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SAY AND PRAY DEVOTIONS REVIEWED

Say and Pray Devotions
By Diane Stortz
Illustrated by Sarah Ward
Published by: Harper Collins Publishing

ABOUT BOOK: Say and Pray devotions with your little ones today! 

Your youngsters want to be just like you. How exciting! Help them grow in their faith and learn more about God’s love with Say & Pray Devotions.

Say & Pray Devotions features short devotions and lots of labeled illustrations so your little one can practice identifying objects and words on their own! This book is a great tool to start a devotional time with little ones, as it will help you teach them about God, and the labeled pictures will help start a life of faith.

REVIEW: This board book is geared for little ones on the go. There is a short window of opportunity for parents to grab their attention. This is a fun way for them to have a quick devotion time and learn about the world around them.

The book starts out like this; “Good Morning! I’m ready for a Happy Day! See My Smile?”

The first page shows a little girl in the bathroom getting ready to start her day. The words are listed above the item helping young ones learn words by association and sight. Then there is the Say and Pray part. “This is the day the Lord has made.”

Taken from Psalm 118:24 NLT
Prayer: “Thank you, God, for Each New Day!”

I liked all the places this book took the reader. They went to the playground, at home welcoming a new baby, Kids playing in puddles after it rained, the Zoo, and a few other fun places kids like to go.

This is a great way to engage children and introduce them about a prayer life, help them memorize scripture and get them to read new words in a non-threatening way. This is also an entertaining way to have children discover the world around them thru engaging pictures, sight words and devotions.

Kids will grow in their understanding of words and what they mean at the same time the seed of faith will be planted in their hearts as they read scripture and learn the importance of being thankful. Children are never too young to hide Gods word in their hearts and minds! This book is entertaining, short and sweet. It’s a win win for parent and child.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook for Bloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

THE LORD'S PRAYER by RICK WARREN REVIEWED

The Lord’s Prayer
By Rick Warren
Illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson
Published by Zonderkids

ABOUT BOOK: This iconic prayer is paired with flowing illustrations by award-winning artist Richard Jesse Watson and thoughtful insights by bestselling author Rick Warren, resulting in a book that rejuvenates the familiar prayer for a younger audience. Using poetic scripture from the King James Version, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness helps familiarize children with real biblical text while also presenting contemporary illustrations and insightful words that make this beautiful prayer come alive.

REVIEW: This book has beautiful vibrant color illustrations that brings scripture to life. Each page has a sentence taken from the Lord’s prayer, gives a brief explanation of the passage and then mentions something to be thankful for.

For example the scripture passage, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

A simple explanation. “God has promised to take care of all my needs, so I will trust him and not worry.”

Something to be thankful for, “Thank you, God, for your gifts.”

The picture for this passage shows on the front cover. It’s a young girl feeding small birds outside.

On the last page of the book is The Lord’s Prayer in its entirety. Rick Warren then talks about prayer. I found this book encouraging and the lovely illustrations inspiring. I can’t wait to share this treasure with my grandkids.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook for Bloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

YOUR HEART'S DESIRE REVIEWED

Your Heart’s Desire
By Melody Carlson
Published by Center Street
ISBN#978-1-4555-2814-1
180 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Bestselling author Melody Carlson captures hearts with a beautifully written romance set just after World War II.

It's almost New Year's 1946, a perfect time for Caroline Marshall to start a new chapter in her life. Widowed three years ago when she lost her husband in the war, she has decided to move with her nine-year-old son to join her sister's family in sunny California. Her sister's new house has a basement apartment for Caroline to rent, and though jobs for women are scarce with so many veterans returning from the war, it seems the local chocolate factory is hiring. The apartment turns out to be rather dingy, and the job may be working the assembly line--a step down from Caroline's office job as a secretary back in Minnesota. But Caroline is determined to make a great new life for herself and her son. As she goes about making that happen, she keeps running into a handsome stranger--at the diner, at church, and he even works for M.G. Chocolates. With a New Year, a new home, and a new job, is Caroline ready to find new love?
  
REVIEW: I was hooked from the first paragraph; “As the train left St. Paul station, Caroline Clark hoped she hadn’t made an enormous mistake. What kind of mother pulls her son out of third grade in the middle of the school year, gives up a perfectly good job, and abandons everything familiar, and relocates halfway across the country? Normal people just didn’t do this sort of thing. Did they?”

