Monday, February 26, 2018

Hinds' Feet on High Places

Hinds' Feet on High Places
by Hannah Hurnard

About the Book
Journey with Much-Afraid to new heights of love, joy, and victory!

For the first time, this beloved Christian allegory is a mixed-media special edition complete with charming watercolor paintings, antique tinted photography, meditative hand-lettered Scripture, journaling and doodling space, and designs to color. As you read and connect with the story of Much-Afraid and her trials, the pages of this book become a canvas on which to chronicle your own story, struggles, and personal triumphs.

Hinds’ Feet on High Places, with more than 2,000,000 copies sold, is a story of endurance, persistence, and reliance on God. This book has inspired millions of people to become sure-footed in their faith even when facing the rockiest of life’s terrain. The story of Much-Afraid is based on Psalm 18:33: “He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.”

The complete Hinds’ Feet story is accented by 80 full-color paintings, photography, and hand-lettered Scripture.

My Thoughts
This classic story has been recommended to me multiple times over the years, yet somehow I've never made the time for it. I wish I had because the story itself is a beautiful allegory that is easy to apply to daily life. There are so many messages and themes that could be pulled out of the story, but ultimately, it's a story about walking with Jesus and relying on God instead of yourself.

This particularly version is stunning. I mean, absolutely beautiful. The illustrations really added to the story, and I loved the Scripture added throughout. I also appreciated the journaling spaces and questions. It helped me process what I was reading and gave the story a more personal feel. I highly recommend for gift giving or personal use. I'll read this book again.  [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. However, this is a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

1, 2, 3 God Made Me (board book)

1, 2, 3 God Made Meby B&H Kids Editorial Team

About the Book
Count along and you will see how wonderfully God made me!

Freckles, fingers, toes, and nose—this delightful counting board book helps toddlers recognize parts of the wonderful bodies God gave us. Count from 1 to 10, and then start over again, thanking God along the way! 

In the Little Words Matter™ board books, it only takes a few words to tell a big story. Crafted especially for toddlers, these books make biblical truths easily understandable and enjoyable for little ones and their parents too!

Learn more here.
My Thoughts
Cute, rhyming book that helps kids count to 10, learn body parts, and hear the truth that they are uniquely made by God! A few verses are sprinkled throughout as well to support the ideas stated in the text. I also LOVED that the kids pictured on the pages all look different from one another. I can find one who looks like me, and my daughter can find one who looks like her, and others who read this book can too! This would be a great addition to any child's library. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The 365-Day Storybook Bible

The 365-Day Storybook Bible
by B&H Kids Editorial Staff

About the Book
One Story A Day—All Year Round

Favorite Bible stories come alive in this bright and colorful storybook. Take your child through the Bible in one year with a short, five-minute story each day. Children will love the illustrations and easily understand the words of this faithful, retold version.

Learn more here

My Thoughts
We are really enjoying this storybook Bible! We read a little each night, so it's nice to have a book that will last for a while! I do think the daily readings are a little shorter than we prefer, so we typically read two each night. However, the B&H Kids Editorial Team does a wonderful job including as much detail as possible from the actual Bible, yet putting it in words that a kid is more likely to understand. My husband and I have commented several times that we feel like this reads more like a true Bible than a "Bible story," which we feel will be important as our little one grows up. I also appreciate that they chose to include so many stories that shorter books don't typically have room for. It seems like you're able to go a little deeper rather than simply hitting the highlights.

Our little one is technically too young for this book now, but we feel it's important to start family devotions early. We'll be pulling this book out again and again over the years. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker

Never Unfriended
by Lisa-Jo Baker

About the Book
In a world where women can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last? Maybe by first becoming those kinds of lasting friends ourselves.

As the community manager at the website since 2010, Lisa-Jo Baker has had the chance to engage hundreds of conversations with women about friendship. She’s learned that no one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman. And nothing can wound as deeply as unkind words from a friend. While we are all hungry for friendship, it’s the fear of feeling awkward and being rejected, left out, or hurt (again) that often keep us from connecting.

