Friday, April 29, 2016

Children's Book Review: The Daffodils Still Grow By Sherry Elizabeth Tidwell

A Book for Grieving Daughters

By: Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell

Published: June 2, 2015

Publisher: Mascot Books

Based on a True Story

I'm participating in the PUMP UP YOUR BOOK Blog Tour for Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell's book. For more information and other stops on the tour including author interviews and book reviews, click HERE.

At the age of fourteen, author Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell was left motherless. As an adult looking back on her diary entries, she decided her feelings could be helpful to others in the form of a children's book. After that first year of her mom being gone, she remembered the surprise she felt when the daffodils her mom had planted still bloomed. It was a reminder that Tidwell could carry on, just as the daffodils did.

In this full-color, beautifully illustrated book, Tidwell takes the reader through all the emotions a young girl might face after the death of a mother. She expresses pain at a quiet house, seeing her friends with their moms, and not wanting to get rid of her mom's possessions. The illustrations offer just as much emotion as the words on the page. This isn't an easy topic and certainly not a book you would give to just anyone. But, for girls who are suffering without a mom, the words offer a hug, an understanding, and hope to a grieving child.

As a hospice social worker, I had a difficult time recommending books for young children dealing with grief because, at the time, there just weren't very many out there. It is a hard topic to handle in books and these type of books aren't going to be sitting on the shelves right when you walk in the door of your favorite bookstore. This book handles all those delicate feelings young girls and even teenagers are facing as they try to move through life without a mom.

Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell  
Sherri Elizabeth became motherless at the age of fourteen. Inspired by her own diary entries, the author wrote and illustrated this book for other motherless girls. Sherri Elizabeth now attends Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. She has a BA in both communications and studio arts from Austin Peay State University. She hopes that every parent will know how irreplaceable and loved they are to their children and that every child who has lost a parent will know they are not alone. Remember, the daffodils still grow! You can find Sherri Elizabeth on Facebook, HERE, and Twitter, HERE.

To purchase a copy of THE DAFFODILS STILL GROW, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this post with other bloggers on Booking Mama's Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. Click HERE, to see other posts related to children's and YA books.

A post from today, 6 years ago - Quote for the Day
A post from today, 4 years ago - Scenes from Our Week - Week 30
A post from today, 4 years ago - Book Review: Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake By Anna Quindlen 
A post from today, 3 years ago - A Little Monday Inspiration
A post from today, 2 years ago - Book Review: The Other Typist By Suzanne Rindell
A post from today, 1 year ago - Book Review; Some Luck By Jane Smiley

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase the book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Children's Book Review: Animal Planet Animal Bites Books

Animal Bites Series

By: Laaren Brown, Animal Planet

Published: March 1, 2016

Publisher: Animal Planet


In celebration of Earth Day today, I wanted to share with you some great books from Animal Planet about some of the animals that inhabit our earth. Animal Planet immerses viewers into the lives of animals, through TV and online platforms. They are the go-to resource for kids to learn about their favorite animals.

I loved these kinds of books as a kid. I still love walking through zoos and learning about animals. There are so many fascinating characteristics to learn about each animal and Animal Planet does a great job of teaching these to children without overwhelming them.

In POLAR ANIMALS, I am immediately drawn to the penguins. I have always enjoyed watching them both at zoos and on TV. There are so many different species of penguins, including one I hadn't heard of before. Did you know there was a Macaroni Penguin? In this book, I expected to read about polar bears, moose, penguins, seals, and walruses. But I hadn't realized all the specific types of birds, squirrels, and hares that also live in the freezing cold areas of our world.

The photographs pop on each page and the facts next to the pictures are brief, keeping kids interested in learning more. Nothing is boring and the tidbits of information are unique and fun. I love learning why animals have certain features to help them live in their environment, like the arctic fox that has short legs to hold in body heat and furry paws to keep them from slipping on the ice. There are certainly many amazing creatures that live on our earth and it is our job to make sure they can continue to thrive in their environment.

Animal Bites Series

By: Laaren Brown, Animal Planet

Published: March 1, 2016

Publisher: Animal Planet


Bring an aquarium right into your home or classroom with this book full of amazing photographs. Every time I visit an aquarium, I am in awe of the different colors and shapes that live in the oceans. I've never heard of a Surgeon Fish before, but the facts on the page teach me about its unique characteristics. Rather than just telling me it is nine inches long, it also tells me that it is about the size of a dinner plate...a great way to help a child understand its size.

