Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Heaven is for Real for kids

Heaven is for Real for kids as told by Colton Burpo to his parent Todd & Sonja Burpo and illustrated by Wilson Ong. This book came at a good time as my little girl has started asking questions about God, Heaven and even dieing. So when I saw this book, I thought it might be a helpful read for us. The book shares a glimpse of what the young boy at the time Colton Burpo experienced when he got to visit Heaven while very ill in the Hospital. The picture book highlights key concepts that can be gleamed from the telling of Colton's experience. Things like 'Heaven is wonderful and it is for real!' and that 'Jesus loves the little children'. Key messages like these flow along with the story and touch upon lots of answers to questions or concerns that children might wonder about. Each page is accompanied with a scripture verse anchoring some of the descriptions and experiences that Colton shares with Biblical references. It's a reassuring, comforting book. While I like the text of this book I however did not care for the illustrations. They seemed heavy, smudged and overworked to me. The colors selected I found too bold and some of the color tones were off for me. Because of the illustrations I can only give this book an overall average review.

I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze for the purpose of this review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Enter to win 25 free Shutterfly cards giveaway - CLOSED

Just four more days to enter to win 25 free Shutterfly cards! There are low entries so far for this giveaway and I've got 3 sets of 25 cards to giveaway. That's right three will win! I love stationary and cards so I just can't resist showing you some more of Shutterfly's Holiday card collection for this year. Here's some of their cards that make me think of winter wonderland blues that you could choose from. They are refreshingly lovely, don't you think?

To enter is easy! Just leave a comment letting me know which of my top picks is your own favorite. It can be from this post or the previous post and you can comment in either. I'll start with the previous post and add on the comments from this post to the total. Be sure to leave your email contact if it's not easy to find on your profile or own site. If I cannot contact you I will move onto the next winner. This contest is open until October 28th 2011, 5:00 PM EST.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Season's Greetings from Shutterfly - CLOSED

I've been gearing up for Christmas around here. I'm really trying to stay on top of things this year. I'm making my lists, checking them twice and of course getting a jump start on Holiday cards is on the top of my list. And when it comes to Holiday cards I love to send photo cards as well as receive them. Shutterfly makes getting my Holiday cards done so easy and I received so many compliments on our Shutterfly photo cards last year. Thank you Shutterfly! There is an amazing selection of designs this year too and once again I could use your help with deciding which to choose. There's also a chance for 3 of my readers to win 25 free cards of their own. Keep reading to find out more, plus bloggers there's a special offer just for you too...So here are some of my favorite cards for this year. As you can see I had a hard time narrowing it down and that's where you can help out!

There are classic red and white designs that range from sophisticated to whimsical or a touch of both.

There are cards with a simple elegance.

Fun, modern designs filled with color pops or color explosion.

And I could not resist including those that are sugar and spice and everything nice. How sweet are those?

So which should I choose?

Not only does Shutterfly offer the best selection of Holiday photo cards there are so many products to make your Holiday shopping, planning and even wrapping easy this year. Several of my friends do the traditional photo calendar for themselves and the Grandparents. I think this is a tradition we need to start.

Along with the calendars there are numerous photo gifts to choose from. Why not send something with that personalized touch? There are notebooks, mugs, reusable shopping bags, blankets, apparel and many more.

Are you a blogger? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here: Click link

Now on to the giveaway! Three of my lucky readers have the chance to win their very own 25 free cards. Just leave a comment letting me know which of my top picks is your own favorite. Be sure to leave your email contact. If I cannot contact you I will move onto the next winner. This contest is open until October 28th 2011, 5:00 PM EST.

The Very Best Pumpkin

The Very Best Pumpkin by Mark Kimball Moulton and illustrated by Karen Hillard Good, centers on one of my favorite fall activities; finding the perfect pumpkin or pumpkins as it is in our case. We're not ones to go all out on Holiday/seasonal decorating but having pumpkins of all shapes and sizes to set around the house, to carve and to enjoy toasted pumpkins seeds from is definitely something I look forward to each year. The story starts sharing how Peter, a young boy, helps out on his Grandparents farm. They plant strawberries in the spring, grow corn but Peter's favorite is pumpkin season. I love how he helps customers find the perfect pumpkin to fit their needs. And the story is also about a special friendship that is growing right along with the pumpkins! It's a very sweet story in so many aspects including the old fashioned feeling drawings that are filled with lots of fun, whimsical details.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bible Stories for Preschoolers

