Friday, November 21, 2014

Look Inside: The Time of Jesus by Lois Rock and illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi

Look Inside: The Time of Jesus

Look Inside: a Lift-the-Flap Discovery Book

By Lois Rock and illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Times of Jesus-001

Genre- Christian / Children’s / Bible

Published by- Lion Children’s Books

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 16

Age Group- Children 5-7 (I think 1-8), Grade Level K-2

Description of book- Hardback, Listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-7459-6398-3

 Do you know a young child who enjoys lift-the-flap books?  Look Inside: The Time of Jesus is the perfect book for them.

In this book the child will learn all about the life of Jesus, from His birth to His death.  There are flaps on each page to open, with text explaining what is happening in each scene.  Many parts of Jesus’s life are discussed in this book, His birth, life when He was a child, His days as a teacher, and more.

About the Author-  Lois Rock uses her knowledge as a mother and church leader to write her Bible stories, prayer books, and information books.

About the Illustrator- Lorenzo Orlandi has worked with magazines, advertising agencies, and publishers.  He specializes in illustrating nature, science, agriculture, and history.

My thoughts-

I was really excited when I began looking at this book.  It is more than just a story of the way life was in Jesus’s time, it is a story of His life, including some of His parables.

I did not realize it included different parables until I read the book with B and C and we carefully read the text that went with each flap.  There was the story of the praying Pharisee and the humble praying man, the lost sheep, and on what ground the grain grew.  I thought it was great that those stories were included, because it can lead to great discussions with children who have never heard the story before or it can remind the reader to share what the story means to us.  It turned out that what I thought was just a simple children’s book was so much more.

The illustrations are wonderful and help show what the story is discussing.  This book would not be as wonderful without the illustrations and the flaps.  I have rarely seen a book that combines the story with the flaps.  There is so much in this book.  Each child who reads or looks at it will learn more each time they see it. 

I really enjoyed this book and so did my children.  They are learning more about Jesus each time they look at the book.  This is the perfect book for young children to begin learning about Jesus.

C a nine-year-old girl says, “I really liked the illustrations.  It was fun reading the book.”

“I liked Look Inside: The Time of Jesus.  I liked the flaps to lift.  My favorite flap to lift was the stable in Bethlehem.  I liked the other lift-and-flaps throughout the book.  Overall I would recommend this book to children young than I am,” says B, almost eleven-years-old.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Look Inside: The Time of Jesus, by Lois Rock and illustrated by Lorenzo Orlandi, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Picture of the Week! (November 14, 2014)- Taking a Picture

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We had a wonderful time this fall when the weather was still warm.  This is one of the times that we went to a park to take pictures of the setting sun and colorful leaves.  It is always fun to go places with my family.

Seed Police by Gayla Prewitt (book review)

Seed Police

by Gayla Prewitt

(I received this book for review purposes.)

Seed Police-001

Genre- Christian / Fiction

Publisher- Gayla A. Prewitt

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 146

Age Group- Adult and older teens

Description of book- Paperback, $8.99, ISBN: 978-1497583023

The government is the only group that is allowed to grow plants.  There is a group though, “Seed Savers.”  This group has been saving seeds, growing crops, and distributing the crops and seeds.  They are now in trouble.  Government officials are coming after them to take the seeds and the people who save them.

What will happen to the families?  Why are people getting sick from eating the food the government is growing for them?  Will the good people prevail against evil?

About the Author:

Gayla Prewitt has four children, a son-in-law, and a husband.  She is an instructor at a university and has experience in broadcast journalism.

My thoughts:  

I thought Seed Police, by Gayla Prewitt, was interesting.  Basted on events in history, I can imagine a country where it would be illegal to own one’s seeds.

It is amazing how one person can control things.  Ed Harris was able to control the seeds which would be used for the crops.  Those crops (genetically modified) even began to make people very sick.  Harris was even able to convince the many others that the good people, the “Seed Savers,” were the bad people.

The “Seed Savers” were really neat, because they were passing out and protecting the seeds which were good for people.  It was through God they stayed strong and were able to prevail.  They knew that their seeds were the best for people and they made sure people got those seeds.

