Giveaway of 3 Zondervan Books for Kids & 3 for Teens!

I have a wonderful giveaway today.  There are two sets of books–one for kids and one for teens.  Enter one giveaway or both!  These would be wonderful to give to your kids for Easter, or for any other occasion!

The Kids Set (for preschool-age 7) has

The Legend of the Easter Egg by Lori Walburg (illustrated by Richard Cowdrey) The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith, by Mike Berenstain 101 Bible Stories from Creation to Revelation (illustrated by Dan Andreasen)   Zondervan books 007 In The Legend of the Easter Egg, we follow the story of a little boy whose sister has become very sick.  He goes to stay with friends while she gets better.  While there he learns about why Easter eggs remind us of Easter.  A chick breaks out of its egg, just like Christ broke out of the tomb. The boy understands about Jesus and His sacrifice and gives his life to Christ.    On Easter morning he runs to see his sister who is now better to tell her of his new faith in Jesus.  It’s a pretty, hardback book. Zondervan books 008   Book reviews- Daniel, Noah, Berenstain Bears Keep Faith, Veggie 018 In The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith Brother and Sister Bear find out that their science-loving friend Ferdy Factual doesn’t believe God created the world.  It’s the first time Brother and Sister encounter someone who thinks that you can’t believe in or trust God if you are a scientist. Brother and Sister love science, too.  They love to learn about dinosaurs and fossils, to look at the stars with a telescope, and to look through a microscope at germs.  But when they are looking at the moon through a telescope with Ferdy, Sister mentions that God did a good job.  Ferdy tell them that not only does he not believe that God created everything, he doesn’t even believe in God.  He only believes in things he can see and test and prove. The bears talked to their parents about it.  Mama tells them that they have to have faith.  Now that’s a hard concept for young kids to understand!  So, the next day they go to visit Preacher Brown to see if he can expain it better.  They learn that faith comes from reading the Bible, feeling God’s love for us, and in seeing the beauty of God’s creation.  Preacher Brown also tells them that Daniel in the Bible had faith that God would save him from the lions.  Faith in God is trusting in his love.  Brother and Sister Bear decide at the end of the story that faith in God is important to them. I love how this book shows that you can be a “scientist” and have faith in God at the same time. Book reviews- Daniel, Noah, Berenstain Bears Keep Faith, Veggie 020 Book reviews- Daniel, Noah, Berenstain Bears Keep Faith, Veggie 019     Zondervan books 013 101 Bible Stories From Creation to Revelation is a Bible story book.  There are 3 things I really like about this book that make it unique from other Bible story books:  half of the stories are from the New Testament, the illustrations are more realistic (not cartoonish), and it has a higher reading level.  It is perfect for reading to children or for independent older readers to read to themselves.  Each facing page has one page of the story and one page of illustration.  Hardback book with 217 pages. Zondervan books 014 Zondervan books 015

The Teens Set has

All In Student Edition by Mark & Parker Batterson

Gods at War Student Edition by Kyle Idleman

and a choice of one of these Bibles:
Young Women of Faith Bible, NIV (Hardcover)

Or
NIV Bible for Teens (Blue)

Zondervan books 011 All In Student Edition is an encouraging book for helping teens choose the right life–the God life.  I really enjoyed reading about different peoples’ experiences in the book.  You’ll find stories of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (Civil War), Stanley Tam (United States Plastic Corporation), and Phil Vischer (Veggie Tales), among many others.  Inspire your teen with this book (paperback, 160 pages). Zondervan books 012 Zondervan books 009 Gods at War Student Edition explains to students how to recognize and fight against the modern-day idols we see in our society.  There are 3 specific idols that are highlighted: Pleasure, Power, and Love.  Anything that teens might put before God (entertainment, technology, pornography, drugs, materialism, etc.) is talked about in this book, and they learn how to serve Jesus instead.  Paperback, 203 pages.   Zondervan books 010 Zondervan books 016 This blue-covered NIV Bible for Teens is beautiful in charcoal and blue faux leather.  It’s less than an inch thick, has a ribbon marker, 8 pages of maps, and Christ’s words in read.  It’s in the new NIV translation Zondervan books 017 Zondervan books 018 Zondervan books 019 Zondervan books 020 Zondervan books 021 And a Bible for girls: The Young Women of Faith Bible.  In this hardback Bible, you’ll find the regular features (maps, concordance, and full NIV text) as well as a Weekly Bible Study and some commentary explaining difficult passages.  There are journal sections to learn about other girls’ experiences and to write about your own and specific verses to memorize. Zondervan books 022 Zondervan books 023 Zondervan books 024 Zondervan books 025

Enter one or both giveaways below on the Rafflecopter!  Winners will be chosen on Saturday April 5 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email. Two different winners will be chosen (can’t win both giveaways).

Congratulations to the winners:  Liz and Sara!

(Disclosure:  I received copies of all the above books in order to write these reviews.  This post also includes affiliate links.)

