Friday, February 25, 2011

Dying to Share

I've been trying to avoid children book reviews. This was based off of reader comments when I was asking for blog feedback.

But the other day my sister-in-law said she missed them, and I have been missing them too. I will still hold back--unless I hear otherwise from all of you.

Since this week has been a salute to kids and books, I thought it would be fitting to end with some of my reading favorites of late.

1. I've been loving this book ever since my son got it for Christmas. The Jesus Storybook Bible is amazing! I've been brought to tears on many occasions reading this Bible storybook to my sons at night. The visuals are gorgeous and captivate a child's imagination. The stories are written with high-energy and high-interest. The writer, Sally Lloyd-Jones feels divinely inspired as you read her narratives. We have just read through the Old Testament. Last night my oldest started a monologue all about Moses and the Israelites and the Egyptians. I didn't even know he knew the word Israelites. He had some interesting thoughts and observations about what if the Egyptians and Israelites had changed places and the Pharaoh had to be a slave, then maybe he wouldn't have chased after the Israelites on those fast horses. Then his monologue turned to David and Goliath and later Daniel. From the descriptions he was using I knew he was retelling all the stories from this picture Bible. He ended with, "And next we get to read the New Testament! I'm so excited!"

2. The Rooster Prince of Brestov is a famous Yiddish folktale. First I love folktales, love the morals and lessons they teach young readers. Here is the traditional lesson of this folktale as interpreted by Rebbe Nachman, "For a teacher to raise his student to the heights of spiritual ecstasy, that teacher must approach the student at the student's own level, no matter how low." But also there is the author's view (Ann Redisch Stampler) of the embedded modern-day lesson, "I see the rooster prince tale as a coming-of-age story that explores, with great humor and tenderness, the question of how to nurture a child so he or she will grow up to become a good person. In the story a confused and alienated boy becomes a man by developing true compassion and practicing good deeds.....His stature as a prince suggest that all children, no matter how privileged, must go through this developmental process in order to become kings and queens---adults with moral authority in their families and communities."

So, why did my boys love this book? Well, a red-headed prince decides he is a rooster. And to fully become this rooster, he strips himself to the buff! He walks around and eats corn off the floor. An old, wise man joins him. The pictures are amusing and funny, but the teacher (old man) is gentle and patient as he returns the rooster back to his parents as a worthy prince.

3. 1001 Things to Spot Long Ago is my last recommendation. This is an interactive book that helps teach history and time to young children. Each page is a visual mastery with items to spot and find. The first historical era is "At the market" Mesopotamia, 4000 years ago. One task was finding 10 necklaces. At, "A castle feast" England, 600 years ago my boys had to search for 10 silver goblets. The most recent was "The drive-in movies" North America, 45 years ago. One of the many hunts was for 9 boxes of popcorn.

This is one of those books that your children can look at on their own. I love catching my sons sitting on the couch together spotting and finding items and getting a taste for time and culture, society and they change and evolve with time.


heather said...

Love, love, love The Jesus StoryBook Bible. I have Blogged about it a couple times. It is the one story Bible that we read over and over.
It has brought tears to me too.

The art work is amazing and the stories are told so well. The length of the stories are perfect for a bedtime story and I love leaving my children to sleep with these versions of Bible stories fresh in their minds.

The other two books sound great. I will have to keep my eyes open for them. I noticed the last is an Usborne book. They put out some fantastic books.

Jessica said...

I love that you do children's book reviews - please don't stop! There have been many books we've been able to enjoy just because of your reviews.

And to keep in that thread, I just added the Jesus Storybook Bible to my cart. :) We recently had a revolt against our current Children's Bible (apparently Siennalee doesn't care for Goliath who is included in the cartooned cast of characters on the cover - and he is NOT allowed in her room!). I find that until I can make a cover for it, it might be nice to have an alternate, sans Goliath. This one sounds perfect, especially after reading Heather's whole-hearted approval.

I added the 1001 Things to Spot Long Ago to our library hold list, too. :) Thank you! Keep the children's book reviews coming, please!