Thursday, October 27, 2011
What I loved: The illustrations are outstanding, calm, and engaging. I like the look and feel of the book- it has an antique feel which makes it seem more important than a typical fiction children's book. I love the basic cup concept and how it is a great visual application of money management. It is simple, direct, and productive. While not a new idea to the world of money management for kids- this book does a great job at presenting the idea. There is also a great parent's guide in the back.
What I didn't care for: Being of a christian publisher, I was disappointed that the concepts of giving, saving, and spending were not backed up with the idea that these are Biblical principles and we do them out of obedience as God's Stewards and of his commands in scripture. Beyond being a wise idea to give, save, and spend- it is also a spiritual issue and I feel this book would have been so much better and set itself apart from other books like it if it had included this. I also wish they had shown less of the allowance aspect, and more on earning money to put in the jars. I for the most part do not agree with allowances and would rather see kids see the value of work (another biblical concept) by earning money to put in their jars. This book fell short in this area.
Overall this is a great tool to teach your kids about money, but it doesn't scratch the surface of what it means to be a wise steward.
I received this book to review from Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson publishers, but my opinions are all my own.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Hedlund tells a gripping tale which she gleans right from history- and diaries- from the real character Narcissa Whitman. Historical accuracies down to the detail make this story even more engaging and heart wrenching. As the story unfolds you find two people in an unexpected situation facing uncertain times and situations as they make their way across the plains, rivers, and mountains of a land only inhabited by the unknown and unpredictable Indian tribes.
I found this novel to be a welcome twist on the traditional romance novel especially given its true origins and Hedlund's attempt at making it as accurate to the true story as possible. I am not one to get emotional while reading, but found myself nearly laughing or tearing it up as I read the story of characters I came to love unfold. The only downside of the novel was that I failed to understand and believe the Squire's character. His actions and intentions didn't seem to add up given the background and information given. Especially in the early parts of the journey west. Hedlund would do well doing a part two of this novel as I am eager to find out how this 'fresh' pair do in the Nez Perce society in the hard west.
A thanks to Bethany House publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book. I was given a copy of the novel in return for my review, but thoughts and opinions are all my own.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I was quite disappointed as I worked through the first few 'lessons' in the Love & Respect Experience. I was hoping for a great in-depth BIBLE study on relationships, love, respect, holy matrimony, etc. Much to my dismay this source falls into the category of 'thought for the day'. Each chapter (there are 52 intended to be once a week) is maybe 1-2 pages with only 1 verse as its base. The verse seems to be more of an 'add on' to make it qualify as a devotional. The verse is followed by thoughts from Eggerichs(which I found essentially to be 52 concise portions of the book Love & Respect. These thoughts were followed by a suggested prayer and an action point. I felt let down for the lack of scripture in the devotional. I felt as though I was reading just another version of his book (which I do love).
The saving grace are the discussion questions that are tucked back annoyingly in the back of the devotional as some sort of appendix. Why not include the questions right in the weekly study? It encourages discussion rather than make it more difficult! If you have a short attention span or limited time- this devotional will work quite well as the 'lessons' are no more than a few minutes long. I could see it working as a couple shared a cup of coffee in the morning.
If someone is interested in Dr. Emerson's works I would point to the original hit- Love & Respect and not this devotional. It is simply not deep enough, challenging enough, or scriptural enough to be worth the extra dime and time.