I bet kids will be shocked to find out what is unique about the male seahorse. It can do something no other male species on earth can do!

There is also a page dedicated to keeping our oceans clean. During a clean up effort in 2015, over 1.7 million beverage containers were collected from shorelines around the world. I think kids will also find the photo of the discarded fishing nets removed from the ocean to be eye-opening. It is a great way to have a conversation with your child about keeping our earth clean and how we can contribute to that in our homes and community.

I can't say enough about how great these books are. I will be pulling these out in the classroom and when I am babysitting our friend's kids. These books will keep kids interested over and over again!

To purchase a copy of these Animal Planet books, click the photos below:

I will be linking this post up on Saturday with Booking Mama and other bloggers. Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts Kid Konnection which features posts related to children's and YA books. To see those posts, click HERE.

A post from today, 3 years ago - A Little Monday Inspiration  
A post from today, 2 years ago - Book Review: Necessary Lies By Diane Chamberlain 

Thanks to the publisher for sending copies of these books for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase the books through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Product Review: Viva Labs Organic Ground Flaxseed

Adding flaxseed to your diet is an easy way to add fiber and omega-3 without taking pills. Flaxseed is a full-powered nutrient that adds benefits without changing the texture or taste of your food.

Viva Labs Organic Ground Flaxseed boosts heart health as well as digestion. These seeds are finely ground to the softest grade making for easier digestion and added fiber. Each serving offers 3g of dietary fiber. When added to food, this fiber boost will help you feel fuller longer. This flaxseed is certified organic and non-GMO. It is allergen friendly and grown by specially selected Canadian farmers to guarantee quality. 

There are many ways to easily add flaxseed to your diet without any noticeable change in taste or texture. For example:

  • Add Flaxseed to your baking - breads, cookies, muffins
  • Add Flaxseed to your smoothies
  • Add Flaxseed to your oatmeal
  • Sprinkle Flaxseed on top of your morning cereal
  • Sprinkle Flaxseed on your salads
  • Add Flaxseed to your pancake or waffle mix
  • Sprinkle Flaxseed on your yogurt
I'm sure that you could even think of more ways to add Flaxseed to your diet. I don't like adding more pills to my morning vitamins, so rather than taking a flaxseed oil vitamin, this is a much easier way to add Flaxseed to my diet along with the many benefits.

When I make up my smoothie bags for the freezer, I add a scoop of Flaxseed to each one. I have also frequently added it to pancakes, muffins, and banana bread. The kids have no idea I have added it and they are getting all the great nutrients Flaxseed offers. You don't need any special recipe, you can just add it to your regular recipe for banana bread, muffins, etc and you won't notice any difference.

To maintain the benefits of Flaxseed, I keep mine in the refrigerator after opening. It can also be kept in the freezer.

I have tried many Viva Lab products and I have been very impressed with the importance they place on high-quality, organic items. To see more of their great product line, click HERE.

To purchase Viva Labs Organic Ground Flaxseed, click the photo below:

My review of Viva Labs Organic Whole Grain Quinoa
My review of Viva Labs Organic Raw Cacao Nibs
My review of Viva Labs Organic Hemp Protein
My review of Viva Labs Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
My review of Viva Labs Organic Goji Berries
My review of Viva Labs Probiotics

A post from today, 7 years ago - Mondays Matter - Week 16 

Thanks to Viva Labs for sending this product for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase this product through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Children's Book Review: Pipsie Nature Detective - The Lunchnapper By Rick DeDonato

The Lunchnapper

By: Rick DeDonato

Illustrated by: Tracy Bishop

Published: April 12, 2016

Publisher: Two Lions


I first introduced you to Pipsie a year ago, in DeDonato's first book, PIPSIE NATURE DETECTIVE: The Disappearing Caterpillar. It made my list of Top Ten Books of 2015 as my favorite children's book.

Pipsie and her friend, Alfred, the turtle, are on a school trip. Pipsie is especially excited because the trip is a nature scavenger hunt. Since Pipsie is a nature detective, she was anxious to get started. After getting a list of seven items to find on their nature hunt, Pipsie and Alfred started off. Midway through the hunt, Alfred realizes they have lost their lunch. While searching for items on their list, they also had to look for clues to who might have stolen their lunch. Alfred's stomach is growling and the scavenger hunt is almost over. You'll have to read to find out if Pipsie and Alfred won the prize and found their lunch.