This was a great thriller.  I knew knew if Ed Harris and his henchmen would catch the “Seed Savers.”

Informational and Purchasing Links:

To Connect with Gayla Prewitt:

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received a free copy of Seed Police, by Gayla Prewitt, to review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.  I am part of The CWA Review CrewAll links were current when posted.

If You Follow Me by Pam Rhodes (book review)

If You Follow Me

Book Three of The Dunbridge Chronicles

By Pam Rhodes

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 If You Follow Me-001

Genre- Fiction / Christian

Published by- Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 256

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-079-0

In If You Follow Me, by Pam Rhodes, Neil is very busy with his church and he is enjoying being engaged to Claire.  He does not realize that there will be trouble in their future.

Wendy is still there giving him support, but is it the right kind of support and why is Ben, Claire’s first love and the father of her son, there?  He came from Australia.  She does not realize that Wendy and Ben are trying to separate Neil and Claire.  Will they succeed? 

Will Neil be able to run the church and give Claire the attention she needs and deserves?  You will have to read the book.

About the Author-

Pamela Rhodes has written several other novels.  For many years she has presented the BBC’s Songs of Praise.

My thoughts-

I really enjoyed reading the second book in The Dunbridge Chronicles, Casting the Net (my review).  If You Follow Me was just as good.  It was nice how well everyone accepted Claire even though she was not a member of the church.  I did not think a church would be so receptive of a curate becoming engaged to someone like Claire.  I am glad they had Neil’s best interests at heart.

I thought Wendy was the most interesting character, because she had so many parts to her personality.  She portrayed such a nice Christian person to most people, but she still wanted Neil so badly that she got the father of Claire’s son involved.  She really wanted Neil for herself.  Fortunately she finally gave up and decided to go on a long vacation. 

There were many other little stories happening in this book, which helped me to know the people of Dunbridge. 

I really enjoyed reading this book.  It would be fun to see Sam, Claire’s son, Claire, and Neil’s story continue in a new series.  I recommend this book!

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received If You Follow Me, by Pamela Rhodes, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Countdown to Thanksgiving from Amy Puetz and Golden Prairie Press (Review)

We received this for review purposes!

Countdown to Thanksgiving-001

Product Links: Countdown to Thanksgiving E-book

Vendor Information Link: Golden Prairie Press

Age Appeal: Geared towards 6-14 year-olds

Format: PDF download (there is also a physical copy available for $17.00

Price: As of November 12, 2014- $17.00

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions?  Is Thanksgiving all about turkey or is it about giving thanks to God and learning how important Thanksgiving is to the history of the United States?

This countdown from Amy Puetz begins 14 days (November 13, 2014) before Thanksgiving and includes the day of Thanksgiving.  Each day includes a story and activity, some days include several activities and sometime poetry.  Many of these stories were written in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Some of the activities are songs, crafts, and games.

Here is a sample.     


Our Experience: 

We do not have any Thanksgiving traditions, because we never know where we will be for Thanksgiving, so I was excited to have the chance to review this book.  I know now we will have a tradition, reading and getting the most out of this e-book each year.

We have read and looked at a lot of these stories so far, but we are really going to start in earnest on the 14th day before Thanksgiving.  These stories, games, crafts, songs, and more, are perfect to help us develop a family tradition and come closer to God.  We will be able to learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • Amy Puetz puts so much effort into her products and Countdown to Thanksgiving is wonderful.  I have really enjoyed reading the stories with B and C.  I am impressed that she was able to find such high quality stories from long ago.  I really liked “Captain Christy’s Thanksgiving,” by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, and “The Mother of Thanksgiving,” by Amy Puetz.  I have never heard of Sarah Josepha Hale, the mother of Thanksgiving.  She worked for the Godey’s Lady’s Book Magazine as the editor and was instrumental in keeping Thanksgiving alive as a holiday in our country. 
  • I know I have gotten away from the original meaning of Thanksgiving.  In the past few years I have been busy with other things around Thanksgiving, so our family has not taken the time to thank the Lord for what he has given us.  That is not good for B and C, because it make it harder for them to be thankful for things, when we do not make an effort to do that.  I am planning on using some of the activities and songs in this book on a weekly if not daily basis, so our family can be continuously thankful and in God.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fourth grade):   

I liked Countdown to Thanksgiving.  I liked the soap making story.  I liked the “Thanksgiving game” in the story called “The Thanksgiving Goose,” by Fannie Wilder Brown.  I’m glad we can make our own Thanksgiving Proclamation. 

