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review 2018-11-12 00:29
100 Women of Faith
100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls: Unforgettable Tales of Women of Faith - Fischer, Jean

Amidst the myriad compilations of famous and notable people, “100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls” stands out in that it highlights specifically women of faith. This includes some women who were not necessarily praiseworthy but who nevertheless provide valuable lessons through their actions. One page is dedicated to each of the one hundred women portrayed alphabetically, alongside which is an illustration of them, and this setup is very advantageous for being brief and for possibly reading this in a devotional style, focusing on one woman per day. The women include Biblical characters as well as historical figures and a few contemporary ones. The Biblical women’s stories include the relevant Scriptures, and all of the stories end with a moral message related to the Bible along with a Scripture quotation. Not all of the stories have happy endings; some of the women were martyred for their faith, and although the author mentions that some were tortured, there are no graphic details. When mature words were used, such as “martyr” or “heresy”, a definition was given, and all of the Scripture references were quoted in easy-to-understand language. This is a beautiful collection of the lives of inspirational women of faith, some of whom have otherwise been lost to the annals of history, and a wonderful book for tweens and young teens.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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review 2018-11-10 19:56
Cuddled and Carried, Dia L Michels

I loved this picture book for children of all ages. I received this for free and I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 5* rating. In it's simple way, it was uplifting and the artwork was wonderful. I liked how they linked animal families to human families. So I will be giving this to my grandchildren. It also has some start a conversation suggestions in the back. Nice touch.

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review 2018-11-04 02:29
Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems - Carey Sookocheff

A colorful board book perfect for a younger child, the illustrations are simple and clear with each text that it follows. Each scenario presents a problem to be solved with a direct and sometimes creative solution. Discussion provoking with a child who can grasp the ideas and just overall an easy and fun read.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-10-30 18:28
The Gad Nail by Anthony Spaeth
The Gad Nail - Anthony Spaeth

I had the great pleasure to listen to Howl of the Lambergoon and was very happy to see a sequel to the series (Gad the Zig). While this is the second book, it stands on its own. As with Book 1, the story captures the fanciful and instantly pulled me in. I own both the audiobook and the paperbook, so this review is for both formats.

A potter lives a lonely life on the Hebrides so he uses a bit of magic to craft a kid (who gets a robin’s nest for a cap and an iron nail for a heart). Gad is then sent on his first quest – to find a meal. The potter warns him seriously to stay out the Fendrees woods.

And we can all see where Gad will have to venture for one reason or another. There’s a turtle involved and faeries! Gad wasn’t sure he would be able to make it out alive! Thankfully, more than one comes to his aid and the faerie queen of Fendrees woods takes their pleas into consideration.

While the plot is straight forward, it is eloquently told. The cadence and word choice are just as well used as the imagery. I would recommend this for adults and kids as there’s enough here to capture the heart of any age. 5/5 stars.

The illustrations are beautifully done, as with Book 1, even with the change in illustrators. The cover illustration didn’t pull me in as much as Book 1 simply because it has so much pink. I can clearly see the artistry in the cover despite the pink and I knew the story would be worthy. The interior illustrations use the full palette and don’t rely heavily on pink. Once again, I love that there’s a fanciful map at the beginning. The illustrations near the end of the tale, when kids are encouraged to hunt out their own magical woods, were my favorites. It’s great that kids of different walks of life are included, such as the kid in the wheelchair. 5/5 stars.

Narration: Derek Murray gives a superb performance. He nails the rhythm perfectly. He has distinct voices for all the characters and his faerie queen voice is feminine. Murray’s Scottish accent adds to the book since it’s set in the Hebrides. 5/5 stars.

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review 2018-10-30 18:11
Howl of the Lambergoon by Anthony Spaeth
Howl of the Lambergoon - Anthony Spaeth

I had the pleasure to review the audiobook for Audio Book Reviewer and you can catch my review over there. Derek Murray gives a marvelous performance for the narration of the audiobook. Here is an additional review of the paper version.

This story is just as enchanting the second time through and just a bit more engrossing with all of these luscious illustrations. The characters come to life so quickly and it was easy to put myself in their shoes. The tale holds adventure, mystery, and a quest of sorts. The physical book has a simple but well done map to go along with the story, which is set in the Hebrides. A touch of history and myth curl their way throughout this engaging story. I love Aud’s hairstyle in the illustrations and the lambergoon is a treat to behold!

Told in rhyme, it’s easy to fall into the near sing-song pacing. The charm continues to grow with each passing page. I can see how kids would be easily caught up in this story with all the fun, silly words (like lambergoon). In fact, I bought a copy for my niece. At this rate, she’ll be reading before she’s out of the womb!

This is easily one of my favorite tales of the year, despite most of my reading being dark fantasy, epic scifi, and murder mystery. 6/5 stars.

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