Thursday, December 16, 2010

BIG RED Bible Review

The next thing I reviewed for Thomas Nelson’s blog group, Book Sneeze, was ""Big Red" Holy Bible-Contemporary 3D Art. The Bible is a soft cover format, which is not my preference, especially for children. The translation is ISB (International Children’s Bible), which is a great version for children! It doesn’t stray too far from the NIV version, but makes the scriptures very relatable for children. I would have liked to have seen more pictures in the Bible, making it appropriate for a wider range of children. Also, the pictures are much more modern than a traditional children’s Bible. They are contemporary, like the title states, and appealing to children who are used to watching animated movies. It states that it is a 3rd grade reading level, which seems true. The Bible highlights the majority of the Bible stories that are well known, and uses words that are familiar for children so their understanding is heightened. This is a good gift for a child who enjoys having a parents read from the Bible to them, or for an older child who can read the stories themselves. There are a few things I would change about this, but overall I like it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"The Least Among You" Review

The next thing I reviewed for Thomas Nelson’s Book Sneeze blog review group was a DVD titled, “The Least Among You”. I was very disappointed in this movie. It is inspired by a true story, which usually makes a movie have a good storyline. It is based on a young man, Richard Kelly, who is living in the 1960’s, in the middle of racial integration. He is arrested for a crime he says he didn’t commit, and must attend a seminary for 2 semesters. The thing he doesn’t realize until he begins school is that he is the only black student at the school. Although the premise for the movie is good, the storyline was very choppy, and left the viewer confused at many points. There is also a point in the movie where a VERY offensive curse word is used. This type of language should be noted in the PG-13 rating box, and it wasn’t. For a movie that quotes scripture throughout, it is very offensive to hear a curse word like the one that was spoken by the main character. This movie, in my opinion, is not worth watching. The storyline is too choppy, and it is definitely not a ‘Christian movie’.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Boy Who Changed the World

The next book I reviewed for Thomas Nelson’s blog group, Book Sneeze, was “The Boy Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews. Having read another book by this author that was written for adults, I wasn’t sure what to expect out of a children’s book. I had a good first impression of the book, judging it by its cover. The illustrations by Philip Hurst are beautiful. They have bright colors, and are interesting to look at. I really liked the concept of this book. It starts out talking about a boy who changed the world, and told the things he did. Then it backtracks to someone who greatly influenced that boy’s life, and says that maybe it was the person before him who changed the world. It continues traveling back in time, recounting the ways that an individual changed another person’s life, and how that, in turn, changed many more lives. I like the fact that the characters are not fictional. They are real people in history who did wonderful things that ended up helping 2 billion people. I read this book to my 2 year old son, and while he was interested in it, I would recommend the age group to start a few years older. Some of the pages have lengthy paragraphs that may not hold a toddlers’ attention. Overall, a wonderful book!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who's In Charge Anyway DVD Review

The next thing I reviewed for Thomas Nelson’s blog group, Book Sneeze, was a movie called, “Hermie & Friends, Who is In Charge Anyway?” Although I have watched other Hermie movies before that I thought were good, this one wasn’t my favorite. The overall theme of the movie is good. It is teaching children that God will help us with situations that we don’t like to become something great for Him. One of the reasons I didn’t love the movie was because it didn’t seem very fluid. It seemed random, and jumped from scene to scene too abruptly. It has clips from previous movies also, which can be disappointing if you have already seen the other movies. Some of the things I did like about the movie were the voices of the characters (very cute), the animation (good), and the voice of God. (calming, reassuring) It also did address issues that many children face, such as fear, intimidation, and figuring out God’s plan for our lives. I think this movie would be best for children ages 4-9. With all of these factors combined, I would give this movie an average rating. A good movie, but not one to run out and buy for your collection.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Captivating Review

The next book I reviewed for Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze website was “Captivating” by John and Stasi Eldredge. This book is the female counterpart to the popular, “Wild at Heart” book for men. Upon first seeing the book, I was pleased with the aesthetic quality. It was a hardcover with a picture on the front, accompanied by a transparent dust cover. It was appealing, and would gain my attention among other books. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book, and while it didn’t completely disappoint me, it also didn’t leave me feeling like I gained a lot of new knowledge. The book discuses the essence and heart of a woman, what hurts and wounds women may have received along life’s path, how we can find healing, and a variety of other topics. It also has an appendix at the back with several prayers, including the prayer for salvation. Although I found some parts of the book to hold new concepts, much of the information seemed like material that I had heard many times before. At roughly 230 pages, it is fairly long, and some of the information seemed repetitive. A few parts of the book that I really liked discussed God’s Word and how we can apply it specifically to our lives as women. I also liked the overall theme of realizing who we are in Christ, and focusing our attention on becoming the woman that He would have us to be. Overall, I can’t recommend this book, but I think it had several points that were worthwhile.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go" Review

The next book I reviewed for Thomas Nelson’s blog group, Book Sneeze, was “Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go” by Lucille O’Neal. This is the biography/autobiography of Ms. O’Neal, who is Shaquille O’Neal’s Mom. She begins her story recalling her childhood, and the struggles she dealt with. She describes her family, and how the different members influenced and affected her life. With pictures throughout the book, this story seems like a very personal look into Ms. O’Neal’s life. The story continues throughout her journey of becoming a teen mom, and then later marrying and having her other three children. Weaknesses and mistakes are shared as openly as strengths and victories. The reader feels like they are truly getting to know Ms. O’Neal, because she is very open about her life experiences. The overall story gives the reader a sense of new beginnings, and starting life over at whatever point is necessary. The author does a good job of sharing her story, and not her son’s. The book is about her life, and although that does include information about Shaquille and his career in basketball, that is not the main focus of the book. This is a well-rounded biography that I would recommend.

Monday, March 15, 2010

"The Flowering Cross" Review

The next book I reviewed for Thomas Nelson's blog review site, Book Sneeze, was "The Flowering Cross" by Beth Ryan. This is a children's book that is written to describe a modern-day version of how Easter, and Christ's resurrection still impacts people today. In the story, the main character is a six year old girl who befriends an elderly gentleman that is her neighbor. Most children are afraid of him, and even make fun of him. Every Easter, the gentleman lets her cut flowers from his garden to take to church with her. The church has an annual flowering cross ceremony that she and her family participate in. The year that takes place during the book, the gentleman decides that he will attend church with the girl and her family. What follows is a special story of love. The girl showing the gentleman Christ's love, Christ showing his love for the world by dying on the cross, and the elderly gentleman discovering Christ's love. Throughout the book, there are Faith Imprints that are meant to be guides for parents when they are reading the book to children. There are also directions at the book of the book on how to make a flowering cross. I thought this book was simple, yet meaningful. I think it is a good book for children of all ages. The illustrations are well done, and the format of the book is nice.