Tuesday, October 26, 2021

thegoodbook partner review: Two New Books by Steph Williams

These books are 6.7" by 6.7"inch books.  Made of thick paper, and the perfect size for little hands.

What I like about the book:

  • Physical size, structure, illustrations, limited words per page, illustrations. 
  • 1st page: A story Jesus told or a true story from the Bible.
  • well-done illustrations- friendly, warm, unique. The stories have life. 
  • Note for grownups in the back- so helpful and clear. 
  • Scripture Text included in full. 
What I wonder about the books:
  • how many more will there be? 
  • how the author makes the concepts so relatable and within a child's grasp and understanding.  

goodbook partner review: New Testament Seek and Find


What I like about the book: 

  • Great Bible Events Featured  
    • Baby Jesus is Born.
    • Jesus in the Temple Court
    • A Paralysed Man is Healed
    • Jesus Calms a Storm
    • Jesus Love the Little Children.
    • Zacheus Meets Jesus
    • The Special Meal
    • Jesus is Alive
  • Bible References for each Biblical Event. 
  • The cover pages feature extra items to hunt for in each event. 
  • Counting up items for each event, 1... 2...
  • Each description ends with a clear truth about Jesus. 
What I wonder about: 
  • English spellings and language use, may not be recognized in the States.  
Educational Connections:
  • counting to figure out the 450 items- Math concepts!
  • What else could you add to count as items that fit in the event?  
Thankful to partner with goodbook company and read an advanced pdf.  

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Netgalley/IVP partner review: A Spacious Life: Trading Hustle and Hurry for the Goodness of Limits by Ashley Hales


Oh my, it's not often that you read a book, relate well, and are sad that it ended. This book is that kind of book for me. I will re-read this book. I found it to be biblical, relatable, and created a picture of a gospel-focused life with the beauty and surrender it entails. It challenged me, it resonated with me, and it has me thinking and is pushing me to grow in my own relationship with the Lord. That's a book worthy of high honor in my opinion.

This book focuses on gospel living. It's focused on life in the limits of Our Good and Gracious God, Jesus' work on the cross for us, His sending of the Holy Spirit, who lives within us, and brings us much space. It's focused on real community, real abiding in Jesus, real life, and a real invitation to live like Jesus models for us. The author shares relatable aspects of learning her limits, with scripture concepts and examples of Jesus living and teaching on earth, and the larger concepts of gospel living in real authentic community, with all the sacrifice that brings.

At the start of the book-this concept, I identified with: "What I didn’t know, at least not then in a deep-in-your-bones sort of way, was that these limitations on my time, body, and affections were actually an invitation. Instead, I fought them. For years I fought God about the gap between my imagined life and my given one. My crash course in acknowledging my limits was parenthood."

"We are made by Love for love, and love joyfully accepts constraints in order to love others particularly and fully."

"The goodness of gathered salt is that it shows us how food works and tastes best. Might the people of God show us how we work best as humans—not overly individualistic, but bearing a communal identity of love? Might we be more concerned about enhancing the flavor of others than enamored with our own saltiness? May the people of God minimize bitterness, temper saccharine sweetness, and heighten the aroma of Christ. What does this look like? Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. To be the gathered salt of God, we must consent to the constraints of community."

"But to be the gathered salt of God, we must consent to the constraints of community—of being for others instead of using others—often through limiting our time, desires, and even those secondary identities we hold dear."

"Rich community in the church, that first family that Jesus adopts us into—like a beef bourguignon or homemade pasta—builds and grows in its flavor only through constraints. It happens slowly. To build thicker communities, we’ll have to stick around, live under gracious and loving authority, forgive each other, and choose to spend time together, rather than making the best choice for any one individual."

"Rich community happens through diverse people, layered and simmering together."

"We crave the goodness of gathered salt. But to actually be the community we crave, we must limit ourselves. We limit ourselves by choosing to show up when at times we’d rather not. We limit ourselves when we give of our time to listen, talk, and pray. We limit ourselves when we participate in weekly liturgy even when we do not feel like it. "

"Part of our work as followers of Jesus is resisting the limit to create our own purpose and instead to receive the one God gives us, even if it doesn’t look like what we imagined. . . Jesus, who limited himself for love, asks us to follow him: to steward our limits for others. Limits create conditions for community."

Thankful to partner with IVP through Netgalley and read an advanced copy of this book. Off to purchase a hard copy!!

A few other quotes: 

“Limits create for us a home; they create the condition for flourishing.”

“Limits, given to the world by a loving God, are the conditions for life.”

