Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Museum of the Bible Books Collection: Colors in the Bible & Numbers in the Bible [Review & 2-Book Giveaway]

Colors in the Bible (find it here)

My thoughts: This little children's board book definitely differs from the usual "learn your colors" book. I was fascinated that each color was associated with a Bible story and the story told in text and illustration was geared to the target age group.

We don't stop and think about specific colors in the Bible since we usually focus on the lesson to be learned from the Bible story or learn the facts of the Bible story itself. This is a new way to learn colors and associate them as "points of reference" to a specific Bible story. I like this concept. I like, too, that the Biblical reference for each of the stories is provided. The whole story is not given. Just a "sentence" or so that illustrates the "color" connection.

I highly recommend this board book for families and churches.

About the book: “Take a colorful tour of favorite Bible stories! Little ones will learn their colors as they discover green trees in the Garden of Eden, orange lions in the den, and the red flames of the burning bush. Created with fresh, modern illustrations, this colors primer will captivate curious toddlers.” (board book; ages 2 to 4)

Numbers in the Bible (find it here)

My thoughts: This little children's board book definitely differs from the usual "learn to count" book. I was fascinated that each number was associated with a Bible story and the story as told in text and lively illustration was geared to the targeted age group. For example: David selected five stones for when he stood before the giant Goliath with only his slingshot. Of course, we know it only took one stone to topple Goliath.

What other numbers do you think of when you scan your  mind for a Bible story with numbers? These short stories straight from the Bible help the child identify the number, count the items, and learn that a Bible story has a particular number that can be associated with it. Another little gem is the Bible reference given for each story in the Bible. The whole story is not given. Just a "sentence" or so that illustrates the "color" connection.

I highly recommend this board book for families and churches.

About the book:  “Take a number-filled tour of favorite Bible stories! Little ones will learn their numbers as they discover one big ark, five smooth stones, and seven priests carrying seven trumpets. Created with fresh, modern illustrations, this numbers primer will captivate curious toddlers.” (board book; ages 2 to 4)
Both books for 1 winner!
Begins March 21
Ends April 10 AT 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to Continental US only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from WorthyKids/Ideals to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Giveaway books are provided by WorthyKids/Ideals and shipped from them directly to the winner.

High Cotton (Bucklin Family Reunion series #1) by Debby Mayne [Giveaway]

ISBN: 9781683701309
Gilead Publishing
Christian fiction $15.99
About the book: Some families are filled with so much love they can't help but drive each other crazy.

Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family's next reunion. On the one hand, she'll get to see everyone in her mama's family---folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there'll be more drama than you can shake a stick at.

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law's deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunion . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay's teen self, but the woman she's become doesn't know what to make of this.

Shay's contentment is challenged, and she's determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she's looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet and predictable life?

One thing is certain: Life with the Bucklin family is never boring.

Meet the Author: Debby Mayne writes family and faith-based romances, cozy mysteries, and women's fiction and is the author of more than 60 novels and novellas-plus more than 1,000 short stories, articles, and devotions for busy women. Debby is currently an etiquette writer for The Spruce.

Debby grew up in a military family, which meant moving every few years throughout her childhood. She was born in Alaska, and she has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, South Carolina, Hawaii, and Japan. Her parents were both from the Deep South, so Debby enjoys featuring characters with Southern drawls, plenty of down-home cooking, and folks with quirky mannerisms. High Cotton is the first book in the Bucklin Family Reunion series.
Begins March 21
Ends April 9 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed by me are mine, alone, and are freely given. Giveaway copy is provided directly to the winner by Gilead Publishing.

Monday, March 19, 2018

You’re My Little Cuddle Bug by Nicola Edwards and illustrated by Natalie Marshall [Review & Giveaway - USA]

ISBN: 9781684122585
Board book $8.99 ~ ages Pre-K
Silver Dolphin
My thoughts:  This is an adorable little board book for those small ones you love and they will clutch it in their tiny hands carrying it about with them (well they might slip a little hand through one of the cutouts for toting) keeping all those cute little bugs with them.

The text is delightful and promotes a feeling of love and sweetness. The illustrations are bug-out-cute from the love-bug ladybug on the cover right on the the last bug in the book. You very own "Cuddle Bug" will love getting his "cuddle on" when this little book is read to him or her.

As you flip the page to see the "mommy/daddy" bug cuddling the little one, the left page cut out highlights the previous page's text. Good connectivity!

I just love this little book and highly recommend it for home with little ones and all preschools and church nurseries!
You're my baby bumblebee, You are so very sweet.
You fill my days with lots of joy, Like honey you're a treat!

