42550259. sx318 Noah and the Great Big Boat by Antonia Woodward

Expected publication: September 1st 2019 by Lion Children’s Books

5 Stars: 

This is a cute retelling of the story of Noah’s Ark. I liked this book, the illustrations and the simple language for young children to understand. I have read other children’s versions of this story and always cringed a bit when it showed the other people that did not get on the ark. I also liked the explanation of the animals flocking to Noah, instead of him having to go out and locate them. My grandkids both liked this story. They have heard Noah’s story, so were familiar with it. They tried to name all the animals they saw and then we ended up singing “Rise & Shine” a song about Noah they learned at VBS. This is a great book for a family, church or Sunday School library.

43724061. sx318 The Not-So-Very Lost Lamb by Antonia Woodward

Expected publication: September 1st 2019 by Lion Children’s Books

5 Stars: 

The Not-So-Very Lost Lamb is an adorable book by Antonia Woodward. It is a retelling of the Story of The Good Shepherd. This is a story that I am very familiar with, but this one is told from the point of view of the little lamb, I loved it. The lamb wanders off following a butterfly, playing with some new friends and having a great day. Kids will definitely identify with that. He loses track of time and suddenly realizes he is lost, alone and scared. He baas for the shepherd, who arrives and tells the lamb that he went looking for him as soon as he realized he was gone. The beautiful illustrations are full of emotion and animation, yet very simply drawn with amazing colours. A wonderful discussion about God/Jesus always being there for us, even when we do things we should not do, followed the reading of this book. We also talked about mom and dad loving us even when we do something wrong. The final comments by the shepherd, “You can never get so lost that I can’t find you, and you can never wander so far away that you can’t come back.” caused a fun question/answer session of, “What if I went to Italy? What about the Moon? Can he find me if I go under the ocean? and so on with my grandson. I kept assuring him that God would always find him and he liked that. A definite addition to the family library and I hope to purchase one for the primary Sunday School class at my church.

43874132. sx318 The Worst Christmas Ever by Kathleen Long Bostrom 

Expected publication: September 17th 2019 by Flyaway Books

4 Stars:

Matthew’s family is moving to California just before Christmas and he is not happy. He is preparing for “The Worst Christmas Ever.” He wants a White Christmas, a nice green tree and his friends. The family attends a local church and even that causes problems when the pastor calls him Mark. To make matters even worse, his dog Jasper, runs after a squirrel and gets lost. As Christmas Eve approaches will the miracle his sister has been predicting happen?

I enjoyed the illustrations in this book. I liked the muted shading and colours as well as the wonderful expressions showed on the faces of the characters. They added very much to the story. My one complaint was that the illustrations seemed to show Lucy as being much older than the story made her appear. The story was simple, yet long enough to tell the story well. My grandchildren sat and listened intently, pointing things out in the illustrations and becoming a bit upset when Jasper ran off. They were quite happy at the ending and when I asked them if they wanted to hear the story again, they both agreed quickly. Overall a great reading experience for the three of us.

This is a cute book about moving and making a new life, accepting changes, looking for the positive and always looking for miracles to happen, especially at Christmas. The final line of the book says it all: “It didn’t matter now that there was no snow and that they’d almost had a pink tree. Christmas had come, right in the middle of Matthew’s feeling lost in the world. Just as it had come that first Christmas, long ago.”

45158565. sx318 Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado, Eve Tharlet (Illustrator)

Published August 6th 2019 by Thomas Nelson (first published October 20th 1992)

4 Stars:

This story is about a father bear and his relationship with his daughter. He describes how much he loves her, how unique and special she is and how her heavenly father created and loves her as well. He explains that he will always love her and protect her, again like her heavenly father. The ending shares the belief of heaven and how any sorrow and pain experienced on earth will be gone. This is a great way to explain heaven and God in a child-friendly way. There are gorgeous illustrations that add to the text showing the special relationship between the father and his child. Earlier editions of this book have the characters as human. When I read this to my grandson, he immediately asked about grandpa and told me he was in heaven. This was a happy/sad moment for me, but I loved that he understood and accepted the story’s explanation. A wonderful book for a family library, church, Sunday school or Christian school library.

All of these books were provided by the publisher through Netgalley. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own. When applicable, I have included comments or reactions from my grandchildren, ages 3 and almost 6.