Readers are whisked back to December 1945. as Caroline leaves St. Paul and heads to California. She seeks adventure and wants to help her sister at the end of her pregnancy. She is thrilled to be there for her sister's second baby. Caroline is also excited for her son to get to know his cousins.Caroline and many others struggle to put their lives back together after the war. Caroline’s brother in law works at a Candy factory. Caroline hopes to work there.

I've noticed this author has started writing Valentine stories; since I adore her annual Christmas novels I was excited to read this book. It’s a light-hearted, fun story that gives readers a peek at life back then. The author also gives readers a front row seat into the ins and outs of a chocolate factory. Great combo Chocolate and romance! 

I had read Once Upon a Winter’s Heart - it was so much fun.. When I glanced at the book shelf I noticed there is another Valentines story I want to read it’s titled Love Gently Falling Melody Carlson is one of my favorite authors, I adore this story. This is a sweet story on so many levels– The fact that it takes place in a Chocolate factory and they discuss their busiest time of year Valentine’s day and how they prepare for it was fun to be part of.  Chocolate anyone? What’s not to love?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the public library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

JESUS INVITES ME REVIEWED


Jesus Invites Me
By Callie Grant
Published by Graham Blanchard
ISBN#978-0-985-0-9854090-1-2
Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Children engage with Jesus’ words for them in Matthew 11:28-30. From the Knowing My God series, this book offers three levels of exploration: a quoted Bible passage, beautiful real-world photographs, and supportive text to relate the passage’s meaning to a child’s life. A parent guide gives tips for involving a baby, toddler, and child. In the Graham Blanchard book collection, Jesus Invites Me is a Learn book, which makes personal Bible study accessible to young children who, alongside adults, build a foundation for faith and a lifelong friendship with Jesus. Find out more about our Learn, Absorb and Praise books for children at GrahamBlanchard.com

REVIEW: I have enjoyed every book in the “Knowing My God” series. I love how this author presents topics in a way children can understand. I appreciate this; because she talks about matter’s I’ve found hard to explain.

The topic of this book is found in Matthew 11:28-30 the scripture that starts out, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…”

I like how this author breaks down the verse. She states, “Jesus says, “Come to me,…” This is on the right hand side of the page. On the left is a beautiful color picture of a little child walking in the woods. It’s fall and all the leaves are changing color and some have fallen to the ground. The author explains, “A child walking in the woods has many choices about which way to go. But the warm invitation of a smooth, beautiful path makes that way look best. That’s how Jesus welcomes you.”

I love that. What a great word picture to go along with the stunning photograph on the left. My grandson couldn’t wait to turn the page and see what was next.

On the second to the last page the author gives a scripture to encourage the grownups and then had a tip for them at the bottom of the page. She has ways to use this book in engaging babies, toddlers, and children. Then on the last page she has questions for you to answer. It’s titled “What do you think?”

This story is for small children, youth and the young at heart. Her message is simple and the visuals are powerful and help illustrate the meaning of scripture. I adore author Callie Grant books. She packs so much into these wonderful board books. You’ll be reading these books over and over again!

ABOUT AUTHOR: Callie Grant founded Graham Blanchard Inc. to create children's books for growing up in God and resources for parents. The company's LEARN, ABSORB & PRAISE collection of board books have been positively reviewed by more than 400 Christian parent bloggers and readers, who also give high marks to Graham Blanchard's online parent resources, including a Mom Mentor panel of popular authors and bloggers, and free tips for grownups to connect Jesus to children's everyday lives. In spring 2017, Graham Blanchard will launch its first adult title: Your Newborn Promise Project, a Christian pre-parenting primer for husband & wife. The company is the culmination of Grant's experience in the publishing industry paired with a strong calling to help families know God's love and nurture their faith through reading together. For more information about Grant and Graham Blanchard, visit grahamblanchard.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Book Club Network and Graham Blanchard Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com


CHASING THE MUSIC REVIEWED


Chasing the Music
By Mark Alan Leslie
Published by Elk Lake Publishing
ISBN# BOLEDMFOY2
325 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Hearts will soar and voices sing if black-ops veteran Max Braxton and archeologist Kat Cardova find King David’s music of the Psalms. But first, they must survive attacks from determined jihadists in this continent-jumping thriller. King David’s long-lost music of his Psalms is the one missing piece in the Jews’ preparations for a Third Temple in Jerusalem. When Muslim terrorists get word an archeological dig has unearthed clues to the music’s whereabouts, they hunt archeologist Kat Cardova and black-ops veteran Max Braxton every step of their quest. From Dragot, Israel, to Petra, Jordan, to Dublin, Ireland, Wales, and back to the Holy Land, clues are unearthed and danger lurks. But Islamic extremists everywhere would battle to the death to prevent the treasure’s discovery. Will Kat and Max succeed in their quest and succeed in getting home alive?

