Mud Show Monday!

Happy Monday! Time for a picture book post!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. I hope everyone had a fabulous day with loved ones. I have two great books for Fathers or Grandfathers to share with children, and another Berenstain Bears book.

How are those summer books going? Anyone reading something spectacular? I would love to hear about your latest read, or any other summer projects, in the comments section below.

Happy Reading (and Writing)!


with dad its like that

With Dad, It’s Like That

Written by Nadine Brun-Cosme and Illustrated by Magali Le Huche

Albert Whitman & Company

That’s not how Mom does it! When Dad is left in charge for a night, Clare points out everything Dad is doing wrong. Clare likes the way Mom does things, and she’s not too sure about Dad’s way. But soon Clare sees, with Dad, it’s like that, and that might be ok.

With Dad, It’s Like That written by Nadine Brun-Cosme and illustrated by Magali Le Huche emphasizes the importance of the father-daughter bond. The message is clear and well delivered, and the illustrations are detailed and engaging. It may not appeal to many as a book to be read again and again, but it is still a sweet story. Just in time for Father’s day, this book would be perfect for Fathers to share with daughters, especially on a father-daughter night in.

grandpa loves you cover

Grandpa Loves You

Written by Helen Foster James and Illustrated by Petra Brown

Sleeping Bear Press

“I’ll twirl you around and swing you so high. Hold on to grandpa and reach for the sky.” Grandpa loves his little grand bunny and finds many different ways to say it. Grandpa and grand bunny have such fun together in this charming tale of family and love.

Grandpa Loves You, written by Helen Foster James and illustrated by Petra Brown, is a beautiful story to be shared between grandfathers and grandchildren. The verse is sweet and easy to read, with a resounding message of a grandfather’s unconditional love and support. The soft illustrations are perfect for the text, creating a gentle book ideal for quiet moments or before bed. This book would be a beautiful gift from grandfathers to young grandchildren.

berenstain bears school time blessings

The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings

Brother and Sister Bear are excited for school to start! Honey Bear will be going to nursery school for the first time too. When Honey Bear gets nervous about starting school, Brother and Sister get nervous too! Will they worry too much about Math and History to do their best and have fun or will they remember that God is always there for them?

In The Berenstain Bears School Time Blessings, written and illustrated by Mike Berenstain, Brother and Sister Bear face first day of school fears. This topic is appropriate for children facing their first day of school or starting at a new school. It will help children to realize that their nervousness is perfectly normal, but that everything will turn out ok. This book provides a great opportunity for parents to talk with children about their fears and reassure them. Children will recognize their favorite Bear family and love the colorful illustrations. Another fun Berenstain Bears installment, with a sweet message and Christian themes.

Thank you to Albert Whitman & Company, Sleeping Bear Press, and Book Look Bloggers for copies of these books in exchange for my honest review.

Book Reviews!

Happy Monday Evening! Hope your Monday was as wonderful as a Monday can ever hope to be 🙂

My store is officially open so I’m hoping my blogging will return to a more consistent schedule. I have lots of reviews to post too!

I’ve been reviewing lots of titles lately that would be great for summer reading. I remember reading Babysitter’s Club Little Sister books and Boxcar Children or catching up on all the Animorphs books over the summer.

Anyone else an Animorph fan? Those were my absolute favorite!

Reading children’s books brings back so many wonderful memories of the excitement I felt getting a new book or rereading an old favorite.

No Animorphs today, but I do have two new books for beginning readers.


Memoirs of a Parrot

Written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Tim Bowers

Published by Sleeping Bear Press

Brock the parrot chronicles his days spent in Tik Tok’s pet shop. He’s not too happy here with all the people staring at him and insisting his name is Polly, but he’s even more unhappy when he becomes Todd’s new pet. Does Todd even know anything about parrots? Todd and Brock don’t exactly understand each other, but can they give each other a chance?

