A stronger story than The World's Greatest Lion but very similar in style--again, illustrations are wonderful. This story of Madoc and his friendshipA stronger story than The World's Greatest Lion but very similar in style--again, illustrations are wonderful. This story of Madoc and his friendship with a young boy is unbelievable sounding in parts, but is apparently true. There was one part of the text that confused me--the passage of time doesn't sound long, but the "boy" grows awfully quickly into an old man. I get that years passed...but it sounded more like 20 than 60....more
Sweet and cheerful. Art has a retro feel to it even while it also looks digitally produced. Growing a friend is a lot like growing a plant: they bothSweet and cheerful. Art has a retro feel to it even while it also looks digitally produced. Growing a friend is a lot like growing a plant: they both require patience, occasional weeding, showers, and the like. A fun book for preschoolers, it's definitely a book-that-teaches, but it is better than most in this category....more
Biblioburro says it all! A man in Colombia used his burro to carry books to people across his region because they had no way to access them on their oBiblioburro says it all! A man in Colombia used his burro to carry books to people across his region because they had no way to access them on their own. Winter's simple text and bright illustrations make this a good read aloud for young children....more
A great resource for bringing the Civil Rights and its many issues home to young readers today. Trying on shoes is something early elementary kids wilA great resource for bringing the Civil Rights and its many issues home to young readers today. Trying on shoes is something early elementary kids will readily grasp, and the thought that people might be barred from trying on their shoes to see if they fit before buying will help them appreciate how ridiculous those laws were! The story also shows two young girls finding a creative way around this law, finding a way to serve their own community, and experiencing the joys of a job well done. Illustrations have a snapshot feel to them--like an image is frozen in time. Colors are rich, and they are nicely done....more
A fun--and jazzy!--account of a group of women who formed a jazz band in a time when women just didn't do that. Originally springing out of an orphanaA fun--and jazzy!--account of a group of women who formed a jazz band in a time when women just didn't do that. Originally springing out of an orphanage, the group grew and expanded over the years. Back matter has many helpful additional resources. Illustrations are buoyant and in keeping with the spirit of the text and the subject matter....more
I love seeing Biblical stories robustly handled--as they great and inspiring and true stories they are. But the t4 stars for illustrations 3+ for text.
I love seeing Biblical stories robustly handled--as they great and inspiring and true stories they are. But the text of this version goes beyond the biblical account in ways that may be confusing (and misleading) for children. It would be a fantastic accompaniment in a middle or high school class since Wilson interprets the serpent like the medieval dragon....more
Cute and will really capture some children, particularly those attuned to subtle humor. It is also the type of book that I think will reward young re-Cute and will really capture some children, particularly those attuned to subtle humor. It is also the type of book that I think will reward young re-readers--they will like it all the more when they know what is coming (the first time through is just a little odd). ...more
Obviously, this is a book about libraries! It's a nonfiction peek at the outside and insides of many different types of libraries (book-mobiles and LiObviously, this is a book about libraries! It's a nonfiction peek at the outside and insides of many different types of libraries (book-mobiles and Library of Congress to tool-lending libraries and even one on a naval ship!). It won't be the kind of book that gets reread, but for an informative and kid-friendly look at the many kinds of information settings and providers, this book is a great resource! It's aged pretty well, too--the information on the internet is still applicable....more
True story of a librarian in Texas who spent a week on the roof in order to raise money for her children's department. Lively story and cartoon illustTrue story of a librarian in Texas who spent a week on the roof in order to raise money for her children's department. Lively story and cartoon illustrations make this a fun read aloud, particularly in a library setting!...more
I guess technically this is realistic fiction, but there are hints of one character being a witch (and maybe working things out behind the scenes?). CI guess technically this is realistic fiction, but there are hints of one character being a witch (and maybe working things out behind the scenes?). Cute story...not remarkable....more
