Book Review: The Fir Tree

Book Review: The Fir Tree

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian AndersenI absolutely adore this beautiful little book by renowned tale-teller Hans Christian Andersen. The cloth binding and the illustrations are beautiful and classic. This will be a keeper for sure, perhaps even a new family heirloom for us!

Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic tale of naive greed and dissatisfaction is retold through the striking and contemporary illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in rich forest green, with gold foil embellishments, The Fir Tree is elevated from a children’s book to a unique work of art and makes an ideal gift for people of all ages.

The story is beautifully told, short enough for me to read to my daughter, but deep enough to maintain so much meaning. In the tradition of true fairy-tales, The Fir Tree is rife with lessons to be learned and takeaways that provide wisdom and insight for life well beyond the childhood years. Read more

Book Review: A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest

Book Review: A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a QuestWhen I first read about A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest by J.A. Myhre, I was interested in reading it. I am soon to be a first-time mom, and I work for an international humanitarian organization, which means that I am very interested in raising my children to understand the many places and cultures of our world — and to value the differences and similarities.

In A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest, young Mu — an orphan — sets out on a special quest across the varied geography of a nation in Africa with little but his own ingenuity and the help of a very special chameleon companion and a dog he’s not sure whether or not he can fully trust. Along the way, Mu is testing — both physically and spiritually. His decisions could cost him his life, or the lives of others.

While this youth book takes some time to get started, I appreciated the attention to detail as the author sets the scene in Africa. I think that the explanation of the culture is easy enough for a child to understand without glossing over the struggle of poverty in rural Africa. Mu is a character that any child could relate to.

I did find some discrepancy in Mu’s understanding of the world and some of the narrative and vocabulary used as the tale is told from his point of view.

One of the best parts about the book, though, was the allegory for the Christian walk. The chameleon clearly represents the Holy Spirit that is with us, in us, guiding us throughout our journeys — but only if we let Him. Botu, the dog, may not be “safe”, but he is good and willing to take great risks for Mu, whether the boy deserved it or not.

I would recommend this book to any Christian family hoping to teach their child about world cultures, and also about Jesus Christ.

I received a complimentary copy of A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest from New Growth Press, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.

Book Review: M is for Manger

Book Review: M is for Manger

M is for MangerM is for Manger is a delightful children’s book for the holiday season written by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley, illustrated by Claire Keay.

As it goes through the letters of the alphabet, M is for Manger features a piece of the Christmas story for little ones — from the Angel that came to Mary to the Zillions of stars in the sky.

I really enjoyed this little alphabet primer all focused on the true Christmas story. While my little one won’t be joining us in time for Christmas this year, I expect next Christmas this will be a much-loved book in our house. The illustrations are simple and adorable, while the letters and rhyming provide a great rhythmic read that children will love. And, of course, this book teaches the story of Jesus’ birth — the center of all of the Christmas celebrations in our house. I love that each page tells a piece of the story and provides the Scripture reference where you can point children when they begin asking more questions as they grow a little older each holiday.

I definitely recommend M is for Manger for all those with little ones in their lives!

I received a complimentary copy of M is for Manger from Tyndale House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.