Memoirs of a Parrot written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Tim Bowers presents a pretty heavy message of responsible pet ownership. Striving for humor, Brock’s narration comes across as bitter and preachy, though his tone may be lost on children. Encouraging children to think about pets and realize some pets have special needs is a great topic, but the delivery feels a bit overpowering and detracting from a story that wants to be a humorous account of a parrot’s life. The book does provide a nice starting point for talking about pets, and choosing an appropriate pet, with children. Overall, the illustrations are lovely and the story ends with a nice message.

5 minute bible stories

5-Minute Nighttime Bible Stories

Stories retold by Charlotte Thoroe

Illustrated by Gil Guile

Published by Thomas Nelson

Created especially for those quiet moments before bed, this large volume of Bible stories is perfect to read aloud. Covering both Old and New Testament, the stories are retold in concise, clear language appropriate for young children. The selected stories are engaging and the illustrations will keep children interested. Not just for bedtime, these stories could also be read anytime parents have a few quiet moments with their children.

This is a fantastic book for parents to share with children. The oversize format and padded cover will interest children along with the bright, fun illustrations. The book has a nice feel to it and is fun for children to look through on their own or with an adult.

Stories include Creation, Noah’s Ark, Moses, Joshua and Jericho, David and Goliath, Jonah, Jesus’s birth, Stories about Jesus, Jesus’s parables and many more! This book is packed with excellent selections that will have children asking for just one more story. Short prayers and questions help children engage even more with the text and illustrations.

This book would make a wonderful gift or addition to any home or church library.


Thank you to Sleeping Bear Press and BookLook Bloggers for copies of these books in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Teen Study Bible

I received a Teen Study Bible this week from Zondervan and Booklook Bloggers. I have reviewed many children’s books from Zondervan/Zonderkidz but this is the first selection for young adults. I was impressed with the Kids Quest Bible I reviewed a few weeks ago, and this Bible for Teens doesn’t disappoint.

teen study bible

The New King James Version Teen Study Bible is a fantastic resource for teens. On almost every page, additional information, facts or an analysis of some aspect of the Bible is provided.

Features include an analysis and line-by-line explanation of the Apostles’ Creed, indexes to help with in-depth Bible study, special sections devoted to key issues discussed in the Bible, teen Q&A section offering life advice to teens, Biblical trivia, highlights Bible verses to remember, and has an 8-page full color map at the end showing important locations of Biblical events.

The Bible trivia is especially interesting and could encourage teen youth groups to start a Bible trivia team or learn more about each passage. Through trivia and other small excerpts and insights, teens are able to better relate to passages and see how the words impact their lives.

The “Dear Jordan” section is written in a format similar to “Dear Abby” questions. A question from a teen is answered by referencing passages of the Bible and providing advice inspired by the Christian lifestyle. While this format is engaging, easy to read, and the advice is well meaning and supported by Bible verses, the tone felt condescending or patronizing at times. The information was good and the format was intriguing, but for a teen, the tone of the section might be off-putting. This was not the case for every “Dear Jordan” section, but that tone did come across in many of them.

Overall, this is a fabulous reference Bible for teens and provides a wealth of fun facts and reflections as teens study certain passages of the Bible, or attempt to read it all the way through.

Thank you to Zondervan and BookLook Bloggers for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Three Show Saturday!

I have not been a diligent blogger lately.

My life has felt like a three show Saturday or maybe even a three ring circus as I attempt to get my shop ready for business.

I’m looking forward to having time to get back to my blog schedule once the shop is open 🙂 I’m still reading and reviewing books, just haven’t posted as often as I should.

So today is really a three show Saturday because I’m bringing you writing prompts, book reviews, and some quotes!

Too much?


Who wants writing inspiration?

I do! I do!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite quotes in the comments below or let me know what you’re reading this week 🙂

And now ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…on with the show!

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
– Stephen King

I love thrillers. I don’t care for horror so much, but nail-biting, what’s inside the closet, don’t look under the bed, kind of stories are the best. I love to think about what might be lurking in the abandoned house at the end of the road.

This children’s book isn’t exactly creepy or a thriller, but it is strange.

Rosie the Raven

Written and Illustrated by Helga Bansch

rosie raven

Rosie hatches from an egg just like her brothers and sisters, but that is where the similarities end. Sure she’s a little different, but she’s still a raven….right?

