Friday, January 26, 2018

With Love, From Me to You by Mary Manz Simon, illustrated by Corinna Ice

With Love, From Me to You is a board book that shows how to love one another in various situations and also how God shows love to us.

A polar bear mail carrier visits a new little animal each spread of pages, encountering animals who are sad, shy, and angry, delivering letters sealed with hearts. The book then talks about how we feel God's love and how our outward kindness shows God's love to others. The text it given through four lines of rhyming text on each spread. The language is easy enough, but not confined to short words, either.

The cover has red foil for the title and hearts on the cover, which adds a nice little touch of shiny. The pages are not completely stiff, so this book is a good transition from a hard board book to books with real paper.The illustrations are adorable with all sorts of little animals holding letters sealed with hearts, helping elderly animals, hugging one another, and playing together.

This book would be a cute gift for valentine's day or any other time, really. As the back of the book says, it's a "sweet reminder to little ones how important it is to love and be loved."

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Crown The Official Companion by Robert Lacey

Written by royal biographer Robert Lacey, The Crown the Official Companion covers everything you might wonder after watching the Netflix show. Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen covers the years 1947–1955, corresponding with season one of the show.

The book is broken into 10 chapters, one for each episode. Each chapter contains history surrounding the events of the show, and most interestingly describes any deviations the show has from the historical record. For example, chapter one explains that Phillip had really given up his title several months before the wedding, but the show condensed the timeline. For each deviation, Lacey explains what really happened and why it is portrayed differently in the show.

Throughout the chapter there are short biographical blurbs of various related people, or blurbs about specific moments or general history. One about “educating Elizabeth” lasts several pages. These blurbs are more about specific history and relate less to the show/specific episode. 

There are black and white photos throughout, both historical and from the show. Sometimes they are not captioned, which is a little annoying to not know the context. Another small problem with the pictures is that in Phillip and Elizabeth’s wedding picture, which spreads across two pages, the caption specifically regrets to Queen Marry being behind and between the bride and groom, but you can’t see her at all because it’s right in the book’s gutter. There are also two color inserts. Overall, the amount of photos is generous and what you would hope for in this type of book. 

This book also provides other resources, such as a family tree, a royal timeline,a list of the cast (including a category of fictitious characters added), recommended further reading on the history,and an index. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tora Fright Patches Things Up by Tracey Madder, illustrated by Bonnie Pang

Tora Fight Patches Things Up is a children’s book from a series called “Prayer Monsters.” Tora, the second youngest of five siblings, is described as being the one who always reminds her siblings to pray. However, when her baby brother accidentally destroys an art project she’d worked so hard on, it takes her mother’s gentle reminder for Tora to pray. Tora asks God for help in forgiving her brother and then apologizes to him. Together, they rebuild the art project.

After the story, the last page has Ephesians 4:32—“Be king to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

The story is told through short paragraphs, usually about three sentences per page. Some have more, especially if the other page of the spread doesn’t have any words. The illustrations are colorful and cute. The monster family has a home just like a human, complete with family photos and bookshelves.

Before the story begins, there is a chapter introduction of three of the siblings, each devoted their own page. After the story, the other two children are featured. These character descriptions provide more background and detail to individualize the characters.

This is a pleasant book to read and I thought the message was very well done.

 I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review.