Tag Archives: children’s storybook

Children’s Corner: This Farm Is A Family

12 May

This Farm Is A Family by Dan McKernan and illustrated by Denise Hughes is a children’s storybook based on a real life sanctuary farm and its real life inhabitants. Kids will love the cute and quirky animals that have formed a family along with Farmer Dan. The animals all care about each other and are eager to welcome a new member into their family. Lessons on acceptance, patience, and love are played out within the pages of this book. If your child has a soft spot for animals, like my granddaughter does, I think this book would be a great choice for your family library. At the end of the book you and your child can learn more about Barn Sanctuary and ways to help in their rescue of abused and neglected farm animals.

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

In this adorable illustrated picture book for kids written by Dan McKernan (Saved by the Barn), the rescue farm animals at Barn Sanctuary decide to help a cow who is dealing with fear and anxiety in her new home. Children will learn the importance of friendship and compassion, as well as why it’s important to support others during hard times.

Inside this book, kids ages 4-8 will discover:

  • A positive message about friendship, kindness, and understanding others
  • How to show compassion to others
  • Ways of coping with difficult situations, including how to deal with fear and anxiety
  • A page with information on Barn Sanctuary and their rescue efforts, with information on ways you can support the real-life animals featured in the book

This Farm Is a Family follows a group of rescued farm animals who are living their best lives at Barn Sanctuary. Each one is eager to meet the newest arrival, Buttercup the cow, and show her all the fun things they can do together. But Buttercup doesn’t want to play–in fact, she doesn’t want anything to do with the other animals. So with a lot of love and understanding, the animals work together to help Buttercup discover she’s part of a new family and can leave her old fears behind.

Dan McKernan is the Founder of Barn Sanctuary and star of the popular Animal Planet series Saved by the Barn. In 2015, Dan left his tech job in Austin, Texas, to transform his family’s 140-year-old farm into a safe haven for farmed animals. That safe haven is Barn Sanctuary. Author of a forthcoming children’s book, “This Farm Is a Family,” Dan’s mission, through the work of Barn Sanctuary, is to change the way the world views farmed animals and help lead society towards a more compassionate and plant-based lifestyle.

Children’s Corner: How High Is Heaven

9 May

I really liked the children’s book, How High Is Heaven by Linsey Davis. The author takes a difficult subject, the death of a loved one, and creates a hope-filled book that will speak to the hearts of children ages 4-8. With rhyme and vivid illustrations, this storybook tells of a young boy’s honest questions of how he can see his grandmother again. This is not a sad book at all, but a celebration of life here on earth as well as in heaven. I loved the last line — One day I’ll see gran, but until that time . . . I’ll enjoy heaven here on earth. If your family is going through the loss of a family member, I highly recommend this book. It speaks to a child’s honest questions and the promises they can find in God.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children ask A LOT of questions when it comes to heaven, particularly when they’ve experienced the loss of a loved one. In this uplifting, imaginative picture book, How High Is Heaven? inspires hope and comfort in readers young and old, that heaven can be experienced here and now and is open for us all. 

Bestselling author and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis invites children to explore age-appropriate questions about heaven. Kids (and their parents) can celebrate that, thanks to God’s grace, heaven is a place we can look forward to while finding moments of heaven here on earth.  

How High Is Heaven? is the perfect books for parents and grandparents to read aloud and provides an uplifting message for kids ages 4-8, delivering: 

  • Read-aloud, lyrical rhymes  
  • Whimsical, engaging illustrations by Lucy Fleming 
  • Answers to children’s questions about heaven… and a safe place to ask them  
  • Comfort to those who have lost a loved one 

Linsey Davis is an Emmy Award winning ABC News Correspondent, filing reports for World News, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Nightline. She has covered major news stories around the globe, and is excited to share her latest story, THE WORLD IS AWAKE with the world. 

For Davis her three-year-old son served as her inspiration, and Psalm 118:24 is the blueprint of the book: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” 

“Almost daily he takes my hand and he leads me into the world around him with fresh eyes, and it serves as a subtle reminder of all the reasons to rejoice and anticipate each new day. The World is Awake is a whimsical look at all that is extraordinary in an ordinary day. It is an exploration of the splendor and majesty of God’s blessings all around us through the lens of young people.”