Kids won't even realize they are learning while joining the fun along with Pipsie and Alfred. They will explore the pages looking for parts of nature and clues to the mysterious lunchnapper. Even non-readers will be kept busy looking at the creative illustrations on each page.

The illustrations by Bishop are adorable...she even makes a porcupine cute. The pages are full of color but there is a softness to the artwork. Pipsie's facial expressions give her a realistic character. Details abound on every page including birds, trees, and animal tracks. I also love the whimsical font used to tell the story.

This is another winning children's book in my opinion. Pipsie and Alfred are delightful characters that kids will enjoy. The end of the book offers factual information about the animals they saw on their nature hunt. This book would be great for a classroom or home library.

Check out the website for more fun with Pipsie, including games and activities at You can also download a free activity kit by clicking, HERE.

Rick DeDonato - source
Rick DeDonato started writing and drawing storybooks for his two kids, Alexis and Matt when they were little. They’re grown now, but Rick is still creating stories. He is the author of PIPSIE, NATURE DETECTIVE, The Disappearing Caterpillar,  illustrated by Tracy Bishop. When he’s not dreaming up new adventures for Pipsie, he’s an award-winning creative director in advertising. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with Nancy McAleer; their two dogs, Tugger and Nacho; and their turtle, Alfred E. Turtle.

Tracy Bishop - source
Tracy Bishop won an art contest in kindergarten, and she’s been creating art ever since. A graduate of San Jose State University, she is also the illustrator of NOT THE QUITTING KIND by Sarra J. Roth and PIPSIE NATURE DETECTIVE: The Disappearing Caterpillar by Rick DeDonato. She lives in San Jose, California, where she is inspired on a daily basis by her son, husband, and a hairy dog named Harry.

To purchase a copy of PIPSIE: NATURE DETECTIVE The Lunchnapper, click the photo below:

To purchase a copy of PIPSIE: NATURE DETECTIVE The Disappearing Caterpillar, click the photo below:

I will be linking up on Saturday with Booking Mama's Kid Konnection. Click HERE to see other bloggers share posts related to children's and YA books. 

A post from today, 7 years ago - Review: True Colors By Kristin Hannah
A post from today, 5 years ago - What I Am Doing and Not Doing
A post from today, 2 years ago - A Little Monday Inspiration 

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase this book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Children's Book Review: Sports Illustrated Kids Baseball Books


By: Editors of Sports Illustrated for Kids

Published: April 5, 2016

Publisher: Sports Illustrated


With the official baseball season starting this week, this offers the perfect opportunity to share some great baseball books perfect for baseball fans of any age.  Our family has been rooting for the Chicago Cubs, but love watching all levels of baseball from our own kids playing, our high school team, our local AAA league and to the pros. My husband grew up in Norway, Iowa (think the movie THE FINAL SEASON) and baseball has been part of his life since he can remember.

This book covers all aspects of baseball and its evolution from the 1800's to the present. Whether you played baseball in your back yard or on a meticulously cared for diamond, this book is for you. The pages are full-color and offer awesome statistics and little-known facts about baseball.

I loved the evolution of the uniforms, the gloves, and the catcher masks.  Did you know the Chicago White Sox experimented with wearing shorts in the 70's? That obviously didn't work out. But the uniform pages are hilarious to look at and see the evolution of style as well as the different hairstyles of the players.

Even the umpires of baseball have a section, noting their changes in protection behind the plate to how many were used in a game. These images show examples of the captivating photos on each and every page.

My sons would have loved this book when they were younger. They were all about stats and knowing particular statistics of all the top athletes. Even now, they found the milestone section very interesting. This section lists all the players with 300 Wins, 3,000 Strikeouts, 500 Home Runs, and 3,000 Hits. When I set out the books, my oldest son grabbed this one right away and started looking through it.

All the information is presented in an easy to understand and concise format and isn't overwhelming. The pictures are fun to look at whether you are a child or an adult.

Our sons and even my husband have been collectors of baseball cards and I found that section interesting as well. I learned that Topps is the only brand that has the contract to actually print the league logos on the cards. All the other brands can only use player images on their cards. So, if that is important to you, be sure you buy Topps baseball cards.

