The Great Farmapalooza by Jill Roman Lord — Book Review

What’s a farmapalooza?  Well, according to author Jill Roman Lord, it is a host of animals making a joyful noise unto the Lord!  This sturdy 8″x8″ board book is filled with colorful illustrations depicting common farm animals, along with the sounds they make.  There are 11 flaps which toddlers will love to open in order to discover the animal hidden inside.  Each animal is grateful to God for both what they have and what they are.

This book will certainly appeal to young children,  and can be easily used by parents as a tool to teach the names of animals, the sounds they make, and the concept of thanking God for everyday blessings.

My only concern is the size and weight of the book.  Some children will find it a bit heavy and unwieldly.  It will probably be best used sitting on the parents lap with some help turning pages.

VERDICT:  4 STARS.  Nothing unusual, but attractive and fun.

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/the-great-farmapalooza-P005824877

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

For other books for children see these posts:

Great and Small Prayers for Babies — Book Review

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

The Silent Noisy Night by Jill Roman Lord — Book Review

The Quiet Crazy Easter Day by Jill Roman Lord–Book Review

 

 

The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey–Book Review

  • A “verboten” library
  • An inheritance of rare books
  • A magic book that tells a different story to each reader

What bibliophile or avid reader would not be attracted to a book containing these elements?  Aimed at middle-grade readers, even adults will devour it.  It is cleverly narrated by Novus Fabula, the magic book itself!  Thirteen year old Piper and her autistic younger brother Phoenix go to live with their Aunt Beryl after the death of their mother.  Their father has been missing for a year after being kidnapped in a foreign country.

It contains elements of several genres — mystery, gothic, fantasy– blended into an intriguing tale that will keep you wanting to read more.  Each chapter begins with a quote (some are real, some invented, but you’ll like them all).  Characters and their emotions are realistically portrayed.  It weaves the mention of other children’s classics into the plot — Harry Potter, The Narnia Tales, The Little House Series, The Secret Garden and more.  In addition, this is a book that will make you think about life, God and paying attention to the world around you and having compassion for others.

Here’s my favorite quote:

“I would never say that God can’t reach inside the words we read in a book or a song and tell us things we need to hear.”

VERDICT:  5 STARS.  Buy it for the middle schooler on your Christmas list this year.

If you would like to purchase this book go to the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/the-edge-of-everywhen-P005821687

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

For more children’s books, see these posts:

The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society on Boasting by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

Who Will Play With Me by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

What’s So Wonderful About Webster? by Stephen and Alex Kendrick–Book Revie

 

Where is Wisdom by Scott James — Book Review

This attractive picture book is beautifully and colorfully illustrated by Hein Zaayman.  The text is inspired by Job 28 which begins:

“Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine.  Iron is taken out of the earth and copper is smelted from the ore.”

Subtitled, A Treasure Hunt Through God’s Wondrous World, author Scott James uses the analogy of mining to describe how we must “dig” to find wisdom, which is a valuable treasure.  The information given is biblically correct, and there is a final page with a theme verse and thought questions for parents or teachers to use in discussing the material further.

Those good things being said, I do have a concern about this book.  It seems designed to appeal to younger  children (I would say age 10 or below), but the concept of wisdom is abstract and will be difficult for this age group to grasp.  The use of the literal image of mining, in my opinion, would likely be confusing rather than illuminating for young children. On the other hand, a twelve year old would understand the concepts, but find it too babyish in format.  I’m not an educator, but as a parent, grandparent and former Sunday School teacher, I believe I am correct in this evaluation.

For other Christian books for children see:

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

Great and Small Prayers for Babies — Book Review

The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell–Book Review

VERDICT:  2 STARS.  Appealing to look at, but not suited to the targeted age group.

If you are interested in purchasing this book, follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/where-is-wisdom-P005816992

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.   Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

 

 

Little Words Matter Jumbo Coloring Book — Review

I didn’t expect to be impressed with a coloring book for toddlers, so this was a pleasant surprise.  It is indeed, jumbo — about four hundred 9×12 pages with large, simple pictures just right for little hands to color.

It has a bit of everything — letters to trace, simple words, colors, animals, Bible characters and basic Bible story information.  There are questions like these to ask your preschooler:

  • Which of these would you color orange?
  • Which starts with the letter “W”?
  • Which fish is in the wrong place?

Simple directions for the child to follow such as:

  • Draw a line to match the animals that are the same
  • Find the star-shaped seashell and color it yellow
  • Color 6 fish to help the fishermen catch them

All in all, an excellent learning resource for parents to work on letters, colors, words, numbers and basic Bible stories with their young children.

VERDICT;  5 STARS!  Get this one for your toddler’s Easter basket

If you would like to purchase this coloring book, follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/little-words-matter-jumbo-coloring-book-P005821573

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

 

The Quiet Crazy Easter Day by Jill Roman Lord–Book Review

This cute, sturdy board book would make a perfect addition to any toddler’s Easter basket (my copy will certainly go into granddaughter, Hailey’s).  Illustrated by Kelly Breemer, it includes colorful depictions of a host of familiar animals — rabbits, birds, wolves, fish, deer and yes, there are sheep– along with their appropriate sounds.  Humans are included, as well, as they rejoice by yelling and  shouting hurrah at the exciting news that Jesus has risen.  Words that denote sound or movement are highlighted in a variety of bright colors.

It includes a simple explanation of the resurrection which is suitable for young children– Jesus rose from the tomb to take our sins away;  He is still alive today and He hears us and loves us.