But what if we knew we could never be unfriended? Would we risk friendship then? 

Starting with that guarantee from the most faithful friend who ever lived—Jesus—this book is a step-by-step guide to friendships you can trust. It answers the questions that lurk under the surface of every friendship—What are we afraid of? What can’t we change? What can we change? And where do we start?—with personal stories and practical tips to help you make the friends, and be the friend, that lasts.
My Thoughts
Friendship is something every woman craves, yet doesn't come naturally to most of us. Despite "making friends" being a skill we learned in kindergarten, it's something that we must work out throughout our entire lives.

I appreciated Lisa-Jo Baker's honest approach to friendship in her book Never Unfriended. She shared personal experiences of times when she wasn't a good friend as well as times when she was. I feel I learned as much (or more) from her "bad friend" experiences as I did from the "lessons" she was sharing. This book was practical and I feel it will help me as I continue to develop friendships that I've had for years, along with steps I can take to ensure I start new friendships on the right foot. I recommend this book to anyone hoping to be a better friend (which I hope is all of us!).

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author

Lisa-Jo Baker has been the community manager for, an online home for women all over the world, for nearly a decade. She is the author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood, and her writings have been syndicated from New Zealand to New York. She lives just outside Washington, DC, with her husband and their three very loud kids, where she connects, encourages, and champions women in person and through her website, She is convinced that the shortest distance between strangers is a shared awkward story, and she'd love to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @lisajobaker.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Wonder of Advent by Chris Tiegreen

The Wonder of Advent
by Chris Tiegreen

About the Book
Rediscover the heart of the Advent season

As the year comes to a close and the stress and busyness of the consumer Christmas holiday grows, it can be easy to lose sight of what the season really calls us to: worship. In today’s world, is it even possible to slow down, to ponder, to wonder in the coming birth of Christ?

This Advent, recapture the mystery and beauty of the season with The Wonder of Advent Devotional. In this insightful and thought-provoking book, beloved devotional author Chris Tiegreen brings you into a deeper experience of this integral time in the church calendar. After completing a week of short readings to prepare your heart for the Advent season, you’ll journey through December with daily Scripture readings, prompts for reflection, and guided prayer to help you savor this remarkable divine story. With each day, The Wonder of Advent Devotional will reconnect you with what happened in Bethlehem long ago—and experience it anew in your life right now.

My Thoughts
I've become such a huge fan of Advent over the past few years. It's HARD to focus on Jesus when there is so much ELSE going on around us. That's true for any time of the year, but it seems to be especially true at Christmas.

The Wonder of Advent provides a devotional moment for your busy day. Take a break, read a short passage of Scripture, and get a glimpse of the deeper story through the author's devotional writing. Each day's reading is short enough to squeeze in regardless of what else is going on, but long enough to cause you to pause and think about the true meaning of Christmas. I liked the questions that were included at the end of each day. These would be beneficial for personal journaling or family discussion, depending on which you prefer. This will be a book I pull out year after year. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. However, this is a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Character Builder's Bible

The Character Builder's Bible
Children's Story Bible
Available October 2017
Tyndale House Publishers

About the Book
The Bible is so much more than a collection of stories.

It is the overarching message of God’s love for us and a practical guide to daily living. So often our littlest children hear these stories but miss out on how to apply the principles to their lives. The Character Builder’s Biblehighlights core character traits that the Bible teaches and suggests fun, practical ways to live out these truths so that little minds can understand. Each Bible narrative is told simply, is tied to a positive attribute like obedience or humility, and is followed with a real-life example of how kids can apply the lesson in their own lives.

Featuring 60 Bible stories with colorful illustrations, definitions, and memory verses, The Character Builder’s Bible will show your little ones that God’s Word is relevant to their lives and will help you instill biblical character in their hearts.

My Thoughts
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book. The idea was a good one, but it missed the mark for me.

