Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
 Author Unknown

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Book Quote

O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson -

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sketch Monsters Book 1: Escape of the Scribbles – by Joshua Williamson & Vinny Navarrete

Mandy is not an emotional child. In fact, Mandy has a problem with showing any emotion of any kind at any time. Then one day her big sister gives her a blank sketch book as a gift with the instructions to sketch something whenever she feels like she needs to express herself. Mandy fills the sketchbook with colorful monsters, the thing she enjoys drawing the most. That night, something magical happens that will forever change Mandy. Through these monsters, Mandy learns that she can express herself in real life and not just on the pages of a sketch book.

I very much enjoyed this short comic book. The pictures were colorful and cute and the story expressed an important message. Sometimes it’s easy to hide behind our art – whether it’s words or music or pictures – but that isn’t really living. Life becomes much more colorful and enjoyable when we embrace our feelings and learn to express them. I would recommend this book for anyone aged 8 and up, but I think children will especially enjoy and learn from it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kathryn the Grape's Colorful Adventure - by Kathryn Cloward with Ginny Hornby, Illustrated by Christine Winscott

Kathryn the Grape is not having a good evening. She has stories to tell at the dinner table, but nobody seems to be paying any attention to her. Her parents are only listening to what her brothers have to say. Then, on top of everything else, she gets sent to her room because she complains about not liking dinner! Kathryn feels unloved, alone and invisible. Kathryn’s not alone in her room, however, and she’s about to go on a very special adventure with a very special magical butterfly friend, Maggie. With the help of Maggie and a colorful charm bracelet, Kathryn learns to trust herself and to use words to voice what she’s feeling inside. She also learns to apologize when she’s done something wrong.

Kathryn the Grape’s Colorful Adventure is a vividly colorful picture book that delights the eyes and the heart with its positive message that teaches children how colorful and special they are. I would especially recommend this book for independent female readers up to age 8, although some older readers will certainly enjoy this book as well. This self-esteem building book would make a wonderful addition to any child’s library and this would be a great book to read together as a family.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption - by Katie Davis with Beth Clark

Katie Davis was an 18-year-old senior class president and a homecoming queen living in Nashville Tennessee when she decided she wanted to become a missionary and put her plans for college (and pleasing her parents) on hold. She left over Christmas break during her senior year and headed to Uganda. What was supposed to be a short-term mission turned into a life-long passion for this young lady who once admitted to wanting to be Mother Theresa when she grew up. Katie fell in love with the people of Uganda, especially the children, and realized that she could make a change. She established a ministry called Amazima which feeds hundreds of children and sends them to school. She also is working on adopting thirteen Ugandan children. Katie Davis shows us in Kisses From Katie that sometimes following Jesus will lead you down unexpected, but extremely joyful paths.

What I Liked About the Book: Katie Davis is definitely an inspiration. She had a luxurious life in an upper-class neighborhood and could have simply taken advantage of all that had to offer. Rather, she forged her own path, leaving luxuries behind but finding true happiness in the meantime. I am always impressed by people with such devout faith, who are so sure of the path they are following.

What I Didn’t Like About the Book: Truthfully, this book wasn’t my cup of tea. I am impressed with Katie Davis and the wonderful things she is doing in Uganda, but I found the writing to be a bit heavy handed and overly laden with religion. I was expecting a fair amount of religious jargon, but it truly was overwhelming to me. I had to put the book down several times and come back to it because it was so off-putting. I think I would have enjoyed the book a great deal more if the author simply would have told her story without so many biblical references.

I'm giving away a copy of Kisses From Katie! Click on tab above.