REVIEW: Dr. Danny Arens looks forward to searching Dragot Mountain. He’s heading up the dig there. He finds a tablet. He needs help in studying it. He calls Dr. Katherine Cardova, a fellow archaeologist who was about two hours away. Tension at the site is thick, as gunmen stand guard. Danny is anxious, he’s wondering if his friend would get there before a killing spree breaks out.

Max Braxton spots Kat at a restaurant in Taberias and they join forces in a race to help Danny and get home alive. When they reach Dr. Danny Arens things don’t look good. Kat discovers the tablet and examines it. She realizes that it contains a clue to where the original music for the Psalms of Kind David, could be found. Max, Navy Seal trained, Texas Ranger; offers Kat his protection as she begins her search. Kat’s search has them running all over Europe searching for a treasure. Dogging bullets and staying one step ahead of their enemies. Will this dynamic duo stay alive long enough to uncover one of the greatest artifacts of all time?

This is an adventure story you won’t soon forget!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Book Club Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

SHAKEN by TIM TEBOW REVIEWED

Shaken
By Tim Tebow
With A.J. Gregory
Published by: Waterbrook
ISBN#978-0-4352-8986-4
224 Pages


ABOUT BOOK: Who are you when life is steady? 
Who are you when storms come?

Most of us have been on the receiving end of rejection, a broken dream, or heartbreak. And while this is not an easy space to go through, when we are grounded in the truth, we can endure the tough times.

In this powerful book, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow passionately shares glimpses of his journey staying grounded in the face of disappointment, criticism, and intense media scrutiny. Following an exceptional college football career with the Florida Gators and a promising playoff run with the Denver Broncos, Tebow was traded to the New York Jets. He was released after one season. 

In Shaken, Tebow talks about what he’s learned along the way, building confidence in his identity in God, not the world. This moving book also features practical wisdom from Scripture and insights gained from others who have impacted Tebow in life-changing ways. 

Though traveling hard roads is not easy, it’s always worth it!

REVIEW: I’m not into sports but the title and the author of this book, Shaken grabbed my attention. I’ve heard of Tim Tebow and wanted to know more. He asks readers this question, “When life shakes you up – Who are you? Who do you cling to?”

I was pleasantly surprised by how transparent he was as he lifted the veil to give readers a peek. As he takes readers for a walk in his shoes, they quickly see it’s not all fame and glory. His world was shaken up a few times which had him asking the question, “Who Am I when something that has defined me my entire life is gone? Taken away.”

Tim Tebow shares what keeps him grounded. He says it like this, “Who Am I? I am an object of His (God’s) love.”…I am a child of God. My foundation for who I am is grounded in my faith. In a God who loves me. In a God who gives me purpose….God is love….”His love gives Tim Tebow the foundation and courage he needs to step out of his comfort zone and do what he feels called to do.

He’s created and helped fund a foundation that brings Hope, Faith and Love to children all over the world. It’s called Orphan Care. He also helps a medical facility called Tebow Cure Hospital. His foundation sponsors a yearly event titled Night to Shine. (It’s like prom night)

In the book Tim talks with Mark Stuart, former lead singer of Audio Adrenaline who knows what it feels like to have your identity shaken by the unexpected. He says, “God was authoring a bigger picture, “Mark told me. He always gifts you to where He wants you to be in spite of yourself.”

Mark is asked this question often, “Don’t you miss singing? “The answer is always the same. “God has always healed me. I lost my voice as a singer so I can be a voice for the kids.”


Tim says, “Mark has not allowed a significant loss to define who he is. He is more than a rock star. More than a performer. More than a singer.”

Tim says, “Remember. When no team wanted me as their quarterback. I had to keep reminding myself over and over that God has a purpose…Some days it was easy to believe; other days it was a struggle.”

He was also reminded that God can do a lot with what we think is a little. He tells readers of the story in the bible of a little boy who gave his lunch – 5 loaves and two fish to help feed everyone. “He can take something small (like the boy’s lunch) and use it to perform a miracle. He can do the same with you….me.”