 

Review of “The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith”

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Today I have a review of The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith, a new book by Mike Berenstain, the son of Jan and Stan Berenstain.  I am so happy with the new Berenstain Bear books which are part of the Living Lights series by Zonderkidz.  God is honored in these books.  :)  And Papa Bear isn’t the dolt that he was portrayed often in the older books.

In The Berenstain Bears Keep the Faith Brother and Sister Bear find out that their science-loving friend Ferdy Factual doesn’t believe God created the world.  It’s the first time Brother and Sister encounter someone who thinks that you can’t believe in or trust God if you are a scientist. Brother and Sister love science, too.  They love to learn about dinosaurs and fossils, to look at the stars with a telescope, and to look through a microscope at germs.  But when they are looking at the moon through a telescope with Ferdy, Sister mentions that God did a good job.  Ferdy tell them that not only does he not believe that God created everything, he doesn’t even believe in God.  He only believes in things he can see and test and prove.

The bears talked to their parents about it.  Mama tells them that they have to have faith.  Now that’s a hard concept for young kids to understand!  So, the next day they go to visit Preacher Brown to see if he can expain it better.  They learn that faith comes from reading the Bible, feeling God’s love for us, and in seeing the beauty of God’s creation.  Preacher Brown also tells them that Daniel in the Bible had faith that God would save him from the lions.  Faith in God is trusting in his love.  Brother and Sister Bear decide at the end of the story that faith in God is important to them.

I love how this book shows that you can be a “scientist” and have faith in God at the same time.

Book reviews- Daniel, Noah, Berenstain Bears Keep Faith, Veggie 020 Book reviews- Daniel, Noah, Berenstain Bears Keep Faith, Veggie 019

 

(Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review.)

Review/Giveaway “My Story: Daniel” and “My Story: Noah” Sticker Books

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Well, let me start out today’s review by telling you that my kids were fighting over who was going to get these Bible sticker books!  Oh, my–I wish we had gotten 4 instead of 2!

We have also reviewed 2 others in this series and the kids loved those as well.

My Story: Daniel and My Story: Noah tell the stories of these 2 great men of the Bible.  The pages are filled with cartoon drawings and cute sayings.  I love how the stories teach young children about these men and their great faith and obedience to God in spite of adversity.  Daniel refused to quit praying to the Lord even though the law said he could be thrown to the lions.  And then when he was throw to the lions, God honored Daniel’s faithfulness by miraculously protecting him!  Noah followed God’s direction in building the ark even when it seemed like a crazy thing to do.  He and his family were the only ones saved when the flood God sent destroyed the earth.

After the story, there are 2 full pages of stickers that the kids can put in the book or anywhere else.

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I will say that my 8-year-old daughter was disappointed with the following illustration in the Noah book. She said, “That’s not what the ark looked like.  There was lots of room for the animals.”  We really don’t like these “fairy tale” type drawings of the ark, since the Bible is so specific in giving the size of the ark.

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But when she saw this drawing she said, that’s better!

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There is a Sticker Journal in each book where the kids can place some of the stickers.  The green spots show them where a sticker should go.

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See the great variety of stickers?  Animals, people, decorations, items.

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See Flipbooks of My Story: Daniel and My Story: Noah

*The books are paperback.

*ages 1-4

*Engaging Bible stories told in first-person perspective

*Includes 50 story-themed stickers that kids can use throughout the book

*A great value at $4.99:

My Story: Daniel
My Story: Noah

And now you have a chance to win these books!  Enter through the Rafflecopter app below.  The winner will be chosen on Saturday March 22, and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  18+, U.S. only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure:  I received complimentary copies of these books from Thomas Nelson Publishers in order to write this honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)

Review of The Revolutionary War Adventure (Our America Series) by Sue Kilbride

Once again Sue Kilbride has hit a homerun with her historical fiction book series! Today’s review is of The Revolutionary War Adventure from the Our America Series.

I was excited to read this book because I loved her previous books so much. We find brother and sister Finn and Ginny once again traveling back in time in search of their parents who are stuck back there somewhere. This time they end up in the Revolutionary War period. The time travel remote keeps taking them to different places and events of the Revolutionary War. Every place they go the twins find relatives who help them and let them be involved in the war effort. Some of the things they do are: witness the Boston Tea Party, travel on Paul Revere’s ride, see the first fighting at Lexington, hear the Declaration of Independence being read, cross the Delaware, and witness the surrender for the victory of the Patriots.  We learn a lot about the terrible conditions back then–the illness and insufficient supplies that the soldiers had.  It gives us a greater appreciation for all they did to fight for our freedom.

Finn and Ginny don’t just meet relatives, but also some of the other great heroes of the war such as Paul Revere, John Hancock, and George Washington.  I love the “extras” that you find in the book: The Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Timeline of the Revolutionary War events, reprint of the Declaration of Independence, bibliography, and the Historical Notes where Susan shares about which characters in the book were her relatives and what events and conversations were actual and which ones she took liberty with.

