautiful storybook you and your child are going to love. With intricately detailed and vibrant illustrations, this book is a joy to read. Besides the fun of exploring each page’s artwork, your family will love the message of God’s song that is beautifully expressed through rhyming verse. The book explores all parts of God’s creation — the sea, the arctic, even the backyard —  looking for the answer to the title’s question. I loved this — “When God made the earth, He decided to sing, And He wrote his song into everything.” Appropriate for children preschool to 3rd grade, Who Sang The First Song? is a treasure. Highly recommended.

Highly recommended.

Audience: children preschool to 3rd grade.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to B&H Kids for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Christmas Corner — 3 Books from Zonderkidz

12 Dec

I’ve got 3 Christmas-y children’s books to share with you today — 2 pretty storybooks and a joke book sure to tickle the elementary set. All three are great for family time around the tree.

Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker

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.

My Impressions: 

Beautiful illustrations with old world charm accompany this sweet book featuring a small mouse with a big gift. The message is beautiful as well — Jesus fills our every need. This one is perfect for Christmas Eve around the tree.

A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell The Story of Christmas by Patti Rokus

By arranging a few rocks together an entire story can be told. A Savior Is Born, Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas, created by Patti Rokus, is an unforgettable picture book that uses majestic rock art and simple yet powerful text to inspire wonder and awe as the miracle of Christmas unfolds across the pages. Readers will be absorbed in the nature-filled artwork that shows the birth of Jesus and the celebration of the very first Christmas in a powerful and unique way.

My Impressions:

This book is a clever and inventive way to tell the Christmas story. On each page rocks are arranged in the shape of angels, stars, animals, and people. Accompanying the unique illustrations are simple statements and scripture references. If you find rocks in the pockets of your child’s clothes, this one is for them!

Lots of Christmas Jokes for Kids by Whee Win

Christmastime just got a whole lot merrier with Lots of Christmas Jokes for Kids. Over 250 hilarious, kid-friendly jokes and riddles will make the whole family laugh out loud!

Q: Why is it always cold at Christmastime?

A: Because Christmas is in Decembrrrr.

Q: Who delivers Christmas presents to cats?

A: Santa Claws!

My Impressions:

Be prepared for jokes galore when your kids get their hands on this book. Jokes of all kinds revolving around Santa, snow, holiday food, decorations etc. will delight the elementary-aged kids in your family. I won’t pretend there aren’t a few (ok, a lot) of groaners in the bunch, but you will chuckle at the fun your kids will have.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for the books. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Two Board Books for Christmas

3 Dec

I have two wonderful board books to share with you today. Each will be a joy to share with your little ones as you anticipate Christmas!

Christmas Cookie Day! by Tara Knudson

Christmas Cookie Day! 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.

Excerpt from Christmas Cookie Day!:

Cookie day,

Time to bake,

Aprons on,

Lots to make!

My Impressions: 

Simple rhymes and bright, colorful illustrations will engage the youngest reader with the cookie making activities of the bear family. This one will get your mouth watering, so an added Christmas Cookie Day Recipe is a sweet bonus! A fun read and a fun activity for the whole family adds special fun!

Recommended.

Audience: preschool aged children.

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

 

My Christmas Story Tree by Dr. Mary Manz Simon

Come help me make a story tree with decorations bright. We’ll tell what happened long ago on that first Christmas night.

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.

 

My Impressions:

I loved this sturdy board book full of colorful illustrations of Christmas tree decorating in the making. Each two page spread shares the reasons behind traditional Christmas ornaments — angels, candy canes, stars — in a way that children will understand. God’s Christmas story comes through loud and clear. My Christmas Story is a good choice for the holiday season this year and for years to come.

Recommended.

Audience: preschool aged children.

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

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Thanksgiving Reading for Youngsters (And Young at Heart)

20 Nov

I am thankful for many things this year — my wonderful husband, my beautiful and independent kids, my family and friends, my health . . . the list goes on and on. Not every one in my family will be around the table this year, but I am grateful for texting and calling and the knowledge that we will be seeing each other soon. After the meal is devoured and the kitchen is cleaned, football takes center stage. Big games will be watched and the gang will be cheering (and coaching) for their favorite teams. And me? I am thankful that there’s a bit of quiet away from the TV to read!

Today, I am featuring some children’s books that focus on thankfulness — thankfulness for what we have and thankfulness for Who has given it. I hope you find a book to share with your kids/grandkids.

Check out other Thanksgiving lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Top Thanksgiving Children’s Books

Give Thanks to The Lord by Karma Wilson

The Marvelous Mud House by April Graney

Pumpkin Patch Blessings by Kim Washburn

Thank You, Lord, For Everything by P J Lyons

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli

 

Children’s Corner — Seek-And-Circle Bible Battles (One Big Story)

25 Oct

Seek, circle, and learn!