VERDICT:  I give this book 5 stars.  It would be great fun to read out loud with children, grandchildren, or a Sunday School class.                                                                                                                                    If you would like to purchase it, follow this link:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/the-quiet-crazy-easter-day-padded-P005821570

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

For review of another book by Jill Roman Lord, check out this post:

The Silent Noisy Night by Jill Roman Lord — Book Review

The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell–Book Review

The author of this book, Jennifer Lyell, has many years of experience as a Sunday School teacher (she is also Director of Book Publishing and Merchandising at Lifeway Publishers).  She believes that preschoolers need to have Biblical material presented “through a lens they can understand, with context that is concrete…”.  The Promises of God Storybook Bible does just that.  The stories of the Bible are retold, in language young children will understand, through the “lens” of God’s promises.  Ms. Lyell does an excellent job of tying the stories of the Old and New Testaments together, using this common theme.

The hardback book is sturdy with colorful illustrations.  The stories are presented in chronological order, from Genesis through Revelation. Each story cites the Biblical reference, and there are questions at the end to reinforce the ideas and information covered.

VERDICT:  Five stars.  Attractive and well done!

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/the-promises-of-god-storybook-bible-P005808506

 

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

For more Christian books for children see these posts:

Great and Small Prayers for Babies — Book Review

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

God Gave Me Grandma by Pamela Kennedy — Book Review

 

 

Which Shape Should I Be? by Paula Kennedy–Book Review

This sturdy board book helps toddlers recognize and match 9 shapes:  circle, triangle, square, rectangle, oval, star, heart, diamond and crescent.  Filled with bright colors and using familiar items, it will appeal to youngsters and their parents.

It ends with a reminder that God chose the best “shape” for each of us.  We are all different, but equally loved by our Creator.

“I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.” Psalm 139:14

VERDICT:  I give this book 4 stars.  It is nothing out of the ordinary, but is well made and attractive.  I’m definitely saving my copy for our granddaughter, Hailey!

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:

Which Shape Should I Be?

 

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part

The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

This is the third in Randall Goodgame’s “Slugs and Bugs” series for children that I have reviewed.  It is also the one I like least.

The book tells the story of a secret raccoon society that encourages members to give their belongings away, going against the normal raccoon tendency to slyly finding and appropriating things that belong to others.

The illustrations are colorful, but not exceptional.  The narrative lacks rhythm and bounce.  Some of the word plays and puns will not be understood by the age group the story is aimed at — for example, “we put the pie in piety.”  Piety is a concept that would be almost impossible to explain to young children.  Also, will children of this age make the connection that raccoons are known for stealing?

The message of generosity and sharing is a good one, but I didn’t find anything else to recommend this book.  I probably wouldn’t buy it.

The illustrations are colorful, but not exceptional.  The narrative lacks rhythm and bounce.  Some of the word plays and puns will not be understood by the age group the story is aimed at — for example, “we put the pie in piety.”  Piety is a concept that would be almost impossible to explain to young children.  Also, will children of this age make the connection that raccoons are known for stealing?

The message of generosity and sharing is a good one, but I didn’t find anything else to recommend this book.  I probably wouldn’t buy it.

VERDICT:  2 stars

If you are interested in purchasing this book, you can follow the link below:

The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society

 

If you would like to read reviews of others books by Randall Goodgame, you can check out these previous posts:

Are We Still Friends? by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

Who Will Play With Me by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

 

 

 

Are We Still Friends? by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

The bright illustrations and rhyming text of Are We Still Friends? will delight the eyes and ears of preschoolers.  It’s the perfect length for reading out loud, and parents will be pleased with the lesson it teaches.

Doug (the slug) and Sparky (the lightening bug) are going on a picnic along with a favorite snack — flavor-blasted pizza chips from Pizzaland.  Unfortunately, Doug gets carried away and eats the entire bag while his friend is not around.  Then he compounds his bad behavior by lying!  Luckily, Sparky is willing to forgive because:

“Sometimes it’s hard to be a friend.  And everybody gets it wrong-ways every now and then.”

The book closes with this Bible verse from Ephesians 4:32

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I liked this book, but I didn’t love it.  The rhymes sometimes seemed forced, and some of the vocabulary a bit above the age group at which it is aimed.

VERDICT:  4 stars

If you would like to see my review of another Slugs and Bugs book, follow this link:

Who Will Play With Me by Randall Goodgame–Book Review

If you would like to purchase this book go to this link:

Are We Still Friends?

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

The Great Lemonade Stand Standoff by Art Rainer–Book Review

This book is the first in the “Money Club” series.  Three friends, Jake, Sophia and Brody find themselves in a “stinky” situation due to poor financial choices.  After Agent G.B. invites them to become Secret Slide Money Club members, they are invited to redeem their selfish decisions.

They learn that the Master’s Money Plan is simple:  GIVE–SAVE–LIVE.  Give first, then save, and finally use what is left over to live.  Agent G.B. also gives them a verse to guide them:

“Each person should do as he has decided in his heart–not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver.”  2 Corinthians 9:7

They meet with adventures, challenges and temptations in order to accomplish their first mission:  helping their classmate, Drew, meet his goal to raise money for the local pet shelter.

Elementary age students will enjoy this humorous story as they establish a valuable foundation on which to build a lifetime of stewardship (they’ll get a bit of math as well!).  The book includes a money challenge so that the reader can put these lessons into practice.  There is also a “sneak peek” of the next book in the series.

VERDICT!  Well done.  I give it 5 stars, and it will be appearing in our Little Free Library very soon!

Would you like to purchase this book?  Follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/the-great-lemonade-stand-standoff-the-secret-slide-money-club-book-1-P005801166

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255