Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow

So many of us live life looking for our purpose. We read books to help us find what is our purpose in this life we are living? Even as adults, we struggle with this. If we struggle with this as adults, do children encounter similar questions? What is their purpose at their young age?

Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow by Shelby Herman touches on finding that purpose in simple terms that children can understand. Shimmer has no idea what her purpose is and it’s causing her glow to fade. She leaves the ME TREE to find out what makes her glow.

If it makes you happy to provide wisdom, then go ahead and be that wisdom. If it makes you happy to be colorful, then be colorful. If it makes you happy to bounce, then bounce away! What is it that makes you happy? Go ahead and do that.

Colorful and simple, Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow takes children through a few possibilities to help them learn how to find their purpose, what makes them glow. My nearly seven year old son has difficulty figuring out what he can do to help others, something he enjoys.

Illustrations compliment the story and enhance the simplicity in this story. I especially love the creatures involved in this book. Each are attractive and welcoming into the storyline.

You know, when I think about finding my own glow, I’m reminded of our dog. She would always be there with kisses and hugs whenever we walked in the door. Her being around us was what made her glow. She was full of life to encourage and bring out my own glow. As a pet, it’s amazing how a creature can bring out the best in us just by being herself.

Sometimes finding your glow is harder than others. As adults, we should work in an industry that we enjoy because otherwise that’s a terrible way to spend our day, right? Do you love what you do? If your answer is no, I highly recommend reading Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow by Shelby Herman!

A complimentary electronic copy of Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow was provided for an honest review.

Open the Five Questions of Christmas all year ’round

The tinsel and ornaments, Christmas trees and presents, big sales at retailers and gift card bonuses at restaurants, it’s everywhere you look for many days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day. But it’s really about none of that! Before Christmas 2015, my six year old asked me, “Can Christmas be every day?”

In fact, we should celebrate it daily. After all, if it wasn’t for the birth of Jesus, there wouldn’t be a Christmas, right? So why can’t we celebrate Christmas every day?

Five Questions of Christmas, by Rob Burkhart, goes through all the various events that took place from the prophesy of Elizabeth having a son in her old age up to the virgin birth of Christ, including when all the shepherds and Magi came to visit him (and the events that took place before their arrival). Burkhart goes into much detail and brings up many points that I once overlooked. It is amazing how much actually transpired in the months leading up to the birth of Christ.

This book carries characteristics of an owl. Owls are known to be calm and insightful creatures. In a similar way, Five Questions of Christmas is a book that digs into each significant moment in scripture that leads through the birth of Jesus, including the Magi visiting baby Jesus. Prior to reading this book, I read this scriptures about Elizabeth and Mary and didn’t see the context of what life might have been like for them or how significant their being in this story of Jesus is important to see the big picture.

Owls also tend to have a hint of philosophical ideology. Similarly, the insights provided in Five Questions of Christmas has enlightened me in philosophically understanding the importance of each moment of the birth of Christ in a way that requires so much more than simple words on a page. Understanding the characteristics involved in the individuals as well as the culture is key to fully grasping the story of the virgin birth.

For example, when the angel appeared to Mary to tell her she would be the mother of the Messiah, she did not expect God to change her circumstances, rather she confirmed to His. This was a very dangerous time to be pregnant without being married. It carried a death sentence for her and her child. Instead of complaining about her circumstances, Mary endured and persevered. She said “yes” to God and followed through.

“We’d rather God be part of our plans than be part of His.” -Rob Burkhart, Five Questions of Christmas

Although it took me a couple months to read this book, it was simply because the Christmas busy-ness and life of a full-time working parent of a 6 year old who recently started a new job encompassed many waking hours. Five Questions of Christmas is a well-written book that can be read any time of year and it’s tools utilized throughout the year in our every day struggles.

Excellently and insightfully put together I highly recommend this book to anyone who is willing to dig deeper than the scripture on the pages in their Holy Bible. An electronic copy of Five Questions of Christmas was provided for an honest review from NetGalley.