Thursday, September 16, 2021

New Growth Press Partner Review: The Acrostic of God by Jonny Ransom & Timothy Brindle


What I like about this book:

  • Scripture on each page to go with the Letter about God. 
  • The size of this book is a good size for reading aloud. 
  • The QR code that links you to a rap to listen to of the whole book!
  • The content and the purpose of the acrostic are to help children learn who God is, be better able to pray and talk to God. 
  • Word Choice- uses accurate and biblical terminology, enhances the main concept well, and defines the concepts.  
  • Images connect to the concepts and are simple.  
  • It comes with an audiobook version of the book- and it is read with rhythm.  
What I wonder about this book:
  • Word Choice- the book is for 5-11-year-olds, the vocabulary is complex, and some of the words are defined with words that may still challenge the younger children, but with rap and repetition, it may work! 
  • what the kids will think of the rap-- I love the minute you hear of the chorus- and it will make it so much easier to learn about God!  
  • I wonder what the CD or download really consists of- I expected the music I heard in the ad to be what you would hear when you used the QR code, but it's just the book being read aloud, complete with the pages turning heard.  
Thankful to partner with New Growth Press and read a pdf of the book.  

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Goodbook Partner Review: Do Great Things for God Gladys Aylward

What I like about the book: 
  • Another new woman from history with such an interesting life.  Now I want to go on and read more about her story since my curiosity has been peaked.  
  • Gladys decided at a young age, she wanted to be a missionary in China, and she stayed fixed on that goal, despite a struggle to get there.  She is a great example of resilience, overcoming several obstacles that got in the way of her goal.  This is a socially emotional-appropriate concept for this generation.  This would be a great educational connection.  
  • I love that we know she was a little woman, many girls need to know that size doesn't matter, you can still impact the world in your own way.  
  • The adventure that Gladys went through to even get to China, sounds completely unreal.  But yet it is true.  I love that this book will spur discussions about how you can get on a train to China, and it ends in Siberia.  So much can be done to extend the learning about what Gladys's experience could have been like.  
  • Gladys Aylward's story will bring discussions of binding a girl's feet, orphans in a way moving to safety, why Gladys couldn't go back to China, how she ended up in Japan, and it's overshadowed with the constant in her life, reading exciting bible stories wherever she went.  
What I wonder about the book:
  • Will these short books for littles, spur a series with more details for older readers or even adults?  
  • How does the author chose these woman?  

 Thankful to partner with the Goodbook company and read an early copy to review. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Good Book Partner Review: Do Great Things for God Betty Greene by Laura Caputo-Wickham Illustrated by Heloise Mab


What I like about the book:

This biography is of a person whose desire was to become a pilot like her brother.  
  • Is shares her story, flying as a woman in World War 2, helping train pilots, and then becoming the first MAF (Missionary) pilot.  
  • The illustrations are well done with facial expressions that enhance the biography, engage the reader, and bring it to life.  
  • I like that this explanation of her life shares that she was brave, calm in stress, and relied on God.  
  • I liked meeting a new historical figure who lived as the exception for a woman in her lifetime. 
  • I like the integration in an authentic way of her trust in God, as well as the recognition she got to combine her favorite things flying and love of God.  
  • I liked the connection that I got after reading Corrie ten Boom, Betsey Stockton,  now Betty Greene and knowing that this is a series of stories of women for young children seeing how women have served God in unique ways.  
What I wonder about the book: 
  • The author English spelling for practice which is practise, so my only concern is that a teacher or parent notices the change and comments that it is still spelled correctly, to our American children.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Partner Review: Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon by Mark Wainwright Abeka publisher


This book was sent to me by the author directly.  It's such fun to read a book by someone you know.  The book is geared toward middle-grade readers, and it's a suspenseful novel.  

What I liked about the book:
  • Such details, about the characters, hot air balloon facts, and amazing descriptive language.  
  • Reading the story, made me feel as if I was experiencing being trapped in the balloon flying adrift and lost over the earth.  It's believable. 
  • The characters came to life (and there are moments where you do not like their selfishness and attitude, but it was very relatable and true to their ages/development.)  
  • One of the reasons the characters came alive was the author did such a good job sharing their metacognition- or the thinking going on in their heads- which made them likable and awful depending on the moment, but this also brought their spiritual lives out and helped the reader process how the Lord Our God is with those who believe in any situation.  Jenny's thinking about scripture and God was authentic and realistic.  
  • The back story is integrated across the timeline of the two lost children floating out away from
What I wonder about the book: 
  • could you really float as high up as the kids did and survive?  I haven't researched it for myself.  
  • will this become a series of books?  You get to know the characters well and it would be interesting to find them again.  
Teaching Connections:
  • Research on the atmosphere, oxygen level, temperature, etc. as well as research as to what speed the balloon must have flown and what level of wind you would need to travel up and across the way the kids did.  Has this type of accident happened? if so when, where? So many possibilities and so many research or science experiment-type questions to pursue. 
  • This book would be an excellent writing model for style and using descriptive language in your writing.  
Thankful to read a copy of this book and review it, all thoughts and opinions are my own.