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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

Pirates on the Farm by Denette Fretz {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

_240_360_Book_1026_coverPirates on the Farm by Denette Fretz

I seem to never be able to call which childrens books my kids will like.  I can pick a whole basket full from the library, and the one that they want read over and over again is not the one I would have picked.  However.  I did call this one right!

Pirates and farms are two highly intriguing subjects to toddler boys!  A darling girl is the narrator who tells the story of a group of pirates who move in next door and turn their community upside down.

The illustrations are lovely!  I am drawn to fine watercolor illustrations in vibrant colors and these are just what I love.  There is a lot to look at on every page, which keeps little ones enthralled.

The story is quite humorous, easy to follow, and just delightful!  It spreads a message about accepting those who are different than you.  While the pirates did things that were publicly inappropriate, the narrator’s family was won over (some sooner than others) and remained understanding and helpful, and that made all the difference when the Sheriff arrived with a court order for the pirates to pay for damages.

The book ends with a wonderful message and a “feel good” resolution.  I think this is a great book to read to my boys, and I hope they will pick up on the charitable message!  The funnest part of the book are the “Seadog Definitions” in the back, where pirate language is explained in a pirate accent.  Arrr!

I’d love to see what other books this author and illustrator have done together.

Read more about the author, Denette Fretz, HERE.

You can publish the book from Zondervan for $12.99 HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

 

 

 

Peace on Earth by Mary Engelbreit {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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_240_360_Book_987_coverChristmas and Mary Engelbreit.  Two of my favorite things!!  I’m thrilled to tell you about her new Christmas book, called Peace on Earth, A Christmas Collection.  This is a collection of carols, stories, and poems that ring in the holiday and celebrate it in all its wonder.

This is the perfect book for putting you in the Christmas spirit!  There are familiar carols and familiar scriptures, along with some new poems and stories that I’d not read before, but loved just as much.  Same with Mary’s artwork.  She has some classic illustrations that I’m so glad were included, along with some that I’ve not seen.

There are 40 pages of delightful artwork in this hardcover, jacketed book.  The colors are bright and vivid and there is so much to look at on every page.  What an artist she is!  On any given page, there are so many things to fall in love with.  The attention to detail, from the border trim to eyelashes is intentional and beautiful.

As an artist, Mary Engelbreit has been a favorite of mine for years and years.  She has such a way of brightening spirits with her cheerful colors, prints, words, and drawings, and this book is one of her best.  The cherry on top is the glittery snowballs on the front cover dust jacket!

I think this book would make the most wonderful hostess gift.  This book wrapped up with a plate of cookies on top would be so thoughtful, for mother and child, and something that could become a yearly tradition.  I split this up among two nights and enjoyed every minute.  I can’t wait to read it to my boys.  I’ve decided that yes, this will be a tradition in our household!

You can purchase this book for $17.99 from Zondervan HERE.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Bible Stories Painting Book 2 by Juliet David, Illustrated by Simon Abbott {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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9781859859797My mother is a remarkable oil painter, and she has instilled in me a similar love for painting.  My boy has been watching me paint up little house projects and has been ever curious with the paints.  We started out with little cups filled with water and food coloring, but now he wants the hard stuff.  I am really trying to steer him away from playing with my acrylics because they are so dang messy!  A little bit goes a LONG way when toddler fingers get busy.  I’ve been wanting to try one of these painting books for awhile, so an opportunity to review the Bible Stories Painting Book 2 came at just the right time, and it seems to have satisfied his desire for some more adult-like paints.
This is a hefty little activity book, measuring 8.25 x 11.75 inches.  I was really surprised with the heavy card-stock weight of so many pages, and oh-so-happy that have activity that we can tote around with a big mess!  No jars, no paints kits, just a paintbrush and a small cup of water.
The front and the back cover each open to reveal two pages of paint palettes (so four pages in total), with a big variety of colors–more than just the standard red, orange, yellow, green, blue.  These swatches become paints when water is added, and the front swatches are identical to the back ones, so you’re not tempted to have all four open, but you have another helping of colors when the first paints are used up.  The blank inside pages can be ripped out and painted on an absorbent surface if they’re worried about colors bleeding through.  There are a 8 double-sided pages of coloring-book-style pictures (so 16 scenes in all), and they are the cute, simplified stories of the bible, starting with Adam & Eve and ending with the resurrection.  We made a fun little scripture-reading activity out of it, and the boy had a dandy time!  With the cardstock cover pages not laying completely flat, the water on the paint tended to run into the creases, but “Rocket” didn’t mind, and was still entertained for the good part of the morning!
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And you probably guessed correctly that there was a Bible Stories Painting Book 1 before there was a Book 2.  Both of these are available HERE for $7.99.

*I received this book from Kregel Publications in order the write this review, but all opinions are strictly my own.

