A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to review two recently released children's books, I’m Going to Give you a Bear Hug by Caroline Cooney / Illustrated by Tim Warnes and Bible Basics, A Baby Believer Counting Primer by Danielle Hitchen / Illustrated by Jessica Blanchard.I spend more time with my youngest child, Annabelle, than I do with the other kids as she's not in school yet. She's at the fun age of 22 months and just beginning to show interest in reading stories with Mom so I thought I'd begin with her reaction to the newest additions to our family library. I began with the official baby book - Bible Basics:A Baby Believer Counting Primer. Briefly paging through the book I was struck by the beauty held within it's pages through the simple but striking art work and continuing to the vivid words used to describe the Beatitudes and the concept of the Trinity. Her attention was briefly held at the bird page (the dove representing the Holy Spirit), but overall the material was over her level of understanding, and she quickly tried to take the book from me so she could repeatedly return to the "birdie" page. We then turned our attention to the second book I’m going to Give you a Bear Hug. The pictures of the animals and the sing song language composed of rhyming words not only kept her entertained but also kept her engaged all the way to the end. Well done Annabelle; however, I was also curious about how children of different ages might respond to the books, and how convenient, I have seven other children, various ages, right under my roof.
I asked Mabel, Josh and Jada if they would be willing to help me review a few children's books. They agreed and felt like they had been recruited for a task of great importance. They each greatly enjoyed the books, and as I thought, their ages were much better suited for the advanced material covered in the Bible Basics book. They even admitted that they learned something about the Bible from this book. In I’m Going to Give you a Bear Hug they were immediately engaged with the fun language and beautiful pictures. I decided it would be fun to record these sessions – not only to accomplish the book reviews but also to capture a moment in time that will be fun to revisit when they’re older. Sorry, we don’t do staged or perfection at the Ronne house. You get p.j.’s, an unmade bed, play clothes, nervous kids, a loonnngggg video for the Bible Basics book, the "bootitudes" according to Mabel and a shaky camera, but it’s all still pretty cute - at least the grandparents will appreciate it.
Disclaimer - I may have slightly coerced them into this task only by saying that if they did a good job maybe publishers might be willing to send them more free books to review. They liked that incentive, but these three do enjoy a good story, and the oldest one (obviously) does enjoy playing teacher so the situation was a win win for all.
Mabel's our reader and Josh and Jada the listeners. When they finished I asked for honest opinions. All of them liked the books and said they would want to read them again in the future - which in my opinion is a pretty good indicator of a promising book. Here are the two recordings.
Now the giveaway! I have a copy of each one of these books for one special person. Just follow these few simple steps to enter:
1. Follow me on Facebook at Jessplusthemess and tag two friends.
2. Follow me on Instagram at Jessplusthemess and tag two friends.
3. Comment below with the name and author of your favorite childhood book.
4. Done! I’ll draw a winner on Sunday evening around 7 p.m. CST. Good luck!
Just keep livin!!