Short, simple, and picturesque, “Breath of Joy: Winter Whispers” is the fourth and final book in the Breath of Joy series. Not having read any of the other seasons, I was not sure what to expect. I am accustomed to reading full-length books, so this was a unique experience for me. The format is somewhat unusual because it is essentially a postcard picture book. At first I was trying to connect each page into a continuous story, and I was struggling, especially when I suddenly finished the book. Looking back, I recognize that each page contains its own thoughts, which flow into the season and, taken compositely, offer hope: “Having strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…when heaven sings and earth replies…echoes of mercy, whispers of Love…” There are some wonderful truths within this book, presented so frankly, and they are a fitting contrast to the sheer beauty of the photographs on each page. Likewise, the writing itself stems from a place of loss and yet brings beauty to it. After all, “The honesty of trees in Winter: how the limbs know to let things go…how we turn over the broken bits…to discover hope.” Whether you are experiencing loss or not, “Winter Whispers” is a gorgeous little book that quietly comforts and reassures. It causes the reader to ponder: What has the Lord been whispering to your heart, and how will He continue to do so in the future?
I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
The Power of Words, December 4
Lighthouse Academy, December 5
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 6
For the Love of Literature, December 7
Blossoms and Blessings, December 8
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 9
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, December 9
Older & Smarter?, December 10
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 11
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 12
She Lives to Read, December 13
Texas Book-aholic, December 14
janicesbookreviews, December 15
A Reader’s Brain, December 16
Mary Hake, December 16
Inklings and notions, December 17
The best of this bunch are - Little Squirrel Squish (3.5 stars) about a squirrel who wants to be a reindeer. The Christmas Bunny (4 stars) about Santa's bunny helper, Brave Benny (3 stars) which is about animals getting ready for winter. It has the best pictures but I don't understand how a deer pounced joyfully and at times the illustrations were too dark for the word printed over them.
Arial YouTuber is nice because it has extras that would interest a child, including a recipe and how-to guide. (3 Stars)
Grumpy Dinosaur and Dragon's Breath (3 star) aren't bad but the lesson is a bit heavy handed.
Mariko and the Magic Mirror is a good look at grief and death for children, but feels off because of the use of culture that isn't fully explored or used. (3 stars)
The worst is the Singing Horse (.5 star) which uses stereotypical illustrations of Native Americans. I mean, living in teepees in the desert bad.
Title: Big Bad Bruce
Author: Bill Peet
Genre: Animals / Manners / Bullying / Magic
Year Published: 1977
Year Read: 2009
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Content Rating: Ages 6+ (Bullying)
“Big Bad Bruce” is another classic tale by Bill Peet and it is about how Bruce the Bear tortures small creatures and he eventually gets what he deserves when Roxy the witch shrinks him down to the size of a chipmunk. The lesson of this story may have not been taught right, but this book is still a treat for children to read.
Bill Peet does an excellent job at illustrating and writing the story “Big Bad Bruce.” First, I like to talk about Bill Peet’s illustrations as they are beautiful and colorful when he illustrates Bruce to seem more like a scruffy and mischievous bear rather than a scary and vicious bear. The image that I really enjoyed was the image of Bruce standing up on his hind legs looking for some mischief to do as he has a mischievous grin on his face. Second, I like to talk about Bill Peet’s writing as he effectively uses a fantasy element (witchcraft) to make Bruce see everything from a chipmunk’s point of view and learns about how the other animals felt when he picked on them. Roxy was probably the most interesting character in this story as she was the only one who was able to stand up to Bruce when he was big and I love how she creatively teaches Bruce a lesson about bullying by shrinking him down to the size of a chipmunk.
“Big Bad Bruce” is an interesting story about the consequences of teasing other people, but parents may want to avert their children about the real lesson being taught her, instead of doing what Bruce has done at the end of the book. I would recommend this book to children ages six and up due to some advanced vocabulary in this book and the fact that Bruce had not really learned his lesson.
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog