Monday, 23 October 2017

Book Review: The Action Storybook Bible

About the Book:  The Action Storybook Bible invites families with children ages 8 and under explore God’s redemptive story together.

From the sleek and amazing creatures God created at the beginning of the world to the powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel to Jesus’s gift of eternal life for you and your family—God has a beautiful and exciting plan for the world. Where do you fit into that plan? How are the truths found in God’s Word reflected in your life?

This Bible storybook features 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God’s story, packed with dozens of scenes—combining stories from God’s Word with brand-new captivating illustrations from Brazilian master-artist Sergio Cariello, illustrator of the bestselling The Action Bible. Discover your family’s place in God’s redemptive story and together put your faith into action!

Interactive features include:

—Fifteen episodes loaded with over 350 brand-new illustrations from master-artist Sergio Cariello.
—Short and easy reading for all ages. Take turns telling God’s redemptive story!
—The Life, Faith, Action! feature wraps up each episode and helps your family recognize how God is moving through each story, discover how that relates to your daily lives, and feel inspired to put your faith into action.
—Heroes Hall of Fame index, where you can look up your favorite Bible characters and discover their stories!

My Thoughts:  We have The Action Bible and I was curious how this one would differ.  The Action Bible is geared for kids 9-12, and the Action Storybook Bible is geared for 8 and under.

Once again, the illustrations are just fantastic!  Somehow the illustrator manages to make the images a bit more childlike, while not being "babyish" in any way, and in keeping with the same comic book style as The Action Bible.

The wording is also simplified, which is helpful, particularly for those who would like to read it themselves.  From that perspective, I think this book would be just as applicable to the 9-12 group.  The Action Bible had more difficult phrases that needed more of an explanation, while this one children would be able to read more independently.

I loved the devotional style endings of each section. "God in Action" sums up something that we can learn about God from the story, "Faith in Action" discusses how to apply it to our lives, and lastly, it ends with a prayer to wrap it up.

I couldn't recommend this book more highly!

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me a complimentary review copy.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The Action Storybook Bible - Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook



Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!


David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or to reserve your copy today. Plus click the graphic below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

The giveaway is open until September 11, 2017, 5:00pm MST. Your entry must be received by then to be eligible. Five winners will be chosen at random from eligible entrants.

Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action!
The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God’s redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God’s miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God’s promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family’s place in God’s incredible story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:

Learn more and purchase a copy here.

Fifteen key episodes from God’s Word—each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.

Short and easy readings—for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.

Life, Faith, Action! features—conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.

Hall of Fame visual index—the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Book Review: Door to Freedom by Jana Kelley

About the Book:  It's rough and it's smooth. It's dark and it's light. It's a masterpiece. It's us. Here in Sudan. We are scared of it and drawn to it. There is an open door, and there is much opposition.

In the dusty, Islamic country of Sudan, Mia, who is raising her family in a Muslim country, has learned to boldly share her faith. Rania, the daughter of a wealthy Sudanese Arab, seeks to find the reason for her sister's sudden disappearance. Mia holds some of the answers, but both women quickly discover they must each walk through their own doors to freedom, the freedom that only comes when you trust God's sovereignty more than manmade security.

Part of New Hope Publishers' line of contemporary missional fiction, Door to Freedom, the sequel to Side by Side, opens the reader's eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Door to Freedom also reveals some of the struggles that Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith as well as for the salvation of the persecutors.

My Thoughts:  I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and topic, and found the challenges, emotions, and thought processes that the main characters go through to be believable and relatable, even though the reality of that situation is rather unimaginable to those of us in North America.  We hear the stories, but it's not "us", and so it doesn't always hit home.  This book helps bridge that gap and, like the intro says, inspires us to pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith and for the salvation of the persecutors.

That said, I found the writing to be somewhat stilted.  At times it felt more like a biography than a work of fiction, if that makes sense.  

Aside from that, I really enjoyed this book.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me a complimentary review copy.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Book Review: Union with Christ by Rankin Wilbourne

About the book: Nothing is more basic or central to knowing and enjoying God than Union with Christ.

Have you ever had difficulty connecting what you know to be true about God with how you feel or how you live each day? Have you ever longed to change but just felt stuck?

The Bible makes a stunning claim: God has provided a way for your life to be united to Christ's. What does that mean? Is it really possible for me, now? What would it look like?

In Union with Christ, Rankin Wilbourne makes union with Christ accessible and beautiful, for you. Union with Christ is not an abstract idea. It is a powerful reality. And recovering a sense of your union with Christ can change everything for you, like finally putting on a pair of desperately-needed glasses.

Discover how coming to see your life through the lens of union with Christ can help bridge that gap between your head and your heart, between your belief and your experience. Union with Christ is what we most need in order to know and enjoy God.

My Thoughts:  This book was not a quick read - not because it was boring, but because it contained information that needed time to settle in and process.   And I loved it!

The first half of the book is more theory, and takes a little longer to get through.  But the second half of the book is more practical and applies the theory from the first half of the book to your life.

Wilbourne uses several different metaphors throughout the book to help get across his points.  I really appreciated the sailboat analogy in particular.  

Here are a couple of quotes from the book .....

Though sailing might be unfamiliar to many of us, it's a good metaphor for our life with God. No matter how determined we might be, we can't change our hearts at the deepest level nor move ourselves forward. No amount of knowledge or grit will avail. We are always dependent on a power outside of ourselves. We need the wind. Without the wind, there is no movement. And as Jesus reminds u, "the wind blows where it wishes" (John 3:8).

Yet at the same time, we are not passive observers. We can't control the wind, but we can catch it. And in order to catch the wind, you have to draw the sail. And in order to draw the sail, certain God-given, time-honored skills need to be learned and put into practice. (pg 212)

And to gather together the themes of the four basic questions we addressed in part 3: when you know that you are not your own (chapter 7); when you know that Christ sets the horizon for your life (chapter 8); when you know that pursuing him gives purpose to each new day, not in fear of what you lack, but in the freedom of what you already have (chapter 9); when you know that Christ not only sets the horizon and charts the path but is himself in the boat with you (chapter 10); and when you know that your heart is not the compass he sails by but rather his own constantly faithful heart, then the means of abiding become means of resting and refreshment.   (pg 248)

This book is an invaluable resource, and one I will have to read again to gain even more insight - it's hard to process it all at once, even over a period of time!  But it it both theological and practical - a perfect book for laypeople.  I highly recommend it!

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me a complimentary review copy.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Book Review: The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco

About the Book: No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah.

He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley's eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we've never experienced before.

Barley's story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver's home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Thoughts: I'm not a pet person or an animal lover, but the idea of this book intrigued me and I decided to give it a shot.

The story is quite entertaining from a dog's adventure standpoint. It is heartwarming at times and heart wrenching at others. I've always enjoyed fiction that takes during biblical times and found this to be an interesting twist to that genre. Marasco is a great storyteller!

Teens (and tweens, if some of the violent descriptions wouldn't bother them) would enjoy this read.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me a complimentary review copy.


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