Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: "Alby's Amazing Book" by Catalina Echeverri

Alby's Amazing Book by Catalina Echeverri is an adorable book about a squirrel named Alby and his very favorite book: the Bible.

Alby shows us how books can take us on great adventures! I love that Alby proudly displays his love of reading and how it is so much more than just words and pictures that he gets out of the books.

His favorite book is different though, because the adventures it describes are TRUE. Alby's Amazing Book shows illustrations of the Garden of Eden, the miraculous catch of fish from John 21, and David and Goliath.

My only complaint is a single page that is very dark and a little hard to read, but it's not too bad.

I'm very excited to share this book with my niece. The amount of detail is stunning - the pictures are even printed over a running Bible verses in the background.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Cross Focuses Reviews for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review: "The Christmas Promise" by Alison Mitchell and Catalina Echeverri

The Christmas Promise is a short, catchy children's book explaining Jesus's birth. Throughout the book, there is various repeated phrases to keep a child's attention. One such use is a "WHOOSH!" for when the angels appear. Unfittingly though, this "WHOOSH!" was also used for the star appearing, which was not my favorite word choice.

There's no denying this wise man's excitement at seeing the star though!

One of those repetitious elements was accompanied by strange grammatical choices. "He sent: a NEW KING; a RESCUING KING; a FOREVER KING." I don't think I've ever seen semi-colons and colons in a children's book, and here they're not even necessary. Of course, it's not like this will bother my one and a half year old niece.

I know my niece will love these adorable, goofy animal illustrations. I certainly did!

I also really appreciated that at the end of the book there is a page saying where you can find the Christmas story in the Bible. It also lists places to look for the Old Testament promises of a new king. I can definitely see this book being a good transition into reading the Christmas story from the Bible as my niece gets older.

The use of fun, curvy words to tell the story could have been more frequent, as the designer employed this technique only twice.

 All in all, a great introduction to the Christmas story and a great gift for the young ones in your family.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Cross Focused Reviews for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Review: "Tell Me a Story" by Scott McClellan

In Tell Me a Story, Scott McClellan's aim is that you "identify yourself as a storyteller, an artist committed to narrative, and that in so doing you'll experience God and your life more deeply than you did before" (21). He works towards that goal by telling the reader to think of life as a story and that each and every person has a story worth telling. 
McClellan talks about God as the narrator of our story, and "In God's story we find that the lost need not stay lost, the sick need not stay sick, and the runaways need not stay away" (58). God's loving redemption is a part of our stories as much as it is a part of the stories from the Bible that McClellan uses to support it.

My favorite chapter is the one that focuses on sharing your story: the relationship between the storyteller, the church and the community. The most powerful moments of the book are when McClellan shares his story about the difficult adoption process. He talks about how having community to share his story with was vital to getting him through all of the mishaps he and his wife experienced.

However, these moments were not frequent enough in the book. Perhaps that in itself is proof that McClellan is on to something with his storytelling theory - it is important because it is what connects people. 

Little connectivity and lots of repetition made this book feel like a blog post that's been stretched to the breaking point. Even with the chapters of this book coming in at a grand total of 109 pages, the idea felt tired and forced almost immediately.

There were definitely some gems throughout, but overall it was very difficult to get through.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Moody Publishers for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Seeing double?

Two great new children's books in and ready for blog tour reviews in the next two weeks!

First up, The Christmas Promise by Allison Mitchell and Catalina Echeveri followed by Alby's Amazing Book, illustrated by Catalina Echeveri!

Both are published by The Good Book for Children and are a part of Cross Focused Reviews.

Find out whether these books will make the cut and be passed along to my year and a half old niece!