The Torchlighters Biography Series: Corrie ten Boom by Kaylena Radcliff

corrie

From the Christian History Institute comes a biography from their Heroes of the Faith line. Corrie ten Boom and her family are watchmakers in Holland. When World War II erupts, Hitler’s army takes over their country and begins rounding up their Jewish neighbors. Read the story of how one family stood strong in faith against a great evil.

Recommended for ages 8 – 12, this biography shares the life of Corrie ten Boom, her sister, Betsie, and their father who hid Jewish people from the Nazi army during World War II. They would end up arrested, some going to concentration camps, and Corrie struggled to hold onto her faith in such darkness. Her amazing story is shared in this biography that is accompanied by historical photographs, illustrations that match the artwork from the associated DVD, interesting facts about the Netherlands, a timeline and a glossary of terms.

My daughter and I watched the DVD together. In spots, I had some difficulty understanding what the characters were saying, but overall the sound quality is good. Some of the images–though animated–might be disturbing for the youngest viewers; like the scene of the Nazis banging on doors with the butts of their guns and yanking people out onto the streets. Betsie is beaten with a club by a German guard in the camp and an ill-mannered nurse informs Corrie when she comes to see her sister that she is “in there with the other dead bodies.” Female prisoners are seen being carted off in trucks to the gas chambers; but while Corrie looks upon the gas chambers, it is not made apparent to young viewers what is going on there. So there is definitely historical accuracy worked into this production.

This is a moving story that will remind readers/viewers of the power of forgiveness and how leaning on faith can bring you through adversity. I am glad to add this book and DVD to our home library. It would also make a fabulous addition to a church library.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)dvd

The Torchlighters Biography Series: Corrie ten Boom
Author: Kaylena Radcliff
Paperback: 85 pages
Publisher: Christian History Institute (May 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1563648733
ISBN-13: 978-1563648731
List price: $9.99

DVD

Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC
Language: English
Region: All Regions
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Vision Video
DVD Release Date: October 25, 2013
Run Time: 34 minutes

I received a copy of this book and DVD from the Christian History Institute. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

This post first appeared at the Christian Children’s Authors blog.

It’s a Gift! by Gabriela Keselman

giftTeaching the concepts of generosity and kindness just got easier with It’s a Gift! by Gabriela Keselman. The animals around Little Duck’s pool of water are all in a tizzy: Beaver hasn’t put on his hat, so the sun is burning his head; Squirrel has lost her nuts and has nothing to eat; Bear’s water jug tipped over and he has nothing to drink; and Mouse doesn’t have a pencil and can’t write down his poem. In a selfless act of friendship, Duck shares what he has with his friends, and they repay the favor when it’s time.

This is a lovely story that teaches children to think of others. Duck shares what he has even when it means his enjoyment is impacted. It’s an interesting concept that he shares to the point where he is left with absolutely nothing. I didn’t get why Duck couldn’t just share some of what he had or let the friend borrow something instead of giving it up entirely.

It’s still a nice story with a sweet message that is made even more meaningful by the delightful illustrations by Nora Hilb.

Rating: :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 3 and up
Grade Level: Preschool and up
Hardcover: 28 pages
Publisher: Cuento de Luz (May 13, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8415784929
ISBN-13: 978-8415784920

 

I received a copy of this book from the publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Book of Dreams by Sylvie Michaud

Book of Dreams coverAn adorable bedtime story awaits you and your child in Book of Dreams, part of the Ringtail Family series by Sylvie Michaud.

Baby Raccoon asks his mama and papa why every cloud is a different shape. Responding that clouds are pictures in the sky to help us dream, Mama and Papa share with Baby the different things they dream about when they see certain types of clouds. This lulls Baby right to sleep and into dreamland.

Short, sweet, and charming are all words to describe this lovely picture book. Slowly flowing prose and pastel colored illustrations help your little one settle down for the night and fill her head with beautiful visions for a peaceful night. I love the way Michaud’s descriptions paint pictures for little ones that are complemented by the lovely artwork. Probably more description than usually found in a picture book, but it works well here. This is definitely a book I’ll be saving for my future grandchildren.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Crafty Canuck Inc. (March 28, 2012)
Language: English ISBN-10: 0978295587
ISBN-13: 978-0978295585

File Size: 3020 KB
Print Length: 21 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Crafty Canuck Inc. (March 13, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00BTPBX0Q
Purchase at:
Amazon soft cover: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Dreams-The-Ringtail-Family/dp/0978295587

Amazon digital: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Dreams-The-Ringtail-Family-ebook/dp/B00BTPBX0Q

B&N soft cover: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book-of-dreams-the-ringtail-family-sylvie-michaud/1110202903

 

I purchased a copy of this book for my Kindle. The publisher paid me to promote this book with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book. That fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, which have not been compensated in any way. Book of Dreams banner

The Box by Jo Linsdell

box

The Box by Jo Linsdell is filled with imagination. A young boy shares why his box is his favorite toy; transforming it into a football goal, a pirate ship, a race car and more.

What I’ve always loved about Linsdell’s children’s books is their simplicity and creativity. As a mom, she knows what young readers are looking for. She proves this once again with The Box. How often do parents joke that we buy our kids a bunch of toys for their birthday and they end up playing with the boxes? Linsdell truly gets into the heart of a child with this one. The adorable illustrations keep the reader focused on the boy and his magic box that he can transform into anything.

Preschoolers and parents will enjoy this book together.

Rating:  :) :) :) :)

Publication Date: Mar 15 2014
ISBN/EAN13: 1497344646 / 9781497344648
Page Count: 44
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 8.25″ x 8.25″
Language: English
Colour: Full Colour with Bleed
Related Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Imagination & Play
ASIN: B00J91VBTA 

 

Purchasing links: 

Print

 http://www.amazon.com/The-Box-Jo-Linsdell/dp/1497344646

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Box-Jo-Linsdell/dp/1497344646/

http://www.createspace.com/4715488

 

Kindle 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Box-Jo-Linsdell-ebook/dp/B00J91VBTA

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Box-Jo-Linsdell-ebook/dp/B00J91VBTA

 

http://www.amazon.ca/Box-Jo-Linsdell-ebook/dp/B00J91VBTA/

 

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21569590-the-box

Author website: http://www.JoLinsdell.com

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Guest Book Review: Little Bird Lost by Steve and Kate Larkinson

bird

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1492762822
ISBN-13: 978-1492762829
Age group: 3-5

Five stars

Little Bird Lost by Steve and Kate Larkinson is the story of four little birds (baby swallows), discovered by Steve in the eaves of a bakery in south-west France. One of the little birds seems to have disappeared. Is he safe? Has he fallen out the nest? Can he be rescued? Do his parents know where he is? This delightful story in photographs (by Steve) and rhyming couplets (by Kate) will absolutely enchant readers aged 3-5, but actually, adults will also just love this little tale from the world of nature. What I especially enjoyed about this book is the beautiful photographs. I love children’s illustrations but the unique angle of actual images really struck me. Not only are they absolutely first-class and clear, but it is the perfect way to teach young readers about the real world of birds. Children are generally interested in animals and wildlife, and parents and relatives could use this delightful book as a springboard to other books involving wildlife. This is a great book for bedtime reading, and I would also encourage children’s libraries to include a copy. Children will enjoy the images as well as the captivating story. What a lovely start to getting your child interested in reading! As an added bonus, there is a charming little cartoon book video on YouTube to really round off an enchanting reading experience.

 

Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Little-Bird-Lost-Steve-Larkinson/dp/1492762822

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

The Do’s and Don’ts by Hayley Rose

Book 29

Zack and Chloe take kids on a zany ride through the “Do’s and Don’ts” showing how not be a “Manner Monster.”

Kids will enjoy learning about kindness and good manners in this fun new book by award-winning author Hayley Rose. From waiting until you’ve swallowed a bite before speaking to keeping your napkin on your lap, from saying excuse me to knocking before entering a room, and from remembering to say “thank you” to asking permission to use another person’s belongings and more, The Do’s and Don’ts will help teach your children the best way to treat others. Youngsters will enjoy the crazy antics of the Manner Monster, while parents will appreciate the good manners and everyday kindnesses shared throughout the book’s 38 pages. The vibrant artwork by Mark Sean Wilson encourages readers to keep turning the pages.

