Crystal The Christmas Angel by Theresa Oliver

Crystal the Christmas Angel

Every angel in Heaven is preparing for a big event…except Crystal. They won’t allow her to help because she is too little. But God doesn’t think so. Crystal soon finds herself playing an important role in delivering God’s greatest gift to the world.

Crystal The Christmas Angel by Theresa Oliver is a sweet story centered around the birth of Jesus. It shows how one little angel can make a difference; just like one child can make a difference–even when the adults around her can’t see it. The illustrations by Deanna McRae are beautiful. With its larger size (8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches) and the artist’s smart use of color, the book is sure to capture the eyes of young people.

Where I believe the book may have some challenges is in the story length, the typographical errors, and its straying away from the documented story of the first Christmas.

While there is no stated age for this book, the standard picture book age is three to eight years old. A sixty-six page picture book, therefore, doesn’t make it ideal for bedtime reading. The book attempts to cover nearly every aspect of the Christmas story instead of focusing on one part of it or condensing the rest of the events to get to the important conclusion.

There are many instances of a missing “w” in the word “was” and at one point the word “stat” is used instead of “star.” When writing for early readers, accuracy is important.

Some adult readers may have issues with the liberties the author takes with the Christmas story. Since I write faith-based fiction for children where fictional characters are integrated into Biblical events, I feel this is something I can truly speak to. I will also attempt to do so without giving away the plot. Crystal’s role in bringing God’s gift to Earth is significant. Her role changes–for lack of a better word–the traditional story we share with our children about the First Christmas. My personal belief is that the author could have shared the same inspiring message with young readers without affecting the integrity of the Biblical story. Stubby’s Destiny by Dixie Phillips shared a similar message (even the tiniest, lowliest of us can make a difference) with readers surrounding the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday; and she did so without altering any of the Biblical facts surrounding the event.

That said, the way in which Crystal The Christmas Angel  is written could also engage persons outside of the Christian faith to read it. The message is an important reminder for all of us who sometimes discount a child’s abilities and it will inspire young people to keep trying. It’s definitely a lovely story and worth taking a look at.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 66 pages
Publisher: Write More Publications; first edition (December 5, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692600531
ISBN-13: 978-0692600535

I received a copy of this book from the author though Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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Mokey’s New Friends by Connie Arnold

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Who says friends have to be alike? When Mokey skips out an open door at the zoo, he wanders off to find some friends to play with. He doesn’t discover any monkeys, but he does find some new friends who are just as fun to play with, no matter how different they are.

Mokey’s New Friends by Connie Arnold is a wonderful story that celebrates diversity. Though sometimes we are drawn to people who are similar to us, we also find friendship with those who have different likes and abilities than we do. With this charming book, Arnold encourages kids to accept the differences and enjoy the time spent with friends.

Artist Marina Movshina lends her impressive talents to beautifully illustrate this story. From the minute the reader meets Mokey, they will be captivated by the pictures Movshina has painted to bring this story to life.

Kids will enjoy this delightful story over and over again.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 20 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (December 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616336846
ISBN-13: 978-1616336844

I received a 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 Veterans’ Clubhouse by Kristen Zajac

Veterans

The Veterans’ Clubhouse by Kristen Zajac is a touching story that shows young people they can make a difference. Patrick, Hailey and their parents befriend a homeless veteran in need. To offer help to Charlie and others like him, they organize a benefit concert to raise funds to build a resource center at their church.

What an inspiring and heartwarming story! Two kids see a need in their community and they work with their family and other adults around town to make a difference. The reader is also witness to Patrick and Hailey using their special talents (drumming and drawing) to help their cause. This book shows how one seed planted can blossom into a field of flowers that touches many.

The vibrant artwork of Jennifer Thomas Houdeshell brings Zajac’s story to life. Considering Charlie is a Vietnam veteran, the colors and designs found inside are inspired by that time period. I also like how doing so weaved Hailey’s drawings into the illustrations.