In addition to her role at ABC, she is a Christian, wife, mother and author. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Children’s Corner — The Great Farmapalooza

1 Jul

It’s never a dull day in the barnyard, and these quirky and colorful animals are having a farmapalooza to celebrate God’s love and thank Him for His creation! The ducks are thanking God for their quacks, the hens are thankful for their feathers, and the donkey is singing praises that God made him so handsome. All in all, it’s a day and a barn full of praise.

This fun board book pairs flaps and whimsical illustrations with fun-to-read rhymes that will have kids mooing and quacking along with the farm’s crazy cast of characters.

 

My Impressions:

The Great Farmapapalooza has so many great things going for it! Cute, cute farm animals with engaging expressions, rhyming verse, and hidden gems behind flaps combine to keep your little one engaged. But best of all is the reminder that everything in God’s creation praises Him. I loved how each animal — rooster, cow, donkey, and so on — praised God for how they were made and what God provided for them. Joy-filled, this book is a great way to introduce that special child to the wonder and uniqueness of God’s creation. This sturdy board book will be a an often requested read in your library.

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 1-5.

(Thanks to B&H Publishers for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Two for Fall

16 Oct

I love the fall season — crisp temperatures, colorful leaves, and fresh sweet apples! I have two children’s books to share today that capture the essence of fall. Check them out below!

Snuggle Time Fall Blessings by Glenys Nellist

Snuggle up with your little one and enjoy all the best parts of autumn together—pumpkin picking, colored leaves, hayrides, and more — with this adorable padded-cover board book. Get ready for repeated readings and lots of hugs!

Carving pumpkins. Fresh baked apple pie. Leaf piles. Jack-o’-lanterns. Featuring Glenys Nellist’s whimsical read-aloud rhymes and Cee Biscoe’s cuddly illustrations, the Snuggle Time Fall Blessingsboard book will become part of your new autumn reading tradition.

Whether you’re a parent or grandparent, Sunday School teacher or older bother or sister, the little ones in your life will be ready for all the joys fall can bring when they hear …

Let’s go apple picking,
Shake them from the tree.
Round and fat and juicy,
The big red one’s for me

Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England. The author of multiple children’s books, including the bestselling ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas and the popular series Love Letters from God and Snuggle Time, her writing reflects a deep passion for helping children discover joy in the world. Glenys lives in Michigan with her husband, David.

My Impressions:

Snuggle Time Fall Blessings is a great board book suitable for the tiniest reader. Adorable illustrations featuring woodland animals participating in fun autumn activities accompany easy rhymes. Each poem flows naturally into the next so that the book can be read in one sitting or during successive reading times. There’s all sorts of fun things within this book — apple picking, pumpkin carving, wagon rides — that your child will identify from your own family activities. And it opens and closes with the same sentiment — thankfulness to God for all He provides. Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: preschool aged children.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi

Love Is Kind is a heartwarming story about Little Owl who hopes to buy his grammy a heart-shaped box of chocolates for her birthday. On his quest for the chocolates, he’s thwarted at every turn, but ends up discovering the real meaning of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13. Told in simple prose by bestselling author Laura Sassi, this heartfelt and humorous picture book is a sweet reminder that real love isn’t found in a box – even one filled with chocolates. Love Is Kind takes a charming and gentle approach to teaching kids the true meaning of love, while celebrating the bonds that kids have with their grandparents, and the many forms that love and happiness can take.

Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. She is the author of GOODNIGHT, ARK (Zonderkidz, 2014), GOODNIGHT, MANGER (Zonderkidz, 2015), DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE (Sterling, 2018) and LOVE IS KIND (Zonderkidz, 2018) She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie.

My Impressions:

Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi tells the tale of Little Owl and his determination to buy his Grammy a present for her birthday. But as Little Owl meets all kinds of troubles along the way, he is reminded of what love really looks like. The story has a simple, yet powerful message found in 1 Corinthians 13. In fact, snippets of the Love Chapter can be found hidden in the illustrations — added fun as you and your child look closely to discover truths from God’s word. While Love Is Kind by Laura Sassi is not specifically about autumn, it definitely gives off a fall-vibe in its illustrations. The cute animal characters are decked out in scarves and sweaters and colorful leaves cover the ground. The color palate is warm with oranges, browns, and yellows making this book perfect for a snuggly family read. Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8. 