I'd heard of Misty Copeland from a student of mine who is an accomplished ballerina in her own right. We were discussing Misty's inspiring story, andI'd heard of Misty Copeland from a student of mine who is an accomplished ballerina in her own right. We were discussing Misty's inspiring story, and then I discovered that this book is about her. Evocative and tender, just like a ballet, this book will be a gift to those wishing to study ballet who don't fit the "usual" mold (tall, slender, WHITE... and starting their careers later than young girlhood). Copeland offers a moving author's note at the end that is not to be missed, particularly for those who are new to her story....more
So many times, I pick up picture books with a mission--I need them for a story time (theme), I've heard about them through the grapevine (starred reviSo many times, I pick up picture books with a mission--I need them for a story time (theme), I've heard about them through the grapevine (starred reviews, here on GR, friends), or I need to review them for Redeemed Reader. This little gem, though, I just picked up on a whim off a "new" shelf at my local library. And it's just delightful. Young children will especially enjoy it, even if they (like me) have no prior acquaintance with Maria or her friend Mouse Mouse. All young children know the panic of calling out for mom (or another caregiver) and worrying when she (or he) doesn't instantly appear. And oh, the charming ending when the friends discover their mothers. Text and illustrations tell the parallel story of Maria and Mouse Mouse going through the same experience until they unite in the end. McClintock's detailed illustrations provide much to pore over each time the book is read....more
A lovely, lyrical book about the absolute delight a rain shower brings during the heat of the summer. Text is very poetic and evocative of the oppressA lovely, lyrical book about the absolute delight a rain shower brings during the heat of the summer. Text is very poetic and evocative of the oppression heat brings and the anticipation and relief of rain. Illustrations are, as is a given with Muth, stunning. Several ethnicities are depicted, all girls and their mommas. ...more
One-Line Summary: In this moving and convicting account, Qureshi recounts his spiritual awakening from devout MuslimReviewed first on Redeemed Reader
One-Line Summary: In this moving and convicting account, Qureshi recounts his spiritual awakening from devout Muslim boy to questioning teenager to zealous young Christian.
Nabeel Qureshi is a refreshing narrator in these confused times as our society attempts to balance fear of extreme Islamic practices with reticence about religious profiling of all professing Muslims. In this well-organized and exciting book, Qureshi spends time walking the reader through his early years in a devout home that professed and practiced the beliefs of the Islamic sect Ahmadiyya. Qureshi’s parents took the religious training of their children very seriously, and by the time Qureshi was a teen, he was well versed in the tenets of his religion. During high school, his best friend was a boy named David, a professing Christian and fellow debate team member. They became roommates in college and began to debate the merits of Islam and Christianity.
The rest, as they say, is history. The Lord used myriad ways to open this young man’s eyes to the truths of the gospel, and Qureshi’s account is simultaneously honest, emotional, and intellectually stimulating. Qureshi’s parents’ devotion to their religion and their training of their children is truly commendable, an example we Christians would do well to emulate. Of particular interest to our teen and college readers is the portrayal of Nabeel and David’s friendship. The two quickly realized that despite their significant religious differences and cultural backgrounds, they actually had more in common with each other than with their secular friends. For instance, both believed in a Creator and disavowed evolution. Their willingness to focus on their similarities and to be honest with each other even when religious debates grew intense proved to be a real means of grace in both of their lives.
Qureshi gives readers a powerful example of life-on-life apologetics and of Peter’s urging for all Christians to have an answer for the hope that is in us. He also paints the Islamic community in sympathetic, but honest terms, and he includes much extra material on his website for readers who wish to pursue the apologetics questions further. His extra resources on the web come from noted Christian thinkers such as Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel. Currently, Qureshi is working with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. This is a must read for any who wish to understand their Muslim friends and neighbors better as well as for any who are interested in apologetics.
If only fairy tales were real! Such a wish begins this cute picture book as Hector and his friends set out in searchReviewed first on Redeemed Reader
If only fairy tales were real! Such a wish begins this cute picture book as Hector and his friends set out in search of a giant. Detailed illustrations bring the five anthropomorphic animal characters to life as they pursue their quest and make a new friend. The text hints at just the right level of suspense for toddlers and preschoolers. This picture book may feel a touch formulaic to more experienced readers, but young children will enjoy it, particularly if they are part of a family that enjoys—and reads—fairy tales and fantasy regularly.
Book provided via netgalley in return for a fair review.