There are 60 Bible stories in this book. Each story includes a Bible verse, a few paragraphs telling the story in simple terms, a short poem about the character trait, and a "cartoon" with real life examples of the character trait in action.

I liked the idea of using Bible stories to help children learn about character. However, it was unclear to me how the character traits were selected to go along with the stories. Many didn't seem to match. For instance, diligence was the trait to be learned from the story of creation. Are we teaching that God was diligent so we also must be diligent? Or just that diligence is a good trait to learn? The cartoon illustrations didn't line up well with the trait either. Based on the cartoon illustrations, I probably would have chosen "creativity" as the trait.

Another example of a major miss is the story "Jesus calms the storm" paired with gentleness. Honestly, this is one of the times Jesus is most powerful (exhibiting power over nature). Additionally, the poem and the cartoon didn't explain gentleness accurately.

There were other "traits" that weren't traits at all: communion, Holy Spirit, Easter, heaven, etc.

(There were *some* stories that matched up well with the highlighted character trait and that explained the trait well through the poem and the cartoon.)

Some of the stories highlighted traits that God exhibited and that we should emulate. Others seemed to highlight traits that other people in the story exhibited. This alone caused confusion as I read through the book. It's dangerous to come to the Bible and look for what the Bible "means for me" rather than what the Bible "teaches me about God."

Great idea, but the execution was poor. I dislike giving negative reviews but felt I couldn't recommend this book for the reasons stated.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own and are freely given. [2 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends by Rachel Anne Ridge

Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends
by Rachel Anne Ridge

About the Book
Children will fall in love with Flash the Donkey as they learn the value of true friendship and what it means to be a good friend to others.

Hee-haw! A stray donkey with a penchant for inventions is taken in by a mismatched collection of barnyard friends. Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends is the heartwarming story of a not-so-ordinary donkey who needs a special place to belong. Flash is the inquisitive type who loves to invent things and solve problems, but his curiosity sometimes gets him into trouble! With the help of his new-found friends—Jed the Goat, Carson the Pig, and Ruby the Chicken—Flash manages to turn problems into adventures and learns valuable lessons along the way. Inspired by Rachel Anne Ridge’s memoir Flash, named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Summer Books of 2015, kids will fall in love with this endearing donkey as they learn to appreciate the value of true friendship.
My Thoughts
What a cute book! I haven't read the original "Flash" memoir for adults, but I thought this children's book was too cute to ignore. The illustrations are simple yet beautiful. And the story of friendship and learning to make friends is one that all readers can benefit from. I enjoyed meeting the other animals along Flash's journey and appreciated the author's ability to tell a story and teach valuable lessons without being "preachy" or "cheesy." I'm adding this one to my daughter's bookshelf so we can enjoy it for years to come. [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
While tole-painting Christmas gifts one year, Rachel Anne Ridge discovered a love for art, and inadvertently launched a new career. In 1999, she took her paint brushes and began creating murals and faux finishes in the booming Dallas Fort Worth area. When the small business started growing, her husband, Tom, joined her. Together, they have expanded it into a large-scale corporate art, graphic design, way-finding, and custom artwork company. Along the way, they raised three children, journeyed through loss, failures, and successes, and adopted astray donkey who showed up on their doorstep and never left.

Rachel began blogging as a means of sharing daily encouragement with other women. As a self-professed uni-tasker who struggles in a multi-tasking world, her desire to create a "soft place to land" for her family led to finding an online community of readers who love her gentle wisdom and self-deprecating humor. Since 2006, has been her blog home, and you can now find her writing at

Rachel wrote for and managed Priscilla Shirer's blog, for two years, and contributes to other blogs on the topics of parenting, organization, faith, and creativity. She is an engaging speaker who loves to share funny, often poignant stories that touch the heart and reveal God's love in unexpected ways. 

Flash, The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith, and Second Chances, is published by Tyndale Momentum. Rachel lives in Texas with her husband, Tom, and now, two donkeys.

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