He quoted Martin Luther King, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

I was pleasantly surprised and very encourage by the things he shared about in this book.  He is transparent, gritty and real. Tim Tebow is surrounded with people who are steadfast and faithful to God. He doesn’t get it perfect most times but he keeps keeping on no matter what comes his way.

Tim Tebow introduces readers to some hero’s he’s met. People that inspire and encourage him. I was amazed at how grounded and down to earth this young man is. I was also surprised by the foundation he has and the fact that his family were missionaries in the Philippines.

There is a lot of shaking going on in our world and I like this man’s outlook on life and how he deals with times that turn our world upside down. I’m thankful for the opportunity get to know the man behind the name, to read this book and share it with readers.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for books site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

BEFRIEND by SCOTT SAULS REVIEWED

Befriend
Create Belonging in an age of Judgement, Isolation, and Fear
By Scott Sauls
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4964-0094-9
185 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: We live in a world where real friendship is hard to find. Suspicious of others and insecure about ourselves, we retreat into the safety of our small, self-made worlds. Now more than ever, it's easy to avoid people with whom we disagree or whose life experiences don't mirror our own. Safe among like-minded peers and digital "friends," we really don't have to engage with those who can challenge and enhance our limited perspectives. Tragically, even the church can become a place that minimizes diversity and reinforces isolation.

Jesus models a much richer vision for friendship. In BeFriend, popular teacher, Scott Sauls, invites us to see and savor the broad and deep love of God. In twenty-one eloquent meditations on what God's love can look like in our everyday lives, Scott invites us to expand our circle of friends.

Scott has met too many people whose first impulse is to fence off their lives with relational barriers that only end up starving their own souls.

Yes, it's true: Real friendships costly. Love does make us vulnerable. But, without risk, our lives will remain impoverished.

Join Scott in BeFriend as he summons you toward diverse friendships that can enrich your life and, in the process, reveal a better version of yourself.

REVIEW: Take your time in reading this book. There is so much inside. The author states, “Real friendship is hard…There are other, less real versions of friendship. The less real version are “less” because they are less costly, less committed, less descriptive, less scary, less gritty, less gutsy, and less out-of-our-control than real friendship. But here’s the rub…Less “real” versions of friendship are also less rich. In the short run, they feel better and smoother than real friendships. But in the long run, they leave us lonely and alone. And it is not good to be alone.”

This explains how we can have thousands of friends on FB; be more connected than we’ve ever been in our lives and feel all alone. This is a new phenomenon we didn’t grow up with and our children are navigating without use (because we can’t be with them 24/7.)

With our children growing up with virtual friends and getting to know people through texting and having a player join their video games; I think that this book is very important for everyone to read. There was a time when we knew our kids friends and could help them navigate things but now any more. The scary things is you don’t really know the other person on-line because their profile may not be real. Bad guys can sit in their homes and pick their prey. Being educated on what to look for in relationships will help you spot what is real and what makes you go “hum” It’s also a helpful refresher course on what is important. The author discusses the following types of relationships (and so much more.) in an engaging way.

1.    Digital Friendships – Facebook, video game friends etc. The kinds of friends your kids can talk to without leaving the house.
2.    Transactional friendships – this isn’t’ really friendship. “Unlike real friendship, transactional friendship treats other people as a means to an end. When we relate this way, we come to view people more as resources than as human beings. Instead of loving and serving them as we would in a real friendship, we use them to advance our careers, build our platforms, gain access to their social circle, increase our self-esteem) impress others, etc.”

I’m glad he talks about this. I think this is important. Sad to say that this is happening in the work force too. Everyone is replaceable and viewed as a resource.

3.    One-dimensional friendships – “happens when they revolve around a single shared interest and not much else.”

I’m glad he talks about this too. Sometimes we have friends that like to do the same things but it doesn’t go any deeper than that. It’s ok to have these friends but don’t expect it to go anywhere other than the events shared.

A Case For Befriending. C.S. Lewis says, “All true friendship begins when one person looks at another and says, “You, too?”….”When a friendship grows beyond one dimension to many dimensions – a poverty of friendship is replaced by a richness of friendship…Everybody matures and grows. And when everybody matures and grows everyone wins.”

I’m so glad this author took apart the topic of friendships and relationships in general. In a time where everyone is racing to have more “friends” then the other; it’s a refreshing look at what is “real” and what is pretend. Face to face relationships are important. They take work and risk. So much is lost in a text or a comment on facebook. Our words can be distorted and emphasis on something the writer never intended. This book is a keeper. It’s one I’ll be reading over and over again; each time getting another revelation I didn’t see the last time I read it.

