Friday, September 30, 2011

Book Review: Thank You God For Blessing Me

Thank You God For Blessing Me
By Max Lucado
Thomas Nelson, 2011
English, E-book Version


Meet Little Hermie-the cutest baby caterpillar in the garden! Little Hermie's thankful heart shows toddlers how to be thankful for God's blessings.

Little Hermie is thankful for everything God has given him. He goes through his day thanking God for his many blessings in this adorable board book with flocking on the cover!

With over 5.5 million brands units sold, the new Little Hermie books open the wonderful world of the Hermie & Friends garden to an entirely new audience.

This book is hopefully going to teach my selfish kids to appreciate what they have and to be thankful toward God for our blessings.

The Hermie books are amazing for kids. Especially ones who are obsessed with bugs (and what kid isn't!). My kids sit completely still every time we're reading a Hermie book and ask for them again and again. We even had caterpillars that were Hermie and Wormie.

The Hermie books and DVDs are well written and beautifully illustrated. They're sure to become favorites in  your house too.

I received a digital download of the book for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Night Night Blessings

Night Night Blessings
By Amy Parker
Thomas Nelson e-Book, 2011


Cuddle up with your little ones and count all the blessings God put in their day.

This book is a precious way to put your little ones to bed at night and fill their thoughts with the many good things that have filled their day. It's a great way to teach them gratitude and help them sleep soundly at night.

Whether it's Mommy's goodnight kisses, Grandpa's comfy lap, or pancakes stacked THIS high, there are so many blessings to count before bed! Written in rhyme and coupled with adorable illustrations, this follow up book to best-selling Night Night Prayer will be an instant bedtime hit.

I love this so much. It's a collection of sweet prayers for children before bed. I read it to my son last night and he insisted on reading it back to me after I'd finished.

My only negative is that the e-book version doesn't line up the pictures with the text. It's kinda all jumbled and there were a few strange symbols in the text.

The pictures are beautifully drawn and the prayers are simple and easy for the kids to memorize. I can imagine that in a few days of using this, he'll be saying them from memory.

I received a digital download of the book for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review: Sunrise on the Battery

Sunrise on the Battery
By Beth Webb Hart
Thomas Nelson, 2011
English, 320 pages


Now that she's arrived at her ultimate address, will Mary Lynn's longed-for view of the harbor satisfy the craving of her heart?

At last, Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville are living the life they've dreamed of. Two self-described "small town bumpkins" from Round O, South Carolina, they made a small fortune selling the little gems of lowcountry real estate Jackson inherited and now they are living in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina, carefully working their way up the social ladder in hopes of meeting their ultimate goal:  to give their three daughters the life they themselves never had. 

But the long-forgotten God of Mary Lynn's childhood seems to be trying to get her attention in clear and unusual ways.   So clear and strange she can no longer deny it.  When Mary Lynn prays for Jackson to open his mind and heart to God, her prayers are answered beyond her wildest imaginings.  Now Jackson's dramatic conversion (which includes street witnessing, giving away a lot of money, and inviting poor, desperate and marginalized people into their home) is threatening their social status as well as their family mission statement.  Is she willing to go along with him?

What would it be like to go "all out" for God?  Jackson, a sharp and focused Type A man, is unafraid and willing to go all the way.  Mary Lynn has her doubts.

I like the concept of the book. I did not enjoy the style of the book. I had to force myself to read the first 100 pages (I will not read less than that for a review.) and at that point I was glad to put it down and really didn't care about finishing it.

The story concept is great, it should have been a great story. I just did not enjoy the author's style.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: A Most Unsuitable Match

A Most Unsuitable Match
By Stephanie Grace Whitson
Bethany House, 2001
English, 328 pgs

An unlikely attraction occurs between two passengers on a steamboat journey up the Missouri River to Montana...

She is a self-centered young woman from a privileged family who fears the outdoors and avoids anything rustic. He is a preacher living under a sense of duty and obligation to love the unlovable people in the world. She isn't letting anything deter her from solving a family mystery that surfaced after her mother's death. He is on a mission to reach the rejects of society in the remote wilderness regions of Montana. Miss Fannie Rousseau and Reverend Samuel Beck are opposites in every way... except in how they both keep wondering if their paths will ever cross again.

I could not get into this book. I have a rule that when I pick up a book for review I give it at least 5 chapter or 100 pages, whichever comes first, before I decide if I like it or not. I can't even get that far with this book. I've been trying for about 2 weeks now to try to read it and I just can't. It's completely boring and as much as I don't like writing negative reviews...I have to.

There isn't anything to grab your attention and it really isn't an inventive story line either. I wish I could have gotten into it, but it's just not gonna happen, I don't think.

I received a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was only required to be honest.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Review: Hermie, A Common Caterpillar

Hermie, a Common Caterpillar (Max Lucado's Hermie & Friends)
Hermie, A Common Caterpillar
By Max Lucado
Thomas Nelson, 2011
Ebook version


This Max Lucado's Hermie & Friends® best-selling story now available in easy-to-read format!

Hermie and his friend Wormie have always felt common. They don't have stripes or dots, they aren't very strong, and they can't find anything special about themselves. But every time they pray, God tells them that He loves them all the time just as they are and that He isn't finished with them yet. When Hermie becomes a beautiful butterfly, he realizes just how special God's plan is for him!

