Saturday, June 28, 2014

What Once Was Lost - Kim Vogel Sawyer


What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer is an inspiring story about hope and redemption through the eyes of a single woman and an orphaned boy.

Christina Willems is struggling to run her deceased father's poor farm after it is destroyed by a fire.  She is particularly invested in the life of a little boy who is orphaned, blind and has no place to turn.  When Levi Johnson, a grumpy widower, agrees to take him in, lives are changed for the better.

I appreciated how this novel addressed many issues that are near and dear to my heart.  Sawyer touches on the many prejudices that the poor, orphans, and people with disabilities face.  She showed how sometimes the church is not the place of refuge for these peole that it should be.  Still, there were times I wasn't sure if I would finish this book.  The main protagonist, Christina, was hard to sympathize with.  She was vey stubborn and headstrong, refusing to seek help when necessary and causing almost implausible trouble because of it.  In the end I found it was downright frustrating to muddle through the plot in order to get to the resolution.  The resolution, however, was very sweet.

I adore Kim Vogel Sawyer, and while this was not my favorite of her offerings, I do recommend it based solely on the careful and thorough way she explores the topics of poverty, fatherlessness, and prejudice.

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Time With Grandma Bible Storybook - Phil A. Smouse


My Time with Grandma Bible Storybook by Phil Smouse is a fantastic collection of bible stories written with children in mind.  The book is filled with colorful illustrations by Ela Jarazbek, and the beautiful pages really help to bring these classic bible stories to life.

I let my two year old and four year old explore the twelve different stories, beginning at Creation and ending with the Resurrection.  They loved the pictures and the silly way the author uses action words to make the stories interactive.

The story of Daniel in the Lions' Den was my son's favorite.  The pictures were fantastic and it was very well written while staying completely true to the biblical rendition.

Each story ends with a "love note from Grandma", which sums up the devotional nicely and helps encourage your children to live out the truths they learned in the story.  A "love note from God" follows, which is a scripture verse that can be memorized and applied to the story.

Overall, this is a wonderful book that would be perfect to give as a gift for new grandmas, or even on Mother's Day.  Our family has thoroughly enjoyed it and we highly recommend it for yours!

Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.