I would recommend this book to people of all ages. 

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

I liked Countdown to Thanksgiving.  It is really good, because you can learn all about Thanksgiving history.  It is good for people of all ages.

Mama highly recommends!

Social Media Links for Golden Prairie Press:


I received a free copy of this product from Amy Puetz and Golden Prairie Press in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Snake Oil- Party Potion from Out of the Box Games (Schoolhouse Review Crew review)

We received this for review purposes!

Snake Oil-001

Product Links: Snake Oil – Party Potion (Ages 8 and up)

Vendor Information Link: Out of the Box Games

Age Appeal: 8 and up

Format: physical game with cards and instruction

Price: $14.99 

Does your family need a fun to game to play, but do you want it to be educational at the same time?  Snake Oil from Out of the Box Games is that game!

Snake Oil is based on the snake oil introduced by the Chinese who worked on the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860’s.  They shared the snake oil with the Americans, who made outrageous claims with it.  The salesmen who sold these products (which did not contain much snake oil) were called Snake Oil Salesmen.

This game is based on that history.  This game is played by three to six people at a time and it should take 20-30 minutes to complete.  Each person takes 6 word cards and they take turns being the customer, like a magician or Olympic Athlete.  The people who are not the customer take two of their cards and present a sale pitch to the customer.  One phrase could be gravity coat.  The customer picks the product they want and the customer card goes to that player.  Each player will draw two more cards, each player should always have six cards.  The winner of the game is the person who has the most cards at the end of the round.  This video does an excellent job of showing how the game is played.    

Our Experience: 

We have seen Snake Oil Salesmen at different forts and events we have been to in the West.  The children had fun watching and learning from them, so I thought this game would be perfect for them.  I also thought it would be good for C, so she could work on her creative thinking, quick thinking, and public speaking skills.  B is really good with those skills, so I wanted him to hone them.

They were so excited when the game came in the mail, that we opened the package and played a game.  It was a lot of fun.  C was doing much better than I thought she would and B had some excellent sales pitches.

We have played Snake Oil many times since then, but C has had a harder time trying to make things up than she did the first time.  She must be putting too much pressure on herself.  I will have to help her overcome it.  B has been doing a good job, but he has had a couple of rounds where he has gotten some hard cards to use.  They were cards like grave, nightmare, butt, and curse.  We do not actively use some of those words at our home (especially when trying to combine the words into a product), so I am going to go through the deck and pick out the ones that do not work with our family.  It should be much easier for the children to build products after that.

We have been having fun with this game.  I plan on using it weekly in school so B and C can continue to improve their skills.

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Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I really liked this game.  It was the perfect game to help C with her creative thinking and public speaking skills.  I was proud of her.  She needs to become confident of her creative thinking.  I think it will come with our encouragement and time spent playing this game. 
  • B is a very creative young man, so this game was made for him.  He won many cards, because of his ability to think quickly and deliver good sales pitches. 
  • There were words that I personally do not approve of saying or were not appropriate for them, so they will be set aside until they are older.  I thought they made hard word combinations to be proper when I was trying to be appropriate with my children.
  • I thought the cards themselves were neat with the snake on them.  It really did make it a Snake Oil game. 
  • We enjoyed the different customer cards.  After we had played the game several times I think that both B and C were trying really hard to make their product suite the customer.  I realized in the last game we played that not only should I make the card fit the customer, but I needed to make it something that B or C would like to have if they were that customer.  I need to remember to share that with them the next time we play.  It might help C to more easily think of her products.    