The Revolutionary War Adventure is well-written, fast-paced, and exciting to read.  Susan is a great writer. It’s 120 pages, so not overwhelming for younger readers. I would recommend these books for ages 10-15. They are definitely a great supplement to early American History studies!

To see a full description of the series, go here!  And for you homeschoolers, there are also free pdf activities to go along with the books on this page of Susan Kilbride’s website Funtastic Unit Studies so you can make it a full unit study by doing enrichment activites: geneology, science, games, cooking, and crafts.  There is also a free pdf of Revolutionary War activities to go with the book here.

On March 10th, 11th and 12th, the Kindle versions of the last three books in the Our America series will be on sale for 40% off–only $2.99!   Just click on the Kindle version of the book, and you’ll see the sale price.  (I’ll send out a reminder on those days–just be sure to like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest)

The Salem Adventure (Our America) (Volume 3)

 

The Revolutionary War Adventure (Our America) (Volume 4)

Also, there’s a 25% off SALE of ALL Susan Kilbride’s paperback books:

  The Pilgrim Adventure (Our America) (Volume 1)

To celebrate the publication of The Revolutionary War Adventure, on March 11th & 12th all of Sue’s paperback books will be on sale for 25% off! Just go to the Special Orders page of the Funtastic Unit Studies and type in the code: HAVY4KRQ at checkout to receive the discount. Orders will be placed through CreateSpace, a division of Amazon.

Susan has also written a science book called Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers See my review of it here.

(Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review. This post contains affiliate links.)

Review of “My Timeless Locket: The Miracle of Freedom” by Anna Alden-Tirrill

annie

I’m happy to review today My Timeless Locket: The Miracle of Freedom by Anna Alden-Tirrill today.  It’s the third book in the Annie’s Adventures Series.

This book really surprised me as it leads the reader into an adventure of historical fiction and science fiction–both of which I love!  It was really fun to read.

Annie, a 13-year-old homeschooled girl and only child is living in Scotland with her parents.  They are from America but have been living different places in Europe since her father is an astronomer who is offered short-term teaching and research assignments at different universities.

While in Scotland Annie finds out that she is related to the famous Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. She meets other relatives and receives an heirloom (a locket) that has been passed down through the centuries.

Meanwhile, Annie’s father finds out that his astronomy research project has been compromised. The next thing they know the family is in Washington D.C. meeting with the President at the White House and other higher-ups at the Pentagon.

They need Annie to do something amazing to help save history. I don’t want to explain much more because it might ruin the story for you. But it’s a fun science fiction element, which is made to seem totally plausible and realistic. :)

I will say that although my 10-year-old daughter loved the first two books, this one wasn’t up her alley.  I think she may just need a couple more years on her and she will enjoy it.  Annie, the main character, is 13, so that’s probably closer to a better age for reading it.

The main characters are believers, so Christians will enjoy the fact that the people pray and talk about God’s involvement in their daily lives. Annie is also a homeschooled student, so homeschoolers will enjoy that aspect.

I recommend this third book in the Annie’s Adventures series: My Timeless Locket. I have book 4 which I will be reviewing in the next month or so. Check out the review for book 1 here and book 2 here.
Check out the Annie’s Adventure’s website to order these books.

Or here:


(Disclosure:  I received complimentary copies of the Annie’s Adventures series in order to write these honest reviews. This post contains affiliate links.)

This post is linked to many wonderful blogs!

Review/Giveaway Precious Moments Little Book of Bedtime {Link Party}

Today I have a review and Giveaway! of the Precious Moments Little Book of Bedtime published by Tommy Nelson Publishers. I really like this little padded board book for ages 1-4, and so does my sweetie pie.  It’s the perfect book to read before bed.

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You’ll find 18 poems each accompanied by a scripture verse or quote.  One of my favorite lullabies is included: the traditional Welsh folk song “All Through the Night.”  There are also poems and prayers about thanking God for the day, saying good night to the sun, asking God to bless the animals, bath time and putting on pajamas, getting hugs and kisses and a story before bed, asking God for sweet dreams, and to be blessed while the child sleeps.

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I have always loved the Precious Moments drawings, and you’ll love them as well in this book.  There are kids sitting around a campfire, looking up at the moon, lots of animals and stuffed animals, and kids from around the world.

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A few of my favorite scriptures are included: “Come to me, all of you who are tired. . . . I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 “He has put his angels in charge of you.  They will watch over you wherever you go.”  Psalm 91:11 “When you lie down. . . your sleep will be sweet.”  Proverbs 3:24

 

Check out the flip book here.

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Shhhh.  Time for nighty-night.  :)  

 

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And now the giveaway!  

Please enter through the Rafflecopter app.  Winning entry will be verified.  Winner must respond to my email within 24 hours.  Contest ends 2/27/14.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tommy Nelson Publishers in order to write this honest review.)

