Monday, January 26, 2015

My Little Life of Jesus

My Little Life of Jesus is a simple retelling of the story of Jesus especially for preschoolers. With a padded hardcover, this book contains more than sixty colorful pages of stories, including:
  • The very first Christmas
  • Jesus and his family
  • Why Jesus came
  • Jesus returns to Jerusalem
  • The very first Easter
  • Jesus is alive!
Complete with verse references, My Little Life of Jesus also features a map of the places Jesus lived and a presentation page for gifting.

Pictures fill each page, holding kids' attention as parents and caregivers read the sweet stories to them. The stories are just the right length to keep preschoolers interested as they learn about the major events in Jesus' life.

"Many sick people came to Jesus. People with bad backs and bad legs. People who couldn't see and people who couldn't hear" (p. 41).

This book gives preschoolers a good introduction into the major events of Jesus' life:
  • His birth in the stable
  • Being baptized by John
  • Meeting the disciples
  • Preaching and teaching in towns and villages
  • Returning to Heaven
My Little Life of Jesus is a sweet retelling of these parts of the Bible, and it is a nice way to expose young kids to the Gospel.

The publisher sent a review copy for my honest opinions.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grandma's Guest Review: Like a Flower in Bloom

Grandma's latest review is for Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell. The publisher sent us a review copy in exchange for our unbiased opinions. Keep reading to see what Grandma thought of this book.

Like a Flower in Bloom was captivating from beginning to end.

It begins in England in 1852 with Charlotte and her father, a botanist writing and illustrating books. As an avid gardener, I found the descriptions of plants and flowers so wonderful.

Charlotte has been managing writing and the family household since the death of her mother, also a writer, because her Father was unable to cope. The Admiral, Charlotte's uncle arrives on the scene to try and make things easier for Charlotte and to introduce her to society.

Also arriving is Mr. Trimble, along with some specimens of his. Mr. Trimble was known to be a sheep farmer and had come to assist Charlotte and her father.

It becomes quite an amusing story as Charlotte is introduced into society to find a husband, all the while being "tutored" by Mr. Trimble. After a circle of events, revelations are revealed about Mr. Trimble, and the ending of the book is delightful and satisfying.

I most enjoyed the field trips and the wonderful descriptions of plant life, After reading Like a Flower in Bloom, I have a much better understanding of the importance of the work a botanist does.

It was hard to stop reading and put the book down each night, and I would highly recommend it, especially if you are a gardener and have a love of plant life.

Friday, January 23, 2015


Discipleship is a compilation of the writings of J. Heinrich Arnold gathered over several years: published articles, personal correspondence, transcripts of worship meetings, and congregational circulars. 
"Discipleship is not a question of our own doing; it is a matter of making room for God so that he can live in us."
This book is divided into three main categories: The Disciple, The Church, and The Kingdom of God, with an index of Bible references at the end.

The layout of the book provides wide margins with verse references clearly marked. This feature leaves room for plenty of notes, thoughts, and meditations of your own, contributing to the wonderful study nature of Discipleship.

It is hefty in that Arnold doesn't sugar coat what it means to be called to be a true disciple. But, Arnold's use of words makes Discipleship accessible to those of us who are not theologians, and I find the book highly readable and understandable.

It isn't a book to be read in one sitting. It's best to read each excerpt as a stand-alone essay, and spend some time digesting the material and reading the corresponding verses in the Bible. Not really a devotional; Discipleship is more of a Christian study tool, which offers both conviction and encouragement for your daily walk with Christ.

The publisher provided a review copy for my honest opinions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas: Stories for Young and Old is a collection of twenty stories appropriate for family sharing. Authors include Madeline L'Engle, Pearl Buck, Henry van Dyke, Katherine Paterson, Jack Schaefer, Ruth Sawyer and others from familiar children's literature and from unfamiliar European tales. Accompanied by beautiful woodcut illustrations, the stories in Home for Christmas are perfect for reading aloud during the holidays, or anytime.

Chosen carefully for their quality and integrity, these stories resonate with all ages. My children enjoy gathering around for read-aloud time, and these stories are just the right length for reading in one sitting. These stories mesmerize my children, and the wealth of visual imagery they contain keep everyone spellbound: 

"Christmas day dawned cold and clear over the frozen white wonder of the big land. The first light of the morning sun touched the capped peaks of the mountains to the west and moved down them, pink-flushed, and moved over the badlands at their base and a small valley where a three-room house sent smoke drifting up from chimney and stovepipe . . ." (p. 184)

The stories in Home For Christmas evoke different feelings and memories, and they all complement the themes of giving, kindness, love, joy, peace, and good will. I think all of this makes Home for Christmas a wonderful resource.

The publisher provided a review copy for my honest opinions.

Watch for the Light

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas is a collection of daily devotions by various writers from different time periods, such as Sylvia Plath, Madeline L'Engle, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis, T. S. Eliot and many more.

Dated from November 24 through January 7, these readings take you all the way through the holidays, as they capture the essence of the season. The lessons in these readings are thought-provoking, challenging, deep, and convicting.
"In Christ's human life, there were always a few who made up for the neglect of the crowd . . . The women at the foot of the Cross did it too, making up for the crowd who stood by and sneered. We can do it too, exactly as they did. We are not born too late. We do it by seeing Christ and serving Christ in friends and strangers, in everyone we come in contact with" (p. 180-181).
This is not a fluffy, lighthearted devotional book. Rather, each reading is substantial enough to make you want to revisit it over and over again. It is not a quick read, both due to the length of many of the selections and to the meaty content that requires some study. If you're looking for a quick Christmas devotional, this might not be for you. If, however, you want to spend some time reading and meditating over the meaning of Christmas, Watch for the Light would be a good addition to your library.

The publisher provided a review copy for my honest opinions.