The Wonder of Creation – Review and Giveaway

Many thanks to HarperCollins Christian Publishing for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own. I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

The Wonder of Creation – by Louie Giglio

Well known for his powerful messages about science and the Bible, Louie Giglio has a passion for inspiring kids to notice, enjoy, and be in awe of God’s creation. In the Wonder of Creation, children will find new delight in God’s creativity with 100 devotions that explore:

  • Animals – from honeyguide birds to flying snakes to white rhinos
  • Space – from black holes to volcanic moons to gamma-ray bursts
  • People – from optical illusions to brain freezes to our immune systems
  • Earth – from rainbow rivers to blue lava to flowing glaciers

With engaging illustrations and striking photography, this fun and informative book is ideal for children ages 6-10. Each of the 100 devotions features a scientific fact or an easy activity for exploring faith, a short Bible verse, and a bookmark. As kids dive into this awe-inspiring devotional, they’ll be amazed at thee many wonders God has made!

My 8yr old son actually loves this book so much, he packed it in his suitcase for our Thanksgiving trip because he doesn’t want to miss a single night of his science devotion!

I love that he loves science so much! And I love that this book starts with scripture and talks about science in a way that he easily relates to and enjoys. He wants me to keep reading and not stop at one story each night.

For added discussion with your child, you can download the discussion guide here. They have some pretty fun questions here!

You can buy your own copy here. And enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy for yourself or to give away.

 

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God With Us – Review and Giveaway

Many thanks to Shepherd Press for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

Author Jeremy Pierre and illustrator Cassandra Clark want to awaken children to a brave journey — a journey home. This world is not our home. We live east of Eden and short of Heaven. The earlier children understand this, the more sense they can make out of this sad, wonderful place. This storybook aims to share their vision of the world as a place in-between, to awaken them to the brave journey they must take toward their true home — their home with God.

This is a super cute kids book, written from the perspective of angels watching the things happening on earth. It’s simple and easy to read and perfect for a quick, evening devotion with little ones. I love how it talks about our journey to God and how he has a plan no matter what.

“God with Us delivers truth with imagination, creativity, and beautiful illustrations. The gospel message becomes clearer with every turn of the page. Like a symphony of truth that crescendos to the final fanfare, God with Us ends with a finale that connects the gospel dots and offers an invitation to believe. Bravo and well done!” —Marty Machowski, Pastor and author of The Ology, Wonderful, Long Story Short, and other gospel-centered resources for church and home.

Check out their website here. Buy here.

And, enter below for a chance to win your very own copy of “God With Us”. Keep it for yourself or gift it to a kid in your life.

 

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Roar Like a Lion – Review and Giveaway

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

Roar Like a Lion by Levi Lusko with Tama Fortner is a 90 day devotional book for kids.

With eye-catching art, fascinating stories and facts, Bible verses and prayers, and simple action steps, this 90-day devotional will help your kids approach both fun moments and tough times with their hearts set on God’s faithfulness.

  • Facing fears about school and friendships
  • Dealing with peer pressure and bullying
  • Handling new challenges, disappointments, and grief
  • Having courage to try something new
  • Understanding how we each fit into God’s great story

I love the fun pictures and the little extra info in the bubble at the end of each devotion . I also love how each devotion is short and perfect for reading to kids.

Each devotion starts with a verse and ends with a little prayer. And, 90 days of devotions is perfect for encouraging a daily devotion habit in my kiddos. They’re enjoying these devotions and absolutely LOVE the lion on the cover!

You can order your own copy here! And enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of Roar Like a Lion!

 

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Vooks Giveaway

Many thanks to Vooksfor providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Try free for 30 days! Go to www.vooks.com to sign up!

What is Vooks?

  • Vooks is a streaming library of ad-free, kid-safe animated storybooks, trusted by teachers and enjoyed by millions of children around the world each week.
  • Vooks is an entire library of storybooks, brought to life, to help encourage the love of reading.
  • 100% kid-friendly and parent-approved!
  • Vooks strengthens literacy and vocabulary & promotes independent learning!
  • Vooks has free, fun and printable lesson plans!
  • Vooks lesson plans offer discussion topics, engaging activities, and more!

What do I like about Vooks?