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

 

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See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party}: Review of Veggie Tale readers

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I have 3 new readers in my home and am constantly on the look out for new books that they can read on their own.  Today I’m reviewing 2 of those books:   Larry Makes a Choice and  All Is Fair When We Share, both by Karen Poth.  These books are paperback, 32 pages, “I Can Read!” books published by ZonderKids.  The reading level is “1″ which means they have “simple sentences for eager new readers.  These readers for perfect for my 3 kids who have been working on their reading for 1-2 years.  They are definitely not the “cat sat on a rat” type of books.  Some of the words were a bit challenging for all three of them.  You’ll find words like “friendships,” “canyon,” and “detective.”

One of the things that the kids really enjoyed about these books were that they had the Veggie Tales characters.  Larry is always funny, and Bob is helping everyone to do the right thing.

In Larry Makes a Choice Larry is a cowboy who needs to drive 100 cattle over the mountain  to pass the test.  But the Scallions who go with him want to go through the canyon so they can get there faster.  Larry is afraid to stand up to them, but then he decides to leave the canyon so he won’t cheat.  After he leaves there is a dodge ball avalanche, and Larry is a hero who saves the Scallions!

In All Is Fair When We ShareLarry and Bob are detectives.  The new case is that Percy Pea’s Mighty Man toy is missing.  Percy and his brother have been fighting, and Bob and Larry are able to get them to make up and share.

We enjoyed these Veggie Tales “I Can Read!” books and will be looking forward to reading more of them!

(Disclosure:  I received both of these books free in exchange for this honest review.)

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

 

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Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Review of Richard Scarry’s Great Big Schoolhouse readers

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Last week I wrote about the wonderful resources I use to teach my kids to read.  But it’s always nice to just have some fun books that are written at a level that the kids can read to themselves.  So, I’m happy to review a couple of  Richard Scarry’s Great Big Schoolhouse readers today. The titles are Snow Dance and One, Two, Ah-Choo.

Snow Dance (Richard Scarry’s Readers Level 1) is a fun story written for Level 1 readers.  It’s described on the back as “Introduce Your Child to Reading.”  The hardback book is 23 pages long and is full of the wonderful Richard Scarry illustrations.  I have loved those books since I was a kid!  In Snow Dance, Huckle gets a new sled.  He tries to sled inside the house, but that doesn’t work.  So, he gets his friends together to bring a bunch of ice cubes to sled on.  That doesn’t work either.  Finally, they do a snow dance and the flakes start to fall!  Soon there is enough snow for all the friends to enjoy sledding!

My 5-year-old daughter had fun reading Snow Dance.  She loved how the words were large, the sentences were short, and she was able to sound out most of the words.  (The most difficult words were the kids’ names.)

The second book we reviewed was Richard Scarry’s Readers (Level 2): One, Two, AH-CHOO!.

In the Level 2 readers “Your Child Starts to Read.”  I gave this one to my 7-year-old son to read.  It’s a funny little story about a class full of kids who have a cold.  Huckle and Lowly go from friend to friend trying to help them–giving them food, tissues, and get-well cards.  They have several mishaps–dropping a tray of food, tipping over a cart of oranges, and dumping a wheelbarrow of leaves.  And at the end Huckle and Lowly end up with colds as well.

My son really enjoyed this story.  Most of the words were easy for him to figure out.  I’m sure he’ll read it again and again.  :)

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There are many other Richard Scarry Great Big Schoolhouse readers, so we’ll be checking out some more of them!

(Disclosure:  I received complimentary copies of these two books to write this honest review.)

Review/Giveaway “One God, One Plan, One Life: A 365 Devotional” by Max Lucado

One God, One Plan, One Life Devotional

I have a review and giveaway today of a devotional by Max Lucado called One God, One Plan, One Life. It’s specifically written for teens (adapted by James Lund), and I would even say it’s for teen boys. Some of the topics are deep, so I definitely wouldn’t recommend the book for children. The devotional book touches on issues such as purity, drug and alcohol abuse, and bullying.

I really like the way the daily devotionals read. They’re short enough to be accessible to this age group–it’s all on one page. It starts with a verse of Scripture which is written out. Then there are a few paragraphs (often with more Scripture mixed in). Finally, there is “One More Thought.” This is a call to action/application, an explanation, or something to further think about. Here’s one I liked from May 16:

“What’s really bugging you right now? Take a moment to look past the problem. Can you see God’s hand in it? Can you see how he might use your struggle as part of his plan? Think about what’s excellent in your life? Now look again–hope is on your horizon.”

The devotional book itself is hardback, 389 pages, with its own orange ribbon bookmark. The material has been adapted for teens and comes from 6 other devotional books written by Max Lucado. At the back you’ll find Notes (a list of footnotes) and 2 different Bible reading plans (30 Days with Jesus and 90 Days Through the Bible.)  You can see a Flipbook here.

Now that I’m through reviewing it, One God, One Plan, One Life is now with my teen son so he can use it each day.

I’m happy to have a copy of this book published by Thomas Nelson to give away! Please enter on the Rafflecopter app below. The winner will be chosen January 19 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email. 18+, U.S. only please.