My father and one of my brothers served in the U.S. Armed Forces, so this is a book whose subject is close to my heart. I applaud Zajac’s continued commitment to sharing the importance of our veterans and veterans’ issues with young people.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (June 12, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616336617
ISBN-13: 978-1616336615

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

Deb and Dee Off They Go – Kindergarten First Day Jitters by Donna M. McDine

deb

Deb and Dee are twin sisters who are always together….until the first day of Kindergarten. Dee goes one way and Deb the other. Suddenly on her own, Dee wonders what she will do. She soon discovers her classmates have the same jitters she does.

Deb and Dee Off They Go – Kindergarten First Day Jitters is a story that enables young children to realize all first day kindergarten students suffer from the same fears they do. It’s a delightful story of friendship and belonging somewhere outside of home. It helps open up children to the idea they are part of a larger community. Award-winning author Donna M. McDine knows the issues children face and this latest book is even more proof of how in tune with young people she is.

Jack Foster provides the artwork for this adorable book. His use of color and the wide, expressive eyes of his characters allow readers to easily identify his illustrations. He captures so many emotions with his characters’ eyes.

I’m hoping this is a start of a new series of Dee and Deb books. Would love to follow more of their adventures.

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616336994
ISBN-13: 978-1616336998

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

The Daffodils Still Grow by Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell

The Daffodils Still Grow

The Daffodils Still Grow is a touching story of one girl learning to cope with the loss of her mother. The sun still shines and she watches girls with their pretty braided hair (just like hers used to be), but her mother is gone and she can’t understand how life goes on as if nothing changed. Then one spring day, the daffodils her mother planted bloom and the girl is reminded of the many ways her mother is still with her.

I chose to read this book because I lost my mother when I was a child. The author, who draws on her own life experience, captures so well the many emotions children experience when a loved one passes away. It seems wise that Tidwell chose to handle this topic with a rhyming story, as the lyrical prose helps lighten the difficult subject matter.

The artwork in The Daffodils Still Grow is unique in that the fuzzy, intentionally out of focus design could easily symbolize the out of sorts feeling of a child dealing with loss. The colors are warm and inviting.

The best part of this book, for me, is the message of hope that it inspires by helping the reader to understand all is not lost when someone leaves this earth and that we can honor their memory in special ways.

Highly recommended.

Hardcover: 38 pages
Publisher: Mascot Books (June 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1631771892
ISBN-13: 978-1631771897

For More Information

  • The Daffodils Still Grow is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch a narrated video of the book at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell is giving away a The Daffodils Still Grow T-shirt!

 

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

 

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This Little President by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode – Book Blast & Giveaway

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the newly-released board book, “This Little President: A Presidential Primer” by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode.

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About the Book

Title: This Little President: A Presidential Primer | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: Daniel Roode | Publication Date: January 12, 2016 | Publisher: Little Simon | Pages: 26 | Recommended Ages: 2 to 6

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Book Description:

A board book primer on presidents

Learn about the US presidents with this bright and playful board book! Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and little leaders-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.

Leading our country.
Helping you and me.
Keeping all fifty states
safe, happy, and free.

Little presidents have a great big job.

See more at Little Simon

 

Sneak Peek

This Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page AThis Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page B

 

About the Author: Joan Holub

Joan-Holub-GG-264x300Joan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the Mini Myths series of 8 board books: Be Careful, Icarus!, Brush Your Hair, Medusa!, Make A Wish Midas! Joan also authored the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan also co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books).

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** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: January 26, 11:59 pm, 2016

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Joan Holub and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Coming Soon!: Bathtime with Theo and Beau by Jessica Shyba

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Beau is dirty. Theo is dirty. It must be BATHTIME!

The only thing better than watching Theo the dog (part-Boxer, part-Shepherd, part-Labrador, part-Sharpei) curl up for a nap with his best friend Beau (a two-and-a-half year old toddler) is watching them having a blast together in the bath. The strong friendship, trust and love that was so visible in Naptime with Theo and Beau, is once again on full display in Jessica Shyba’s absolutely adorable and unbelievably charming photos.

Prepare to have your heart stolen all over again by these world famous viral sensations!

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (January 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250059070
ISBN-13: 978-1250059079

Available January 19!

Pre-order:

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