  • The books are fun! Seriously, my kids have watched Ruckus on the Ranch a dozen times already.
  • So many books. We’ve been exploring Vooks for over a week now and haven’t seen them all yet.
  • Once you watch one you have to watch more. I love that it’s hard for my kids to stop at just one book.
  • It inspires play. My kids discovered that they can get our home speaker to play Ruckus on the Ranch and now we have a whole ranch / cowboy play that they’re planning for the backyard this summer!
  • It makes books fun. And now they want to read more books on Vooks and not on Vooks.
  • So many lesson plans! There might be a plan for every book, there’s a lot of them!

There are a lot of books on Vooks. And with 4 kids, it’s nice to have someone else read to my kids! The books on here are so cute and fun. There’s music, animation, and of course, all the words for the kids to follow along. There are 4 languages to choose from and from what I can see, it looks like all the books are available in all 4 languages. Which is pretty cool! There’s a Vooks app for devices and it works on an internet browser, so you have a variety of ways to view.

But, best of all, my kids love Vooks!

Want to check it out for yourself? Try free for 30 days! Go to www.vooks.com to sign up!

AND I get to give away a one year subscription to Vooks! Enter below and head over to my Instagram for a couple extra entries!

 

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Reading for Kids

I received the below books free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own. *this post contains affiliate links*

I am absolutely loving the Read City USA challenge for 2021. They’re challenging everyone to read 20 minutes a day. You can join through your local library and then at every 10 hours mark you earn a sticker. We just stopped in our local library this week and pick up our first sticker. And my 4th grader who is all about doing things to their fullest, picked up her 10 hour and her 20 hour sticker. She’s figured out that if she reads an hour a day she can earn every single possible sticker. So, she’s been averaging 1 hour and 20 minutes of reading a day.

This challenge goes through the end of December 2021 so there’s plenty of time to get started and encourage your kids to read more! I’m on a perpetual hunt for new books for my kids and I’ve definitely struck gold with my latest 2 book reviews! Keep reading to discover a couple of our new favorites!

One book that my girls recently enjoyed is “The Friendship Fairies – Go to School“.

The Friendship Fairies by Lucy Kennedy – Illustrated by Phillip Cullen is a super cute book about 3 Fairy friends and their adventures back to school at the Magic Manor.

Faced with new challenges both in school and in their friendships, how will they make this a great back to school experience for everyone!

I love the friendly story and the fun illustrations and am happy to have my girls reading a book about the challenges of making new friends. Friendships are even harder this year and it was so good for them to read about other girls facing friendship challenges and overcoming them!

My son was super excited to help me review these books and CD from Friendly Fables by RAP DAD.

These books and the rap music are so much fun! My boys love rap music. I do not, so I have no idea what rap artists are appropriate for kids and who is not. It’s so hard for me to find raps that I actually like the boys listening to, because I’m so unfamiliar with the genre.

I was excited to try something new, and designed for kids. These do not disappoint. They’re fun, catchy, approved by me, and greatly liked by my boys. Plus, with matching books, my 2nd grader is actually excited to read, and his little brother is excited to listen to him read, because they both think that these are so cool.

Dino Rap is our current favorite, and the cd is now a permanent addition to my car!

Share with me in the comments, what’s something your child has read and loved this year! I’m going to run out of books really fast if my kids keep up this reading pace all year, and I need some new suggestions!

Family Friendly Holiday Activities

I received these items free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Elyptol

I know we’re all staying home for the holidays, but I still want my surfaces clean for all the fun family activities we’re doing. So, before we get started, these hard surface wipes from Elyptol are perfect for wiping down the table or counter.

With natural ingredients and a Eucalyptus clean scent, these wipes are perfect for any solid household surfaces.

Elyptol has hand sanitizer, sprays, wipes, and liquid soap. Even if I wasn’t being extra cautious about germs this year, my 3yr old son is still struggling to accurately hit the inside of the toilet, so, I’m doing a LOT of bathroom cleaning. It’s nice to do it with a product that doesn’t dry out my skin and that leaves my bathroom smelling amazing!

Use code: germ free for a 20% discount when you order.

Adventure Challenge

Now that we have a clean work surface, the first thing my kids wanted to try out was this Adventure Challenge book.

