Thursday, September 25, 2014

Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari

"Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari" is the third book in the "Good News Shoes" series featuring Riley Mae, a teen shoe model. Published by Zonderkidz, this is a chapter book (240+ pages of reading), ideal for ages 8 and up.

This book conveys the adventures of Riley Mae and her friends, this time on a trip to Kenya, Africa for an ad campaign for her Sole Fire running shoes. This book follows Riley Mae through her experiences in Kenya, starting with her culture shock as she experiences an entirely new way of life in Africa. Strange food, hard work, and completely different means of transportation throw Riley Mae for a loop!

Riley Mae has plenty of new experiences in Africa, including visiting a Christian orphanage and going on a real African safari. Through her experiences, Riley Mae learns about herself, having faith, prayer, and how to feel comfortable sharing her own Christian faith with others.

Overall I would give this book a 4/5. I think that all of the new African terms that were used in this book muddled it down at times, and it slows down the reading when you have to stop and look back to remember what a particular words meant. I think this book is appropriate for ages 8 and up, and I think that it offers some good messages to young girls through a character that they can really enjoy.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.

Promises for God's Princesses

"Promises for God's Princesses" by Katrina Cassel is a super cute devotional for girls. I would say that this devotional is appropriate for middle school girls and older. The devotional is girlie, and carries the theme of being royalty in God's family, but it tackles a lot of tough issues that teenagers face. The devotionals themselves are short, only one page (front and back) for every day.

I liked the variety of topics that are discussed in these devotions. Cassel touches on kindness, listening, being an example, filling the mind with good things, hard work, faithfulness, and dignity. The devotions do a great job of pulling together situations that teens can relate to and Biblical principles and truths to encourage Christian growth.

Each devotion has a Bible verse that is the basis for the message, and it is printed in a large, bold font at the top of every devotion. This makes it really easy to know what the bottom line message is, and where to find it in the Bible, for further reading and study. With references to social situations, pop culture, and historical events, this devotion is the perfect daily reading for the teen/tween in your house.

My daughter is a little too young for this one, but I plan on holding onto it for a few years until she is old enough to really understand it better. I would highly recommend this one for those looking for a way to get the girl in your life into the devotional routine. This one does a great job of tying together things that are interesting and relevant with Scripture. Loved it.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

"Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More"

"Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More" is a dessert cookbook by the editors of Food Network Magazine. This cookbook is amazing! With over 300 pages of delicious, enticing desserts, there is really something for every event. Whether you are a beginner, or more advanced baker, there are plenty of recipes to make, as well as variations on some of the recipes to try out. From whoopie pies and pineapple upside down cake to the more exotic bourbon praline cake, these recipes will make your mouth water.

What I really liked about this cookbook is that each recipe features a full page photo of the finished product. I find this to be really helpful when deciding what to make - although, be warned, many of these photos will have your mouth watering before you even read the ingredient list.

The book covers a myriad of desserts, and is broken down into chapters: cupcakes and whoopie pies; cookies and bars; candy and snacks; pies and crumbles; fake-out cakes; show-off cakes, frozen treats; and holiday desserts. See? I told you - something for every occasion! The book also offers a photo table of contents, so instead of flipping page by page through the book, you can scan the photos in the table of contents to easily find the recipe you want.

Overall I would give this book a 5/5. I loved the photos, and found the recipes to be delicious. I also loved that the directions and ingredient lists are relatively simple and easy to follow. Great recipes, just in time for the holidays!

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Adventure Bible for Toddlers

Zondervan's "Adventure Bible for Toddlers" is an awesome Bible storybook for young children. I didn't even realize it when I ordered this book, but it is a BOARD BOOK! I was so excited when it was delivered and I saw it - I have an 18 month old that just loves looking through books, and I love how easy the board books make it for him to turn pages (not to mention it's easy to wipe the book off if he spills on it!).

The book is a cute storybook with some of the most memorable stories from the Bible, including Jonah, Daniel, Noah, Moses, and David. The stories are short, and use simple words that are perfect for reading to young children who do not have a long attention span or a very large vocabulary. The illustrations are awesome - bright and colorful. My son kept pointing at different pictures, excitedly!

This would be a great first Bible for young children, ages 3 and under. I loved that it was a board book, and I thought that they did a great job of making some popular Bible stories simple enough for even the younger child to understand and enjoy. The illustrations are fun, and depict what is going on in that particular story well.

Overall I would give this book a 5/5. I loved it, and know that it will definitely be a staple in my son's library for a long time. Highly recommend.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free from the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Blessed are the Peacemakers"

"Blessed are the Peacemakers" is a Berenstain Bears book authored by Mike Berenstain that deals with the difficult concept of making peace. Sometimes it is easy for kids to get drawn into the world of "you can't like him because I don't like him" or "you can't be friends with her because I'm not" drama. This book teaches the lesson of keeping peace, and trying to get along with everyone, regardless of the circumstance.

The main issue in this book arises between Too-Tall and Ferdy, because Ferdy is picked to play Romeo in the school play. Too-Tall's friend, Queenie, is picked to play Grizzliet. It's obvious there is some jealousy from Too-Tall that causes him to act out on multiple occassions, even causing a fight to break out the night of the play!

What I liked about this book is that there are a couple of times when the lesson of making peace is reinforced through Bible verses, first from Brother and Sister when they try to restore peace to the rehearsal, and again by Preacher Brown the night of the play.

Overall I would recommend this book for kids ages 5 and up. I think that the message of including others, and maintaining a sense of peace is important for those children entering school. I would give this book 5/5. Wonderful story, and backed by Biblical truth.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book for free through the BookLook Blogger program in exchange for my honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review. All opinions in this post are my own.