Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls

The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by
Damion Searls is much more than a simple biography of the man behind the well known psychological assessment tool.  This new volume is the complex story about the life Hermann Rorschach and the inspiration behind the psychological test he created. Not only that, the author, Searls delves deeply into the controversies surrounding the usage of the Ink Blot test in the clinical field.   What may seem like a superficial test made up of simple abstract or geometric images, ironically reveals a wealth of insightful analysis of the deep recesses of the mind.  For example, as blob resembling an inkblot could reveal a wealth of hidden subconscious information for the trained clinician conducting the test on the patient.  As the test taker reads into ink blot, providing his or her subjective description, guided by the clinician, subconscious thoughts and emotions are revealed as the unique perspective of the test taker and his inner emotions guide the description.  The act of describing the ink blot is therapeutic and revealing in of itself and it can be used as an assessment tool to assess one's emotional or psychological state for job applicants and custody cases.  This book is an enlightening eyeopening revelation not only for the clinician but also for the layman as well.  For some readers, this book may provide fuel for their own paranoia and psychosis as well.  Anyone interested in the field of psychology will enjoy this book.  Each reader will complete this book as a changed person with a new insight into their own minds.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Crown for the purpose of writing this review.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Really Woolly Easter Blessings By Bonnie Rickner Jensen

Really Woolly Easter Blessings By Bonnie Rickner Jensen is a new board book for young children featuring the cartoon sheep known as  "Really Woolly".  This small sized board book is perfect for toddlers and young children.  Each two page spread features a theme and scripture as well as a special devotional and
prayers.  This book focuses on the Easter theme and related passages of the bible.  Although Easter is in the title of this book it is appropriate for year round use as well.  Other scripture topics are introduced, but the spring theme, with brightly colored flowers, sun and Springtime scenery  ties them altogether in this book.  This is a great choice to stuff in an Easter basket.  As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book published by Tommy Nelson of Thomas Nelson publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Story Travelers Bible by Tracey Madder

The Story Travelers Bible by Tracey Madder with colorful lively illustrations by Tim Crecelius, is a unique one of a kind bible for young readers. Unlike other childrens' bibles which are usually a collection of individual bible stories, this new book for children presents the story of the bible from Genesis to Revelation from the point of view of modern, time traveling kids that act as tour guides.  This book turns the bible into a literal adventure- almost like a science fiction time travel saga just for kids.  The narrative is detailed and engaging.  It includes bible stories and a narrative from the point of the time traveling kids who add their own commentary and perceptions.  This is an original idea that packages the truths of the bible in an entirely new way. Full color illustrations and colorful graphics keep the reader engaged.  This bible storybook is perfectly suited for a parent to read to their child or for younger readers to read on their own.  Side bars of information make this book like a study bible which serves to aide a child in understanding how to apply God's word or even the context. As a parent I found this bible to be a pleasant surprise.  Its detailed enough in that this bible can grow as your child's faith and knowledge grows.  Unlike many bible story books for young children, this is not a bible story book that will be quickly outgrown.  As a blogger for Tyndale bloggers I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.  This bible is published by Tyndale Kids publishers.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman is the newest addition to
Romans' picture book  series introducing readers to a variety of civilizations from various time periods.

Ancient Mali is a little known culture to many readers.  Roman's picture history book sheds light on this mysterious ancient, yet taboo culture through the eyes of a young girl growing up in a typical Ancient Mali household.  Ironically, this story is somber account although the author takes a light hearted tone in the telling of the young girl's life, and culture. As an educator and historian, Roman reports the culture as she sees it, without omitting even the distasteful elements of the culture.

 There is no censorship in this book as the author gives a truthful, matter of fact, judgement free depiction of some of the primitive cultural practices such as polygamy and child marriage that are considered immoral and unacceptable practices in today's society. For example, on page 10 the author explains that a traditional family would include multiple wives with one husband and many children.  "You shared the house with your father and his four wives.  There were seventeen children between all your father's wives.  He always told you that you were his favorite."  Polygamy is a difficult concept for young children to grasp, even if only in the historical context and something that parents or educators would feel is not appropriate for younger aged children. The practice of child marriage is introduced on page 44 with the statement "you knew the time was coming for you to marry".  A few pages later more detail is added "Twelve to thirteen was a turning point for you too.  You would be considered ready to have children and a marriage would be arranged.... You had time to worry about the thought of a husband.  You were just ten this last year."

