Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Children's Books from Zonderkidz

Zonderkidz (part of Zondervan Publishing) was kind enough to send three new children's books to me for me and my daughter to review. My daughter loves to have books read to her (she is now three), and I love having new books to read to her (so I don't have to read the same ones every day...)!


Little Lamb’s Bible/Little Lion’s Bible

The Little Lamb’s Bible and Little Lion’s Bible are new Storybook Bibles from Zondervan Publishing that are made for little ones up to around age five. These board books have a plush exterior with an appliqué of a lamb or a lion on the front. The lion and the lamb also have ears the stick up of the front cover, making this storybook Bible really cute.

Inside, each book tells ten stories from the Bible, written in rhyming form. There is a little bit of variation between the stories told in the lamb book versus the lion book. Here are the stories told in each book:

God’s Wonderful Work
God’s Friend Noah
Baby Moses in a Boat
David Fights a Giant
Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Jonah Learns a Lesson
God’s Greatest Gift
A Prayer
It’s a Miracle
Jesus Opens Heaven’s Doors

God’s Wonderful Work
God’s Friend Noah
Baby Moses in a Boat
David Fights a Giant
The Lord is with Me
God’s Greatest Gift
A Prayer
The Real Neighbor
The Lost Lamb
Jesus Opens Heaven’s Doors

These books tell great stories from the Bible, and the rhyming is done fairly well. (I did get tripped up on a couple of the rhymes). The illustrations are colorful and good for children without being too much like a cartoon. I also like that each story has the scripture reference for where to find it in the Bible.

My almost three-year-old daughter said that she likes the animals on the front, and she also likes the angels (in the story “Jesus Opens Heaven’s Doors,” about Jesus being risen from the dead).

These little Bible storybooks are nice for a quick read of stories from the Bible. I think they would make a cute gift for a baby shower or first birthday as well.

We will give the Little Lamb's/Little Lion's Bible ... 3 ½   BookWorms.


   Hugs & Kisses, God from Kids Around the World

Hugs and Kisses, God, written by Allia Zobel Nolan and illustrated by Miki Sakamoto, is a part of the “Kids around the World” series, and is also a lift-the-flap book. It shows various children and the different ways that they recognize the daily little blessings from God.

While the ‘moral of the story’ of this children’s book is good (thanking God for everything, even the little things) I thought the delivery of this message was lacking. I stumbled several times when reading this aloud because the rhyming meter was just off. Plus, to call it a ‘lift-the-flap’ book is a misnomer based on what I consider a ‘lift-the flap’ book to be. Every right-side page has an extra fold-out section that just extends the picture on that page. It is not the same as other ‘lift-the-flap’ books where you lift different sections of each page to discover something new.

I am also a little confused by the “Kids around the World” part of this book. While there are lots of different races of children depicted on the pages, the scenes in which they are portrayed are most definitely American. Maybe the book is just trying to depict children of different races, but I would have enjoyed it more if the story and pictures actually represented different countries, since it is called “Kids around the World.”

Even though I have these issues with this children’s book, the point of the story is very good. It brings to mind the fact that we should count our blessings and continually be thankful to God for the things in our lives. My almost three-year-old daughter said that she liked the page with the daddy making pancakes. I am not surprised that she liked this, since her daddy does this on a regular basis!

While the method of delivery left something to be desired, the message of this book rings true and is something every child (and parent) should keep in mind.

We will give Hugs & Kisses, God ... 2 BookWorms

   Every Which Way to Pray

Do you have to be dressed in your Sunday best to pray to God?

Is the only way to pray kneeling down and using a quiet voice?

Does God expect you to use big, fancy words?

Hayley and Harley Hippo look for the answers to these questions and more in a new children’s book by Joyce Meyer, Every Which Way to Pray.

Joyce Meyer is well known for her non-fiction inspirational books on a variety of subjects, including prayer. This is her first children’s book, and it introduces a quirky cast of Everyday Zoo characters who help Hayley and Harley Hippo learn the truth about prayer.

What I liked most about this book was that it was just fun. The characters are so wonderfully wacky, and the illustrations by Mary Sullivan are some of the best parts of the book. We actually laughed out loud at a couple of the pictures, especially one where Miss Bimble, the sheep, is shown knitting from wool coming directly off the top of her head! So clever.

Through all of the humor, though, this book teaches a great lesson. Hayley and Harley think that the only way to pray is by doing what they have learned in their book, The Rules of Prayer. The friends at the Everyday Zoo, however, show them that praying is talking to God and that you can do it anywhere you want and in many different ways – at church, at the ice cream shop, in a quiet voice, in a loud voice – the point is that you just pray and that it comes from the heart. I think this is a good lesson for adults as well. The children in our lives will learn about prayer from us, and we need to be modeling what it looks like to have a relationship with Christ that is focused on prayer.

My almost 3-year-old daughter liked the picture where all the animals are putting their ‘hands’ (and paws and wings) into a circle. (The Rules of Prayer book says to fold your hands when you pray, and the animals say, “That could be a problem!”) This book is ‘age-graded’ for 4-7, but younger ones can also enjoy the pictures and the story.

Every Which Way to Pray is a great first foray into the world of children’s books by Joyce Meyer, and we look forward to more trips to see the friends at the Everyday Zoo in the years to come.

We will give Every Which Way to Pray ... 5 BookWorms!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

No comments:

Post a Comment