Every home with kids should own a copy of The Do’s and Don’ts. Highly recommended.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Hardcover: 38 pages
Publisher: Inkwell Productions (August 24, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939625386
ISBN-13: 978-1939625380

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

 

Hayley-RoseI received a free copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

Multi-award-winning author Hayley Rose released her first children’s book, Fifo When I Grow Up, about a six-year-old bear starting school in 2002, followed by the wildly popular geography book and #1 best-seller, Fifo 50 States, published in 2010. In 2012, Hayley was selected as one of “The Top 50 Writers You Should Be Reading” by AuthorsShow.com. In 2013, she branched out with a new series featuring a new set of characters, Zach and Chloe the Louis the manner monster. Her new book, The Do’s and Don’ts, was released in September 2013 and has already garnered four literary awards, including the Readers’ Favorite, USA Best Books and the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards, bringing her career total to twenty-one. The follow up book in the new series, Today I Feel Emotion, will be released in the spring of 2014.

Hayley Lives in Scottsdale, AZ, with her dog Blanche.

Visit her website at www.booksbyhayleyrose.com.

Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads 

The-Dos-and-Donts-banner

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

Navigating early

Navigating Early by Clare Vnaderpool, a 2014 Printz Honor Book, is a moving novel of friendship, forgiveness, and moving on.

After the death of his mother, Jack Baker’s father moves him from Kansas to a boy’s boarding school in Maine. His life turned upside down, Jack makes friend with an odd boy named Early Auden who only attends class when he wishes, lives down in the basement, and listens to a variety of records depending upon the day and the weather.

Inadvertently left alone at school over the break, Jack and Early embark upon a journey by boat to find the Great Appalachian Bear. Fraught with danger and numerous surprises, the boys learn  a great deal about themselves and each other in the process.

Throughout the story runs the mythical story of Pi, an adventurer whose journey closely relates to Jack’s and Early’s.

I don’t often listen to audio books, but for this grade level they are fun. The variety of characters portrayed in this adventurous tale is superb. The narrator was fabulous! I don’t want to give away too much because the surprises along the way are worth picking up this book, but let me say that even though there are down times in this book, the pace is fairly steady.

Navigating Early is filled with engaging characters whose story will captivate you fully. Not only is Jack coping with the death of his mother, but he has a difficult relationship with his military father. Both Jack and Early Auden are odd men out when it comes to school. Early’s ties to the school hero who went off to war and Jack’s inability to row at a school where rowing is a right of passage, bring them together. But it isn’t until the journey they take while alone at school that Jack can appreciate Early’s friendship.

I loved everything about this book: the plot development, the character development, the hooks, the shocks, and the tears. The mythical story of Pi ties in nicely and connects the boys in more ways than one.

If your middle grade reader only picks up one book this year, it should be Navigating Early.

Highly recommended!

 

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Age Range: 10 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Yearling (December 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307930653
ISBN-13: 978-0307930651

 

I borrowed this book from the library. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

A Rainbow of Birds by Janet Halfmann

rainbow

Papa Cardinal tells his chicks a story of how birds gave the world the rainbow in a story that has been passed down through generations.

A Rainbow of Birds by Janet Halfmann is a vibrant story of color that celebrates the tradition of storytelling. In this imaginative idea that capitalizes on legends and the ancient art of storytelling, children find a fanciful and fun story of how birds came together–sometimes after a squabble–to create the world’s first rainbow. In her trademark habit of educating and entertaining, Halfmann has included fun facts about rainbows, the magic of leprechauns, and rainbow activities and crafts.

Artist Jack Foster has truly outdone himself with the vibrant and occasionally zany characters depicted in this story. I always enjoy Foster’s work, but this book is so stunning it warrants special mention. Coupled with Halfmann’s delightful text, I could imagine and almost hear the story taking place through my office window.