Reviewing: Strike at Charles’ Farm & Are You Eating My Lunch?

Two adorable bilingual children’s books, written by Canadian Dr Nicole Audet, Strike at Charls’ Farm and Are You Eating My Lunch? Simple and entertaining for young children, these books are sure to keep those children guessing!

Bilingual books are not very common here in the States. I found it fascinating to have both French and English on the same pages. This would be especially useful for bilingual readers, who can share the stories in both languages. French is not language I know how to read, so I would be difficult for me to share appropriately.

Strike at Charles’ Farm is a simple story about going around a farm with each animal not doing what they are supposed to be doing. The animals are very honest sharing their complaint about the farm. The farmer, Charles, simply offers them to ask the zoo to fulfill their requests, they might get the treatment they want. Will the animals return to doing their job? Or will they prefer to live at the zoo?

Are You Eating My Lunch? takes the reader through a zoo. Again, the talking animals are cute and welcoming. A boy is asking each animal if they’re eating his lunch. The animals each tell, him they’re eating their own favorite food. But, where is his lunch? Is anyone eating it?

Both books are brief and enjoyable to a preschooler, or maybe a kindergartener. My son, who is now in first grade, thought he’s too big for these stories, even though it captured his attention. The versions I received complimentary for an honest review had both English and French language on the pages. Having my son attempt to read it on his own may have been confusing for him, but once I explain to him where to look for the English words, he would be fine.

In both books, the animals are colorful and adorable. There’s little distraction of backgrounds and the focus simply on the character the page is about. This makes learning to read the words on a child’s own a bit easier to accomplish as it is common for them to use the images to develop an idea of the story.

Personally, I enjoyed these cute and adorable stories. It would be great for a bilingual preschool class, or a class that was teaching a second language.

Peli – a rhyme of courage and salvation

A pelican named Peli is different from the rest. He doesn’t flaunt it, but instead calls himself blessed. Peli hears a call (is it a little fish? or is it God?) that requires some courage, to save a little fish from an angry shark. The little fish is stuck in the seaweed and the shark sees it trapped. As Peli gets closer, the shark snaps at Peli. Will Peli save the little fish and get away from the shark? 

This is an adorable rhyming story of Peli and his adventures. The story shares how God speaks to each of us differently and we just need to listen. When we hear God’s calling, it is up to us to respond. Are you prepared to answer God’s calling? Are you strong enough to evade a shark’s persistent attacks? Then the story takes a very different turn than expected, going from saving the little fish to becoming a father.

Personally, I found it to be more like two stories placed together, one with saving the little fish from the shark and then the ending where Peli meets a female and is having a baby. It might flow better as two different stories instead of thrown together as one. As a Christian based book, placing more emphasis on the relationships between male no female prior to the coming baby should be emhasized more than the living happily ever after part. 

Peli, by Tammy Dominigue and illustrated by Jared Knight, was provided complimentary for an honest review, via Reading Deals. The copy I received was only capable to open on my Kindle Paperwhite device, which is black and white. Therefore, I am unable to view any colors that a color device might be able to see. However, I find the black and white version to she very artistic and simple enough for kids like my six year old. I am sure he would appreciate the color version, but he got the storyline and enjoyed it. 

Happy New Year 2016!

It’s truly amazing how time flies so quickly! I cannot believe it’s already 2016!

How many books did you read last year? I believe I was somewhere around 40, but my goal was 20. Granted many of those books were kids books, so that doesn’t really count, or does it? 

My goal for 2016 is to read and review at least two books a week. That’s a total of 104?! I must be insane!

You see, my plan is to post at least two reviews a week and maybe a third post just to share the latest and greatest in reading and reading skills. But, don’t hold your breath, sometimes life gets the best of me. 

Just a quick reminder, I now write book reviews for various places including so far: NetGalley, Bostick Communications (Xulon Press), Reading Deals, and the occasional request via this site or my Twitter account. These are all books provided to me at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

Best wishes to you and your family this year. You are in my prayers !