There’s a plethora of fun family activities, you scratch off one, and have to accomplish it before you can pick another one. We just finished the one where you create a sculpture out of something from your fridge. It was so much fun!

There’s tape strips by each challenge for sticking on a photo of your adventures. When we’re all done it’s going to be an awesome book full of fun memories!

It’s hard to beat having fun AND being able to look back easily and remember it.

I’m loving the randomness of the activities, this makes them so fun and unique. And I love that I have a fun activity literally at my fingertips for those days when we just can’t think of anything to do.

So much fun!!!

You’re Pulling My Leg Jr

This game is simple, you ask a question – like tell me about a time an animal tried to bite you – the answerer flips a coin and doesn’t let anyone else see it, heads is the truth and tails is a lie.

The Answerer then answers the question by telling a story with the designated truth or lie and the listeners have to guess if the story is true or not.

We started this the other night and the kids did not want to stop! It’s so much fun coming up with random stories (or true stories) and trying to trick your siblings (and parents).

We got many laughs out of this game and have plans to play it again tonight.

The best thing is, you can easily play this game with a large variety of ages and everyone can have fun tricking everyone else. I plan to pull it out for our next extended family zoom call.

Pando

So this game arrived all wrapped up, with this cool note. I liked the game before I even played it! Obviously, the creators of this game are super creative, which is everything I could hope for in a get to know you trivia game!

This game works as a couples game, a group party game, and even as a family game. It’s funny how my questions my husband and I did’t know the answers to for each other!

The kids thought it was so fun to learn random information about everyone, and there really are so hilarious questions/answers that happened while we were playing.

This is another game that is perfect for family or friend zoom calls as well as family game night.

With all these awesome activities, my kids are well entertained this holiday season, while still learning about each other, and staying safe!

 

Santa in a Snow Globe

Santa in a Snow Globe by A.H. Edelman

NEW ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN’S BOOK HONESTLY EXPLAINS WHY THE HOLIDAYS WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR — AND HOW TO HOLD ONTO THE CHRISTMAS MAGIC

The holidays are typically a season of unbridled merriment and joy. However, this year’s celebrations are going to look a bit different. Recognizing the challenges this year’s holiday season will bring, New Jersey mom A.H. Edelman was inspired to write Santa in a Snow Globe, the first illustrated children’s book to offer parents, caregivers, and children a starting point to talk about life’s new realities—explained straightforwardly by Santa—complete with timeless advice, beautiful inclusive illustrations, and a big dose of Christmas cheer.

The mom of two was reading the business section of the Sunday New York Times when she saw a story about protecting Santas from COVID-19 this year. “The president of the International Brotherhood of the Real Bearded Santas—yes, it’s a real trade group—mentioned how they would explain to kids this year that Santa would need to sit behind some type of barrier,” Edelman says.

“Evidently Santa is in a high-risk group: many have diabetes, are overweight, and elderly.” Edelman thought about how, in 2020, children have had to adapt to new holiday traditions and celebrations nearly all year long. “Kids already couldn’t celebrate Easter, they sat out most of the summer and Halloween. They’re really going to want to see Santa for Christmas, or at least be assured he’s still coming,” she adds.

Going beyond mask-wearing and social distancing, Santa in a Snow Globe also touches on issues the world is facing today, including climate change and protests. However, Edelman’s Santa still shares a positive message of hope and the importance of appreciating the simpler things in life.

About the Author A.H. Edelman is the author of The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair. And, yes, she still believes in Santa. She lives in Montclair, NJ.

About the Illustrator Serge Srećko Gall, originally from Zagreb, Croatia, is a painter and illustrator whose work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Esquire, and The New Yorker. He lives in Hillsdale, NY and is currently working on his autobiographical graphic novel.

My Review

This book is super cute, and I love the simple rhyme and how it explains to children in a lighthearted and easy to understand way why Christmas is going to be a bit different this year, and how that’s OK.

The pictures are so fun and the rhyme is easy to read, it’s a book that my children will enjoy over and over this season, and is a great segway into answering their questions about what’s happening this season.

“Because of Covid” is already a common phrase is my house, and while that makes me super sad as a parent to see my kids missing things that I had hoped for, it’s also helpful for us to talk about why things are different and how we can still have a great holiday.