If you are a family that loves baseball, this book of interesting facts and history is perfect. It's a nice hardcover for use as a display/coffee table book or to add to your library. Covering a section at night at the supper table would offer lots of great discussion for a baseball loving family.

To purchase a copy of BASEBALL: Then to WOW!, click the photo below:

Mostly Everything Explained About the Game

By: The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids - Beth Bugler and Mark Bechtel

Illustrated by: Bill Hinds

Published: April 5, 2016


For the youngest generation of baseball fans, this book offers a way to introduce your child to the sport and all the fun that goes along with it. 

This book takes your child through the basics of baseball with interactive text and fun, accurate images. I love that the players are smiling in many of the pictures showing kids that baseball is fun!

I love how bright and colorful each of the pages are and basically walk you through all nine innings of the game. It even includes the important 7th inning stretch! 

If your child is just starting out playing on his neighborhood t-ball team or wanting to understand the game while you watch it on TV, this is the book for you. The explanations are very well-written and simple, yet make the game exciting. The hardcover of the book and thicker pages will hold up to many readings by the youngest baseball fans.

If you would like to purchase MY FIRST BOOK OF BASEBALL, click the photo below:

I will be linking up with Booking Mama for her Saturday Kid Konnection feature. Click HERE to see other posts related to children and YA books. 

A post from today, 6 years ago - Plate and Heart are Full
A post from today, 4 years ago - Do You Feel HIM in Your Soul?
A post from today, 3 years ago - A Little Monday Inspiration 
A post from today, 2 years ago - Book Review: Silent Impact By Joe Schmit

Thanks to the publisher for sending copies of these books for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any way for this review. If you choose to purchase these books through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. sin

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Books that Came My Way in March 2016

Holy buckets! I got a lot of books this month both for review and purchase. I bought several books for gifts this month and a few for myself. A lot of my review books are heavy in the children's book genre which is great! They are quicker for me to read and review and I love featuring a children's book each week. So, look for a lot of the children's book reviews to be coming up in the next few weeks as I already have a lot of them scheduled. 

I read nine books this last month, but....four were children's book and one was a Bible Study guide. I finally read ME BEFORE YOU which I loved so much. I also enjoyed a two nonfiction books, THE GRATITUDE DIARIES and THE 4X4 DIET. I just finished a historical fiction, THE FORGOTTEN ROOM and it was fabulous. 

I'm trying to finish a few I started last month, but they are going kind of slow for me and I'm still reading my First Book of 2016 choice which is also going slow. So, I need to find a book that makes me excited about reading because some of them just aren't doing it for me. I may have to abandon them. 

I am only going to spend time reading books that I find enjoyable and interesting. But, I am really excited about all of this months books. If only I could put everything in life aside and just read! But, know, that if I am not interested, I'm going to put it aside. I can't get to all these books that come my way, but at least, I can tell you about them here and I hope to review them just as soon as I can.

If you would like to purchase any of these books, 
clicking on the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon.  
If you choose to purchase, I will receive a small commission 
without you having to pay any more for your purchase.  
I appreciate your support of reviews. 

I'll be linking up with The Deliberate Reader 
to share our stacks of books for February. 
To see her Stack of Books as well as other bloggers' Book Stacks, click HERE.


By: Michelle Schlicher
Published: March 7, 2016
Publisher: Michelle Schlicher
Format: Paperback

Michelle contacted me about her new book. Since she is an Iowa author, I wanted to check her out and give her some attention here on my blog. I'm hoping to get to her book ASAP.

"Everything can be undone." That's what someone tells Gracie Brannen, but she's doubtful. After graduation, she walked away from everyone she knew with barely a word. Ten years later, she's back. Even as familiar places and faces bring back old pain, Gracie finds hope in rebuilding old ties and forging new ones. Maybe everything can't be undone, but perhaps everything can be overcome.

By: Clare Mackintosh
To Be Published: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback

This one sounds like a page-turner and can't wait to read it!

On a rainy afternoon, a mother's life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . . 
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past. 
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. 

Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be
By: Holley Gerth
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback

I have already reviewed this book, click HERE to see it. 

Based on the "Wall Street Journal" bestseller "You're Already Amazing," this interactive workbook helps women embrace who they are and become who they're created to be.

By: Carol L Steingreaber
Published: March 31, 2016
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback

Another Iowa author I am happy to tell you about. This one came to me through my freelance work with the Cedar Rapids Gazette. I'll be reading the book and interviewing the author for publication in the paper as well as here. I think this book sounds hilarious and something I'll really enjoy! 