One God, One Plan, One Life: A 365 Devotional

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review of “My Riviera Connection” by Anna Alden-Tirrill

annie
Today’s book review is of My Riviera Connection by Anna Alden-Tirrill.  It’s the second book in the Annie’s Adventure Series.  (You can read the review of the first book My Paris Connection here.)

We rejoin adventurous, 13-year-old, homeschooled Annie in Europe again, but they have left Paris and are now in the French Riviera.  One of the most fun parts about reading this book is that I have never learned much about this part of the world.  We become immersed in the perfume industry–visiting perfumeries and learning all kinds of things about the business.  Annie decides that she is very interested in becoming an investigative reporter and is able to join a lady we met in the first book–Vivienne who is an investigative reporter.  She takes Annie along with her as she investigates the theft of a perfume formula.  They track the thieves and learn all kinds of things to help out the investigation for the detectives.  This part is unrealistic–that they are in the midst of all the action– but makes the story more exciting. :)  They also travel to other areas of Europe, including the Vatican.  And they always find some time to sightsee–which makes you wish you could be there as well!

My only complaint about the book is that I don’t like the graphics/illustrations that are found on every page throughout the book.  They are distracting and not well drawn or designed.

I love how serving God and doing his will, along with Scripture, are sprinkled in throughout the book.  We know what is most important to Annie, her parents, Vivienne, and several other characters who are believers.  “Truth” is a main theme throughout this book (as “friendship” was in the first book).  My 10-year-old daughter loved reading about the perfume business and gave My Riviera Connection a thumbs-up! I would definitely recommend these books for girls who like to read longer chapter books (it’s 234 pages).

Check out the Annie’s Adventure’s website to order these books.

Or here:

(Disclosure:  I received complimentary copies of the Annie’s Adventures series in order to write these honest reviews. This post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party}: Review/Giveaway of My Story: Joseph and My Story: David by Fiona Boon

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My Story: Joseph

My Story: David

 

I have 2 new Tommy Mommy books to review (and Give Away!) today.  My preschoolers really loved these.  They’re called My Story: Joseph and My Story: David by Fiona Boon.  The stories are about the Biblical men Joseph and David.  They’re paperback and tell each story from the perspective of the main character.  The illustrations are engaging cartoon characters and the story style is a bit childish and slangish.  But the part they loved the most was putting the stickers in the book after we read the story!  Another great thing about these books?  They’re only $4.99 (or less) each!

Each book goes through the basic life story of the character.  For David, we meet his father, Samuel who anoints him as King with oil, King Saul, and Goliath.  We learn about David taking care of his father’s sheep and killing lions and bears.  Then he goes to the war camp and hears Goliath’s taunts.  David decides to fight Goliath with his slingshot.  The book does mention that David cuts off Goliath’s head (I usually leave that part out when reading it to my preschoolers.)

In the Joseph story we learn about the coat that Joseph’s father gives him and that it makes his brothers jealous.  They throw Joseph into a pit and then sell him to be a slave.  Joseph is taken to Egypt and is eventually thrown in prison.  He interprets dreams there and is then able to interpret Pharoah’s dream about the famine coming to Egypt.  Pharoah puts Joseph in charge, and Joseph saves everyone by carefully storing food during the years of plenty.  Finally, Joseph’s brothers come to buy food, the families are reunited, and they all move to Egypt to live.
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My Story: Joseph and My Story: David

*ages 1-4  (I would say ages 3-7 because of the stickers and it’s not a board book.)

*Engaging art with stories told in first-person perspective

*Each book includes 45 story-themed stickers that kids can use throughout the book to enhance application and learning

 

Product Links:

-My Story: Joseph

-My Story: David

Flipbooks:

-My Story: Joseph

-My Story: David

 Enter on the Rafflecopter app below to win these two books.  The winner will be chosen on December 19 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  18+, U.S. only.

  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

(Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of these books from Thomas Nelson in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)

It’s time for our From House to Home Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page.

(If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

 

 

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Review/Giveaway of Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado

Books, recipes, science 011

 

 

I have another Christmas book to review (and giveaway) – Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado, illustrated by Bruno Merz.

It tells the story of 2 mice in Bethlehem who hear from a donkey that a King is coming to their town.  They look everywhere trying to find him.  None of the other animals believe them.  Mama horse tells them, “I’m afraid this place is too common for a King.  No King would care about us.”

That’s the message of this book–that a King did care for us, that we aren’t too common for the King of Kings to come to us care about us!

Finally, the mice find Him in the stable, a newborn King born in Bethlehem.

You’ll enjoy this beautiful hardback book with your children this Christmas.

Books, recipes, science 012

Itsy Bitsy Christmas

*ages 4-7

*Shows children they are special and important to God, no matter how little they are

*Beautifully illustrated with warm, adorable animal characters

TOOLS:

-Product Link

-Flipbook

-Coloring Sheets

 

Books, recipes, science 013

Enter the Giveaway through the Rafflecopter app below.  The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 and will have 24 hours to reply to my email.  U.S. only, 18+ please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review.  This post also includes affiliate links.)

