8.27.2015

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones by Jan & Mike Berenstain {Children's Book Review}

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones by Jan & Mike Berenstain

Book review disclosure.

Jan & Mike Berenstain
Juvenile Nonfiction

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Toddlers is perfect for young children. Now toddlers have a padded board book edition designed just for them, with simple text, bright art, and a padded cover. This cute and durable edition provides an overview of the Bible with ten stories from the Old and New Testaments that follow the Bear family as they explore Scripture. The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Toddlers is fun and enlightening for kids and a great resource for parents and educators.



My Thoughts

We're big on the bears around here. Make that the Berenstain Bears! I enjoyed raising my kids on their delightful stories and now it is such a delight to share them with my grandkids. The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible for Little Ones is based on the original The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible but it is trimmed down to fit the attention span of littler ones.

The adorable creatures from Bear Country act out ten different stories from the Old and New Testament. It begins with Creation and then moves on to Noah building the ark. After that is David meeting Goliath in an epic showdown. Then we venture with Daniel into the lion's den. Our stories continue on into the New Testament with the birth of Christ. The next story is from Luke chapter 10 and teaches us about being a good neighbor. From there we fast forward to Palm Sunday and go with Jesus as He makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem where He will later be crucified. But fear not because the last story reminds us that He Is Risen!

I like the padded board book style for those chubby little hands of my grands. It makes the book so much more durable and allows them to pour over the contents again and again without worrying about damaging the pages. It is also compact enough to take on a car trip or tuck in a purse for a waiting room distraction. If you have little ones this would be the perfect addition for their growing library.

Connect With The Authors

Jan and Mike Berenstain
Photo Credit: The Associated Press



Disclosure of materials.


8.26.2015

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon {Contemporary Fiction Review}

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon

Book review disclosure.

Contemporary Fiction

COME HOME TO
HOPE HARBOR--
Where hearts heal . . . 
and love blooms.

Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. Now she's home again--with a floundering farm to run . . . a tragic secret . . . and a wounded heart. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets and devastating regrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help with a project that is close to her heart, winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own.

READ AN EXCERPT

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoy Irene Hannon's suspense novels and I quickly devour them as soon as they are on the market. Much to my delight her contemporary fiction titles are every bit as good. She's a talented author and is able to switch genres with ease.

The interesting part is that even her contemporary fiction books have that suspenseful element to them that makes the story fly by. In Hope Harbor she introduces us to Michael Hunter who is a widower seeking a way to realign his life. He has come to Hope Harbor looking for a time of relaxation and reflection.  Through a series of mishaps he meets cranberry farmer Tracy Campbell. If you had to rely on first impressions Tracy would surely write Michael off. 

Tracy has regrets of her own that leave her unwilling to take the risk of being involved with anyone again. When Michael begins to pursue her in order to apologize for their initial meeting she quickly decides it is in her best interest to avoid him. Besides she's got enough on her plate with a failing farm and a charity endeavor that has quickly gotten out of hand.

I enjoyed riding along as the two of them developed a friendship that blossomed into more. In this instance I think I liked the side stories even more than the main one. This quaint little village on the Oregon coast is a place that looks idyllic but just like the rest of America it is also full of hurting people. The interesting part was that Michael came to Hope Harbor to rest, recharge and heal. But God also chose to use him during this time to bring hope and healing to those around him. 

If you're looking for a story about hurting people that receive healing then this is the one for you. I enjoyed the complexity of the story and the vibrancy of the characters and I think you will too.

If you are part of a book club there is a great Reading Group Guide that you can download here. It contains 20 very thought provoking and discussion inducing questions that will help your group get started.

Connect With The Author

Irene Hannon
Photo Credit: © DeWeesePhotography.com






8.25.2015

Bible Art Journaling In My New ESV Single Column Journaling Bible {Review & Giveaway}

ESV Single Column Journaling Bible Giveaway

Book review disclosure.

Back in January of this year I began Bible Art Journaling. I had a lovely Journaling Bible that I was (and am) very happy with. It has nice unlined margins and seemed to fit my needs. But . . . everywhere I turned I kept seeing the ESV Single Column Journaling Bible. I wanted one in the worst way but they became so popular so fast that they sold out everywhere.

Well patience is a virtue and mine has finally paid off. I now have this beautiful Bible in my hot little hands. The cover itself is a work of art. The stamped leaves on the LeatherSoft cover just get my creative juices flowing! I don't know if it is important to you but the feel of a Bible in my hands is a big deciding factor as to whether I will purchase or not. This feels so good as I run my hands over it!

I will gather you up from all the nations.

The first thing that I do in the morning while the coffee is brewing is open up the She Reads Truth app and read the devotion for the day. I couldn't resist doing a little doodling to break my new Bible in. For my first entry I kept it simple and just used a Micron Pen and a watercolor pencil to add a splash of color.

What's in a name?

Bible Journaling doesn't have to only be about artwork. For this portion of Scripture in Daniel 1:7 I wanted to remember why it was so important to the Babylonians to change the names of Daniel and his friends. I used some letter stamps and a couple of different colored pens and made some notes. 

but there is a God in heaven

Sometimes I'm just not up to being creative with my handlettering so I cheat and break out the stickers! This is an easy and painless way to get into Bible Journaling. Next time you're at the dollar store pick yourself up a set and dive in.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb.

Other times I just want a little reminder of what the verse contains. For this verse in Proverbs 16:24 I used a simple bee drawing to bring the point home. Your artwork doesn't have to be complicated to remind you of what is in that particular portion of scripture. Just put something in that is relevant.

My cup overflows.