In her first autobiography, PANTS OPTIONAL, Carol Steingreaber offers a hilarious, unrestricted insight into her life thus far in Iowa, USA. The reader is a privileged passenger on the journey, invited to buckle up for the ride as Carol shares her stories from the sibling squabbles of childhood to cringeworthy dating moments, marriage and various stages of motherhood. Her witty, "tell-it-straight" writing style conjures up images you can't help but laugh at, often accompanied by photos that speak a thousand (usually comical) words. 

Carol provides the reader with "UNconventional tips" on a whole range of themes such as housework and hospitals, illness and injury, Nerf guns and nudity, safety concerns and sex, friendship, faith and a great many more. Moments of eternal embarrassment are interspersed with flashes of comic/parenting genius, and every reader will find a nugget or three (or twenty!) to inspire them. A cracking read, and highly recommended.

Detox to Lose Weight, Kill Cravings, and Prevent Disease
By: Cherie Calbom, MS, CN
Published: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Siloam
Format: Paperback

I've really been trying to reduce the amount of sugar in my diet, but it is so hard. I've found that aspartame and sucralose make me sick and I have been really watching labels. Apparently this Juice Lady knows her stuff and since I've never heard of her, I am anxious to see her thoughts and action plan for getting rid of sugar.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if current trends continue, one in three U.S. adults will have diabetes by 2050 (currently it is one in 10). Yet there is massive confusion on the subject of sugar sweeteners:
“Is honey healthy, since it’s natural? What about sucralose? After all, it is calorie free. Is agave a healthy sweetener? Fruit juice is good for me, isn’t it? Is orange juice one of the best things to drink when I’m sick?”

Life is too sweet to live unhealthy.
As a best-selling author and global health expert, Cherie Calbom shares her unique expertise and knowledge in this thirty-day guided transition into a low sugar impact diet. You will lose excess weight, feel energized, and improve your overall health by learning about:
  • The problems with artificial sweeteners and why they are not the optimal choice for you and your family
  • The effects of fructose on the liver
  • How to substitute healthy sweeteners in delicious juices smoothies, and living food recipes 

A Book for Children, Parents, and Other Grownups
By: Jane Altman
Illustrated by: Joan Chiverton
Published: February 11, 2016
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Format: Paperback

I just thought this book sounded like it had such a positive message. I'm anxious to check it out.

This book is a treasure! It is unusual in its endearing and educational verses and illustrations for children and in its engaging and varied pieces for parents - and other grownups. The rhymes are appealing, the illustrations are wonderful and the writings range from heartfelt to very funny. All in all, a must read.

By: Irish Beth Maddock
Illustrated by: Lucent Ouano
Published: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Word Alive Press
Format: Paperback

I grew up near a lake and spent my childhood catching tadpoles and minnows in the river below our house. I'm anxious to see if this sparks any memories for me.

Tadpoles, clams, and minnows wow! For siblings, Beth and Paul, growing up on a lake is fun... until they are startled by a fishy find along the shoreline. When they discover the scaly, mustached carp, they become afraid.

Seasons pass, and Beth and Paul avoid the swampy reeds at all costs until a flood brings about a life-or-death situation for the creepy looking carp, right in their own backyard!

With guidance from their father, will Beth and Paul be able to overcome their apprehensions about the carp and help save them before it's too late? 

A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World
By: Carole P Roman
Illustrated by: Kelsea Wierenga
Published: February 27, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

You know I'm a huge fan of this Cultural series for kids. 

Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the stunning and exciting land of Egypt in the newest book of her informative series. Learn why this ancient land often called "the cradle of civilization." Travel down the Nile to discover Egypt's fascinating history. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exotic place. 

A Captain No Beard Story
By: Carole P Roman
Illustrated by: Bonnie Lemaire
Published: December 31, 2015
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

Roman's fiction books involving Captain No Beard and his friends is a wonderful series that teaches life lessons to kids and encourages imagination. 

Captain No Beard is determined to travel to Dew Rite Volcano. He won't listen when Mongo predicts a storm or Linus indicates they are headed in the wrong direction. He insists Polly cook in the galley even though the seas are getting rough. What's a crew to do with a stubborn, know-it-all captain? 
Will they convince the captain he is barreling headlong into danger, or will Captain No Beard jeopardize both his safety and the crew’s with his single-minded determination to go where he wants?

