Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Night Night Blessings

I received a copy of this book from ThomasNelson's BookSneeze program in exchange for my honest review of the material.
Honestly, the only way I really know how to review a children's book is based on my children's reaction to it, and my 4-year-old twin daughter's liked this book just fine.
They don't go crazy asking for it, but they sit quietly and listen when I read it. And I like that it points things out to them in a simple way they'll understand. I think that's important if you want your children to walk down a certain path.
There are many books out there, even among ThomasNelson's stable, which are way over my daughter's heads. But they masquerade as children's books. Night, Night Blessings is not among them.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This book rocks Fantasy Land

While it started off a little slow, the book opened up and showed itself to be well worth the wait. The charecters were believable and made me want to keep on reading. Once I got into it a few chapters I couldn't help but pick it up every chance I got! If you're a Fantasy lover than this book is totally for you! And if you're not, it could prove to be a worthwhile introduction to the genre, provided you can grind through the first couple of chapters.

Hermie the Common Caterpiller

Max Lucado takes children on an excellent journey to greatness in this fun-loving, and highly inspired story of Hermie, a common caterpiller.
There's nothing special about Hermie, he knows that, his friend Wormie knows that, and even God tells Hermie he's an ordinary caterpiller. However, God also informs Hermie, and Wormie as it were, that he is not yet through with two very plain, boring caterpillers.
My 4-year-old twin daughters ate this book up. They loved it, and the next time Daddy put them to bed, they clamoured for an encore.
I think Hermie will have a dedicated place in our home at story-time in the very near future.
I received this book through Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program in exchange for my unbiased review.

The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews

So here's the thing, I'm a big fan of books that actually say something, and while Andrews attempts to show some interesting history with this book, it just doesn't fit the bill for seriously useful. It barely even grazes inspirational in my opinion.
I like history as much as the next guy, but I like to learn from it. To be able to study and apply it.
I applaud what Andrews is trying to say, I just wish he would've taken this book down a dirt road, instead of the intersate.
If you like quick pick me ups, this might be for you. If you want substance, avoid it.
I received this book from Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program in exchange for my review of it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Smack-Dab in this Review.

I received a copy of Brennan Manning and John Blase's book for children titled Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love from Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze blogger review program.
Upon first glance, it's nothing special, just what you'd expect from your average children's book, lots of pictures and a few words.
I like the point that Manning and Blase try to make for the kids, but I'm not sure it's suitable for all ages. What I mean is, my daughter's are 4-years-old, and while they were very excited to have a new book and asked me to read it to them over and over again at first, I'm not sure they really understood the point.
I know they enjoyed the story, and of course they liked looking through the pictures. I just don't think it spoke to them yet at this age, and that could be because it's a bit vague for the average 4-year-old.
All that being said, I think this is a pretty fair effort in trying to convey the message of God's love in a way that slightly older children, I'm thinking maybe even 6 or 7, can appreciate. However, if your children are younger than 5, or you have a problem with an evangelistic message, this book is not for you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Left Behind Reviewed

Although it's actually been awhile since I read the book, I still remember it pretty vividly. What a shocking story, what a thrilling begining to an equally stunning series.
Mr. Jenkins and Dr. LaHaye laid down quite a foundation with the charecter they introduced all of us to in this engaging tale of confusing terror and amazing resilience.
This book will forever be one of my favorites and I hope that you will take the time to check it out if you've never done so.
Yes it is heavy on faith, it's about the end of the world for cryin' out loud!
It's adventure and evangelism rolled up into a very interesting and suprising package. And since this series is one of the greatest selling of all time, I don't think I'm alone in giving it high regards.
I was asked to write this review by Tyndale Publishers as part of their Summer Reading Program. I was not required to post positive feedback.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Final Summit Reviewed

My wife read this book before me and she gushed over how great it was and how she really wanted to check out it's predecessor after having read it.
Naturally, I was fairly excited about the book after that and decided to start reading right away. Now 2 months later I'm not even half way. It could be because I don't understand the full back story, or because of how much explanation of the backstory there is. Either way I'm finding it to be a difficult read in terms of keeping my attention.

Having given you all my opinion I'll say this, you might like it as much as my wife, but I haven't so far.

I was given this book by BookSneeze through ThomasNelson and asked to write a review.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Power Based Life

Okay, okay, I admit it. I did not finish reading the entire book. I actually got it for my wife after reading the synopsis and deciding it sounded like something that might put a little wind back in her sails...and it worked! Well, sort of, she hasn't quite finished the book yet either, but she does tell how inspirational she finds it any time she has picked it up.