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — The Wonder That Is You

29 Jul

Every parent dreams of embracing their new child, and when that dream comes true, it’s as if all of creation rejoices with them. In the tradition of Nancy Tillman’s On The Night You Were Born and Emily Winfield Martin’s The Wonderful Things You Will Be comes The Wonder That Is You by critically-acclaimed author Glenys Nellist. This heartwarming picture book beautifully captures the universal love and joy parents feel as they celebrate the arrival of a new child. A perfect gift for baby showers, baptisms, adoptions, birthdays, or any time you want to tell your little one how much they are loved.

It felt as if the world stood still
The day my dream came true,
And all creation paused to see
The wonder that is you.
 
I thought I heard the trees clap hands
And as their leaves unfurled,
They whispered softly in the breeze,
Welcome to our world.

 

To purchase, click HERE.

 

Glenys Nellist (in her own words):

Although I live in Michigan, USA, I was born and raised in a little village in northern England.

I grew up in a big old house, with two wonderful parents and seven siblings. My dad was the one who introduced me to the gospel. My mum was the one who encouraged me to work with children.

And at primary school, my teacher was the one who urged me to write. One day a week, I was one of the lucky few withdrawn from the classroom to sit in big, comfy armchairs in the teachers’ lounge. There, in front of a roaring log fire, with pencil and paper at the ready, I would write.

Four long decades later, I would find myself living across the pond, married to a wonderful man, mum to four children and three daughters-in-law, and grandma to three bouncing boys and one gorgeous girl. And as if all that wasn’t blessing enough, I somehow became an author, despite giving up on my first book half way through.

And if you would have told me then, that this book would one day become a series, that I would begin a second series, and a third… I never would have believed you. The only possible explanation is that our great God is able to do immeasurably more than all I could ever ask or possibly imagine.

And to God, alone, be the glory.

My Impressions:

In her latest children’s book, Glenys Nellist captures the awe, excitement, and love that accompanies the birth of a new baby. The rhyming verse and the beautifully detailed illustrations in The Wonder That Is You vividly relate the unique creation that is every child. My family is welcoming a new member in a few months, and I think this book will become a favorite in the new arrival’s library. One of my favorite things is that the mother/baby pictures are very diverse, making this book perfect for every family. So if you are looking for a gift for parents-to-be or a new baby, you definitely need to check this one out.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: children and families

(Thanks to Zondervan for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — A Kite for Moon

5 Jun

Dedicated to astronaut Neil Armstrong, A Kite for Moon is the perfect children’s book to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first United States moon landing.

What would it be like if the moon was your friend? Find out as you walk alongside a little boy who journeys through life to achieve his dream of becoming an astronaut. And then blast off with your little one as you zoom to the moon together!

The story begins when a little boy, who is flying his kite, notices a sad Moon. He sends up kites to her, writing notes promising he will come see her someday. This promise propels him through years of studying, learning, and training to become an astronaut. Until … he finally goes up, up, up in a big rocket ship with a fiery tail!

Born and raised in New York City, Jane Yolen now lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts. She attended Smith College and received her master’s degree in education from the University of Massachusetts. The distinguished author of more than 170 books, Jane Yolen is a person of many talents. When she is not writing, Yolen composes songs, is a professional storyteller on the stage, and is the busy wife of a university professor, the mother of three grown children, and a grandmother. Active in several organizations, Yolen has been on the Board of Directors of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, was president of the Science Fiction Writers of America from 1986 to 1988, is on the editorial board of several magazines, and was a founding member of the Western New England Storytellers Guild, the Western Massachusetts Illustrators Guild, and the Bay State Writers Guild. For twenty years, she ran a monthly writer’s workshop for new children’s book authors. In 1980, when Yolen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the citation recognized that “throughout her writing career she has remained true to her primary source of inspiration — folk culture.” Folklore is the “perfect second skin,” writes Yolen. “From under its hide, we can see all the shimmering, shadowy uncertainties of the world.” Folklore, she believes, is the universal human language, a language that children instinctively feel in their hearts. All of Yolen’s stories and poems are somehow rooted in her sense of family and self. The Emperor and the Kite, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983 for its intricate papercut illustrations by Ed Young, was based on Yolen’s relationship with her late father, who was an international kite-flying champion. Owl Moon, winner of the 1988 Caldecott Medal for John Schoenherr’s exquisite watercolors, was inspired by her husband’s interest in birding. Yolen’s graceful rhythms and outrageous rhymes have been gathered in numerous collections. She has earned many awards over the years: the Regina Medal, the Kerlan Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Society of Children’s Book Writers Award, the Mythopoetic Society’s Aslan Award, the Christopher Medal, the Boy’s Club Jr. Book Award, the Garden State Children’s Book Award, the Daedalus Award, a number of Parents’ Choice Magazine Awards, and many more. Her books and stories have been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Afrikaans, !Xhosa, Portuguese, and Braille. With a versatility that has led her to be called “America’s Hans Christian Andersen,” Yolen, the child of two writers, is a gifted and natural storyteller. Perhaps the best explanation for her outstanding accomplishments comes from Jane Yolen herself: “I don’t care whether the story is real or fantastical. I tell the story that needs to be told.”