A Sunny Day
By: Eric Jay Cash
Published: February 6, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

Cave Kiddos is a fun book about four Paleolithic children who share the experience of developing and learning important words and concepts. Join Alk, Haha, Lala, and Zee as they discover the world around them.

Mostly Everything Explained About the Game
By: The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
To Be Published: April 5, 2016 
Publisher: Sports Illustrated
Format: Hardcover

Our family loves baseball.....the Chicago Cubs to be specific. But, we have also been known to cheer on the Pittsburgh Pirates a time or two....just not when they are playing the Cubs. Our boys would have loved this book when they were younger.

MY FIRST BOOK OF BASEBALL, the second Rookie Book from Sports Illustrated Kids, coaches young kids through the game of baseball with a visual retelling of an actual MLB game--from the first pitch to the game winning hit! Strikes, outs, steals, foul balls, home runs and more are all explained using a fun mix of Sports Illustrated action photography, simple text with engaging graphics, and a full glossary of essential baseball terms and phrases. An illustrated rookie player character also appears on every page, providing fun facts to help the next generation of fans better understand the game. Perfect for beginning readers, MY FIRST BOOK OF BASEBALL is meant to be a shared reading experience between parents and their young minor league rookies before, during, and after the ball game.

By: The Editors of Sports Illustrated Kids
To Be Published: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Sports Illustrated
Format: Hardcover

Even though this is targeted to kids, I think I will enjoy reading the history of baseball and sharing it with our kids.

See how all aspects of baseball, America's pastime, has evolved in this highly visual book filled with history and trivia about the sports world. You'll see every aspect of the sport transform before your eyes into the game that it is today. 

From rules to equipment to the all-time greats, this book is a journey through the game spanning the years. Learn about the most controversial plays pre-instant replay. Compare how baseball gloves have grown in size and webbing! Try on a pair of metal spikes and see how they compare to the rubber cleats of today. 

BASEBALL THEN TO WOW will show you how your favorite game grew up through the years. 

Animal Bites Series
By: Animal Planet and Laaren Brown
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Animal Planet
Format: Paperback

As a kid, I loved these types of nature books. I actually loved reading the pages in the encyclopedia about certain animals. This book and the one below on Polar Animals look like excellent books for your home library or classroom.

With more than 200 gorgeous animal photos of sharks, whales, clown fish, jellyfish, dolphins, and others, ANIMAL PLANET OCEAN ANIMALS is a fun, habitat-by-habitat guide that provides kids in the first years of schooling with the perfect bite-sized view of their favorite ocean-dwelling animals. Arranged thematically with a focus on animal behavior and family relationships, young readers will explore sections about animal bodies, baby animals, food, play time, conservation and more. Special book features designed for this age group include Quick Bites sidebars with cool animal facts, simple infographics, and illustrated maps of Earth's watery environments.

Animal Bites Series
By: Animal Planet and Laaren Brown
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Animal Planet
Format: Paperback

With more than 200 gorgeous animal photos of penguins, polar bears, sea lions, walruses, reindeer and others, ANIMAL PLANET POLAR ANIMALS is a fun, habitat-by-habitat guide that provides kids in the first years of schooling with the perfect bite-sized view of their favorite animals living in both polar climates. Arranged thematically with a focus on animal behavior and family relationships, young readers will explore sections about animal bodies, baby animals, food, play time, conservation, and more. Special book features designed for this age group include Quick Bites sidebars with cool animal facts, simple infographics, and illustrated maps of the coldest places on Earth.

A Book for Grieving Daughters
By: Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Mascot Books
Format: Hardcover

Since I used to work with grieving children and my own mother lost her mom when she was 17, this book spoke to me. I'm anxious to read it and share it with you.

The Daffodils Still Grow is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child.

By: Jane Smiley
Illustrated by: Lauren Castillo
Published: April 1, 2016
Publisher: Two Lions
Format: eBook

Jane Smiley writes a children's book? I'm in. I've already reviewed this book. Check it out HERE

Featuring lyrical text and beautiful illustrations, this bedtime tale from Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley and Caldecott Honor recipient Lauren Castillo evokes the splashy fun of the beach and the quietude of a moonlit night, with twenty yawns sprinkled in for children to discover and count.

