This sweet, inspiring, new picture book, Dear Mama God, refers to God as "Mama." I have traditional views, but am learning how to be open to different interpretations of God. Dear Mama God, by Daneen Akers with incredible art by Gillian Eilidh O’Mara, is an expansive, child's prayer of wonder, delight & gratitude addressed to God as Mama. Dear Mama God embodies the peace and comfort of God's motherly love. I'm being stretched by this new vision of God as Mother. The author, Daneen Akers, explains: “God isn't gendered, yet for too long we've exclusively used masculine language and metaphors, and this has harmed all of us. It's entirely scriptural too--Jewish and Christian scriptures have numerous references and images of a mothering, nurturing, and feminine God.” I received a complimentary copy of the book to help promote it. I gave it to my granddaughter. While the concept of God as Mama is included, the focus of the book is the prayer.
This new board book, My Tender Heart Bible, by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Sandra Eide, is written for young children. Fun rhymes employ onomatopoeia, alliteration, and imagery to create a clear, simple message so little ones can understand and remember. Twelve Bible stories, six from the Old Testament and six from the New Testament, are included. The Old Testament stories feature: creation, Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, manna, and Esther. The New Testament stories feature: Jesus’ birth, baptism, donkey ride to Jerusalem, the Easter story, and more. Each one ends with a simple prayer of thanks, the “heart” message. This book is a wonderful addition to Laura Sassi’s other faith-based books. It’s a special way to share the Bible with children and let them know how much God loves them. I was given a free digital copy to help promote Laura's book. I highly recommend it!
A precious new picture book, The Mouse in the Manger, retells the nativity story from the perspective of someone who is small and helpless. That’s one reason children like mice characters. Children sometimes feel that way. The book asks a question we ask ourselves. What can we give? What is worthy enough to give the Christ child? (I won’t spoil it by telling you the mouse’s special gift.) Authors Eric and Meredith Schrotenboer gentle rhymes give this story a new perspective. They add cultural and historical significance to the setting in the story and include information in the backmatter. Bathed in softness and light, the artistic illustrations by Wolfordeer Colony Studios pull back the curtain and let the reader glimpse at that fateful night. This book will be enjoyed by families every Christmas. I was given access to a digital copy to write this review, and I’m so glad I was! The mouse learned, “No matter how small you are, you can still make a big difference!”
Happy Birthday, Christmas Child!
The adorable illustrations by Gabi Murphy in Laura Sassi’s new board book, Happy Birthday Christmas Child, make you want to hug it. They are charming! The artwork is perfectly paired with Laura’s fun rhymes. She tells the nativity story in an engaging way by counting the shepherds, the angels, and more. Numbers are interspersed with rhyming verses so you might not notice them (except for the bold type). The sweet story is perfect for young children.
Characters include mice and spiders in the manger—of course, there must have been! Telling about the birth of Jesus will delight the whole family. I had a hard time choosing my favorite verse, but finally decided on the angels:
Eight angels fill the sky with light
and sing, “Good news! This holy night
to you is born God’s precious son.
You’ll find him in a manger. Run!”
I was given access to a digital copy to write this review. Highly recommended to read this Christmas season with your little ones!
Oliver's Battle: The Armor of God - Book Two - The Breastplate of Righteousness by Barb Seregi
This is a really sweet book with a great lesson from the Bible. I love the positive relationship between Oliver and his mother. She shows wisdom and kindness and helps Oliver in this "teachable moment." I really enjoyed reading it. I think it would be perfect read in a Sunday school setting as an extension of a Bible reading or at home as a family. The illustrations are charming. I was given an advanced digital copy of this book to help the author, Barb Seregi, promote it. What a great addition to her series!
As a grandmother of three grade school age children, twin boys and a girl, I've observed their struggles with big feelings and would love to help them learn how to cope. I can't wait to share Valerie Coulman's book, Dragons on the Inside (And Other Big Feelings), with them! Valerie uses ordinary, daily experiences--exactly the ones my grandchildren are experiencing--like playing soccer on a team for the first time and moving to a new place, attending a new school. I love the way Valerie includes what's going on "on the outside" and "on the inside."
The analogies, a dragon, a roller coaster, a walrus, and more are so relatable and fun.Artist Alexandra Colombo's warm, wonderful, colorful illustrations help to bring the boy's story to life. And the focus isn't just on experiencing bad feelings, but good feelings, too, like the happiness of making a new friend. Helpful parent pages are included at the end, "Talking to Children About Emotions." I was given a complimentary copy of this book to help promote it, and I'm so glad I did! Children today have to cope with so much, and this book will help start a conversation and a road to understand. I highly recommend it!
God Made You Too
From my 5-star Amazon book review: I love this precious picture book, God Made You Too! This book helps children know how special they are. After God created outer space, Earth, and the sea, he wasn’t done—YOU are his most awesome creation! Author Chelsea Tornetto wrote fun, descriptive rhyme children will love: “The God who made the octopus and taught the hawk to soar; the one who made the peacock’s tail and gave the lion its roar…” Illustrations by Kimberley Barnes are colorful, endearing, and active works of art. This would be perfect to give as a baby shower gift or preschool age child. I’m so glad I was given access to a digital copy of this book to write my review. Hurrah for Chelsea and her picture book debut! –Amy Houts, Christian Q&A Book for Kids
Wrong Side of the Bed
From my 5-star review on Amazon: Konni’s Byford book, Wrong Side of the Bed, teaches something very important. It’s not our circumstances that matter, it’s how we react to them. Told in rhyming verse through the viewpoint of a grade-school age boy who (at first) reacts negatively to normal, everyday events like itchy clothing, losing a soccer game, and going to bed early. We can all relate, right? By the end of the book, he’s learned how to change his attitude and his life for the better. And you know what? So did I! I’m honored I was provided with a digital copy of this book to write my review. The loving family portrayed in the illustrations by Savannah Horton warmed my heart. The artwork helped me feel and understand what this boy was going through.
Garden Are for Growing
From my 5-star Amazon book review: Gardens Are for Growing by Chelsea Tornetto surprised me. I thought the story would focus on the basics of a garden and it started out that way with a father and daughter planting seeds. But this book elevated the story, went much further than a simple garden primer. This is a book about family, about generations, about growing up—that was the surprise. This touching story shows a father growing old and his “little girl” leaving, seasons changing, and finally coming back again, this time with her own baby. Of course, they have to go to the garden. The illustrations by Hsulynn Pang have a lovely, old-fashioned, Americana quality, especially the one filled with fruits of the harvest, pumpkins, apples, pears, sunflowers. I am honored I was given access to a digital copy of this book to my review. I highly recommend it. –Amy Houts, author of Christian Q&A Book for Kids
I love reading and reviewing picture books!