For example page 42 explains, "punishment was fierce and fast.  Liars had their tongues cut out, thieves lost their hands".   In fact some conservative readers might find offense with the author's non judgmental stance towards these barbaric practices,

Although this is formatted as  a picture book, it is much more than a simple picture book in its content and detail.  This new hybrid book concept blends the best of a picture book and a history book.  What is created is  a full sized  history book.  Though the pictures make it seem like a picture book for kids, the content is more appropriate for older students who are able to grasp the darker nuances of ancient cultural practices no longer deemed morally acceptable or legal today. This book may stir up some controversy and by other's it will receive a warm reception.  Either way this book is a springboard for lively dialog debates.  Either way this is a book that will illicit a reaction from many parents and educators.

 Additional books in this series include Elizabethan England, Ancient Greece, and Colonial America and are available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived on...Mars by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived on...Mars by Carole P. Roman, Mateya Arkova (Illustrator) is a brand new picture book in the "If You Were Me and Lived on" series of books.  But unlike the previous books that take the reader to different countries or different time periods this story follows a new path to outerspace.  Roman opens up an entire new world for children to explore- the universe.   Just as her other stories, this thorough and realistic account takes the reader through a journey to the planet Mars.  The reader will follow a futuristic family as they travel through outerspace to Mars.   The detailed art allows the vivid imagination of children to imagine what life on Mars might really be like.  From the serene deep orange mountain-scapes, to the deep red skies, one can almost create a picture of what life on the planet Mars would be like if humans were to travel and colonize the planet.  This book will ignite any young reader's interest in astronomy and science.  My two youngest really loved this book and so far its been read and re-read countless times.  I'd recommend this book for any parent or even for use in a science class for grade schoolers.

Disaster Falls: A Family Story by Stephane Gerson

Disaster Falls: A Family Story by Stephane Gerson is a newly published true life
story chronicling the grief of losing a child.  This low profile book, with its minimalist yet cover design gives little clue to the honestly raw, heartfelt account of the author's painful re-telling of the death of his son while on a family vacation.  Ironically a fun, hope filled family vacation turned into a remorseful tragedy.  With the authenticity that only a grieving author has, Stephane Gerson reaches out to the reader in his open and vulnerable life story.  In the end this book cannot neatly fit into any single category.  It can be a memoir or biographical account.  Or it may be compared to a personal journal written by a grieving father who is trying to cope with an unimaginable tragedy.  Even as the reader reads the author's words, it is clear that the depth of the tragic loss is great.  It is painful to read as the reader gathers that even the author himself can barely re-tell the specifics of the account of his son's death.  In fact, you must read through the first half of the book at least until you get the details of his son's death.  And even as the author slowly reveals these details, it is clear by the disjointed and uncertain language, that this is an authentic, and unaltered account in which the author has full transparency before the reader. For an honest account of the journey of grief- this is the book to pick up.  It seems almost more like a personal journal than a book in fact.  Anyone who reads this book will certainly gain new clarity and insight into grief and for those readers who are in the midst of grief it is a comfort to know you are not alone.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Crown for the purpose of writing this review.

A Spectacle of Glory God's Light Shining through Me Every Day By Joni Eareckson Tada

A Spectacle of Glory God's Light Shining through Me Every Day By Joni
Eareckson Tada with Larry Libby is a new pocket sized daily devotional book. While you might feel as one going through a trial or handicap, that you are a spectacle- Joni's new devotional calls is a "Spectacle of Glory"......
Joni Eareckson Tada of Joni and Friends Christian Institute on Disability, is known best by many readers, as an inspirational hero of faith who suffers from quadriplegia as a result of a diving injury suffered at the age of 17.  I first learned of Jodi Eateckson Tada's story as a college student when I read her inspirational autobiography.  Over the years I found myself drawn to her story and example when life became difficult with various trials.  This little book of 365 devotionals- one for every year is a perfect compendium of daily inspiration and empowerment. 

Her faith and resilience in the face of disability and tragedy is an inspiration and model for all Christians and especially for those facing tragic circumstances and disability.  One may wonder where Joni finds her strength and how she maintains her strength and faith. For true inspirational devotionals, side by side with bible scripture- this devotional is  resource is where to turn. Unlike many devotional books  on the market- this daily devotional is truly dedicated to those readers who are actively suffering or going through trial.  Joni provides the tools needed to empower and inspire even the most apathetic and depressed of readers. Whether you are facing the grief of loss, terminal illness, disability or even the loss of a job- this book is certain to provide comfort. I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan as a Booklook bloggerfor the purpose of writing this review.