Bible Stories for Preschoolers, by Monika Kustra, adapted by Betty Free Swanberg and illustrated by Andrzej Chalecki is an exceptional children's Bible story book. It is well written for the preschool age comprehension. I loved how there are questions throughout the text that just flow as part of the reading. It is a great way to engage and maintain interest in the story. The illustrations are lively, cute, and even humorous at times. I think any child would enjoy flipping through this book to enjoy the pictures. At the end of each story are several questions and talking points to help with story comprehension, and reinforce the lessons being learned. There's a memory verse too for every story. And my favorite part is the activities. They are really exceptional, doable, simple but really fun. All the activities really excited me as I read through them. I can't wait to do them with my children as we read through this book together and plan to come back to add their creations to this post. One example is with the story of Joseph and the famine is to create a 'store house' jar with trail mix type ingredients. You could even ration out the food throughout a week sharing how Joseph was in charge of collecting and sharing the food so that everyone could survive during the years of famine. It's also a great collection of Bible passages, very comprehensive. I could not be more pleased with this book and would love to see more from this collaboration, maybe a book of Psalms and Proverbs with pre-school devotional type format. I am very happy to be able to add this book to our collection.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishing for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Kindergarten Picks!

I think I have a fun little post for you all today. As I've shared my son had his Birthday and is now in kindergarten. So in continued celebration of my little guy I thought is would be fun to share his own library picks and finds that he's been bringing home from school. I've been looking forward to him visiting the school library and was anxious to see what type of books he'd pick out. I must say I've been very proud of him, he's found some great books to share with us!

First up he brought home Carlos Likes Counting by Jessica Spanyol. He said he selected it because it reminded him of the 'That's Silly' pictures that are in the High Five magazines we get. It is actually a great little counting book with lots of items to count on each page of the corresponding highlighted number. My two have always enjoyed counting up items in books so we thoroughly enjoyed this one!

Next up Gumption by Elise Broach and illustrated by Richard Egielski. Just by looking at the front cover you can see why a 6 year old boy would be drawn to this one! It was another fun read about a little boy who goes on a safari adventure with his favorite uncle. Traveling on safari requires lots of gumption! It was a fun adventure for us all.

Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman was next pick. We'd read this one many times before. We love Lehman's wordless books and if you've been here before you may have heard about how I love a good wordless book. He was so proud to have found it on the shelves. This is hands down his favorite one of Lehmans, in fact he asked to keep it another week. It's about a little boy on a class trip to the museum that happens upon a secret maze room. My two love mazes and I can't wait because we'll be heading to see some corn mazes soon! If you've not checked out Barbara Lehman's books, I recommend that you do. I think they are best described as fantasy adventure wordless picture books. Other titles include: The Red Book, Rainstorm, Trainstop,and The Secret Box.

Next up was A Couple of Boys have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee. It's a funny little story that captures this age group of boys very well and honestly. Two young friends stay at one of their Grandparents for a week trip so that they can attend nature camp. But of course they have the most fun just being together doing, well, silly kids stuff like bouncing on the bed, playing video games, and eating sweet treats. They're kids with heart though and at the end of the book have a special surprise for their host and hostess!

Last up is David Gordon's The Three Little Rigs. This is another one that we'd previously read together from our local library and was an instant hit with my son. He loves all things that go, trucks, trains, planes, race cars and so on. Plus the original tale of the three little pigs is also a popular read with my two so the two together makes a near perfect read in my little boys mind. This book is a retelling of the classic story with rigs that must set off to build there own garages.

Well I hope you'll enjoy his library picks as much as we have. I hope to continue to add to his list here as the year progresses!

Monday, October 10, 2011

When I was Five

Well this title could not be more appropriate for us this year, it's called When I was Five by Arthur Howard. Yep, my little boy had his Birthday recently and went from 5 to 6. We had actually read this book last year as well preparing him for upcoming changes of growing up and I looked forward to getting from the library again this year to share with him. Join along as a young boy shares his favorite things from when he was five and what they are now that he's six. It's a fun collection of things that are important to little boys from what he wants to be when he grows up, favorite dinosaur and favorite secret hiding place. But of course there are somethings that never change which is very endearing! It has been fun reading with my little guy and talking to him about his favorite things as he continues to grow each year. I think this will be a Birthday favorite read for years to come.