As her mom reads a bedtime story, Lucy drifts off. But later, she awakens in a dark, still room, and everything looks mysterious. How will she ever get back to sleep?


I really have no business purchasing books, but sometimes I just can't resist. But, I also believe it is important to support authors and it's hard for me to do that when I am getting a good portion of my books for free. So, if I see a book I want, I usually get it, especially if it is a good deal. I also bought several of these books to give as gifts. 

A Novel
By: Kim van Alkemade
Published: August 4, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Paperback

After taking a bunch of our daughter's books to Half Price Books I had a nice little credit, so, of course, I had to browse. This one has been on my list after reading really great reviews for it.

In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before.

In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City’s Lower Eastside. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans. But when she turns fifteen, she runs away to Colorado hoping to find the brother she lost and discovers a family she never knew she had.

Though Rachel believes she’s shut out her painful childhood memories, years later she is confronted with her dark past when she becomes a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home and her patient is none other than the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Rachel becomes obsessed with making Dr. Solomon acknowledge, and pay for, her wrongdoing. But each passing hour Rachel spends with the old doctor reveal to Rachel the complexities of her own nature. She realizes that a person’s fate—to be one who inflicts harm or one who heals—is not always set in stone.

How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps it Real and Stays True to her Values
By: Sadie Robertson with Beth Clark
Published: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Howard Books
Format: Paperback

I bought this book to put in our daughter's Easter basket and then, guess what? I forgot. So, I'll hang onto it and give it to her to read this summer. She is at that impressionable age and I think Sadie is an excellent role model for teen girls. 

Seventeen-year-old Sadie Robertson—star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty and daughter of Willie and Korie Robertson—shares her outlook on life as she opens up about herself and the values that make her family what it is.

Sadie Robertson represents everything that a well-adjusted teenager should be, even while growing up in the spotlight on Duck Dynasty. She exhibits poise, respect for her family and friends, and a faith that influences her choices. Everyone wants to know how a family as eclectic as the Robertsons are raising such confident, fun, family-loving kids. With this book, Sadie sheds light on the values instilled by her family that make her the person she is. 

Sadie lives by a simple list of principles that lead her to personal and spiritual growth and allow the relationships she has with her friends and family to flourish. These values include think happy, be happy; dream big; shake the hate; do something; and much more.

Living as a culturally relevant teen who loves God and her family, Sadie has become a role model for other teens and for parents who are eager to instill the same characteristics in their children.

The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable
By: Dane Gable with Scott Schulte
Published: March 1, 2015
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Format: Paperback, Autographed Copy

Any Iowan knows who Dan Gable is and respects his great love of the wrestling and the hard work that goes along with it. I purchased this for my nephew even though his birthday isn't until this fall. I didn't want to miss out on getting an autographed copy for him. 

What does it take to be an Olympic gold medalist and to coach a collegiate team to fifteen NCAA titles? Famed wrestler and wrestling coach Dan Gable tells engaging and inspiring stories of his childhood in Waterloo, Iowa; overcoming the murder of his sister as a teenager; his sports career from swimming as a young boy, to his earliest wrestling matches, through the 1972 Olympics; coaching at the University of Iowa from the Banachs to the Brands; life-changing friendships he made along the way; and tales of his family life off the mat. A celebration of determination, teamwork, and the persevering human spirit, A Wrestling Life captures Gable’s methods and philosophies for reaching individual greatness as well as the incredible amount of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from working as part of a team.

Whether we are athletes or not, we all dream of extreme success and are all looking to make our future the best it can be, but along the way, we will undoubtedly need time to recover and rejuvenate. Let these stories inspire you to find your path to strength and achievement along whatever path you take.

Adventures Along the Wild Mississippi
By: Kenny Salwey
Published: October 1, 2012
Published: Fulcrum Publishing
Format: Paperback

Another gift for my nephew. He loves nature and fishing and this book sounds like something he'd love.

In TALES OF A RIVER RAT, famed storyteller and self-described hermit, Kenny Salwey informs and entertains readers as he weaves his life story on the Mississippi River. Salwey knows the river ecosystem with an intimacy unavailable to most. Here he shares his love of and knowledge about the mighty river in an accessible manner sure to appeal to all ages.

31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul
By: Sarah Mae
Published: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Format: Paperback

I'm a fan of Sarah Mae and after hearing a lot about this book, I decided to purchase it. I am not the best housekeeper, so I'm hoping this will help me find joy in that neglected area of my life.