ABOUT AUTHOR: Scott Sauls is senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Before this, he served with Tim Keller at New York City's Redeemer Presbyterian Church as a lead and preaching pastor. In addition to his books, Scott's work has been featured in Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, Qideas, Catalyst, Leadership Magazine, aholyexperience, OnFaith, The Gospel Coalition, Key Life, as well as other publications. Scott can be found on Facebook and Twitter/Instagram at @scottsauls.He also blogs regularly at scottsauls.com 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

CHRISTMAS LOVE LETTERS REVIEWED


Christmas Love Letters From God
By Glenys Nellist
Illustrated by Rachel Clowes
Published by: Zonderkidz
ISBN#978-0-310-74824-3
Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Written for children ages four to eight, Christmas Love Letters from God cleverly combines both prose and poetry as the story of Jesus’ birth unfolds. The book includes seven stories, beginning with Isaiah’s prophecy and ending with the visit of the wise men. Following each story, the child will find his or her own letter from God, folded into a small envelope attached to the page. Each letter begins with a space in which to write the child’s name, so each one can be specially addressed to the child.

Written as if God is speaking, each personalized message gives the young reader a sense of wonder as they discover anew the Christmas holiday and the birth of Jesus. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Perfect Promise, also accompanies each story and letter as God’s personal words of love, promise, and hope.

REVIEW: I was pleasantly surprised by this beautifully illustrated book that prepares readers hearts for Christmas. I liked that the paper was thick like card stock. I liked that I won’t have to worry about the pages ripping so easily. The illustrations on the pages look like the kind you’d use on a felt board. It makes you feel like you can move the pieces around on the page. Then there is the page that has a Love Letter from God. There is a scripture near the envelope. I liked that the reader has to open the letter to see its contents. It makes the child feel (and adult) as if they are really reading a personal letter. There’s a stamp and post mark on all the letters too.

Every letter starts out “Dear_________, It’s also written as if God is really talking to you personally. He even signs his name at the end. “With Love God”

On the very last page the author gives readers a chance to write a love letter to Jesus. I thought that was making the book thought provoking and personal.

It reminds me of one of my favorite devotionals Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I really enjoyed reading this inspirational hard back book. I’ll have to wait to read this to my grandson. I can see him being focused on the envelope and not the rest of the book. I’ll save this for when he gets older. But I found that it was a great way to share the Christmas story with my older children at the Dinner table each night and/or sometime after the meal. This book speaks to the youth and the young at heart! It’s a great message and a lovely book.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLookforBloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

GOD BLESS MY FRIENDS REVIEWED


God Bless My Friends
By Hannah C. Hall
Illustrated by Steve Whitlow
Published by Tommy Nelson
20 pages

ABOUT BOOK: Hi, my friend! Come play with me—though we’re as different as can be!
Big and small, short and tall, fluffy and prickly . . . these playmates of all shapes and sizes are the best of friends. Share some giggles with your little one about how fun friendships—and differences—can be!

REVIEW: I enjoyed reading this book to my grandson. He liked the sweet adorable animals on each page. He liked the fact that the book had a rhythm to it. His favorite animal was the Panda bear he laughed when he saw that there was a duck on his head reading a map guiding them along the way.

My favorite page was the cute pig and raccoon. The words on that page are, “God gave you dark and fluffy hair. He made me pink and curled. You’re not like me, but I stll see My best friend in the world.”

Each page shows two different friends helping one another. On the last page all the animals show up. It’s fun to watch them participate in field day. All kinds of activities are going on. I think my grandson liked that page best of all.

I enjoyed reading this this adorable full color board book to my grandson.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLookforBloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

MARTHA STEWART'S VEGETABLE COOK BOOK REVIEWED


Martha Stewart’s Vegetables
Published by Clarkson Potter
ISBN#978-0-307-95444-2
328 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: In this beautiful book, Martha Stewart—one of America’s best-known cooks, gardeners, and all-around vegetable lovers—provides home cooks with an indispensable resource for selecting, storing, preparing, and cooking from the garden and the market. The 150 recipes, many of which are vegetarian, highlight the flavors and textures of everyday favorites and uncommon varieties alike. The recipes include:

   • Roasted Carrots and Red Quinoa with Miso Dressing
   • Swiss Chard Lasagna
   • Endive and Fennel Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
   • Asparagus and Watercress Pizza
   • Smoky Brussels Sprouts Gratin 

Martha Stewart’s Vegetables makes eating your greens (and reds and yellows and oranges) more delicious than ever.