About the book: Celebrate your little cuddle bug with this sweet and colorful rhyming board book, which has ranked on the Children’s Bookscan Juvenile Overall and Juvenile Overall Fiction bestseller lists! With chunky pages for little hands and die-cut cuddle bugs to add depth and interest, children will love the interactive features alongside the story.
Begins March 20
ENDS April 9 at 12:01 a.m EDT
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of Silver Dolphin Publishinng to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

The Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, Prevent Autoimmunity, and Feel Great in Every Way by Eric Zielinski D.C.

ISBN: 9781524761363
Softcover $18.00
Harmony Books Pub.
a division of Penguin Random House
My thoughts:  Having recently begun using products such as soap, shampoo, and skin creams that are all natural and made with various essential oils and being quite happy with them, I thought perhaps this book, The Healing Power of Essential Oils, might be a good introduction to benefits of utilizing essential oils in various ways in my daily life.

I realize that essential oils are good but they can also be toxic or harmful on different levels when wrongly used. So one shouldn't indiscriminately purchase the oils and start mixing, rubbing, and ingesting them. One should definitely find out just how, when, what quantity, what quality, and which oils to use. This information must come from a dependable source.

This book by Eric Zielinski, D.C. was offered for review through a blogging program and I thought it would be interesting and perhaps helpful to me and my family. I am definitely lacking in knowledge of how to use essential oils and which oils serve which purpose. I do enjoy walking into a room that has a diffuser distributing mist allowing me to enjoy the aromatics and goodness of various oils. Again, education and knowledge in use of or being guided by an expert clinician would be helpful.

The book:  The cover is lovely and definitely appealing and the book lengthy enough but not overpowering to the newcomer or novice. I was disappointed in the quality of the paper. It appears thin and of a recycled type used in pulp-novels. I would expect a bit nicer paper from this publisher.

The information: I can not evaluate the veracity of content since I am lacking in personal knowledge of essential oils and am a seeker of information. The book is written from a Christian (or Biblical) perspective and Dr. Zielinski is a "Biblical Health Educator." This appeals to me, but I am always a cautious reader when an author makes claims and I seek further  confirmation rather than to simply accept the author's statement.

The author states in his introduction that the "therapeutic use of essential oils doesn't have to be complicated...." and that he has "painstakingly taken out all of the guesswork... to distill everything down to manageable bite-sized pieces."

Dr. Z. includes some do-it-yourself recipes that can help you get started replacing commercial products with those you make yourself with essential oils. Or you can understand the process from this information and seek out products made by others and in small batches from the same ingredients and sold in "natural" product shops.  I like that the author writes with a light touch and sense of humor.

There is a nice bibiologaphy and index in the back of the book

Dr. Z's website: Click here
About the book: Eric Zielinski, D.C., host of the Essential Oils Revolution summits, offers a soup-to-nuts guide to mastering essential oils for vibrant health and well-being, featuring dozens of recipes and formulations for restful sleep, reduced inflammation, balanced hormones, and more.

Achieving true health is not an easy task. For many people, it might be easier to pop a pill or push aside lingering discomfort in favor of finishing everything on your to-do list. In The Healing Power of Essential Oils, Eric Zielinski, D.C. shows readers how to make their health a priority with the life-changing benefits of essential oils. Essential oils are the natural solution to everything from anxiety and depression to deep-seated inflammation. For beginners, Dr. Z teaches everything you need to know to get started, including the top seven oils you should stock from Day 1 and the commonly used techniques and tools. He illustrates daily practices you can follow to enjoy the properties of essential oils, including a five-minute devotional using frankincense and neroli to set you up for a productive and stress-free day, and a simple bedtime routine harnessing the soporific effects of lavender.

Backed by extensive research, Dr. Z also supplies essential oil blends that promote hormone balance, reduced inflammation, improved digestion, increased immunity, and so much more. You'll be armed with over 150 recipes for every health need, and a special section on women's health includes dozens of formulations for PMS, fertility, pregnancy, candida, and menopause. Even those well-versed in essential oils will benefit from this thorough approach. With your newfound knowledge, you can begin tailoring an essential oils practice to your unique pain points and lifestyle right away - and start experiencing amazing results.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from a book review program on behalf of the publisher and author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

My thoughts:  From the very first page of A Refuge Assured I was enthralled with the grace of word-smithing that the author used to describe people, places, and events. Beautiful! They came alive. You felt the wind, saw the grass sway, experienced the cold. 

This is not a book to skip through. No, you'll want to savor the writing. Not only the writing, though, as you will find Jocelyn Green is an astute researcher and conveyor of the history that makes the story realistic. 

The time shortly after the end of the American Revolution was a harsh time for the newly formed country. People were trying to settle into life in this brand new land and politics and governing were in the formative stage. At this time across the Atlantic, the country of France was experiencing its own revolution. It was a bloody, horrific time for aristocrats, royalists, and even merchants who plied their trades with the hated upper class.