“Rosie the Raven” written and illustrated by Helga Bansch is a bizarre, but enjoyable story. The illustrations are incredible and the book could be read over and over just to look at the pictures. The story itself may not be for everyone. Rosie is a tiny human hatched out of an egg and raised by Ravens. There is no explanation given for this, but that’s ok, it works. Rosie is precious and her raven family appears to love her very much. The family dynamics are cute and the message of being confident, even if you’re different, is a great one.

I read something recently that said sometimes as a writer, we are too nice to the main character. This was eye opening for me. In some of my favorite stories, the protagonist suffers greatly and has to overcome so many obstacles, but often in my own writing I didn’t want to cause my precious protagonist any undue stress or pain.

Make your character suffer.

It makes sense really, but it’s definitely hard to let bad things happen to your beloved characters. As a fun exercise, take your character and put him/her in a mundane situation, then think of all the things that could possibly go wrong. How does your character respond?

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
– Sidney Sheldon

I am loving Zondervan publishing. They make such wonderful Biblical themed books for children. I also didn’t realize Christian/Biblical fiction was such a huge thing. I remember reading the Left Behind series years ago, but otherwise, I’m pretty unfamiliar with this genre.

The Adventure Bible: Great Stories of the Bible

Pictures by David Miles

great stories of bible

From the Adventure Bible series comes another great collection of I Can Read stories bound in one hardback volume. This great collection of six stories includes fully illustrated Old and New Testament stories. From the creation story to parables of Jesus, each story has been carefully summarized from the Bible in words beginning readers will easily grasp. Engaging, exciting and incredibly illustrated, this book will be treasured by parents and children alike.

In “The Adventure Bible: Great Stories of the Bible”, Zonderkidz delivers another great selection for beginning readers. Geared toward newly independent readers aged 6-8, this book may be enjoyed by children reading alone or with the help of an adult. Short, interesting sentences and beautiful illustrations will keep the attention of even younger children. Some stories include a short Biblical passage, but every story includes a summary page at the end with more information from the Bible. A great resource for churches and youth groups, this is truly a beautiful collection of stories that would make a lovely gift.

I love the idea of retelling old stories. Whether drawing inspiration from religion, or from other ancient tales, there are themes of love, loss, betrayal, deceit, faith, and forgiveness that resound across culture and time.

Think about your favorite parable from Jesus or another of your favorite stories. Think about the characters and their motivations. What if your character was in the same situation? How would your character respond? Does your character seek forgiveness from someone? Why? Did your character betray someone? Why?

In stories and in real life, I love attempting to understand what motivates people. We all react to situations in vastly different ways and our characters do to.

The wonderful world of writing! These are the reasons I love it 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and happy writing!

I review for BookLook BloggersReviews PublishedProfessional Reader

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Net Galley for copies of these books in exchange for my honest review.

Adventure Bible and Grumpy Pants

Happy Thursday!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week and getting a lot of reading done 🙂

Two fun books for you today. One comes from Zonderkidz, another great compilation of I Can Read stories from the Adventure Bible. The other, a fun picture book, comes from Albert Whitman & Company.

Happy Reading 🙂

heroes of bible

Adventure Bible: Heroes of the Bible Treasury

Pictures by David Miles

In this fabulous collection of six books in one, beginning readers learn about great heroes of the Bible. Stories include: Noah’s Voyage, Joseph the Dreamer, Moses Leads the People, Elijah God’s Mighty Prophet, Brave Queen Esther, and Paul Meets Jesus. Bound in hardcover and fully illustrated, this is a beautiful treasury of stories. The Bible comes to life for young readers through engaging illustrations and exciting text. Perfect for children still needing a little help with reading or for newly independent readers.

This Adventure Bible collection is outstanding! The book is beautifully put together and the story selection is perfect for children. The selected stories are high interest and well summarized to include action and interesting dialogue sure to keep children entertained. Once again the illustrations are incredible for an I Can Read series. Each book is separated with a title page and at the end of each story is a nice summary page with an additional fun fact from the Bible. These books may also be purchased separately as soft cover books, but they are lovely bound together in this hardcover edition.