I love how this book inspires parents and kids alike to talk about not just having fun for ourselves, but looking outside of ourselves and considering how we can encourage others this holiday season.

Plus, we love snow globes in my house, so seeing Santa in a Snow Globe in real life would actually be kind of awesome!!!

Question and Answer with the Author

QUESTION: Congratulations on Santa in a Snow Globe! Tell us about the book.

A.H. Edelman: Santa in a Snow Globe is the origin story of how and why St. Nick will be found sitting ‘in a place that is clear and quite round’ when families come to share their wish lists with him this holiday season. The book offers parents, caregivers, and children a starting point to talk about life’s new realities explained straightforwardly by Santa, complete with some timeless advice, beautiful and inclusive illustrations, and a big dose of Christmas cheer.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

Edelman: I got the idea for the story after reading an article in the business section of The New York Times Sunday edition when the president of the International Brotherhood of the Real Bearded Santas mentioned how they would explain to kids this year that Santa would need to sit behind some type of barrier. Evidently Santa is in a high-risk group: many have diabetes, are overweight, and elderly. I thought about how, in 2020, kids already couldn’t celebrate Easter, they sat out most of the summer and Halloween. They’re really going to want to see Santa for Christmas—or at least be assured he’s still coming.

Q: You are a parent to two girls. Why do you think it’s important for parents to talk openly with their kids about the news and world events?

Edelman: As a parent, I can understand people asking whether this is the type of news we want to share with our children. And my answer is, ‘Yes, we have to.’ Kids are perceptive, and with pretty much everyone wearing masks these days, it’s hard not to know something is up. They stayed close to home most of the summer; some are still not physically back in school. Some have had relatives or friends die from COVID-19. Many have seen, or suffered from, smoke from numerous wildfires. It’s a tough world out there, but this wouldn’t be the first generation of kids to learn the hard lessons of needing to keep a stiff upper lip, thinking of others before themselves, being kind, and giving to those who have less.

Q: What do you want parents and kids to take with them after they read Santa in a Snow Globe?

Edelman: Many kids are already aware they are not living in a world solely consisting of sunshine and lollipops. But they also know—innately—that love is stronger than hate. Perhaps that is a lesson they can share with their parents. As the author of this book, I want to try to change the conversation that we as parents are having with our kids. I’ve learned that kids are resilient, which gives me hope. Our grandparents, or great-grandparents, lived through the depression. Some of my family survived the Holocaust. Our parents were taught to duck and cover in the 1950s—remember bomb shelters? And Bambi’s mom died. In fact, most of Hans Christian Andersen’s and Grimms’ fairy tales are pretty, well, grim. And really, it’s the older kids who are today leading the fight for gun control and climate change awareness—Greta Thunberg was 15 when she started to protest.

Q: You wrote this book with a lot of honesty. Why so?

Edelman: The book offers a starting point to talk and learn about life’s new realities. Some of the messages in the book may seem dark, but these are the times we’re living in. Kids are resilient and they deserve to learn about what’s going on, albeit by Santa. This generation of kids is not the first to have to deal with hardships and reality. Christmas is all about peace on earth and goodwill towards men and women. That’s a good message to send. All hope is not lost if we’re kind to each other and help those who need it most—and believe in science!

Q: You’re Jewish. Why did you write a Christmas book? Do you believe in Santa and the magic of Christmas?

Edelman: I’m an optimist. I’m also an adult Jewish woman who still believes in Santa Claus and happy endings. So, of course, Santa will show up on Christmas Eve, but before he does, he has a few words to say about what he sees happening in the world, how we—both parents and kids— can help change it and what matters most.

Santa in a Snow Globe is available now in hardcover, paperback and ebook at SantainaSnowGlobe.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever books are sold.

Vote – and Giveaway

Mommy, Am I American? by Aila Malik, Illustrated by Dawood Marion

This is a cute little book about a little boy asking his mom who is an American? What does America stand for? And how he can be an American?

The author does a great job of staying out of politics and focusing on what really makes us all Americans. Caring for our neighbors, regardless of country of origin, political affiliation, religion, etc.

Parent activist and children’s book author Aila Malik has teamed up with Culk to create the Vote for Kindness clothing collection:  https://tinyurl.com/VoteforKindnessMalik

Elections are opportunities to create new societal norms, new influences, and messengers for our children. Why does our voice matter?

