Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Your Family in Pictures

Your Family in Pictures
The Parents' Guide To Photographing Holidays, Family Portraits, And Everyday Life
Me Ra Koh
Pictures are such an important part of our memories. Every family wants pictures to capture the important occasions and the everyday parts of life. The author is a well known photographer who has shared her experience and expertise in this easy to read and comprehend book.

I'm a novice at photography, but want to get better. The author approached this book as a friend showing me tips and tricks. The photography is, naturally, gorgeous. The instructions were practical and easy to implement. She covered all of the bases when it comes to different scenarios a parent might encounter when taking pictures of the family. She packed so much into each chapter that I feel like I've learned as much as I would have had I taken a class. But not once did I feel overwhelmed or confused by all of the facts. I loved this book and can't wait to check out the other books by this author. I'll definitely be keeping this book and reading it again.

I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Just 18 Summers

Just 18 Summers
Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox
You only have your children with you for about 18 summers. And then they are considered adults. Make every single summer (and the moments in between) count. Don't wait until it's too late. Four families are in various stages of realizing that they have to make each moment count. Because you never know when you won't have another chance.

The book started out a little slow and slightly depressing. But within a couple of chapters I was hooked and couldn't put the book down. It had humor, true love, and tons of parenting mishaps. But what grabbed me the most was the authenticity of it. It felt real. Some of the reactions might have been a bit over the top. But since every aspect of the parenting journey seemed to be covered, there will be a place for everyone to feel like they've "been there". It was refreshing and inspiring. I finished the book with the thought that every new parent should read this. It really opens your eyes to the fact that we only have 18 summers to make a difference. Make it count. Loved this book!

I received this book free of charge from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.

The Family Project (TY 8/8) t

The Family Project:
How God's Design Reveals His Best For You
 Glenn T. Stanton and Leon C. Wirth
Marriage, family, and the importance of these two things are being made light of and even broken apart in society today. But God still has a beautiful plan if we will take the time to learn what His design is for our family.

Focus on the Family has created an excellent resource for families, churches, small groups, and counselors to draw from. The pages are packed with statistics, studies, God's word, and helpful stories.  The way that the book was presented made for some very heavy reading. But as a resource I think this book is excellent. It would be best read in small doses so that the concepts and messages are soaked in and grasped instead of just reading through like a regular book. Each chapter was well written and inspirational in its message.

I received this book free of charge from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Bouquet of Love

A Bouquet of Love
Weddings by Design Book 4
Janice Thompson
Cassia comes from a large Greek family. Her father moved them very suddenly to a Texas island and is insisting that everyone help him with the start up of their 2nd Greek restaurant. But what Cassia really wants is to work in a florist shop. Her father's main competitor is Mr. Rossi, who owns the Italian restaurant across the street. No one in the family is allowed to associate with the "enemy". Small problem. Almost the entire island is either a Rossi or knows them well. That means no florist shop, no friends, no boyfriend. What's a girl to do?

I'm neither Greek or Italian, but the story felt very authentic. One of the unique little touches to the story were the little "You might be Greek if. . ." quotes that were at the beginning of the chapter. They tied in with the story and had me laughing. The story was filled with humor, romance, family, and forgiveness. I've read books by this author before, so I knew I was going to enjoy this story. She didn't disappoint. While the story is part of a series, it can definitely work as a stand-alone. 
The main thread of the story is the fight between the two families and how they work to settle their feud. I would have preferred a bit more to the romantic portion of the story, but what little was woven in was sweet.  Several of the secondary characters were zany and added a lot of life. The author was able to show me the story with her vibrant descriptions and I really felt like I was there in Texas with them.

I received this book free of charge from Revell in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What Kind of Pet Can I Get?

What Kind of Pet Can I Get?
Myrna Johnson
A little boy is told that he can get a pet. But he can't decide what type of pet he wants. As he ponders different options he weighs the pros and cons.

My kids thought this one was ok. But my son's comment was that "It didn't say what type of pet he decided on." The book was more whimsy than practical. I chose this book because we were getting ready to pick out a pet and I had hoped that the book would help my children decide on what to get. But it really isn't a how-to book. And like my son mentioned, it ends rather abruptly with no real conclusion. So cute and rhyming, but not for choosing a pet.

I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.

The Oyster's Secret

The Oyster's Secret
Traci Dunham
Oyster is sitting on the floor of the ocean working on a surprise. But many of his friends seem to think they are more special than him and swim by to brag of the things they can do. Each time oyster reassures them that he is working on something beautiful.

The illustrations are bright and colorful and fit perfectly with the story. The plot reminded me of a the Max Lucado book about Hermie the caterpillar.  The message is subtle, but very important for children, that we all have something special about ourselves. Sometimes our talents are inside and not always visible. My kids loved the book and have asked for me to read it several times already. 
Another really neat thing about the book is that a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit ACE, a non-profit Christian ministry in the Caribbean. You can read more about the ministry at www.acexperience.org.

I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.


Helping Children Embrace Happiness
Color Feeling Series Book 3
Esther Adler
Using colors to explore and understand feelings can help children relate better to what they are experiencing. The author has taken bright, colorful illustrations, and interactive questions to help children understand happiness and how they can recognize the feeling.

My daughter really enjoyed reading the little book. But she enjoyed the exercises and questions even more. Feelings are such a hard concept to grasp when you are young and I think the author has done a great job of associating the feeling of joy and happiness with bright and cheerful colors and animals. This book would work in a home or a school environment.

I received this book free of charge from Goodreads in exchange for my honest review.