Then there are times that I really do want a more complex piece of art in my margins. This is the current piece I'm working on. I've penciled it in and erased it and penciled it in again. I can guarantee that process is going to be repeated a few more times before I'm happy with it. 

I want to leave you with just one more thought. Remember that this whole Bible Art Journaling thing is meant to be a form of worship. You should enjoy being creative with your Creator. Don't let all the amazing projects you see in your feeds detract you from that. Remember that you perform for an audience of ONE!

Now . . . how about a GIVEAWAY for a chance to get your hands on one of these lovely ESV Single Column Journaling Bible?!! We love Bible Journaling so much that we wanted to make a way for one of our readers to get their own copy. To do that we have partnered with Family Christian to give one of our readers an ESV Single Column Journaling Bible

The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. You must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted by email and will have forty-eight hours to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Giveaway Tools form below. All entries are optional.


8.23.2015

DIY Type: 50+ Typographic Stencils for Decorating, Crafting, and Gifting by Dana Tanamachi {Craft Book Review}

DIY Type: 50+ Typographic Stencils for Decorating, Crafting, and Gifting by Dana Tanamachi

Book review disclosure.

Craft - Handlettering

Dana Tanamachi, the Brooklyn-based typographer whose exquisite hand-lettered murals fueled a chalk-writing trend, offers a book of alphabet stencils for all-purpose craft projects.

Inspired by the contemporary aesthetic of rendering type by hand, celebrated designer Dana Tanamachi shares a full set of upper and lower case alphabet stencils to create wall compositions, monogram t-shirts and jackets, personalize journals and school supplies, embroider pillows, and host parties filled with customized cakes and banners. With beautiful photographs and simple tutorials, you’ll find endless ways to decorate with type and joy in discovering the happy imperfections unique to your own application.

Happy Birthday chalkboard sign using stencils.
An example from the book for using the stencils. 

My Thoughts

If you have been following the chalkboard typography craze you have most likely stumbled upon some of Dana Tanamachi's artwork. She has done some amazing work for some very popular companies. I've enjoyed looking at her designs and when I saw DIY Type come out I had to get it.

I hate to admit it but I was quite disappointed with the book. It is only 92 pages long and it contains two sets of alphabet stencils. One of them is upper case and the other is lower case. The upper case letters are two to a page so you can do the math and realize that most of the book is taken up with the stencils. 

There are some darling pictures of some of Dana's projects using the stencils but no where near what I was expecting. Unless I had a really great coupon or this book were on a deep discount I most likely would pass it up for a similar book on the topic. (I'm cringing as I say that because I really do love her work.)

Personalized notebooks using stencil.
Personalized notebooks using the stencils.

Personalized throw pillow using stencil.
The stencils were used to personalize this pillow.

Connect With The Author

Dana Tanamachi as featured in the Wall Street Journal.
Couldn't resist using this photo of the author that was featured in the Wall Street Journal.
The quote is from Scripture. I Thessalonians 4:11

NIV FaithGirlz Bible with features by Nancy Rue {Bible Review}

NIV FaithGirlz Bible with features by Nancy Rue

Book review disclosure.

features by Nancy Rue
Bible

PREPARE HER FOR THE 
JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME

Every girl wants to know she's totally unique and special. This Bible says that with FaithGirlz sparkle. Through the many in-text features found only in the NIV FaithGirlz Bible, girls will grow closer to God as they discover the journey of a lifetime.

Features include:
  • Book introductions - Read about the who, when, where, and what of each book.
  • Dream Girl - Use your imagination to put yourself in the story.
  • Bring It On! - Take quizzes to really get to know yourself.
  • Is There a Little (Eve, Ruth, Isaiah) in You? - See for yourself what you have in common.
  • Words to Live By - Check out these Bible verses that are great for memorizing.
  • What Happens Next? - Create a list of events to tell a Bible story in your own words.
  • Oh, I Get It! - Find answers to Bible questions you've wondered about.
  • The complete New International Version (NIV)
  • Features written by bestselling author Nancy Rue

My Thoughts

I am enamored with the FaithGirlz line. My oldest grand girl has just entered the target age group and it has been a delight to share the different books with her. I recently received the new NIV FaithGirlz Bible and we had a great time pouring over it and discussing what we liked about the different features.

It comes with a hard back cover that has a magnetic flap closure. I love the durability of a hard back Bible for younger kids. It is a bit heavier but the sturdiness and lay flat design make up for that. But what's fun about a durable Bible that doesn't have a cute design? I'm happy to say that this particular Bible has an adorable owl motif that is shiny and sparkly. What girl doesn't like a little shiny and sparkly in her life?

While the cover is cute it is what lies within that matters. My girl and I both liked the layout. Each book begins with a title page that introduces the book and gives an overview of what is contained. There is also a section written by Nancy Rue that helps relate that particular book of the Bible to your girl's life. Nancy has such a way of speaking truth to young girls and this particular element is a very nice touch.

We also liked many of the other features that made this Bible very interactive. The Bring It On! sections are scattered throughout and they ask a particular question with a multiple choice set of answers. On the opposite page is the second part of the Bring It On! portion. It says If you answered . . . (A., B., or C) then go to a particular Scripture reference. How's that for getting your girl to explore the Scriptures?

I am a list-maker box-checker by nature so the Bible reading plan in the back really appealed to me. It breaks the readings down into very manageable portions and then has a box to check when it is completed. It is designed to be done in a year but with the box check system your girl can do it at whatever pace they are comfortable with.

If you are looking for a way to stimulate interest in Scripture reading and study in your girl I would say that you can't go wrong with this particular Bible. It is appealing to the eye and will speak truth to her soul. What more could you ask for?

Connect With The Author


Nancy Rue

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Disclosure of materials.


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