Category: Kids

Book Review: Growing Up Social” by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pelican


As a parent raising children in a world that is quickly becoming obsessed with screens, I was highly interested in reading Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane. I have come to respect the opinions and viewpoints of Mr. Chapman and Mrs. Pellicane though listening to various podcasts and blog posts and was interested to read their ideas on this matter. I especially was interested to see the tie-in with Mr. Chapman’s Five Love Languages concept from other books I’ve read by him.

The first half of the book discusses what are called A+ Skills. These are skills that I’m sure all parents would want their child to be proficient at. These skills include the ability to show affection, appreciate others, deal with anger, learn to apologize, and pay attention. The second half of the book explores how screen time affects children. Most chapters include passages with practical application tips in easy to read formats. It is also based on Biblical principles.

The overarching point of this book is to encourage parents to limit screen time in order to strengthen relationships. I think this was best said in chapter three: “It’s ironic that an electronic device that connects us to people around the world can also work simultaneously to separate us from the people at hand.” While screens are entertaining and sometimes educational for children, parents have to ensure that they are properly monitored and limited. Therefore, I would highly recommend this book to any parent.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages” by Gary D. Chapman and Paige Haley Drygas

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I originally read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman as a young bride years ago. I found it to be one of the most practical relationship books I’d read and have referenced it along the way. So, I was super excited to see that a teen version of the book was available. It is a quick and easy read. In fact, I read almost all of it aloud to my family as we rode in the car. Although my children haven’t reached the teen years yet (I thought they might relate to this book more than the children’s version), I found this to be applicable to them as well. It is written with a teen’s perspective in mind. It contains some fun illustrations and has several sections that are set apart in a blue background that further discuss important ideas in that chapter. The book concludes with The Five Love Languages Profile that assists the reader in determining their love language. I think that it’s great to introduce these relationship concepts at such an important time in a child’s life. I’ve already seen changes in my own children from reading this book with them. It’s a great read.

I received this book for free from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “The Drawing Lesson” by Mark Crilley


The premise of this book is intriguing: a graphic novel that teaches the reader how to draw. The book is easy to read and has great basic drawing lessons woven into a storyline of a boy who seeks knowledge from an impromptu drawing mentor that he has met at the park. The feedback from his reluctant mentor, Becky, is actually drawing lessons for the reader. The storyline is interesting and draws the readers attention from the fact that they are actually learning while enjoying the story. The illustrations are presented in sepia-like tones and showcase Mr. Crilley’s skill in shading and illustration.

I think this would be a wonderful addition to the library of tweens who have even an inkling of interest in drawing. Adults could learn something too just like I did. Each chapter ends with a challenge to the reader to get them drawing. I love that the challenges can be accomplished with just regular pencils and paper. This is truly an unique book.

I received this book for free from’s Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Giveaway: “Parent Hacks” by Asha Dornfest


It’s been a while since I’ve done a giveaway here. So, I’d like to offer a copy of Asha Dornfest’s Parent Hacks to my readers. It’s a great book, especially for new parents, that I reviewed several weeks ago. You can read my entire review at Parent Hacks Review. To enter, simply comment on this post. You can earn a bonus entries by either subscribing to this blog (current subscribers are automatically entered) or sharing on FB or Twitter (be sure to let me know that you shared it or tag me). I will hold the random drawing on Wednesday, May 25 at 8PM. I’ll contact the winner via email. You will then have 24 hours to respond, or I will draw another name.

Book Review: “Can You Relate? How to Handle Parents, Friends, Boys and More” by Vicki Courtney


I absolutely love this book! I originally got it to read for later since my daughter wasn’t in the targeted age group of 9-12, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the book was already relevant for her. In fact, I plan to use the book as a tween-friendly tool to discuss the various topics that the book covers. It is divided into the four sections entitled Friends, Family, The World Around Me, and God. The sections are cleverly divided by differing color schemes to make finding the section you’re looking for easy. The book covers tons of great subjects such as mean girls, being a great sister, using your words wisely, being boy crazy, respect for parents, prayer, and so much more. It is also chockfull of colorful, pretty illustrations that appeal to tween girls. The inclusion of lots of fun quizzes, to do lists, and QR codes that link to accompanying videos are sure to appeal to tweens and provides a higher coolness factor that will entice them to dig deeper into these subjects. I am planning to take my daughter through this book and may even invite some of her friends and their moms to do so as well. After all, when I was reading it at ballet practice, another mom took the time to ask me about the book because the beautiful colors and fun fonts had caught her eye. I recommend it to the tweens in your life.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review as part of their Lifeway Bloggers Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way – 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul” by Sarah Mae


I was drawn to this book because I’ve been looking a lot at the lives of Mary and Martha from the Bible. It also interested me to because I’m always looking for tips and tricks to make housekeeping easier and more organized. I really enjoyed how information in the book was grouped. For each of the 31 days, a different topic is covered. The author covers everything from learning your cleaning style to toy organization. Each day has a short story, a Bible study (named the Mary Challenge), and a hands-on activity to help with cleaning around the house (named the Martha Challenge). I love that all the information in the book is divided into small, doable sections so that you’re not overwhelmed with it all. I also love that the book is based on Biblical principles. The book is full of great ideas and helps to break up house cleaning into manageable pieces. For instance, one of my favorite parts of the book was in Day 10 – Slow and Steady. The author encouraged me by reminding that cleaning and household organization doesn’t have to be done all together at one time and that progress is better than perfection. On page 86, she says, “One step at a time, one day at a time, slow and steady, you’ll make it.” The book is filled with reminders of grace and was encouraging to me. I’d recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a quick Bible study along with ideas to tame the chaos that often surrounds homes of mothers of small children.