Heidi E.Y. Stemple didn’t want to be a writer when she grew up. In fact, after she graduated from college, she became a probation officer in Florida. It wasn’t until she was 28 years old that she gave in and joined the family business, publishing her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has published more than twenty-five books and numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children.

Heidi lives and writes on a big old farm in Massachusetts that she shares with one very small cat who lives inside, and a dozen deer, a family of bears, three coyotes, two bobcats, a gray fox, tons of birds, and some very fat groundhogs who live outside. Once a year, she calls and counts owls for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

 

My Impressions:

It’s been 50 years since man first went to the moon, and in celebration of that Jane Yolen and her daughter Heidi E. Y. Stemple have written a delightful children’s book. Simple illustrations accompany the narrative featuring a young boy who dreams of one day reaching the moon. I liked how the authors incorporate the child’s fascination with the moon and the things it took to get him there! Easy to understand for the youngest child, it will open up a conversation about the first moonwalk (and hopefully more reading opportunities), and the importance and possibilities in a child’s dream. This book is for anyone who wants to instill the awe of the world around us with the desire to fulfill dreams in their child’s heart.

Recommended.

Audience: kids ages 4-8

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — Little Sweet Pea, God Loves You

20 May

Featuring read-aloud rhymes and adorable illustrations, Little Sweet Pea, God Loves You is the perfect book for a parent, grandparent, or any other loved one to share with the little one in their life. With each reading, it will bring joy to your child’s heart, and might even bring a tear to your eye as the charming illustrations and sweet rhymes remind you how precious these moments are between you and your Little Sweet Pea.

Little Sweet Pea, God loves you.
From button nose to gentle coo.
Squishy cheeks and sparkly eyes,
Pure delight and perfect size.

Kit Chase is a freelance artist and writer who is famous for leaving behind trails of broken pencils, eraser fragments, and scraps of scribbled paper. She lives in Southern California with her family.

My Impressions:

I got a little teary-eyed reading Little Sweet Pea, God Loves You. This sweetly illustrated children’s book accurately portrays the wonder of a parent for his/her child. I loved the many animal pairs — parent and child — that inhabit the pages of this book, all expressing how much their child means to them. But better yet, the book describes how God created and loves each child as a unique individual too. This book would make a perfect gift for a new parent. It promises not just a one-time reading, but to become a cherished keepsake that will be read over and over as a child grows. I loved it! I think you will too.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: families

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — What Am I Feeling?

15 May

It’s show-and-tell day at school, and Sam and his friends are feeling lots of emotions. He wonders why he feels flippy in his tummy. And why is Alex stomping his feet? And does Hudson usually have such a big grin?

After several unchecked feelings threaten to ruin the big day, Sam and his friends start to learn how to give each emotion a name and ask God to help them remember that “a feeling is just a feeling—it’s not in charge of you.” In a world where kids are dealing with everything from sibling rivalry to bullying, divorce to tragedy, What Am I Feeling? offers a biblically grounded way for children to verbalize their feelings, develop empathy and self-control, and understand their wonderful God-given emotions.

BONUS! Also includes a pull-out feelings chart for your wall! 

 

Josh Straub (PhD) serves as Marriage and Family Strategist for LifeWay Christian Resources. Together, Josh and Christi (MA, MBA) also co-founded Famous at Home, an organization equipping leaders and their spouses in emotional intelligence and family wellness. They are Fellows of the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling and host a weekly In This Together podcast and lead TwentyTwoSix Parenting. Josh and Christi have two fun and feisty kids, Landon and Kennedy.