REVIEW: The title and cover intrigued me to look inside. I was surprised when I realized this was a Martha Steward cookbook. I had used one of her cook books to make a few special items for Christmas several years back. Boy were the recipes complicated. They took a long time to make.

I was thrilled to see this cook book was user friendly. Each recipe had beautiful color photo. Most of the recipes in this book have two or three steps to them; a few had five. That was a great relief. The other thing I loved about this book was the fact that the ingredients were common ingredients; with most recipes have five to 8 ingredients in them.

I like that this book is set up by seasons. Every section she discusses the same topics with a different vegetable for every chapter. For example it starts out with The Basics, Season ability, Buying (The How to’s and what to look for guide) Notable varieties, Storing and Prepping and Cooking.

The first chapter is titled BUBLES: Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Ramps, Scallions, Shallots, Onions (Roots) Beets, Carrots, Celery Root, Jicama, Turnip etc. (Tubers)– Jerusalem, Artichokes, Potatoes etc. Greens, Broccoli Rabe, Collards, Kale etc (Stalks and Stems) Asparagus, Celery, Fennel etc (Pods) – Edamame, English Peas, Fava Beans, Snow Peas etc (Shoots) Sprouts, Peas Shoots etc. (Leaves) Cabb, Chicories, Lettuces, Spinach etc. (Flowers and Buds) Artichokes, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower etc. (Fruits) Avocados, Cucumbers, Eggplants etc (Kernels) Corn.

I liked hearing what Martha Stewart had to say in the forward, “This book is about all kinds of vegetables, and it is full of all kinds of recipes we’ve developed to prepare those vegetables in the most savory and delightful ways. Everyone in kitchens of Martha Stewart Living contributed to the content, and the expertise of our editors is evident on page after page…the recipes in this book treat both vegetables and fruits in delicious, savory, memorable ways.”

This book is a compilation of contributors; I liked that. It made for a great variety of recipes and vegetable used inside. There are over 85 recipes; many dishes looked yummy to me. I’d like to make (most of the book Grin!) but I’ll start with Potato Gnocchi, Roasted Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Apples, Crisped Brussel Sprout Leaves, Oven Fried Baby Artichokes, Kale – Ricotta Dip; Beer-Battered Onion Rings, Fried Rice with Collard Greens and then the rest of the book!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Blogging for Books site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org  
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

ONE SMALL DONKEY by DANI DALEY MACKALL REVIEWED


One Small Donkey
(A Christmas Story for Little Ones)
By Dani Daley Mackall
Illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens
Publishe-d by Tommy Nelson
ISBN#978-7180-8247-5
18 Pages BB

ABOUT BOOK: Little ones can do big things for God!

Your family will love this heartwarming Christmas story told from an unlikely perspective: a donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem. Though the donkey wasn’t the biggest, fastest, or strongest of all the animals, he had an important job all the same. Adults and children alike will love the message about how God has big plans for little ones.

Dandi Daley Mackall loves God, children, words, and animals. Her nearly 500 books for children and grown-ups have sold more than four million copies worldwide, and her awards include an ECPA Christian Book Award for Best Children’s Book. Dandi writes from rural Ohio, where she lives with her family, including horses, dogs, cats, and an occasional squirrel, deer, or raccoon.

REVIEW: In the beginning of the book Little Donkey notices how big and strong the horses he sees are. He wishes he could run fast like them. Then there is a picture of Joseph helping Mary on the small donkey as they make their journey to Bethlehem. The reader is shown the view of a bright start over the stable where their journey would end.

There is no room in the inn. They head to the stable where a star shines bright. Mary has her baby. Everyone is happy. At the end everyone comes to see baby Jesus in the stable.

The text says, “Cheering at the Savior’s birth – One small donkey with a giant heart. Welcomes Christ, Our Peace on Earth.”