KD Novelties’ Personalized Children’s Books {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Unlike most of the contributors on Dandy, who are English majors, avid readers, and educators, I don’t think I would put “reading” on the list of top 10 things I enjoy doing.  Maybe not even top 20.  I’d rather get my hands on some fabric, paint, or a craft project than cuddle up with a book. Maybe I’m just so exhausted by the end of the day that a book always puts me to sleep!  But I want to change!  I do!  And I especially want to instill good reading habits and a passion for books in my children.  I think a love of reading is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child, and so I’m making a conscious effort to read a lot of books to my boys, take them on frequent trips to the library, and make new stories exciting and interesting.

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So how do you make a book particularly interesting and exciting?  KD Novelties makes Personalized Children’s Books in the form of hardbound books that incorporate your child’s name into the story, along with the names of the friends, interests, and favorites, making this book a very unique and VERY personal story that will captivate your little one!

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We keep talking about how “Rocket” will be our football star, based on his 95th percentile height and weight for his age, so how fun to be able to make him a NFL Super Bowl book!  The story is so fun!  The plot is simple enough for a 2-3 year old to enjoy, but still captivating and interesting.  We loved hearing the names of friends and Uncles incorporated into the story!
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The ordering process is a breeze.  Its like filling in a MadGab/adlibs page where you just answer the no-brainer questions, and everything is arranged for you.  It is very helpful to see the sample story, filled in with highlighted names, so that you get a feel for where these “friends” names and “favorite players” will go.  It was SO fast and easy, and the shipping was very timely.
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I wasn’t expecting a hardbound book, nor one of this quality, so I was pleasantly surprised and impressed.  It looks and feels like a professionally printed and bound hardback book, and not something run off of a home computer.  The pages are glossy, the colors are rich, and the illustrations are full-page and artistic.  I really think and hope that this will become a loved favorite!  Go check out the other fun personalized books!  Disney, Sesame Street, Sports, Super Heros, Fantasy, etc. They can also do a personalized CD of music, photo books, and personalized DVDs!
elmo-comboKD Novelties is also hosting a giveaway!  By liking and subscribing to them on Facebook, and leaving a message on their wall that you were referred by Dandy Giveaway, they will send you their private giveaway page for new fans!  They will be giving away their Mother Goose personalized children’s book with personalized nursery rhymes music CD ($30.95)!

Online Store / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

God Gave Us Christmas {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergen and illustrated by David Hohn.

I believe in Christmas time being filled with traditions and reading this children’s book would be a cozy tradition to add this year and for years to come.  It is the story of a polar bear trying to figure out Christmas–if it came from Santa Clause or from someone else.  Mama Bear takes Little Cub on a Christmas Eve adventure to show him God and how God is the one who gave us Christmas.  The way Mama Bear kindly teaches with examples in nature is heartwarming and encourages me to teach my children in a calm, loving manner to true meaning of Christmas.

The illustrator has created beautiful artwork and has used some medium that looks like watercolors and colored pencils to create a lovely visual on every page.

A sweet book with a sweet message, and one that can and should be pulled out every year!

 

 

You can find more information about the book HERE.

Click HERE to see more books by this author and take a look inside God Gave Us Christmas.

Read more about Lisa T. Bergren HERE.

You can also enjoy a printable coloring page HERE!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Nutcracker {Book Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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Nutcracker by By E.T.A. Hoffmann; Illustrations by Maurice Sendak

As a little girl completely mesmerized by the Nutcracker ballet, I could not pass up the opportunity to read the actual story by E.T.A. Hoffman.  Translated by Ralph Manheim into this beautifully illustrated edition, I didn’t realize what a treat I was in store for.  Delightful, delightful!  I felt like a little girl again!  All the magic of Christmas just pours out of the pages!  The illustrator (who also illustrated Where the Wild Things Are) creates the most quaint and intricate scenes.  What a legacy he has left behind.

I would chunk the book into three sections–the first being the familiar Act I of the Nutcracker ballet, with all the characters and general storyline similar to the well-known tale, but with charming details that cannot be expressed without words.

The second section is a new story that Drosselmeier tells, “The Story of the Hard Nut”, which I thought was just delightful.  I found myself chuckling through the whole thing!  It tells the tale of how the Nutcracker began to be, and the background story behind the battle between him and the mice.

The third portion picks up with the familiar storyline of Act II, just as mystical in word as the dances and costumes of the Nutcracker ballet.

Because this book is somewhat lengthy for young children (it is, after all, more than 100 pages long), I would probably recommend it to be read over several nights to children with short attention spans under the age of seven.  Children above eight years old will love this quick and humorous read, and adults will be so entertained reading this to their children or grandchildren.  I think it appeals to little boys and girls alike, with Marie as the heroine, and her brother Fritze a leading man.

The cheeky pictures are so coordinated with the quirky text, that this book is such a perfect package of wonder!   A most perfect Christmas gift!  I will absolutely be pulling this book out every Christmas!

You can find more info on the book HERE.

You can read more about the author, E.T.A. Hoffmann, HERE.

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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