My Impressions:

Feelings are confusing things, especially for kids. What Am I Feeling? by husband and wife Josh and Christi Straub is an easy way for parents and kids to start the discussion about their feelings. The book takes Sam, a fun-loving kid, through a school day which starts out with him feeling flippy in the tummy. He encounters his friends and the gamut of their feelings — happy, angry, sad, and jealous. Each child’s body language, actions, and words are described in relation to their feelings.  I loved the wise advice both Sam’s father and his teacher give. The kids are told to name their feeling and give it over to God. I also liked the fact shared that feelings do not have to control us. A cute book, this one is especially useful in teaching about the power of God and prayer in everyday situations. There is even a pull-out chart with illustrations of some feelings kids (and their parents) encounter in themselves and others. What Am I Feeling? is a good conversation starter and resource for parents. It helps put words to those elusive feelings.

Recommended.

Audience: kids ages 5-9 and their parents.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner — Gracefull

17 Apr

Hope and Anna love seeing each other at church. When a Sunday grace offering is collected to help lift up Anna’s homeless family, Hope begins to ask questions and has a unique opportunity to learn what grace looks like, both for her and for Anna’s immigrant family. This touching story teaches children that God showers grace that is meant to be shared—allowing us all to be GraceFull!

In this follow up to her first two books, ColorFull and ThoughtFull, Dorena Williamson opens a dialogue on the tough subjects of poverty and homelessness and offers children encouragement to show God’s grace and love to others whose home life or homeland might look very different than their own.

To purchase, click HERE.

Dorena Williamson is a bridge buider, speaker, writer, and worship leader who knows the power and beauty of racial awareness. She and her husband, Dr. Chris Williamson, planted Strong Tower Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and have spent more than twenty years ministering to its richly diverse faith community. Dorena and Chris have four children.

 

My Impressions:

Grace — unmerited favor that God showers down on His people. That grace is the foundation of Dorena Williamson’s book Gracefull, a colorful storybook for kids ages 4-8. In the book, Hope gets a glimpse at the very different life her friend’s family faces. Homeless and needing a big help up, Anna and her family are sheltering at Chen House. I loved that the two girls in the story are seen as peers, not one that has more and one who has less. The storyline revolves around helping others as a response to the grace that God has shared with us. The subtitle, Growing A Heart That Cares for Our Neighbors, summarizes what the book is all about. Williamson tells her story in a natural way allowing kids to see that there are others out their who need our help. The illustrations are bright and bold, and include a diverse group of people. The message is simple, but this book will springboard into deeper conversations. To help guide parents, a scripture passage reinforcing the message and discussion questions to make little ones (and their parents 😉 ) think are include. Gracefull makes a great addition to any home library.

Recommended.

Audience: kids ages 4-8 and their family

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Children’s Corner — Easter Is Coming!

11 Apr

Mommy and her little ones are settling in for story time, and this time it’s the biblical story of Easter that she’s telling. As the youngsters hear God’s tale unfold with its sometimes somber notes about sin and death, they are softly and continually reminded, “But Easter is coming!” By the end of the book, the anticipation has built and the children can celebrate the ending and the glory of Easter Sunday.
 
In a time when children’s Easter excitement often focuses on only egg hunts and candy, this book offers a different — and true — reason for joy and expectancy. It’s designed to be read and reread on the days leading up to Easter, telling the greatest story and building a sense of anticipation and celebration in little hearts.

To purchase, click HERE.

Tama Fortner is a freelance writer whose credits include God Is Always Good and 100 Things God Loves About You. She has collaborated on such bestselling titles as Indescribable, Jesus Calling for Kids, and Grace for the Moment for Kids. She lives just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two kids, and an incredibly lazy dog who doubles as a footwarmer.

 

My Impressions:

Easter Is Coming! by Tama Fortner is one of the best children’s books I have seen that fully explains God’s redemption plan in an easily understood, kid-friendly way. From the Garden to the Resurrection, kids learn that God always had a plan for people to come back to Him. The repeated message is, that while many didn’t understand or acknowledge that plan, Easter was always coming. The message is spot on, and the accompanying illustrations are bright, bold, and beautifully detailed. For parents, there are bonus materials available online to help with questions and discussion that are sure to come up. This book is perfect for family reading time during Holy Week (or really any time) or for early readers to test their skills. It would also be great in an Easter basket.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: kids ages 2-6.

(Thanks to B&H Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)