Monday, June 26, 2017

God Bless My School by Hannah C. Hall

God Bless My School by Hannah C. Hall is another wonderful addition to the "God Bless..." titles published by Tommy Nelson, the children's division of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  Absolutely adorable creatures are the main characters in the school.  Of course a wise Mrs. Owl is the loving teacher over them.  The illustrations are in soft hues and exude warmth, tenderness and security.  The young scholar is shown through a typical day of kindergarten.  The first pages start with the autumn weather and colors coming to signal that school will soon start.  The daddy porcupine encourages his child that this is an exciting event.  Next we find mama bear who has prepared her cub for school by buying new shoes that his has learned to tie.  The penguin mom has packed her child's backpack full of school supplies such as crayons, glue and paint in preparation for the big day.  As the child turns the page he will see a baby bird flying off with her lunch box waving good-bye with a smile and the knowledge that God goes with her.   Mrs. Owl greats the class and they sit in circle time looking happy.  Little creatures are then shown playing drums, playing with blocks, singing and looking at books.  Lunch time is creatively shown with a variety of foods specific to each animal.  This is a clever way to shown children that they may see foods eaten at school that are quite different from their own lunch. Nap time is drawn with sweet peaceful expressions and even a peeking kitten who doesn't really want to sleep.  Playground fun is shown with animals cooperating and joining in the fun together.  The last pages show more playground fun with swings, lides, jump ropes and hopscotch.  The last words end the book:  "God bless my school," we say.  As little ones rejoice in the new found happiness of a school day.

I received this book from BookLook and was not required to write a positive review.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Holy Bible International Children's Bible - The Blessed Garden

This children's study Bible was a feast for eyes and heart.  The cover is beautifully illustrated with forest creatures and an arrange of colorful flowers with sparkles.  Butterflies, mushrooms, vines and special keyhole also grace the front cover.  Upon opening the book there is an illustration of a path which is fitting as the Bible states "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet".  There is a dedication page graced with the same lovely illustrations.  The introduction page asks why we should study the Bible. The reasons are explained in clear, easy to understand language and with a story about friendship. The story will help a young child have a better understanding about the relationship between herself and God.  Next comes several pages that show a timetime illustrated with people from the Bible stories.  It starts with Adam and Eve and ends with the words:  The church will continue until the Lord returns.  Right before the table of contents is a full page with a forest scene depicted on it.  The preface describes why this particular version of the Bible is noteworthy and can be trusted.  There is a section on key verse highlights.  The Old Testament is then given in full account.  Followed by the New Testament in its entirety.  Throughout the Bible text are illustrated pages with thought provoking questions or short devotionals. One example is:   How do I know Jesus loves me?  Each thought page or devotional contains scriptural references and a story that is child friendly.  At the end of the Bible are sections that contain:  a dictionary, glossary of famous Bible stories, Bible promises, Memory Verses for My Life, Names of God, Miracles of Jesus, Names of the Disciples, Kids in the Bible and maps.  This Bible is aimed at young children but is a very well developed Study Bible and goregous too!

I received this Bible from BookLook and was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson is a talented writer that writes books on a variety of topics, locations, interests and themes.  This book takes place in modern day Savannah, Georgia.  Nicole is from Seattle and sent by her mother to visit old family friends in the deep South.  While Nicole is helping to manage their art studio she rekindles friendships with both sons of the studio proprietor.  Teen crushes are relived but in the light of adult insight.  Nicole begins to view Alex and Ryan in a very different light than before.  As Nicole explores the city of Savannah with its rich history she begins to rethink what she really wants in a relationship.  Add to the mix Alex’s teenage daughter Bernice and there’s a lot at stake for Nicole as she weighs the pros and cons of getting involved with someone she once longed to pay her attention.

Friday, June 9, 2017

It Started with Goodbye by Christina June

Terrifc YA love story!  First of all a beautiful cover.  I just loved the moonlit now with glittering lights.  The title is terrific too!  So I was enthralled just looking at the cover.  The story itself did not disappoint.  A lovely "fairytale" that leaves a warm afterglow when you've come to the last page.  This is a sweet, sweet love story but it is also a story of a young girl's journey to self-realization.  The story starts with Tatum being grounded in what she calls "house arrest"for the summer.  She feels alienated from her father and that she has lost her best friend.  Her life long angst that her step-mother constantly has too high expectations of her really comes to a boiling point during the summer.  During her community service time she makes new friends that help her gain self-appreciation and self-acceptance.  At the same time her step-mother's mom, Blanche comes for a visit.  Through Blanche's openness and wisdom Tatum begins to see the step-mother's actions in a deeper, more enlightened way.  Tatum learns to be courageous as she reveals herself and her dreams to her family and friends.   Along the way she begins a relationship with a boy clothed in mystery that helps her see that dreams can come true.

I received this book from BookLook and was not required to  write a positive review.
The cover of this recipe book will draw you in immediately.  Beautiful, VIBRANT colors pop out and make you reach out and pick up this book.  You won't be disappointed.  Ms Agrawal introduces her book with a fascinating family history.  She is a lifelong vegetarian who grew up picking fruits and vegetables in India.  This heritage of selecting the best produce and preparing delicious vegetarian meals help lead to her own experimenting and creating recipes.  The book has a section specifially on Indian cooking tips and techniques. She has a section with suggestions on how to fill your pantry to prepare the delicious Indian dishes found in this recipe book.  Ms. Agrawal also has a chapter on which kitchen tools are essential for preparation of her recipes.  The recipes are shown in lovely full color photographs.  Recipes are found in sections:  breakfast/light meals, salad/yogurts, stir-fries/curries, ric/bread, soups/stews/lentils, festive bites/snacks, sweets/drinks, and chutneys/pickles.  A special section is devoted to how to make homemade power spices.  This is a very complete recipe book which includes meal planning and sample menus and where to buy ingredients and equipment.  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories by Celeste Fletcher McHale

This book has a lot of interesting twists in the plot.  It starts with dramatically with a rescue from a rooftop during a flood.  The tension, the terror and shocking aftermath are vividly portrayed.  The reader is drawn into Jacey's confusion from a head injury and subsequent post traumatic stress disorder resulting in anxiety attacks.As Jacey's life moves forward a part of her is stick stuff back in the flood waters of the Mississippi.  She is caught in the paralyzing dicotomy of not being able to forget and not being able to fully remember what transpired in those final hours prior to her rescue.  Then something happens and the memories start trickling back in with intensity and full heartbreaking shocking reality.  Jacey will have to make a decision to stay in touch with her memories as emotions threaten to destroy her or to remain in denial of what her heart is telling her. Her decisions will affect not only herself but people who are closest to her and depend on her.  Some will be frustrated and others surprised.  But no one will ever be the same after the sweet smell of magnolias brings with it memories that surround and encompass Jacey.

I received this book from BookLookBloggers and was not required to write a positive review.