Review/Giveaway of “Audrey Bunny” children’s book by Angie Smith

 

 

A wonderful book to review (and Give Away!) today: Audrey Bunny, a children’s story by Angie Smith

There are two things I especially love about this beautiful book.

First, the message is very important–to let kids know that we all have “flaws” and that we are special anyway.  In the story, the stuffed bunny is always left in the toy store and she thinks it’s because she has a smudge on her heart.  Kids have tried to clean it, but it won’t come off.  Even when Caroline picks her as her special birthday toy, she tries to hide it so that Caroline won’t reject her.  Poor Audrey Bunny.  We feel so sad for her not loving herself and realizing her worth.

Then, one day Caroline takes her to school for Show and Tell.  Audrey Bunny realizes that Caroline has told all the kids about the smudge and that is what helped make her special to her.  Audrey finally realizes that it was never necessary for her to worry about it so much.

Second, I love the beautiful illustrations by Breezy Brookshire.  The drawings are heartwarming and lovely.  :)

 

Bonus Feature:

At the end of the story there is a page to guide parents in discussing the lessons of Audrey Bunny.  You’ll find different Scriptures to read (and memorize!), questions to discuss, and an activity to do: Write a letter to yourself, from God!

Favorite Quote:

“Slowly and as tenderly as that first day, Caroline looked right into Audrey’s eyes.  Then she lifted up her bunny ear and whispered, ‘I’ve always known, Audrey Bunny. The spot over your heart made you beautiful to me.’  Caroline’s eyes glistened as she finished.  ‘I chose you, Audrey, and I love you more than you could ever know.’”

Books, recipes, science 010

 

About the Author:

Angie Smith is the wife of Todd Smith (lead singer for Selah).  She’s a mom, blogger, and speaker and lives in Nashville, Tennessee.  Read more at AngieSmithOnline.com.

About the Illustrator:

Breezy Brookshire is the illustrator behind Clementine Pattern Co., Noble Rose Press, and The Breezy Tulip Studio.  She lives in Marion, Indiana.

Books, recipes, science 008

Giveaway:

I’m happy to be able to offer a copy of Audrey Bunny to a reader of I Choose Joy!  Enter through the Rafflecopter app below.  The winner will be chosen on December 1, 2013 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  U.S. only, 18+ please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book so I could write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review “Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions: The Second Helping”

I have another devotional to review today!  This one is called Whit’s End Mealtime Devotions: The Second Helping (90 More Ideas Your Kids Will Eat Up). It was written by John Avery Whittaker (with help from Crystal Bowman, Trisha Goyer, Kevin Miller, Ed Strauss, and Linda Wurzbacher.)  Rather than being a kids devotional, it’s meant to read and done as a family.

In this simple paperback book you’ll find 90 devotions which are perfect for families to do around the dinner table.

Each one includes:

  • Mealtime Prayer–a fresh way to bless your food
  • Appetizer–a fun question or activity
  • Main Course–an object lesson or though to chew on
  • Table Talk–questions to spark interesting discussions
  • Vitamins and Minerals–a creative way to thank God for your time together or a reminder that God provides all we need.

What I like:

  • Each page is a single mealtime devotion.  It’s short and sweet and won’t be overwhelming–even to dads (or moms) who might feel uncomfortable starting this tradition.
  • The devotions will help the kids learn more about God and how to follow Him.
  • They’re fun and often have a “food” theme–to go along with meal time!
  • There are many interesting facts–like how long does the oldest living animal live or the proper etiquette for eating a roll!
  • Many contain jokes or a simple game or activity.
  • The “Table Talk” had some great questions to get kids thinking and talking, such as, “If you were a pizza, how many slices would you say belonged to God?” and “Does knowing that God hears your prayers make you want to pray more or less?”

What I didn’t like:

  • I kept wishing the devotions would get a little deeper.  Maybe I was hoping more for a Bible study and not a simple mealtime devotion.
  • There wasn’t always a definite Scripture to read for each devotion.  I think it would have been even better if it were printed out right in the book so that there would be no excuse for not reading it if you couldn’t locate a Bible.

You can read the table of contents, introduction, and first 7 days of devotions here!

(Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in order to write this honest review.)

Review/Giveaway of “The Story of Christmas” board book

Giveaway of The Story of Christmas

We have received another precious book from Tommy Mommy, The Story of Christmas.  It’s a small padded board book and tells the story of Christmas through rhyme and with adorable illustrations.  My daughter (in the picture) had fun reading it to herself!

The Story of Christmas

*ages 0-3

*Shows children the true meaning of Christmas

*Durable padded board book with a small trim size and carry-me handle, perfect for little hands!

See a Flipbook here!

Books, recipes, science 007

 

Enter a giveaway to win this book through the Rafflecopter app below.  The winner will be chosen next Friday November 15 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.  U.S. only, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review.  Post also contains affiliate links.)

Homeschool Co-ops 101 by Karen Lange Blog Tour

homeschool co-ops 101

Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families.

Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.

  • Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.
  • Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and
  • Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.
  • Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.

Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.

Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:

~~~Amazon~~~

~~~Barnes and Noble~~~

~~~Kobo~~~

karen langeAbout the Author

Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens.

You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook.

homeschool co-ops 101

Blog Tour Schedule
 
November 4
~Ruth Schiffman, http://outonalimbshywritergoessocial.blogspot.com/
~Robyn Campbell, http://robyn-campbell.blogspot.com/
 
November 5
~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
 
~Diane Estrella, www.dianeestrella.com
 
November 6
~Gena Mayo, ichoosejoy.org
~Marja Meijers, http://sacredsabbath.blogspot.com/
 
November 7
~Sandie Crozek, http://chattycrone.blogspot.com/
~Melissa Brander, http://mkbrander.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
 
November 8
~Susan Reinhardt, http://www.susanjreinhardt.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
 
November 10
~Laura V. Hilton, http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/
~Melissa & Tiffany, http://www.homegrownfamilies.net
~Janette Dolores, http://janettedolores.blogspot.com
 
November 11
~Susan Sundwall, www.sundwallsays.blogspot.com
~Michelle Isenhoff, http://www.michelleisenhoff.com/wp
 
November 12
~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
~Jeanette Levellie, http://www.jeanettelevellie.com/
 
November 13
~Susanne Dietze, http://susannedietze.blogspot.com/
~Sherryl Wilson, simplysherryl.com
~Anne Payne, duhpaynes.blogspot.com
 
November 14
~Rhonda Schrock, http://www.rhondaschrock.com/rhondas_blog/
~Abi Buening, http://myheartbelongs2books.blogspot.com/
~Amber Schamel, http://www.amberschamel.com/history-blog.html
~Renee, motherdaughterbookreviews.com
 
November 15
~Crystal King, http://asimpleheartforhome.blogspot.com/
~Barb Winters, inthemidstof.wordpress.com/
~Tyrean Martinson, http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/
 
November 16
~Julie, soaringeagle8.blogspot.com
~Sarah, myjoyfilledlife.com
 
November 17
~Amada Chavez, ascphotosanddesigns.blogspot.com
~Cindi Clubbs, http://ccclubbs.com/
~Rebecca Boerner, http://ohiohomeschool.blogspot.com/
 
November 18
~Carlene Havel, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440085.Carlene_Havel/blog
~Cindy Loven, http://cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com
 
November 19
~Karen Loethen, http://taytayhser.blogspot.com.au/
~Amy Smith, myseasonsofopportunities.blogspot.com/
 
November 20
~Darlene Arroyo-Lozada, http://lovebookslozada.blogspot.com/
 
November 22
~Sarah Bailey, http://growingforchrist.wordpress.com
~Thumb Updown, http://momsthumb.blogspot.com/
 
 
December 2
~Jennifer Shirk, http://jennifershirk.blogspot.com/
~Ticia M., http://adventuresinmommydom.org/
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review

Although Homeschool Co-ops 101 is very comprehensive and answers just about any question anyone would ask about starting their own co-op, my favorite section was where the author gave practical ideas for what to teach in a co-op. I especially liked the lessons on birds of prey and hope to teach it someday!

The Giveaway

Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Review of “7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness” by Eric Metaxas

I have a wonderful book to review today:  7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas.  My first experience with Eric Metaxas was a children’s book he wrote about Squanto, the Indian who helped the Pilgrims survive in the new year.  He revealed what most historians leave out today about this amazing man.  The next time I heard about him was on the Veggie Tale’s DVD about Esther.  It’s obvious that Metaxas has an incredible ability to bring to life the great people of history.  And he has absolutely done that with his new book 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness.

Metaxas spends one chapter with each of these men:  George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, John Paul II, and Charles Colson.  I was riveted reading about these men and aspects of their lives I had never heard before.  I loved learning about how their great faith in God got them through extraordinarily difficult circumstances–leading the American army in war, fighting against powerful men to end the slave trade, living in a Japanese concentration camp in China, hoping to survive a German concentration camp after plotting to assassinate the evil Hitler, holding his tongue against blatant racism so he could pave the way for future African Americans to integrate into American society, hiding his studying to be a priest while under German occupation during the war, and surviving prison while serving a sentence for breaking the law and then finding numerous ways to help prisoners for the rest of his life.

Each chapter had enough that I really felt like I was beginning to know the person, but not a full biography.  Metaxas has written full books about both William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I was so inspired by these seven great Christian men.  They weren’t perfect–far from it in fact–but they all had strong courage and perseverance which came through their relationship with Jesus Christ.  I am now excited to meet them all in heaven one day!

 

(I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through BookSneeze® in exchange for this honest review. Post also contains affiliate links.)
I review for BookSneeze®

Review of Annie’s Adventures: My Paris Connection by Anna Alden-Tirrill

annie

We recently received 4 new books from a series called Annie’s Adventures by Anna Alden-Tirrill (the 5th is almost ready, too).  The main character is a 13-year-old homeschooled girl named Annie.  In the first book she and her parents are living in Paris for a year while her dad teaches at the university there.  She and her mom have lots of field trips exploring the old city, and while they are at the Louvre, Annie witnesses an art theft.  The story gets a lot more interesting from there–with arrests, threats, police and body guards, kidnapping, and a sting operation to catch the thieves!