Maybe you’ve heard about the battle of Jericho and David’s battle against Goliath, but what about the day the sun stood still? Inside this book, explore six of the major battles from the Bible, filled with dozens of items for you to seek and circle! Every battle scene also has something to tell us about God’s plan for His people through His Son, Jesus.

For an added challenge, look for the six pieces of the armor of God as you explore each battle.

Use a wipe-on, wipe-off marker to seek-and-circle over and over again!

To purchase, click HERE.

 

My Impressions:

The Old Testament is filled with battles — battles for freedom for God’s people and battles that were brought about by the people’s disobedience. Regardless of the cause, God’s hand was in the midst of the conflict. Seek-And-Circle Bible Battles captures all the action of six battles and provides an interactive way for your child to engage with God’s word. There’s plenty of action, but nothing gory, as your child searches for specific objects. For example, in the Battle of Jericho, there are chickens, a goose, and a campfire to circle. Each two-page scene vividly depicts the scripture. There is an added bonus as your child learns about the ongoing battle that Christians face in their day to day lives and the way God provides protection through His armor. A Christ Connection ties Jesus to the Old Testament scripture. This book is for both children and their parents, opening discussions about God and can be enjoyed over and over with wipe-off markers. I think boys especially will enjoy Seek-And-Circle Bible Battles, but I recommend it for all kids ages 5-10.

Recommended.

Audience: kids and their parents.

(Thanks to B&H Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Review: Big And Little Coloring Devotional

3 Oct

Kids crave constant activities and attention. Adults crave quiet moments of refreshment. How can we achieve both? Big and Little Coloring Devotional engages adults’ minds with appealing biblical devotionals while providing a creative outlet through coloring to diffuse stress.

Let’s have fun with our children through coloring and facilitate their spiritual growth with Scripture. Big and Little Coloring Devotional will incorporate physical, spiritual, and emotional refreshment by providing authentic faith-filled devotionals combined with therapeutic doodling for both the adult and child.

 

To purchase, click HERE.

 

Rachel C. Swanson is a dental hygienist turned best-selling author, speaker, and accredited christian life coach helping women discover their unique purpose and pursue their dreams. She inspires others through her blog, social media pages, in-person speaking events, and through her private high-level online coaching program.

She has published print, video, and online articles at FamilyShare (100+ million followers), Crosswalk, (In)Courage, QARA.org (leadership for millennials), Relevant Entrepreneur, MICI Magazine, Whole Magazine, and more. Her best-selling book, Big and Little Coloring Devotional, was birthed by her own struggle to keep it together as a busy mom of three children under two. Using the popular stress-relief coloring combined with Scripture for both adults and children to delight over, this has become “so much more than a coloring book.” She’s a rising speaker on popular topics such as pursuing your God-given purpose, modern motherhood, faith-based entrepreneurship, and overcoming anxiety.

Additionally, Rachel holds a Bachelors of science degree in Nutrition with an emphasis in pre-medicine from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo California. According to StrengthFinders testing her top 5 strengths are: learner, input, activator, intellection, futuristic. She also ranks an ENFJ, one of the rarer personality types and an ideal mix facilitating her creative entrepreneurial spirit.

Rachel is married to her husband Jeff of 11 years. They have three children: identical twin boys (Gavin and Rylan) and 19 months later a baby girl (Aria), and a Weimaraner (dog) who thinks she’s human. They reside in a wannabe country town in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California.

Web/Blog: http://www.RachelCSwanson.com
Facebook: @Rachelswansonofficial
Instagram: @Rachelswansonofficial

Jacy Corral (pronounced “Jackie”) is an illustrator, hand lettering artist, graphic designer, wife, and mom. After enjoying an extensive career in corporate marketing and design, she traded fancy slacks for yoga pants to focus on the great privilege of raising her daughter, investing in her home and marriage, and creating artwork that helps people to connect and reflect. Jacy lives with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle in West Los Angeles, CA. She shares her creations regularly on Instagram and at http://www.hyssopdesign.com.

 

My Impressions:

While I have seen my share of adult and children’s coloring books, I have not seen one that combines both and can be be shared at the same time. The Big And Little Coloring Devotional does just that. It’s format allows the adult and child to face each other with compatible designs while allowing each to explore God’s word and work out their own creativity. Each two page spread includes a simple design with a Bible verse and a more complex design with devotional thoughts that expand on the scripture. Rachel Swanson has created the perfect way for mom and child to interact, have fun, and talk about the promises of God. And there are lots and lots of designs — this book will last a long time. The author shares how the book came about as she looked for ways to spend time with her daughter in prayer and Bible study. She says that the book is a creation orchestrated by the Creator Himself for you and your “little” to enjoy! Swanson has a hit on her hands as she combines God word, her devotional thoughts, and the beautiful designs of Jacy Corral. You are going to love it! Consider adding this one to your holiday shopping list.

Note: I reviewed this coloring devotional in a previous blog post. I haven’t changed my mind. It is still great!

Recommended.

Audience: parents and children

(Thanks to B&H Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)