I'm so glad I was able to read a digital copy of a new book for 6-10 year olds, Faith & Science with Dr. Fizzlebop (aka author Brock Eastman) in exchange for writing a review. I love that it combines faith and science. I believe God created the universe and science is a way to explain it. Dr. Fizzlebop makes it fun! With 320 pages, it's a great value featuring 52 easy experiments (one for each week of the year). Each experiment begins with the Bible basis and an introduction then lists supplies, step-by-step instructions, scientific explanation, AND a related devotional, questions and prayer, helping kids (and adults) make important connections. The author includes warnings to keep kids safe. Plus, you can see videos of the experiments on the author's website. This book is a winner!
I love seeing what other authors--many of whom have become my friends--are writing and publishing. Some are their own original ideas. Others, like the following, published by Callisto Media, were written on assignment. All of them are inspiring, enjoyable, and fun!
Search the Rainforest, Find the Animals
by Nancy Coffelt
Illustrated by Sara Lynn Cramb
Search the Rainforest, Find the Animals features a wealth of easy-to-read information written by author Nancy Coffelt. Children ages 5 to 7 will enjoy the fun facts about animals, insects, and plants in the rainforest. Easily scannable, with titles and subtitles written in kid-friendly language, each animal in the book is highlighted. Artist Sara Lynn Cramb’s engaging illustrations fill the colorful, well-designed pages and include a can-you-find feature? to show how animals live in the wild. Containing 48 pages and a glossary, this informative book will help kids have fun learning. The concluding section shares how to protect the rainforest and what species are endangered. A detailed answer key shows how to find every animal. This book is nice addition to others on this fascinating subject. I’m happy I was given a copy to write this review. I can’t wait to share it with my 5-year old granddaughter and her brothers. I will look for other books in the series, too.
Here's my review of a sweet, new board book from a new publisher, End Game Press.
Bedtime with Mommy
by Nancy L. Sanders
Illustrated by Felia Hanakata
Sweet Bedtime Story!
Reviewed in the United States on September 26, 2021With a comforting, loving tone, the book Bedtime with Mommy cleverly includes different habitats—from the grassland to the ocean—where animals settle down to go to sleep. More importantly, it incorporates everyday ways that Moms and their children praise, thank, and pray to God. I was sent a digital copy of this book with a request to review it, and I purchased a copy as a gift for an upcoming baby shower. Talented author Nancy I. Sanders’ sweet rhymes and Felia Hanakata’s dreamy illustrations make this book really special, one your child will ask to be read again and again. --Author Amy Houts, God's Protection Covers Me (Beaming Books)
Dachshund Through the Snow
by Michelle Medlock Adams
Illustrated by Ana Sebastian
Description from Amazon:
The size of your stature is not the measure of your heart. For one tiny Dachshund, this was a mighty big lesson.
Crosby was teeny. Even for a miniature dachshund. In fact, he was the teeniest dachshund in the whole town. But his small stature and big heart made Crosby one of the best burrowers in all of the North Pole. That’s why he couldn’t wait to enter the North Pole Animal Olympics and burrow his way to a gold medal. Finally old enough to compete, Crosby goes to town to register on Dec. 23, but when he encounters lots of hecklers and bullies who make fun of his small size, Crosby loses his confidence. With his tail tucked between his legs, he burrows as fast and far away from town as he can, running smack dab into a stranded Santa and his divine destiny.
Humor and Heart!
Three cheers for the tiny dachshund who helps save Christmas! Written with humor and heart, author Michelle Adams shows how our God-given talents help us to win in unexpected ways. Children will ask for this book to be read again and again. --Amy Houts, author of 100+ books for children
I hadn't been to church in over a year because of COVID-19. I had been viewing the services on Facebook. But I longed to be back in my church community. I had thought about coming back after getting my vaccine, but then the Delta variant was spreading through Missouri. My friend, Sharman, asked if I wanted to attend outdoor church. That's when they set up in the parking lot. Tents for shade quickly filled up , speakers set up so everyone could hear. At 9 am, it was very warm and started off sunny. I was prepared with sun screen, a bottle of cold water, and a hat (at Sharman's suggestion). But I was very uncomfortable. How would I last for an hour? Thankfully, I remembered an umbrella in the car. Soon, the sky became overcast and there was a breeze. I was able to listen to Pastor Kim's sermon with a heightened awareness I hadn't felt in a long time. Has your church held outdoor worship? Have you enjoyed it?
My husband, Steve, is a natural. He grew up on a farm and loves to plant--from colorful flowers to vegetable vines to towering trees, our little acre is brimming with life. So, when our grandchildren came to visit, they helped! They don't have a garden at home, so this was a new experience. I enjoy cooking--nothing beats the fresh flavor and texture of vegetables straight from the garden. Do you have a garden? What do you plant?
Our grandchildren visited from Des Moines (a 2 1/2-hour drive to Maryville, Missouri) for a few days. We celebrated Charlotte's birthday. She had asked me to wait until they arrived so she could help bake the chocolate layer birthday cake. I had everything measured out and used an easy recipe where all the ingredients are measured and mixed in a large bowl. She helped for a couple of minutes. Then we heard laughing in the other room. Playing with her brothers and Grandpa was more fun--that was fine! Charlotte and her brother, Toby, help to frost the cake. We made homemade ice cream, too. What a treat!
I used this chocolate cake recipe from the Betty Crocker cookbook given to me for my 16th birthday.
COCOA FUDGE CAKE
2 cups cake flour
OR 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
½ cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan, two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans. In large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
Bake rectangle 40 to 45 minutes, rounds 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool rectangle in pan on cooling rack. Cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely. Frost with your chocolate frosting.
I started reviewing children's book years ago, and recently an industry professional recommended I share those reviews on my blog. I hope you benefit from reading my reviews and find a few titles to purchase for the children in your life--whether they are your own children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or neighbors. Enjoy!
My Arms Will Hold You Tight
by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley
Illustrated by Anna Kubaszewska
My Arms Will Hold You Tight, a precious board book by best-selling author Crystal Bowman and her daughter, Teri McKinley, is a perfect read for young children. The sweet, gentle rhymes describe a loving relationship between parent and child. Because the dreamy illustrations (by Anna Kubaszewska) portray animal parents and their young, this book represents both mothers and fathers. As the title indicates, this book describes hugging when your happy or sad, dancing or still.
My favorite verse is:
“I’ll hold you at night
to make starlight wishes
and tickle your cheeks
with firefly kisses.”
I downloaded a complimentary, digital copy of this book to write a review, and am looking forward to buying a copy for a baby shower gift. It has just the right tone for showing children they are cherished and loved. –Amy Houts, author of God’s Protection Covers Me (Beaming Books)
Last year, from January through May of 2020, I worked on a challenging (but fun!) writing assignment--and I love the finished product! I retold 60 fairytales, folktales, and classic stories as easy readers working on assignment for a South Korean educational publisher, Compass Publishing (www.compasspub.com). They publish EFL (English as a Foreign Language) books for students learning English. The boxed set of 60 books is available on their website. I gave art direction for the books as well, so it's been especially fun to see the illustrations. The books were also animated (very simply) and are available on YouTube. I downloaded the covers to my website. Click here to see the collection. I worked with great editors and had a positive experience.
My neighbor saw a crawdad in her yard. It had about 30 babies. She let it go. It burrowed down into the mud, by a drainage ditch. The babies followed her down, and then went back inside, underneath her tail. We live in Northwest Missouri. Do you have crawdads where you live? We don't see them very often, but have noticed more holes--very muddy here. Lots of rain lately!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.