It was the perfect book for my 10-year-old daughter. Here is what she said about it: “It was exciting and I couldn’t stop reading it until I reached the end.  I like the main character Annie. I especially liked that it was set in Paris!”

I liked that Annie is a great role model.  She’s brave, kind, and respectful.  She is also caring.  This first book in the series has the theme of friendship, and she becomes friends with an unlikely person.  I love the fact that she’s homeschooled as it helps my kids not feel so alone.  It was fun to have lots of French words sprinkled throughout the book–learning a little bit of a foreign language. :)  I also liked the Christian themes spread throughout the book.  Annie’s parents and pastor share Scripture verses at times that fit in with the story.  There is one other theme that I feel was important.  Annie (through the help of the police) goes through an experience of emailing, then instant messaging, and then Skyping someone she has never met.  It is good to witness how this can easily happen to our naive kids, to be drawn in and trapped by someone who could potentially hurt them.

What I didn’t like:  The books aren’t the highest quality of writing.  The dialogue is a little stilted, and some of the characters (such as Megan) aren’t very well developed.  I didn’t like the fact that a 13-year-old girl is going out alone with a 17-year-old boy, even if he is her bodyguard.  (Update:  We find out in a later book that he is actually her cousin.)   I also didn’t like the illustrations.  Almost every page had a drawing or graphic.  They weren’t matched in the style or quality.  Some were drawn; others were the type of graphics or clip-art that you can find in a word processing program.

That being said, my daughter and I are looking forward to reading and sharing reviews of the next books.  She is already halfway through the second book!  The author said we could feel free to host a giveaway of the books after we read them, but sorry, we’re keeping them!  I have 3 younger girls who will be growing up to read them next!

Check out the Annie’s Adventure’s website to order these books.

Or here:


 

(Disclosure:  I received complimentary copies of the Annie’s Adventures series in order to write these honest reviews. This post contains affiliate links.)

This post is linked to many wonderful blogs!

Review/Giveaway of Little Critter Books: “You Go First” and “It’s True”

I have loved Mercer Mayer’s books since I was a kid!  My favorite thing about them was always to find the little spider and grasshopper on every page!

Today I introduce 2 brand new books by Mercer Mayer called You Go First and It’s True which are part of the new Inspired Kids line from Thomas Nelson Publishers.  Now we have the adorable Little Critter teaching us lessons from the Bible about putting others first and not lying.  And you can still find the little animals on each page–a spider, a mouse, and a frog!

 

Little Critter: 2 BOOKS!

 It’s True and You Go First

 *ages 1-4  (I would say these are good for up to age 8.)

 *This bestselling brand is now available with a  faith-inspired message!

*In It’s True, kids will learn that telling a partial truth is much different than telling the whole truth

*In You Go First, kids will learn to treat others the way they want to be treated

Flipbooks:

It’s True

You Go First

Would you like to win these books? Enter through the Rafflecopter app. The winner will be chosen on October 30 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of these books in order to write this honest review.  This post also contains affiliate links.)

Review/Giveaway “Rock Harbor Lost & Found” by Colleen Coble

Today I have a Review and Giveaway Rock Harbor Lost & Found by Colleen Coble.

This is a book specifically written for teens and tweens.  The main character is a girl, so maybe it’s especially for girls, but I know a lot of boys would enjoy reading it as well.

It’s the second in the Rock Harbor series, but it isn’t necessary to read the first book in order to enjoy this one.  It isn’t a continuation of the story.  (To see my first review, see here.)

Some features I enjoyed about the book were the focus on search and rescue, using dogs.  There was also a cyber crime, which was interesting.  And I love how the main character turns to God and to prayer to get her through the hard things she’s dealing with.

A couple of other issues are pretty deep, so I would caution parents about making sure your kids are able to handle the subject matter.  (I wouldn’t have my 10-year-old daughter read it for a year or two.)  One is the issue of adoption, but the illegal form–”selling” the baby.  Second, an adult is kidnapped and is gone for a week and no one knows what has happened to her.  Third, a girl’s mom had been imprisoned for injuring her son (the mom’s son).  She is now back in town and is stalking the girl, her daughter.  So, just make sure these things aren’t too scary for your kids!

Rock Harbor Search and Rescue: Lost and Found

*ages 8-11

*Book #2 in a mystery series from bestselling fiction author Colleen Coble

 *Girls will be drawn in by the mystery, exciting search-and-rescue scenes,  relevant social issues, and adorable rescue dogs

TOOLS:

-Product Link

-Flipbook

I’m happy to have a copy of the book to giveaway!  The winner will be chosen Friday, October 25.  Please enter through the Rafflecopter app.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in order to write this honest review.  Post also contains affiliate links.)