Tag Archive | children’s books

Book Review ~ The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival

Ah, the joy of autumn: crisp leaves, bright colors, fall festivals, and more. It’s something I look forward to annually, so I requested a copy of The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival by Mike Berenstain to review.

 

 

 

Full of colorful pictures depicting the beauty and fun of fall, the Bear Family attend the gathering at Farmer Ben’s where they enjoy apple picking, pumpkin picking, a hayride, and meal while giving thanks for the harvest and their blessings. Our 4-year-old son enjoyed the story and asked if we could “do that too” as the children picked apples and more.

Recommended for ages 4-8, I would say ages 4-6 as the story is nice but light. It is a good addition to seasonal readings and focusing on being grateful to God for the firstfruits and blessings of the day, but it isn’t a story I would add to our personal library to read often. The end of the book includes three questions to discuss and two activity suggestions.

In exchange for my honest review, I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Book Look Bloggers program.

3 out of 5 stars

 

 

Book Review ~ Precious Moments God Watches Over Me

Would you like a book for a young child to demonstrate God’s presence in each day? Consider Precious Moments’ God watches over me. In classic Precious Moments design, each page has a Bible verse, one poem, and an illustration to go with it. Many writings are by Jean Fischer, and the last entry is “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Although it is a board book, the content of God watches over me is more appropriate for children ages 4-8. The front cover is a padded foam board, and the back is hard board. It is about 5″ x 7″ and 32 pages long, front and back, with full color illustrations. There is no Table of Contents, so here are the entry titles:

God watches over me:  all day long, when I need help, when I’m hungry, when I play, when I travel, when I learn, when I think that I can’t, when I need to be brave, when I get hurt, every day, while I sleep, all the time

God watches over my: friends and me, family and me, pets

God watches over the world and everything in it!

I like this collection of illustrations and poetry, but I don’t think it’s appropriate for the target audience of children ages one to four. The pictures are cute, but it is wordy. My son is 3, and he enjoys about 20 seconds of this book at a time. It is one to grow on, but not easily engaging with an energetic little one.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review ~ Psalm 23 by Richard Jesse Watson

Using the text from the King James Version of the Bible, Richard Jesse Watson illustrates the 23rd Psalm of “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” in a board book format for children. Without preamble, the reader opens the book to begin the psalm. There is one picture and page set for every 1 to 2 lines of the psalm, which is written in its entirety on the last page of the book.

The illustrations bring the words to life and help the reader understand their meanings. In keeping with the shepherd concept, there is a lamb included in each illustration. While the KJV is not my favorite, the pictures are lovely, colorful, and charming without being gaudy. The child-like innocence and trust comes through. Our 3 year old son likes it, and I recommend it for toddlers through young elementary age.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Book Look Bloggers program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and they are not required to be positive.

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Book Review~ Weird & Wonderful Creations

From the Made by God series, Weird & Wonderful Creations, 4 books in 1, introduces children to a variety of creatures. Written on a second grade reading level, the four books included are: 1-Spiders, snakes, bees, and bats, 2- Big bugs, little bugs, 3- Sea creatures, 4- Poisonous, smelly, and amazing plants. The reader learns about eagles, tarantulas, butterflies, jellyfish, sea horses, sea turtles, mushrooms, the Venus flytrap, redwood trees, and more.

 

 

 

 

The detailed and clear photographs take up at least half of each page. There are usually 5 lines of text per page and plenty of white space.  The side bars offer more facts about the species such as, “Sea horses make clicking noises when they eat” and “The Goliath beetle’s leathery wings can be larger than a sparrow’s.”

This hardback book provides over 200 facts in its 110 pages. It is nicely bound and makes a good nonfiction addition to a children’s library. Even though he can’t read yet, my three-year-old enjoys the pictures and asking about the creatures. Since we already own Curious Creatures, 4 books in 1, I am glad to have a copy of this book in our collection, too.

4 out of 5 stars

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion through the BookLook Blogger program.

Book Review ~ The blessings of friendship treasury

The blessings of friendship treasury by Mary Engelbreit is a lovely “feel good” collection of thoughts, poetry, and Bible verses about friendship and loving each other. Engelbreit’s characteristic illustrations are colorful and fun. They bring further meaning to the writings she chose.

She includes some familiar choices and some surprises:

  • “A friend is the first one to come in when the whole world has gone out.”
  • “Friendship needs no reason.” –Ibycus
  • “Hug o’ War” poem by Shel Silverstein
  • “Friends are the family you choose for yourself.” –Edna Buchanan
  • “Do to others as you want them to do to you.” –Luke 6:31
  • “Love one another and you will be happy, it is as simple and as difficult as that.” –Michael Leunig
  • “There was a definite process by which one made people into friends; it involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.” –Rebecca West

 

 

 

 

 

Although this treasury is published as a collection for children, it would be well appreciated by some of my best friends. It is a hardback book of good quality that I would recommend as a keepsake for yourself, a good friend, and children who are at least eight years old.

4 out of 5 stars

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review ~ Curious Creatures, 4 books in 1

As a former elementary media specialist, I enjoy reading and reviewing children’s books. When I saw Curious Creatures, 4 books in 1 available for review, I requested it upon release. I looked forward to reading it and to seeing my son’s reaction. While he’s not yet 3 years old, he enjoys looking at books, having us read to him, and animals fascinate him. I’m glad I requested this book.

This is a quality nonfiction book, written on a second grade reading level.  It aligns to the Common Core ELA standards, if that’s important to you.  The 4 books you receive in this volume are: Rainforest Friends, Jungle Beasts, Polar Pals, and Curious Creatures Down Under. Topics include some expected animals like the koala, elephant, and polar bear. I didn’t expect to read about the anaconda (ew!), the echidna, or the Arctic tern.

There are many photographs, and almost all of them are close-ups of the animal. The page layout provides plenty of white space, good color that isn’t garish, and the side bars feature other interesting facts.

There aren’t any highly religious descriptions. The author includes a few statements like, “God gave (this animal a feature)” and it is part of the Made by God series. In keeping with the second grade level, the descriptions are simple about size, habitat, food, basic geography, and some facts about the animals’ activities and / or traits.

The one complaint I have is that the book smells weird.  I don’t know if it’s the ink, the paper, or the combination, but it’s a strong smell, and I can’t read the book for very long periods.  Leaving it propped open has helped a bit, but it may take a while for it to dissipate.

4 out of 5 stars

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Book Look Blogger program in exchange for my honest review.