Get your home and your heart in order in just 31 days!Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It's not about having a clean house. She'd never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself--yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts.Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart--and your home--at the same time?Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you'll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community.

100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus
By: Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk
Published: March 29, 2016
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: Hardcover

I'm a huge fan of the writing of both Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk. This devotional is beautiful and speaks to my season of life right now.

Kids bickering? Schedule jam-packed? Dishes and laundry both piled up high? Perhaps it’s time you pressed pause.

Whether you’re juggling a career, kids’ schedules, and church commitments or you’re covered in spit-up and anxious about what the next eighteen years might hold, you can carve out a few quiet moments to rejuvenate your spirit.

PRESSING PAUSE offers you a calm way to start your day, to refresh yourself in Jesus and drink deeply of His presence so that you are ready to pour out love, time, and energy into the people who matter most to you.

These 100 encouraging devotions for moms will help you begin each day with Scripture, drawing on God’s power, ingesting His Word, and learning practical ways to love and serve more like His Son.

Just a few minutes each day can help you center your heart and mind on what God has for you as His beloved daughter. So resist the rush. Halt the hustle. Press pause and find some calm in the chaos.

6-Month Bible Study Journal
By: Darlene Schacht
Published: February 19, 2016
Publisher: Time-Warp Wife
Format: Paperback

I follow Schacht online and read her book THE GOOD WIFE'S GUIDE. I was looking for a new way to journal my Bible Study and liked this idea. 

Quieting Your Heart: 6-Month Bible-Study Journal is designed to draw you closer to God as you dig into His Word. The whimsical illustrations throughout make this journal a precious keepsake you'll want to hold on to. Unlike the popular Quieting Your Heart Prayer Journal, this journal is exclusively for Bible study providing space to:
  • Jot Down What You're Reading in the Bible
  • Record What You're Learning in Your Quiet Time
  • List 3 Things You're Thankful For
  • Finish the Sentence "God is..."
If you enjoy pretty notebooks and quiet time in the Word, then you'll love this Bible-study journal! Please note: this journal is not a devotional.

By: Patricia Thomas
Illustrated by: Trina L Hunner
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Dawn Publications
Format: Hardcover

Julie at Booking Mama shared this book on her blog and I knew immediately I had to purchase it for my Great-Niece. I sent it to her for Easter and can't wait to hear if she is going to plant green beans in her garden! 

Plant it water it weed it protect it and under the blossoms is the perfect shady nook to read a book! Pretty soon it's time to pick all those long, lean beans, and to harvest a full season of garden knowledge and experience.

Illustrated by: Yu-Hsuan Huang
Published: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Format: Hardcover - Board Book

I sent this one along for my newest Great Niece for Easter. 

What does Baby Bear eat when he's hungry? Follow along with this cute baby animal as it experiences its world, from playtime to bedtime. This simple, comforting story features a permanently attached plush finger puppet and peek-a-boo holes in every page, giving parents and children a fun, interactive way to play and read together.

Books on Loan

Succeeding through Serving, One Song at a Time
By: Larry V. Dykstra
Published: March 3, 2016
Publisher: Inspire On Purpose Publishing
Format: Paperback

The author is my neighbor's brother. She told me about his book and I loved his story of finding a purpose to his life and blessing others through that purpose. He is using his God-given gift and I'm anxious to hear his story.

It is a compelling part of the human condition to want to give back in some way, but many individuals wonder what form their service can and should take. In Musical Hugs: Succeeding through Serving, One Song at a Time, author Larry Dykstra chronicles his journey from successful businessman ''plutoed'' out of his career to a giver of ''musical hugs'' who discovers solace, joy, and above all meaning, by bringing the gift of song to severely ill children in the hospital.


By: Rainbow Rowell
Published: February 25, 2016
Publisher: MacMillan Children's Books
Format: Paperback

I won this through a giveaway on Mom's Radius. I have been wanting to read a Rainbow Rowell book for awhile so this one might be a good one to start with since it is only 96 pages.

'Everybody likes everything these days. The whole world is a nerd.'
'Are you mad because other people like Star Wars? Are you mad because people like me like Star Wars?'

If you broke Elena's heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she's expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she's not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.

Phew! That is a lot of books. I really need to get busy and read! Be sure to let me know if you read any of these books! 

A post from today, 1 year ago - Books that Came My Way in March 2015