Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Andy the Alien Visits the Outer Planets

"Andy the Alien Visits the Outer Planets" is an adorable children's book written by Jeffrey Scott Chase. The book itself is a paperback book, but large (around the size of a sheet of notebook paper) which is perfect for young hands. The story itself follows our friend Andy the Alien as he explores outer space. What I thought was great about this book was that it is entertaining but also full of fun facts about space and the planets that children will remember (for example, did you know that Saturn has 31 moons? Your child will!).

The illustrations in "Andy the Alien Visits the Outer Planets" are bright, and attractive. There are several pictures of planets and moons that appear to be photographed, which makes it much more realistic for the child. There are a lot of pictures on every page, and there isn't a lot of tough vocabulary, which makes it great for young children who still are interested in outer space. Jeffrey Scott Chase clearly kept himself aware of his audience when he was writing because the entire book is perfectly worded for the younger crowd.

I would recommend this book for children ages 4 and up - My 4 year old daughter thought it was so cool! Easy to read, great illustrations, and some fun facts to learn all combine to make a great bedtime (or anytime!) story for the space lover in your home.

FTC DISCLOSURE:  I received a complimentary copy of "Andy the Alien Visits the Outer Planets" as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team.  Visit dorrancebookstore.com to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Purpose Driven Life (Expanded Ed.)

"The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren is a book that is about finding our purpose in life - not our purpose at our job, or our purpose in the home, but our God-given purpose. I think that nearly everyone at some point in their life has wondered, "What is the purpose of my life?" It is this question that Rick Warren attempts to help us answer about each of our own lives.

"The Purpose Driven Life" offers daily devotionals to help us grasp our purpose, and further our understanding of what God's purpose for our life might look like. So many people pin their success or failure on their career, or family life, but there is a much bigger picture, and that is what Rick Warren tries to help us understand in this book.

This version of the book is an expanded edition, and it has been updated to be more friendly to a generation of "on the go" types, with interactive codes that can be scanned from a smartphone, and link to video feed of chapter summaries and more information about each chapter.

The book is essentially a book of daily devotions that are aimed at equipping us to change our mindset and start to understand what God's purpose is, and how we can fulfill that purpose. Each day ends with a point to ponder, a verse to remember, a question to consider, and a message to hear. The book is designed to be read over a 40 day period, and I have to admit that I thought there is a lot of life changing information in this book.

This book challenges you to change your mindset, shift your focus, and allow God to take the reins. I thought this book was awesome, and would highly recommend it!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from BookSneeze.com in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

This review is also posted on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/review/R28X53D3XP0911/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=031032906X&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

Monday, November 5, 2012

You Can't Make Me

"You Can't Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded) by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is a book devoted to helping us bring out the best in our strong-willed children. I have to admit I was very intrigued by this book because I have a very independent, strong four year old. I don't believe this to be a bad thing, but it does seem to create some conflict, so I was open to any suggestions as to how to nurture her independence rather than try and change it.

One of the most helpful pieces of advice that I took away from this book was changing the way that I reacted to conflict with my daughter. Rather than issue an ultimatum, giving her a "do this or else" attitude, Tobias suggests using a positive reinforcement to achieve peace. I found this to be particularly useful with my own strong-willed child. I also really liked that Tobias took the time to explain the mentality of a strong-willed child, based on age, from toddler years through young adults, giving a simple, but thorough explanation of their mentality and mindset at each age. It really does help to understand what your child is thinking and helps you craft a better response when conflict arises.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has a strong-willed child in their life. I think it was so important to understand that independent and strong-willed children aren't "difficult", but they just have a different approach to their way of thinking, and we have to adjust how we approach them when it comes to discipline and rules.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from BloggingforBooks.org in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Fearless Daughters of the Bible

"Fearless Daughters of the Bible" by J. Lee Grady is an awesome book for women. This book profiles 22 women of the Bible, and tells their story of faith, hope, and strength. What I really loved about this book was that not only does J. Lee Grady pick the most popular women of the Bible, such as Ruth, Esther, and Mary, mother of Jesus, he also picks out more obscure female figures, such as Achsah, Jehosheba, and Priscilla.

This book takes the time to tell the whole story of each of these women, detailing their life and times. I thought that each story really takes you back into the life of each woman, really helping you understand their struggles, and their faith. Each chapter follows the story of a different woman of the Bible, and highlights the reality of their own personal situation. For example, in the story of Esther, we learn that King Xerxes was a despot, who had many concubines at his disposal, and constantly used the threat of execution to maintain order.

I really thought that this book gives us a rare glance into the lives of some of the Bible's heroines, and really gives an awesome perspective of these women and their life and experiences. I would highly recommend this book to any women looking to learn more about our heroic ancestors!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.