“Who we put into office as leaders of our community, at all altitudes of government, serve as role models to normalize behavior for our next generation,” says Malik. “Kids won’t understand or remember the intricacies of a divided house on pushing through particular legislation, but they will remember expressions of anger, hate, and name-calling interviews. If we expect kindness and justice from our kids, in how they respect others, cooperate at school, and build community, we must be active in choosing candidates not just on their ‘doing’ but mostly on their way of ‘being.”

Malik is a first-generation Pakistani-American, lawyer by schooling, nonprofit executive by trade, author, and mother of three who is on a mission to expand patriotism. Her children’s book, Mommy, Am I American?, helps parents and caregivers of children in grades 1-5 learn the impact they can have through their children, and define kindness and inclusivity as accessible activism.

Malik traveled to 41 countries over a year (8 months before the COVID-19 outbreak) with her family of five–(husband, Kapil, son, Zayan (age 13), daughter, Kenza (age 10), and youngest son, Kaysan (AKA Kaysee; age 8)  and documented their journey on her Franklin Street Globetrotters blog and shares videos on social. Here’s a preview:

Regardless of our political affiliations this election season, let’s show kindness and respect to each other as we vote, work, play, etc. And let’s show our kids how it’s done! Because that’s the American Spirit!

Check out Aila Malik on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Online.

And check out Culk’s fun line of election #VoteKindness gear!

I received these products free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Enter below to win your very own Vote For Kindness Shirt.

Beautiful Word Coloring Bible, girls gift set – Review

*I received a copy of the NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible for Girls Gift Set from Zondervan (HarperCollins Christian Publishing) for this review. This post is sponsored by Zondervan. *

Created especially for girls ages 8 to 12, this beautiful Bible, sticker sheets and coloring pencil set provides the tools for young artists to express themselves.

Girls will get creative through coloring and journaling in the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible for Girls. Included are pencils to color, blend and shade the detailed line art surrounding hundreds of inspiring verses. This Bible gift set is perfect for the special young girl in your life and will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.

Features include:

· Complete text of the accurate, readable and clear New International Version (NIV)

· Over 600 verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art

· Four colored pencils

· Six sheets of stickers designed for girls

· Thick white paper for writing and doodling

· Lined, wide margins for notes and reflections

· Satin ribbon marker

· Beautifully debossed and screen-printed cover

· Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface in a readable 8-point print size

I was expecting 1 gift set to review and they surprised me by sending 2. Which is perfect since I have 2 daughters!

My girls are thrilled with their new bibles! According to my oldest, all good Bibles come with a ribbon, and this one does not disappoint!

The colored pencils are soft and perfect for coloring in the beautifully illustrated Bible pages.

And what I find super interesting, the box that the Bible comes in is so pretty, that my girls insist on storing their Bibles, pencils, and stickers in the box after each use.

The Bible cover is so pretty, I keep trying to talk them into getting rid of the box, but they want to keep their Bible safe, and I totally understand!

It is fun to watch them pull out their Bibles and color the page we’re on while we’re reading each day. It’s great for helping them stay focused and for just being creative with their Bible!

This is a beautiful gift set!

You can purchase it on Zondervan or ChristianBook.

Take a peek inside here. I just love how there’s always a place to color or write!

Want to start coloring before your Bible arrives? Download and print these adorable coloring sheets!

Colton’s Time Machine – Review

*I received these books free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.

Colton’s Time Machine by Rebecca Massey

I was sent book 3 and book 4. Colton’s Time Machine book 3 is about Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin. Colton’s Time Machine book 4 is about Betsy Ross, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty.

Colton is a little boy with little baby dragons and a time machine in his tree house. They all travel together through time and visit a variety of historical places and historical people. Colton’s Time Machine series is a spin off from Colton’s Pocket Dragon series. That series starts with him finding dragon eggs, helping them hatch, and discovering his dragon friends.

Colton’s Time Machine books each cover 3 historical people or places in American history. The story spends a lot of time on Colton and his Dragons in funny situations back in history and is interspersed with dates and important facts about the historical figure or place. A great way to share historical information with kids without overwhelming them with too many details.

You can purchase all these fun Colton books on Amazon!