Nature lovers, lovers of legends, and those who enjoy books where storytelling plays a role will want to snatch this one up right away.

Highly recommended!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

 

Paperback: 20 pagesrainbow inside
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (February 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616334622
ISBN-13: 978-1616334628

 

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E. Andreu

empty

A gripping, emotional story of a young woman’s journey to belong and be free to pursue her dreams is what you’ll find in The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E. Andreu.

A straight-A student on her way to becoming valedictorian, M.T. watches while her friends get their driver’s licenses and make college plans. As an undocumented immigrant, M.T. lives in constant fear of being found out, while coping with her domineering, paranoid father who believes her education is a waste of time. Not even her best friend, Chelsea, knows the truth.

Pressure mounts as the National Honor Society wants M.T. to plan their trip abroad and M.T. begins a relationship with Nate knowing she will never fit into his perfect, wealthy, all-American life. Can M.T. learn to trust herself and others to stake claim to the life she wants?

Drawing on her own experience as a formerly undocumented immigrant, Andreu creates a superbly told, thought-provoking story that tugs at every heart string. Readers will be captivated by this young woman’s plight of seeking dreams just outside of her grasp and diminished by her militant father whose only desire is to earn enough money to return to the country of his birth, ripping M.T. away from the only land she has ever called home.

While illegal immigration is a highly politicized topic, The Secret Side of Empty isn’t a story about undocumented immigrants. It’s the story of a girl growing up in America who has to hide a secret that can end life as she knows it. It’s the story of friendship and learning to trust others. It’s a story of family and how they shape us; how they can hold us back and often how they lift us up. While I definitely believe this novel will challenge beliefs about illegal immigration, in the end, readers will remember The Secret Side of Empty because of its believable and inspiring heroine.

Highly recommended!

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Running Press Kids (March 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0762451920
ISBN-13: 978-0762451920

I received a copy of this book from the author’s publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Guest Book Review: The Shadow of the Pyramid by Wendy Leighton-Porter

porterPublisher: Mauve Square Publishing (February 4, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1909411043
ISBN-13: 978-1909411043
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Ages 8+
Fantasy/Adventure/Action

Five Stars

Jemima, Joe, their talking Tonkinese cat Max, and their best friend Charlie are off on their adventures again, searching for Jemima and Joe’s parents (somehow trapped in the past) and this time they are headed for ancient Egypt. Using their magical book, the poem containing clues, and Jemima’s necklace with the key, the kids and Max are transported back in time, arriving in the middle of an assassination plot to murder the young king Tutankhamun. Alas, Max has a morbid fear of mummies, having glimpsed a ghastly sight of one on Joe’s XBox game and he’s not too keen on this part of their adventure. They meet Ankharet, the gorgeous cat belonging to Tut’s young wife, Ankhesenamun. Max is totally smitten, but unfortunately Ankharet (who is jealous of Max’s instant popularity) doesn’t feel quite the same way about him. As the adventure unfolds, the kids and the cats, along with Tut’s wife try to stop several attempts on the young king’s life. Max even manages to foil two attempts, displaying a kind of unintentional bravery. The king is entranced with Max and names him “Max, beloved of Amun.” What an honour! Alas, despite their best efforts, once again the kids and Max are unable to change the course of history and cannot prevent the young king’s fate, a mystery which remains to this day. The end of the book is absolutely delightful and kids will just love the twist in this tale.

Max’s fear of mummies and the like afford some absolutely hilarious moments, especially since all his apparent heroics and saving the day are by accident. Author Wendy Leighton-Porter has woven a marvellous mixture of suspense, adventure, history, geography, and culture into an intriguing tale. Using real historical figures, she captures the feel and flavour of ancient times, and puts forward some quite viable theories for exactly what might have happened to Tutankhamun. As in previous books, the kids and Max are totally immersed in history, and this tale will definitely draw eager young readers to join them in the adventure. There are some interesting facts at the end of the book which will no doubt stimulate young time travellers to go and do a bit more research. Learning history the fun way is becoming the mark of this captivating series.

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.