This story is not about the war on the battlefield with guns, cannons, and sabras. It is a war of conflict, fear, exile, petty differences, new politics, and misplaced directions. It is hard. It is fearful. It is a beautiful rendering of the times.

Some major points in the story are:

  • French Revolution
  • Mystery of the child-king, the Dauphin
  • Whiskey Rebellion and America's resistance to the excise tax on whiskey
  • Expatriates of France settling into a hidden community tucked away in the wilds of Pennsylvania as they await the possible return to their own country
About the book: Vivienne Rivard fled revolutionary France and seeks a new life for herself and a boy in her care, who some say is the Dauphin. But America is far from safe, as militiaman Liam Delaney knows. He proudly served in the American Revolution but is less sure of his role in the Whiskey Rebellion. Drawn together, will Liam and Vivienne find the peace they long for?

For the history buff among you.......
It was anticipated that France's King and Queen would escape the Revolution with their children and flee to America for refuge. The community of Ayslum was developed for aristocrats and for the royals. The king and queen, however, did not escape the gullietien and the fate of their children remained the stuff of legend and hearsay. You can find in the annulls of Pennsylvania history the story of Aysluym Pennsylvania. Drawings of the house prepared for the king and queen still exist.(picture from the JoyceTice.com website and garnered via a Google search.)

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own, alone, and are freely given.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Drawn from Nature by Helen Ahpornsiri [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

An intricately crafted journey through four seasons of flora and fauna.

ISBN: 9780763698980
Hardcover $22.00
My thoughts:  Most of us have gathered wild flowers, perhaps pressing them because they are so lovely and we want to remember the moment. Or perhaps you've gathered colorful leaves in the fall marveling at their colors and declining beauty.The author of Drawn from Nature has taken a love for the beauty of plant life and created works of art from the already beautiful and even the not-so-pretty that is found out-and-about in the wild out-of-doors.

I am so amazed at this book and the intricate work of this artist. Just to sit looking at these beautiful images is a treat to enjoy. But that is not all this book includes. It is broken down into the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter with plants and animals becoming active and springing into action with glorious color and going on through the seasons to the bare branches, darkness, and stillness that encompasses Winter.

A beautifully pictured and told story of our seasons.

A must see is the video that Candlewick has on youtube.com that captures the artist creating her art utilizing the design that she sees in real bits and pieces of nature. It is fascinating!

About the book: Helen Ahpornsiri's intricate artwork transforms leaves, petals, and seeds into bounding hares, swooping swallows, and blossoming trees. Using nothing but pressed plants, this journey through the seasons captures the wonder and magic of the natural world between the pages of a book. This standout title with beautiful nonfiction text will take readers through an extraordinary year in the wild.

About the artist/author: Helen Ahpornsiri is an Illustrator based in East Sussex, UK.

All images are made using only real flowers, petals, stems and leaves. These are grown or foraged responsibly before being placed in a flower press. After 1-6 weeks of pressing, the flora and foliage is flat and ready to use – preserved in their natural colours, with no paints or dyes. Each piece is then cut and delicately positioned to form detailed illustrations; all brimming with the intricate twists and tangles of plant life.

The artist at work  - the delicate work of creating these beauties can be appreciated by viewing her skilled hands as she creates a butterfly from ferns.

Candlewick Press is graciously providing 1 copy for a giveaway.
Begins March 15
Ends April 7 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA and CANADA addresses only.
No P.O. Boxes, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press on behalf of the author to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own, alone, and are freely given.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Petra by Marianna Coppo (from Tundra Books)

ISBN: 9780735262676
Ages 4-7 Hardcover $17.99 (US)

My thoughts: Simple illustrations. Simple text. Powerful message.

Petra - the word means: "Petra is a feminine given name. It is a feminine form of Peter, which is derived from the Greek word "petros" meaning "stone, rock". It is also a common first name in Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia." 
So this story is about a rock. Small. Medium sized. Or big mountain sized. It is about identity as "Petra" looks at him/herself for his/her identity. Small as in a bird's egg. Or huge as in an unmovable mountain.

He doesn't know what he is or what he is suppose to do. So he tries different identies or activies. Until he discovers just what he is.

Cute book to help young children learn there are differences in rocks as well as differences in who we are and what we can become. Also, a little lesson in not thinking of oneself as bigger and more important than one really is.

About the book: The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself.

Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird's nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she's flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl's pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she's a rock, and this is how she rolls!

Disclosure: I received a copy as part of a contest on LibraryThing.com from the publisher. Opinions are my own, not cooerced, and freely given.