Book Review—Far from Home

Good children’s books lead to empathy, something our nation and our world surely needs right now. Stories about diverse cultures show children of all ethnicities and backgrounds that we are all human, all equally valuable, all very much alike.

In Far from Home, children will empathize with the emotions of a young refugee who journeys with his parents away from all that’s familiar and loved. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—The Big Book of Bible Questions

Kids are curious about their world, right? Discovering new facts about interesting subjects can be a lot of fun, and it usually leads to new questions and wanting to learn more.

That’s how it is with Bible knowledge too. Kids have questions as they grow and learn—why questions and how questions and what-does-it-mean questions. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Jesus and the Lions’ Den

Wait, what? JESUS and the Lions’ Den?

Yes, that’s right.

Jesus and the Lions’ Den
written by Alison Mitchell, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
published by The Good Book Company (2019)
hardcover picture book, 32 pages, 9 x 0.2 x 10.8 inches

I began to love this book as soon as I opened it and saw the vivid endpapers that invoke the Persian setting of the story. Then an intro page explaining how the book works reeled me in. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Two Books for Baby Showers

Spring and early summer often bring a round of baby showers, right? So here are two completely different books that will make good gifts or books-in-place-of-a-card.

One of the books almost makes a sweet Mother’s Day gift to a new or soon-to-be mom.

And, they’re both by the same author! Read More…

– Diane

Three Picture Books About Hope—Book Reviews

Three recent picture books can help children feel safe and happy even though their routines have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Quinn’s Promise Rock
Written by Christie Thomas, illustrated by Sydney Hanson
Harvest House, 2019
hardcover, 32 pages, 9 x 0.4 x 9 inches

Out on a night flight with her father, Quinn is a worried little owl. What if she gets lost? What if she can’t keep up with her father, or loses sight of him?

Quinn’s father uses three different rocks to assure Quinn that she is safe and that God always takes care of her. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Jesus Heals and Holy Week (Baby Believer Series)

Want to add something with lasting value to your child’s Easter basket this year?

Two titles in the Baby Believer board book series are especially appropriate.

These books differ from the numerous board books available with a happy-Spring-and-new-life theme.

(There’s nothing wrong with those, and this year’s new crop has some good ones. I’ll be spotlighting them soon.)

But this series was developed to give parents a tool for introducing their children to Scripture and doctrine from a young age.

At the same time, each book teaches a basic preschool learning concept such as counting, opposites, animal names, parts of the body, and emotions. (The series currently has six titles.)

Holy Week: An Emotions Primer
Jesus Heals: An Anatomy Primer
written by Danielle Hitchen
art by Jessica Blanchard
published by Harvest House Publishers (2019, 2020)
board books, 20 pages, 6.8 x 0.8 x 6.8

Holy Week: An Emotions Primer focuses on identifying emotions children feel that people in the events of Easter week also experience.

Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Picturing God

God’s many names and descriptive titles in the Bible give readers word pictures of His character, attributes, and actions.

This new picture book explores 16 different biblical metaphors, describing God and our relationship with Him not just in words but in pictures too.

When I first heard about this book, I was eager to see it, of course, given the three books I’ve written about the names of God.

Picturing God
written and illustrated by Ruth Goring
published by Beaming Books (2019)
hardcover, 40 pages
10.2 x 0.3 x 10.1 inches

Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—God’s Very Good Idea

Looking at the cover, God’s Very Good Idea seems to be about the wonderful diversity of people in God’s world. And it is that!

But as the subtitle A True Story about God’s Delightfully Different Family hints, this picture book covers so much more.

In fact, this picture book packs a lot of biblical understanding into 32 pages, all on a level that older preschoolers and early elementary grades can easily and enjoyably grasp.

(The illustrations are so much fun too!)

Right from the start, we learn that God’s very good idea was people, “lots of people, lots of different people, who would all enjoy loving him and all enjoy loving each other.”

Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Courageous World Changers

Not everyone can change the world (not everyone is called to), but everyone can change their world—and the worlds of those they love and serve.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).

This is exactly what Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God accomplishes for middle grade girls.

Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God
written by Shirley Raye Redmond
illustrated by Katya Longhi
published by Harvest House (2020)

hardcover, 112 pages, 7 x 0.5 x 9 inches

Girls will be inspired by these 50 mini biographies of contemporary and historical women who lived out their faith with boldness and perseverance.

And they’ll think: I want to live like that too!


Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Words to Love By

Somehow a picture book titled Words to Love By just feels like a good book for Valentine’s Day.

And this cheery, colorful exploration of how we use words to love others delivers well at Valentine’s or anytime.

“Words may be small, but they can do big things.”

What are some of those big things? Words can

encourage: “I believe in you.”

bring out the best in people: “I knew you could do it.”

spread love and kindness: “Do you need help?”

let others know they’re not alone: “Do you want to play with us?”

Read More…

– Diane