I started reading it for a bit, but like so many other things in life I heard distraction calling and off I went. What I did read was good, practical advice. I think my favorite part of the book, keeping in mind that I've probably only finished 25% of it so far, was when Flynt pointed out that instead of being great at everything it's important to focus on your strongest area and move forward there.

If you're looking to set some goals or put a 5 year plan in motion, then this book is for you. If you want to make sure you can get where you're going, then this book is for you. If you need a little encouragement, a Father's Day gift for a buddy or cousin, or a graduation present...you guessed it!

Rocket Club

Hey y'all, coming at you from MN way once again here! Just wanted to share a newer group on the country scene with any of you who haven't heard about them yet. Go check out Rocket Club first chance you get. If you're not blown away then I really ain't sure what would do it for you at all.

Even though they only have the 2 singles up, search around You Tube briefly and you'll easily find a rendition of the National Anthem that should move you and a catchy little ballad (see left) that gets you feeling good on memories.

One of my personal favorite points for this group, other than I just think they are so genuinely diverse, is that MN own are all over the place in this group. Including Chris Hawkey of KFAN fame. (Well, he is up here anyway...)

And seeing as how it's June now, please get out on those lakes and have some fun!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Boy(s) Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews

Andy Andrews seemlessly tells the story of 4 influential men in history from a perspective that school age children might find slightly challenging, albeit easy enough to figure out.

He aims at instilling a deep insistance in young readers that all of their actions, and inactions, matter more than they might realize. What an excellent message for today's youth!

Andrews tell the story of Norman Bourlag and his 'super seeds', but he does so much more by introducing his young audience to not only Bourlag, but also Henry Wallace, George Washington Carver, and even the lesser known, but as Andrews points out quite well, equally important, Moses Carver.

The Boy Who Changed the World should go a long way to inspiring those children who might feel as though nothing they do will matter to anyone around them. It shows them that while they may not live to see the full results of everything they do, one simple choice can lead to an impact on generations not yet come. A wonderfully written true tale for children that will hopefully translate to a call of action in many young lives. Well done!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Melissa & Doug Toys Reviewed

So as some of you have previously read, I have a connection with Ebeanstalk, they send me toys to have my children play with/test out and I post a review on said toys in return.

Well, for January the toys received were, Melissa & Doug Make Your Own Princess Mirror and, respectively, Wood Heart Chest.

The Make Your Own Princess Mirror was nice enough dolled up in pretty shades of purple with a truly functioning mirror pane center. However, my 4-year-old daughter didn't find simply adding gems and glitter quite challenging enough, it would have been nice if it had not come pre-painted.

The Make You Own Wood Heart Chest by comparison only had a pre-painted outline on the cover, the rest of it was up to my little one and she had quite the good time decorating it with the included glitter and sticking gems everywhere. She didn't seem all that interested in the painting. Perhaps I should have given this one to the other 4-year-old?

All in all it was a fairly mess free project/craft time with my 4-year-old twins and there were several things that were done well with both objects, such as the quick drying paint, the fact that each came in a sturdy wooden box which my girls found just as fun to decorate and paint as the craft item itself, and there was a good variety of items within each set to keep a 4-year-old interested for the entire length of the project.

The only thing that I didn't like, and maybe this was simply my own naivete, was that the glue tubes, which I did not realize were glue tubes until nearly an hour later, were not clearly marked as glue, and so I assumed this was just a white glitter and let my little one heap it on as they saw fit. Unfortunately the unintending consequence of this was a very lengthy dry time for all the sufaces involved.

All in all I'd say that the the Princess Mirror is dedicated to the girly-girl, not the artistic one, and would be one of the better craft toys for two year olds.

If you looking for Baby Toys or Toys for One Year Olds, keep looking around on Ebeanstalk, they have plenty to offer!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Seeds of Turmoil

Upon begining this book I wasn't really sure what to expect. The dust jacket states, very clearly, that the author is attempting to shed light on an ages old conflict in the Middle East. A conflict which very few, in fact almost no, men seem to fully understand. Bryan White does so both convinicinly and amicably. While his biased is evident as a christian, he professes this very forwardly and outwardly throughout the book, so if you are suprised by it, you're not really paying attention.

The lines that are drawn both between and across the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths and direct and biblically backed up. In fact, Wright not only uses Old and New Testament scriptures, but makes a point of referring to the Apocrypha and the Qur'an as well. He seems to accomplish this seemlessly.

Though I'm sure there are many who will disagree with Bryant Wright's estimations of why things remain as they are in this region, I personally found the book in line with my lines of thinking and believing and I also found many useful insights which I may not have been exposed to so readily in another situation.

All in all, a good read that is worth the time for those interested in the Middle East, Israel, or Faith-based conflict in general.
I review for BookSneeze