In her haste one morning, Ava grabs a pencil from the kitchen drawer. During her math test, Ava realizes that the penFirst reviewed on Redeemed Reader
In her haste one morning, Ava grabs a pencil from the kitchen drawer. During her math test, Ava realizes that the pencil can tell her answers to the questions she’s writing down. Obviously this is the sort of thing to tell a best friend, and soon Ava and Sophie are testing the pencil’s knowledge. They move on from homework questions to whether a boy likes a girl, information about their teachers, and questions about the future (which the pencil refuses to answer). They even question the pencil about how to make the folks at the retirement center (including Ava’s grandfather) happier; when Ava and Sophie act on the pencil’s advice, the results are heartwarming. On her own, Ava starts asking heavier questions: Will her parents stay together? Is her grandmother going to be okay? But Ava soon realizes that some things are better left unknown.
Ava Anderson is a very typical middle school girl. And she worries…a lot. While her anxiety drives her to some creative ruses in her attempt to avoid things that frighten her (such as the class field trip to a woodland retreat center), even those who don’t worry to the same extent as Ava will resonate with her fears. After all, most middle schoolers spend some time worrying over their friends, their parents’ marriages or jobs or health, their school situation. Readers will enjoy watching Ava come to grips with some of her fears as well watching Ava interact with her family (which include her grandparents, parents, and sibling). The family interactions and Ava’s character development are wonderfully written. Middle school is a time of anxiety for many students, and they will relate easily to Ava.
Book provided via netgalley in return for a fair review....more
In this 2015 Caldecott Honor, Castillo tells the gentle story of a grandmother who cleverly helps her young grandsonReviewed first on Redeemed Reader
In this 2015 Caldecott Honor, Castillo tells the gentle story of a grandmother who cleverly helps her young grandson brave his fears and discover all the fun things there are to do and experience in the city. He is frightened by the new sights and sounds when he comes to visit his Nana in the big city. So Nana makes him a red cape. What young boy doesn’t feel braver in a bright red cape?
Castillo’s watercolor illustrations are a perfect match for her deceptively simple text. Red is a warm, cheery color that highlights spots on each page, showing the boy’s growing awareness of all the many interesting things that surround him. A lovely story for grandparents to share with their grandchildren, this is also one that works as a good group read-aloud or book for a new reader. Mention to your children that Nana is showing us real love: looking to make the other comfortable, looking for ways to encourage and build up. ...more
Based on Carol Ryrie Brink’s own grandmother’s experiences, Caddie Woodlawn was first published in 1935 and awarded tReviewed first on Redeemed Reader
Based on Carol Ryrie Brink’s own grandmother’s experiences, Caddie Woodlawn was first published in 1935 and awarded the 1936 Newbery Medal. Eleven-year-old Caddie Woodlawn, the middle child in her large family, is a red-headed tomboy who rebels at her mother’s and older sister’s attempts to make her more ladylike, preferring instead the wild adventures she has with her two close brothers. Those adventures include such unladylike actions as swimming, ice skating, and rescuing the school from a prairie fire. Caddie doesn’t realize it, but she is also demonstrating her own unique gifts along the way as she compassionately spends her money to help some poor children, patiently learns how to repair watches at her father’s side, and keeps “Injun John’s” dog for him after bravely warning him of the white settlers’ unrest.
What makes a book like Caddie Woodlawn stand the test of time? It’s authentic. Not only is it grounded in a real woman’s memories of life on the frontier, it tackles issues that are real and true for all times: race relations and judging people from other cultures before getting to know them,* freedom and responsibility, when it’s worth sacrificing your home for a new adventure (and when it’s worth staying put!), how to love your family members through the easy times and the hard times, and how to grow up into the person God made you to be. Caddie grapples with each of these throughout the book, and she ends the book ready to become a woman—not a simpering, frail creature, but a strong, multi-skilled pioneer who is ready to love, protect, and serve her future family. *Note that many find the terminology used in this book for American Indians to be offensive. Certainly we wouldn’t condone someone saying “Injun” or “savage” today, but this would have been standard white settler vocabulary during the time period. It’s worth pointing out that Caddie herself is a great example of someone who does not let cultural stereotypes and fear keep her from seeing her American Indian neighbors as people just like herself.
Caddie Woodlawn is a great choice for a family read-aloud because her rambunctious spirit is often echoed in young listeners, be they boys or girls! Caddie Woodlawn is also a wonderful follow-up to the Little House books; it is a harder and more complex read than the first few Little House books. A fun read about a boy learning to embrace his own unique gifts during a similar time period is The Great Turkey Walk. Many parents (and grandparents!) today will remember reading Caddie Woodlawn during their own childhoods. It’s time to revisit this classic.