The pictures are bright, colorful and have an animation feel to them. There is no rhythm to the text. They try to make the point that no matter how small you are you can be used by God if you are willing.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook for Bloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com

A MODERN WAY TO COOK by ANNA JONES REVIEWED


A Modern Way to Cook
By Anna Jones
Published by 10 Speed Press
ISBN# 978-0-399-57842-7
351 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOK: EATING HEALTHY ISN’T ALWAYS EASY when you’re coming home late at night and tired. In this genius new collection of vegetarian recipes, author Anna Jones tackles this common problem, making nourishing vegetable-centered food realistic on any day of the week. The chapters are broken down by time, with recipes that can be prepared in under 15, 20, 30, and 40 minutes, so no matter how busy you are, you can get dinner on the table, whether it be smoky pepper and white bean quesadilla, butternut squash and sweet leek hash, or chickpea pasta with simple tomato sauce. With evocative and encouraging writing, A Modern Way to Cook is a truly practical and inspiring recipe collection for anyone wanting to make meals with tons of flavor and little fuss.

REVIEW: I’ve made several wonderful tasting recipes from this author last book titled, “A Modern Way to Eat,” I was thrilled to see she had another book out. I also like the philosophy in which this author views food and health. She states, “I want standout, delicious food that leaves me feeling energized, light, bright, and satisfied. It’s this intersection between wellness and deliciousness that I strive for with every plat of food I make to eat”

She continues …”It’s important to make a commitment to eating well, but it’s also important to be realistic…(I agree) The author says, “To me, eating well is far simpler than it is often made out to be. Buy good ingredients, cook at home, and make the majority of what you eat plants and vegetables, and listen and react to your body. I don’t think it’s much more complicated than that.” Amen to that!

I found the lay out of this book very helpful. She has the recipes listed in the time it takes to make them. For example the first chapter is titled In the time it takes to set the table. Two Ready in Twenty; Next is On the table in Half an Hour, then Forty-Minute Feasts, and Investment cooking and Super-fast Breakfasts. Last but not least are the chapters titled, Quick desserts and Sweet treats.

The authors’ recipes have easy to follow instructions. Most recipes have several ingredients listed that can be found in most grocery stores. Above most recipes the author talks about the dish you are about to make. I found this interesting. I also liked that the author included a chard that tells the reader of other ingredients that can be substituted. It allows the reader to be creative in making the recipe.

I look forward to trying the following recipes; Carrot and Chickpea Pancake with Lemon-Spiked Dressing, Zucchini Noodles with Pistachio, Green Herbs and Ricotta, Crispy Cauliflower Rice with Sticky Spiced Cashews, Sweet Roasted Zucchini with Crispy Chickpeas. There are Salted Almond Butter Chocolate Bars and Fruit frozen Ice Cream type bars that look yummy too.

I like how this author helps the lay person realistically get a flavorful, healthy mean on the table most days of the week. My whole family loved the other recipes I made from the last book. This book is a beautiful hard back book filled with great information, outstanding looking recipes and lovely color pictures throughout. I can’t wait to try the recipes I mentioned and many I didn’t!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from The Blogging for Books site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com 

CHRISTMAS STORY FOR LITTLE ONES

 
One Small Donkey
(A Christmas Story for Little Ones)
By Dani Daley Mackall
Illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens
Publishe-d by Tommy Nelson
ISBN#978-7180-8247-5
18 Pages BB

ABOUT BOOK: Little ones can do big things for God!

Your family will love this heartwarming Christmas story told from an unlikely perspective: a donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem. Though the donkey wasn’t the biggest, fastest, or strongest of all the animals, he had an important job all the same. Adults and children alike will love the message about how God has big plans for little ones.

Dandi Daley Mackall loves God, children, words, and animals. Her nearly 500 books for children and grown-ups have sold more than four million copies worldwide, and her awards include an ECPA Christian Book Award for Best Children’s Book. Dandi writes from rural Ohio, where she lives with her family, including horses, dogs, cats, and an occasional squirrel, deer, or raccoon.

REVIEW: In the beginning of the book Little Donkey notices how big and strong horses are. He wishes he could run fast like them. Then there is a picture of Joseph helping Mary on the small donkey. They journey to Bethlehem. The reader is shown the view of a bright start over the stable where their journey would end.

There is no room in the inn. They head to the stable where a star shines bright. Mary has her baby. Everyone is happy. At the end everyone comes to see baby Jesus.

The text says, “Cheering at the Savior’s birth – One small donkey with a giant heart. Welcomes Christ, Our Peace on Earth.”

The pictures are bright, colorful and have an animation feel to them. There is no rhythm to the text. They try to make the point that no matter how small you are you can be used by God if you are willing.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLooknfor Bloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com

Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com