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Parent Hacks” by Asha Dornfest

This book is the collection of over 135 hacks (tips, tricks, and shortcuts) for parents. It is such a fun book! There are tons of cute illustrations and highlighted text that make this book very easy to read. Some of the hacks are ones that I used when my kids were young, and others are simply brilliant ones that I wish I had known about then. One of my favorites from the book discussed the many uses of a roll of painter’s tape. Another great idea was to use an open dishwasher for young kids to practice their dexterity as they pour liquids into a cup. The author summed it up perfectly on the back of the book when she said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” My life as a young mother would have been so much easier if I had. This book would be the perfect gift for new parents!

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Book Review: “Blotch – A Tale of Forgiveness and Grace” by Andy Addis and Illustrated by Tatio Viana


My daughter and I really enjoyed reading Blotch together. It is the story of the title character who is covered in blotches and goes on a journey to find someone to remove his blotches. On his journey, he runs into groups of hiders, pretenders, and pointers before finally finding the King who agrees to help him on his quest. This heartwarming tale is portrait of the Gospel. My daughter quickly picked up on this and said, “Mom, the King is like Jesus.” The book has good character development and fun illustrations with beautiful colors. My daughter found it to be interesting and liked the mystery of whether or not Blotch would find what he was looking for. The early chapter book with plenty of pictures was easy for her to read. The book also contained discussion questions for each chapter to facilitate family discussion and a hands on activity for each chapter. This was a fabulous book and would a wonderful addition to the reading list of young children and tweens.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review as part of their Lifeway Bloggers Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Flip Book Review: “The Bible is my Best Friend – 365 Days – Connecting Your Family to God’s Word and to Each Other” by Sheila Walsh


My family has loved this flip book. It’s similar in format to a page-a-day calendar, but doesn’t have specific dates printed on each page. Instead, it is divided into numbered weeks and then is numbered by day within each week. It is spiral bound, sturdy, and self-standing. We have put ours on our table and use it as a good conversation starter at dinner. My youngest, in particular, enjoys getting to read the new page each day. The book uses bold, colorful hues that are visually stimulating for kids. I also love the whimsical illustrations. Each page is quick to read and is geared well to young families. I think any family with children between the toddler stage and tween stage would be a great target audience. Each day has something different, including thought-provoking questions, interesting trivia, challenges, prayer prompts, Bible trivia, riddles, games, and more. The week starts and ends with the Bible verse for that week. Most of the verses are presented from the HCSB, but each verse has the reference also listed so that you can use your preferred translation which is also great for helping children to learn where to find a reference in the Bible. My kids give it a thumbs up, and I’d recommend this fun product to anyone with children.

I received this book for free from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review as part of their Lifeway Bloggers Program. I was not obligated to write a positive review.

Book Review: “Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World” by Kristen Welch


I really enjoyed reading Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World – How One Family Learned that Saying No Can Lead to Life’s Biggest Yes by Kristen Welch. I have enjoyed several articles from her website We Are THAT Family and was interested in her perspective on this subject. I loved that she admits to still being in the trenches of motherhood and doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. It added a feeling of realness for me. I felt she was right on point with her description of the current state of parenting, including accurately naming one of the chapters “The Selfie Society”. The culture in which we live seems to extol the idea that parents should always be a friend to their child and should strive for that child to be happy at all costs, mostly by enjoying extravagant and plentiful material possessions. This book encourages parents to avoid that idea and instead embrace an attitude of gratitude.

The book starts with glowing reviews from Gary Chapman, Crystal Paine, and Sally Clarkson. Each chapter has a section called Going Against the Flow that contains action steps and good advice for all stages of life, entitled parents, toddlers/preschoolers, elementary, tweens/teens. Throughout the chapters, inset quotes are plentiful among the text that point out important snippets. One chapter of particular interest to me dealt with technology and provided a list of rules to help mitigate the risk of children having access to technology. Most were common sense ideas, but there were a few I hadn’t considered. The main text finishes up with a great chapter called “Dear Parents” with wonderful guidance. The book also contains a discussion guide for each chapter.

I think this would be a wonderful book for parents. I’ll say that I don’t agree with the discussion of rephrasing Proverbs 22:6 in chapter 2, but we end up the same place in terms of what should be done to help guide a child away from a sense of entitlement. It’s sometimes hard to resist the norm of spoiling your kids to the point that they feel entitled. This book gives good practical ideas on how to cultivate the idea of choosing to be grateful. It was a timely reminder to not spoil my kids, given that I was reading it during the Christmas season. I think the author expressed my idea of the goal of parenting well when she said, “If we fix every problem, cater to every need, and bend over backwards to keep our kids happy all the time, we are setting them up for a false reality because life won’t always offer them the same courtesy.” It’s important to make sure they are loved, but also to guide them into adults who are grateful and satisfied with what they have instead of one who is entitled and always searching for more. After all, as Mrs. Welch said, “…often our kids don’t need more stuff or more freedom; they just need more of us.”

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not obligated to write a positive review.