This classic story has been revised for kids to read and enjoy on their own as a Lever 2 Reader.  With fresh new art and a story kids can read themselves, plus a new, low price-this classic story will find a whole new generation of kids who love Hermie and his garden friends!

My son and I read this together on my Nook. I was a teeny bit annoyed that the pictures that went with the narrative were on the next "page". Other than that, it was great.

The story is sweet and I really think my son learned something from it. I've been asking him questions about it and although he wasn't exactly still and attentive when I was reading, he heard all I said.

We've talked about what it means that God is still working on him. We've discussed what it means to be happy with who you are and how God made you.

The words were too hard for my son (who is 5 and reads on 1st grade level) so I did most of the reading, but he's asking for it again so he must have liked it!

I received an ebook copy from Book Sneeze for review purposes. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review: The Hour that Matters Most

The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal
The Hour that Matters Most
By Les and Leslie Parrott, Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna
Tyndale House, 2011
English, 208 pages

The facts are on the table. Dinnertime is truly the most important hour in a day that a family can spend together. Focusing on the family meal, this book will help strengthen families by showing them how to reclaim this important time in order to build relationships, draw closer to one another, and restore a sense of peace in their homes. Millions of parents in America can picture the kind of home life they want but don’t know how to make it a reality. The Hour That Matters Most will help readers strengthen and transform their own families—specifically around the dinner table. 

Dinnertime—It’s More Than Just a Meal
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott have discovered the surprising impact that something as simple as sharing a meal together can have on a family. And they aren’t alone. Researchers across the board are finding that an hour around the dinner table can really tether a family together and help you raise up healthier, happier kids.

Featuring the inspiring story of Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, the founders of Dream Dinners, The Hour That Matters Most shows you how to nourish and nurture your family through regular meal times.

An inspiring, practical book packed with everything you need to help you make the most of the dinnertime hour, The Hour That Matters Most includes
  • never-before-published recipes
  • expert cooking tips and ideas
  • color photos of family-favorite meals
  • dozens of conversation starters to get your kids talking around the table

If you’re looking for ways to bring love and laughter to your home, rediscover the remarkable power of the family meal in The Hour That Matters Most.
My family eats practically every meal together. We make it a priority to sit together, pray together and talk about what's going on and what we've done so far that day. My son also uses the time to report on what he's been learning in school to his Daddy.

 I do realize though that we have a luxury. Not all families have the time to sit together for every meal (including snacks...) every day. I do not have sports practices and games to work around. We are homeschooling our oldest so it's easy to have lunch together. My husband's office is literally next door so he's home when he needs to be. Now, we do get fast food on occasion and we make the use of a babysitter for a night out as often as we can...but generally we're together.

 It makes a difference.

 One of the things proposed in the book is using a meal service like Dream Dinners. I had never heard of this before and think it's cool for those who are short on time (or like skills) and want to have a hot meal together with the family. If you're lucky enough to be near a location that is....

Anyway, back to the book...At the end of each chapter is a recipe card. I really appreciated the "table talk" ideas. So often we can get quiet if we don't know what else to talk about, and these will come in handy. Especially as the boys grow and get more involved in things.

The issues discussed go beyond manners and "how was your day" conversation and go into how to really listen to what your kids (and spouse) are saying when they speak.

 I received a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Veiled Rose

Veiled Rose (Tales of Goldstone Wood)
Veiled Rose: Tales of Goldstone Wood
By Anne Elizabeth Stengl
Bethany House, 2011
English, 394 pgs

Rose Red trusts no one with her secret. She hides in the forest, her face veiled in rags, shunning the company of all save her old father and her nanny goat. Her life is bleak and lonely.

Until she meets a privileged young man sent to spend his summer in the mountains. Leo, a lonely lad, befriends Rose Red, and together they begin hunting for the Mountain Monster which, rumor says, stalks these lands.

But the hunt which began as a game holds greater risk than Leo supposes. Rose Red can scarcely guess at the consequences should he insist on continuing his search. Dare she trust him with her secret? Or tell him what dwells at the top of the mountain in the cave only she can find?

Above all, when Leo asks Rose Red to leave the mountain and follow him to the low country, dare she agree and risk the wrath of a Monster that is all too real?

I couldn't get into this book. It took a good 185 pages to get interesting. I always tell myself that if a book isn't interesting by half way, I'll quit reading it. Half way was 197 pages....

Anyway, I did read the entire book and I am somewhat disappointed in it. It had the potential to be a sweeping fantasy with heroes and villains and the damsel in never quite got there. It was a long book to read. I haven't had to force myself to read something in a long time and that just doubled my un-enjoyment (if you'll permit the word).

I understand it's the second in a trilogy and that I may have missed something by not reading the first book, but honestly, I don't want to.

It was refreshing to have it not be a happily ever after style book. The ending does set up the next book (out in April 2012) and if it's your style, you're probably going to be "itching" to get the next book.

I'm still not sure if I like or despise Leo. And I guess that is part of the appeal of the book. He's really an anti-hero at this point. It makes the reader want to read the next book to see if he can redeem himself or not.

Rose Red was the one character that I did really like. She wears a veil and the reason is disclosed at the end. But she shows that true love and character come from within. You can't tell how someone is going to be until you take away all that you see and see what comes from within their heart.

I received a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.