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

I liked Snake Oil.  There were some very unique cards though, like snot, butt, skull, curse, and ghost.  Other than that it was very fun.  I liked that it really encouraged imagination and creative skills, plus sales pitch.  I thought that the selection of customer cards was nice.  I liked how each of them included a snake (or more) in the picture on the card. 

I would recommend this product. 

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C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

I really liked Snake Oil.  It was fun to be a customer and chose who would get the card.  It was also fun selling the customer a product. 

I did not really like some of the cards, like butt and snot.  They are words we do not use.

It is good for good for people six years and older.   

Dad’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed the Snake Oil game.  It required being creative with the cards in your hand.  You have to be a bit of a fast thinker but that's part of the fun.  The length of each round is good.  It's short enough to keep younger kids entertained and also to move on to something else if they want to.  Or you can keep playing and enjoying the products players come up with.  I liked the Snake Oil game.

Mama really recommends this!


Social Media Links!


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Purposeful Design by Jay Schabacker (Schoolhouse Review Crew review)

We received this for review purposes!

Purposeful design-001

Product Links: Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation

Vendor Information Link: Purposeful Design

Age Appeal: all ages

Format: hardback book

Price: $18.95 

Jay Schabacker who was once part of the Apollo Moon Program is the author of this book.  He has developed this seven chapter book to teach the reader about the seven days of creation. 

Each chapter includes the specific Bible verses for that day of creation, information about things pertinent to each chapter like tides, camels, instincts of different animals, and more.

There is a bibliography and recommend reading section at the end of the book.

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Our Experience: 

I was excited to see a book that was written describing the seven days of creation from a scientific point of view.  I knew that B and C would like it, especially B, since they like science. 

We were excited when it came in the mail and we started reading it right away.  It was fun reading a specific day, then completing the free corresponding worksheets from the Young Explorer’s Club.  I liked how the answers were on the website, but each child could easily find them in the book. 

This book had so much information.  It especially had a lot about the sun, moon, and stars.  I felt that was too much and there was not enough dedicated to the other days.  It showed what Jay Schabacker’s favorite subject was, the solar system.

This was an excellent book and can be used in many different situations and for different ages.  I plan on using this every couple of years in our school, so that B and C really enjoy creation.

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • I thought Purposeful Design was a perfect book for any homeschooling family.  The seven days of creation were well described and it covered the science behind those days very well.  I think that since there was so much information given about the solar system, there could have been more said about the animals, humans, and vegetation. 
  • This book has almost 100 pages!  That makes it a perfect book for science when it is combine with the workbook.  It is also good for Bible study, because many of the questions in the workbook involve Bible verses and praying as well.
  • Many of these pictures are phenomenal, like the ones in space.  I do wish that some of them had not been chosen, because they were very fuzzy.  It took away from the high quality of the book. 
  • I liked how he had the correct Bible verses in the beginning of the chapter, then continued with the scientific proof to back it up.  I learned a lot about the sun, moon, and stars that I did not know and I was able to see some interesting sea creatures.          

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

I liked Purposeful Design.  I wished that it talked more about the birds and fish.  It would have been nice to have the same number of pages for each subject.  For example, “Chapter 4- The Fourth Day: Creation of the Sun, Moon, and Stars” was 20 pages long, but “Chapter 5- The Fifth Day: Creation of the Birds and Fish” was only five pages long.  It would of also been nice to talk about more types of animals.  It only talked about camels and cattle. 

I did like all the information I learned.  I learned some interesting facts I did not know before.

Overall I would highly recommend this book.  

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

I liked the illustrations.  They were nice. 

It is good for people of all ages. 

Dad’s Thoughts:

Purposeful Design - Understanding the Creation by Jay Schabacker discusses each day of the creation and then he provides evidence for it.  He used colorful and detailed pictures to get his message across.  This is a book that can used for classroom education or an at home leisurely read.  Overall I liked it and it stays true to God's word from the Bible.

Mama highly recommends this!


Social Media Links!

Twitter: (@Jayschabacker)
LinkedIn: Jayschab

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