Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Free Books!

I've been asked by Tyndale Publishing House to review two of their publications. When I got the email my first reaction was, Really? You want regular ol' me to offer my opinion on your books? Are you sure I'm your gal? Only 25 people read my blog (unless there's a reason for MckMama to link over to me, then my statcounter goes through the roof).
Then I remembered that I'm just like any other Christian mom out there who's always on the lookout for books that teach Godly values. So here goes nothing....

The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers
Author: Crystal Bowman
Illustrator: Elena Kucharik

If you want your children to connect their daily lives to Biblical principals in language your preschooler will understand, then this is the book for you. The author, a speaker and writer for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) grabbed Sam's attention from the first sentence. The beauty of the short, but sweet devotions is that they are interactive. Simple questions get right to the heart of the day's story and offer a chance for your child to share their feelings.

Here's an example from December 27th's devotional titled, "Win or Lose"

Parker and Jack are having a snowball fight. Each boy hopes he will win! Do you like to win when you play games? Everyone likes to win. But when you play games, everyone loses now and then. Did you know there is something you can never lose? You can never loes God's love. No matter who may be against you. God will always be on your side.

Notice that this is a Winter story? I've found that the more realvant the situation the more Sam get's out of our devotional time. The day about "Working for Fun" caught Sam's attention since he loves to bake cookies:

Kaitlyn, Jack and Parker are making Christmas cookies. It will take a lot of work. But when the cookies are done, they will get a reward - they'll have cookies to eat together! The Bible says that hard work often brings happy rewards. When the kids eat their cookies, do you think they will be happy they worked so hard?

Seeds are being planted in my son and that makes me one happy Mama! But what about actual scripture verses, you ask? Not to worry! At the bottom of each page is a Bible verse and a prayer. The prayers rhymes, which I love. I have Sam repeat every few words after me.

Lord, when there's work that needs to be done, help me remember that work can be fun. (December 18th's Working for Fun devotional)

Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions on this book or the One Year Children's Bible by Rhona Davies. The Children's Bible is geared towards Ages 6-10, but my 4 year old will sit and listen to the stories. Each day of the year covers a bible story in historical order which isn't something you see every day. In a whole passage I only need to substitute a couple words here and there in order for it to be at Sam's level. Here's a familiar story to most everyone that I think is a good representation of the easy to understand wording:

October 2 - Five Rolls and Two Little Fish
Jesus went by boat into the hills on the far side of Lake Galilee. When he found people waiting for him even there, he could not turn them away. He healed those who were sick until late in the day. Then Jesus looked at how many people had come. There were more than 5,000 men, plus women and children. Jesus turned to Philip, who came from nearby Bethsaida. "Do you know where we could by bread for all thse people?" Jesus asked. "It would cost far too much to buy bread for this number!" answered Philip.
Then Andrew, another of Jesus' friends, noticed a boy in the crowd who had with him a picnic lunch of five small barley rolls and two little fish. He brought the boy to Jesus. "This boy has some food," he said, "but it won't go very far!" Jesus took the food he was offered. "Ask the people to sit down," he said to his friends.
The people sat down on the grass and watched as Jesus took the food and asked God to bless it. Then he began to break the bread and fish into pieces. He passed it to is friends, who then shared it with the people. Th people shared the food among themselves and ate until they were no longer hungry. Then Jesus' friends went among the people picking up anything that was left. They collected 12 basketfuls of leftover pieces. More than 5,000 people ate that day and had more than enough to eat.

There is one main illustration on each two page spread, with a faint one to compliment it. I think that's just enough for the age range this book is geared towards. Some of the longer stories are broken down into two or three days so kid's attention spans aren't tested.

The coolest thing about this thru-the-Bible-in-a-year book is the "Life in Bible Times" section in the back. It is filled with factoid that bring biblical times to life. For example, Exodus 2:1-9 says, "Miriam's baby brother, Moses, was placed in a basket made of papyrus reeds from the banks of the Nile River." Who really knows what papayrus reeds are? You can look it up in the farming section and find this description:

Papyrus is a reed found in marshy areas, particularly besdie the Nile River. It grew to about 10 feet tall, wth heads of greenish fern-like flowers. It's three-cornered stem was cut into strips, and the two layers were beaten together to make paper.

Other topics include: plants & animals, families, clothing, daily life, homes & houses, towns and cities, religion, work, trade & travel, civilizations, and weapons & warriors.

Again, feel free to contact me with any questions about either of these books.

If you haven't entered the contest I mentioned in this post, click here for to enter to win one of three Tyndale books. I'd love to hear if one of my readers won!


Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom January 7, 2009 at 8:57 PM  

I really like that one-year Bible! Sounds like a wonderful way to do devotions with my boys. And the index in the back sounds great! I'll be entering that contest, that's for sure.

joy graham January 7, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

what precious books!! i just ordered the one year Bible for my oldest daughter (age 6). i was too impatient for the contest :) i think it will be perfect for her!! thanks for sharing with us ..

CntryMomma January 8, 2009 at 6:52 AM  

We own the preschool Bible. My youngest daughter really enjoyed it! And the illustrations were just precious! Haven't seen the second one ... gonna check it out. ;o)


Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom January 8, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

BTW, I gave you an award--come check it out!

Lindsay January 9, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

Oh - we have that first book (or something by the same author) too and love it! It's so cute and totally relatable to even a two year old.

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