New Apologia Picture Book

Product: How do we know God is really there? by:  Melissa Cain Travis Type of Product:  Picture book Publisher:  Apologia Cost:  $16.00 Sample: Click for a sample and to order. Summary: Thomas and his father escape to their backyard tree house most evenings to watch the night sky through a telescope. Thomas is dazzled by what he sees of God’s creation, but he has questions. “Dad, how do we know God is out there?” he asks one night. “I know the Bible says He’s there. But how do we really know that’s true?” Together, Thomas and his father begin to … Continue reading

Creating a Reading Nook

I love children’s books as much as my children. I love the imagination, creativity, innocence, wonder, and transportation to another world even one where animals talk and have afternoon tea. Books bring a sense of wonder and if you select the right book the words can be mesmerizing. I love the way words sound as they come together to form a beautiful thought. Books are magic. It is the magic I want to share with my children. Further, I want my children to enjoy reading on their own. The best way to encourage an emerging reader is to make reading … Continue reading

My Favorite Book Reviews of 2008

Most of my readers won’t be surprised to learn that I love to read—kids’ books, adult books, nonfiction, picture books—anything. But even I was surprised to learn that I’ve reviewed over 45 books this year. Since many bookstores have post-holiday sales, and since many of us were fortunate enough to receive bookstore gift cards, I’m challenging myself to pick my favorite “top twelve” of the adoption books I’ve reviewed this year. I began the year by starting a series: Adoption Books with Great Art. Although I’m a “word person”, I’ve become increasingly moved by the beautiful ways some artists can … Continue reading

Who’s Who in the Book of Mormon – Brad Ballard

I always get excited when I discover an LDS-themed children’s picture book that I can enjoy with my children, that teaches important gospel principles and yet is presented in a way they find entertaining. I was so pleased to learn about “Who’s Who in the Book of Mormon” by new author/illustrator Brad Ballard. As we open the book, we first note the cute illustrations. They aren’t elaborate, but they’re effective and well-done. I especially liked the sheep, which look like kernels of popcorn with legs. Each page contains a full-length flap which is folded out to reveal more of the … Continue reading

Henry’s Show and Tell – Nancy Carlson

“Henry’s Show and Tell” by Nancy Carlson is the cute story of a little gray mouse named Henry. He loves to go to kindergarten and listen to stories, learning his letters, singing songs, and painting pictures. He has a wonderful teacher named Ms. Bradley, and he really likes to go outside and play ball with his friends. But with all these things to love, unfortunately there’s something he doesn’t love . . . show and tell! He likes hearing what the other kids have to share. It’s interesting to hear them talk about their collections, their favorite things, and their … Continue reading

I’d Really Like to Eat a Child – Sylviane Donnio

The title of this children’s picture book brought me up short when I saw it at the library, and then I just had to pick it up. I loved it. Little Achilles Crocodile has always eaten bananas for his breakfast, and every morning, his mother compliments him on how big and strong he’s getting. But one day, he decides he’s not going to eat his bananas. What he really would like is to eat a child. “But children don’t grow on trees!” his mother points out, and tries to get him to eat his bananas. He refuses. So his father … Continue reading

The Tortoise and the Hare Race Again – Dan Bernstein

Have you ever wished you could go back in time and fix something that happened in your past? In the children’s picture book “The Tortoise and the Hare Race Again,” that very thing takes place. It all begins with a bad hare day. The hare feels mocked and belittled as the other animals laugh at his failure to defeat the tortoise. He did come in second, but in a race between two people, that’s really not saying much, now, is it? All the rabbits made it their business to tease the hare whenever they see him. In fact, Stu Rabbit … Continue reading

Stone Soup – Marcia Brown

Marcia Brown won a Caldecott Medal in 1947 for her version of an old French folktale, Stone Soup. This is a great story of ingenuity and cooperation. In the story, three soldiers are returning home from the wars. They are tired and haven’t had any food for two days. They come upon a village and ask for food. But the peasants have seen them coming and have hidden everything. The peasants try to look hungry and offer up good reasons for not having any food, sick fathers, poor harvests, and grain that must be kept for seed. The soldiers announce … Continue reading

Mystery at the Club Sandwich – Doug Cushman

I love corny jokes—well, most corny jokes, that is. “Mystery at the Club Sandwich” is just full of ‘em, and puns and all sorts of things that will probably make the parents laugh more than the children, but that’s okay. Our main character is hardened detective Nick Trunk, who is an elephant. He’s a private investigator who doesn’t charge much—he works for peanuts. One day, a lady who looked like trouble walked into his office and introduced herself as Maggie Trouble. She came on behalf of a lady named Lola who lost her marbles. She wants Nick to come investigate … Continue reading

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse – Kevin Henkes

Lilly is a cute little white mouse who loves school. She loves the sharpened pencils (she’s a mouse after my own heart) and she loves the chalk (okay, not so much) and her desk and her lunch and her teacher, Mr. Slinger. He was so wonderful. He wore a different colored tie every day of the week. He was friendly, he let them rearrange their desks, and he brought snacks. Being a teacher would be really cool, Lilly thought. She decided to play teacher when she got home, using her baby brother Julius as her student. She told her parents … Continue reading