Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Book Review: I Can

I Can
By Kathryn O'Brien
Tyndale, 2016
English, 32 pgs
For ages 3-6 years

With a repetitive, rhythmic introduction of Philippians 4:13 (“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”), I Can turns Bible memorization from a duty to a delight for children, using the author’s unique teaching strategy. This purposeful presentation of Scripture will help children memorize, understand, and absorb passages as the author presents this powerful verse one word at a time, teaching the meaning of each individual word before presenting the entire passage. I Can builds a meaningful connection between God’s Word and a child’s life experiences, laying a foundation for a love and comprehension of Scripture. Parents and children will enjoy interacting together over the passage.

I set this book out on a side table, waiting to see if my 6 year old would see it. He did and picked it up and started reading it. He worked to sound out words and got very excited when there were words he already knew. The best part though was when he got to the end and was excited to see that he had been reading a Bible verse as he read the book.

The book starts very simply with "I Can" and then has a short list of things the kid can do. It adds words to the scripture and then continues to show all the things they can do, explains that nothing is too hard for them, describes who Jesus was (and gives the plan of salvation in one page!), tells them some of the things Jesus does for His children.

The pictures are of children on a farm, doing various activities. While they're good pictures, I think more diverse pictures would have been good too. My kids don't have a farm to run around and it kinda made the little one think that he could only do the things the book says if he's on a farm. Of course, we corrected that.

But I think it's a good book and a part of a good series of books for little ones. It is clear and I didn't have to explain what any of the words meant.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review on this site and a commercial bookselling site. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Having a Martha Home the Mary Way

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way
By Sarah Mae
Tyndale Momentum, 2016
English, 192 pgs


Get your home and your heart in order in just 31 days!

Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It’s not about having a clean house. She’d never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself―yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts.

Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart―and your home―at the same time?

Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live.

 There are lots of things to like about this book. It is highly encouraging. It is honest about struggles many women face regarding themselves and their homes. It is easy to read and doesn't take too long each day. It has easy to accomplish challenges and Bible study prompts.

There are cons to the book too though. Mainly in the form of the cleaning challenges. While they are easy to accomplish every day, they simply don't go far enough. Each day you're to clean your dishes, counter and sink and complete a load of laundry in addition to the challenge.

I realize that my situation is unique and not everyone is in the same life place I am right now, but I simply do not think it should take more than one day to clean a room. In all the challenges, you only wash sheets once. In 31 days. That is not my idea of clean. I just can't get with the idea of taking it so slowly to clean.

I personally feel it's easier to tackle one room (or style of room) each day of the week. My personal schedule is Monday: bathrooms, Tuesday: kitchen/dining, Wednesday: bedrooms, Thursday: office/living room, Friday: grocery shopping/meal planning, Saturday: laundry, Sunday: rest. Everything gets done every week and my home is one that I feel is tidy, clean and healthy. It's not spotless. It's not a wreck either.

Basically it comes down to finding what works best for you and sticking to it.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review on this website and a commercial bookselling website. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.