Highly recommended for Sunday school classrooms, Vacation Bible schools, Youth Groups, and Church Libraries.

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Zonderkidz for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

grumpy pants

Grumpy Pants

Written and Illustrated by Claire Messer

Grumpy boots. Grumpy coat. Grumpy everything! Penguin is grumpy just so you know. He doesn’t know why he’s so grumpy, but he is! Can anything help him be less grumpy?

“Grumpy Pants” written and illustrated by Claire Messer features a very grumpy penguin struggling to comprehend his bad mood. A simple, cute read about emotions and expressing oneself. Children will love grumpy penguin in his grumpy underpants as they think about times they felt sad, mad, or grumpy, and couldn’t explain why. This book provides a great starting point for parents to talk with children about feelings, and healthy ways to make oneself feel better on a bad day.

Thank you to Albert Whitman and Company for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday Review and Contest Winner!

Good morning and happy Sunday!

First I’d like to congratulate Emily S. for winning the copy of “South of Sunshine”!

Thanks to all who entered and helped make my first giveaway a success. I’m looking forward to more giveaways in the future and hopefully I will work out all the Rafflecopter kinks by then.

New review today for you all. Another book from HarperCollins Christian Publishing and Zonderkidz. I’m really loving the quality of books Zonderkidz produces. Today’s review is of the Kids’ Quest Study Bible. Wow! This is a fantastic resource. Check out the review for more information but kids and adults alike can learn something from the extra info in this book.

kids quest bible

Kids’ Quest Study Bible

Published by Zonderkidz

With answers to over 500 questions about the Bible, the Kids’ Quest Study Bible is a fabulous first Bible for older children and preteens. Thoughtful, intelligent questions and answers grace almost every page of this Bible. With a bright cover and fun little illustrations accompanying each question, this Bible is sure to grab a child’s attention. The text of the New International Reader’s Version is written plainly, making it an excellent version for children to grasp unfamiliar words and concepts. A great resource for Sunday School teachers, Vacation Bible school leaders, Youth groups and church libraries.

Having reviewed the Under the Sea Bible, I was concerned this Bible would be similar with only a few pages of extra information sparsely distributed throughout the book. Instead, this Bible is packed full of questions, small illustrations, and extra facts about each book. At the start of each book of the Bible, there is an information page stating who wrote the book, when it was written, why it was written and more. This is a great way to get kids interested and focused on who is important and why in each book. The summaries are written plainly and focus on the big picture, making the passages more accessible to children.

Overall, a fantastic resource for children and adults. Lots of great information which enhances the reader’s ability to understand and enjoy this ancient text.

Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Zonderkidz for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday Special

Happy Sunday!

I have an exciting post for later this week all about the Unbound Book Festival in Columbia, Missouri! My friend and I went yesterday and loved it! We didn’t spend the whole day but next year we will plan a little better 🙂

Today I have a new Christian book review for you and later this week I’ll put up reviews that have appeared in my newspaper column.

I’ll also be participating in a blog tour in May with an author interview, and I am so excited to share this book and amazing author with you all!

On to the review…

my little bible

My Little Bible

Illustrated by Diane Le Feyer

Published by Tommy Nelson

Children are never too young to hear exciting tales from the Bible. Tales of love, adventure, courage, and helping others. My Little Bible presents Biblical stories in a format easy for children to grasp. Fully illustrated with beautiful, detailed images, little ones are sure to want to read about baby Moses, Noah, Daniel and others again and again.

My Little Bible has been designed specifically for children. The Biblical passages have been summarized carefully in a way children can understand. Each story is accompanied by the Bible verse where the story originates, a full-color illustration, and a question either about the illustration or the story.

These short, high-interest stories will introduce children to many important Biblical figures. The selection of verses spans Old and New Testament, and both popular and less familiar verses.

While the book is designed for young children, and the small size is supposedly better suited to small hands, the book seems a bit small. The size could make it difficult for parents to read with children, but little ones will certainly feel special having their own little Bible to carry wherever they go.

Thank you BookLook Bloggers and Tommy Nelson publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.