Friday, June 23, 2017

Bible Sleuth: New Testament by Scandinavia Publishing House (Produced by), Jose Perez Montero (Illustrator)

Bible Sleuth: New Testament  (Produced by), Jose Perez Montero (Illustrator)  is a new hybrid book that is  actually a game. Whether or not your child is familiar with the Where’s Waldo series of books and games, parents and kids alike will enjoy the new book, Bible Sleuth: New Testament.  This book provides an opportunity to introduce young children to the bible using an innovative format. The Bible Sleuth is the perfect outreach to reach a new generation of parents and kids who might pass up the traditional bibles and bible story books available on the market. Each two  page spread is a new hide and seek puzzle where kids participate in the game to find the missing pictures.  The hide and seek games are difficult enough to engage older kids as well.  The pictures are complex and entertaining as well. This is the perfect book to take along on a road trip or a long plane ride to keep kids of all ages entertained.  Not only that, children are sure to gain a new interest in the bible and bible times as they are introduced to the culture of bible times: clothing, food, architecture and other aspects of life in bible times.  As a blogger for Tyndale I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

Monday, June 19, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived in...Cuba: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman,  illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga

There is another new volume in Carole P. Roman's Cultures around the World series.  If You Were Me and Lived in...Cuba: A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman,  illustrated by Kelsea Wierenga is the newest book. This edition on Cuba  is a beautiful and informative work of art, celebrating Cuban culture with its combination of  cheerful cartoon tour guides superimposed with beautiful, full color, picturesque photography.  Without a doubt,  each book in the "A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around The World" series offers the reader new surprises each time.

I can imagine this book series would make a good transition as an educational television series. Hopefully at some point in the future, consideration can be made to publish these stories together in one larger volume. 

When reading about Cuba, the photo shoot with the happy family   jumps out at the reader, against the backdrop against a traditional city neighborhood with its stonework benches  and age withered apartment complezes.   Other authentic  details and textures, bright blue skies, stonework, and architectural details,  add appeal and beauty to the simplistic cartoon scenes.

 The cartoon tour guides will certainly capture the attention of all young readers as well as parents and educators. I believe the "Carlesque" styled mixed media illustrations with the simple line cartoons in her   books are  an unexpected treat.  Mixed media illustrations are very popular and appealing for young readers as evidenced by the popularity of Eric Carle's kids' books.  By combining geography with mixed media- I believe that Roman will generate even greater interest and attention for her educational series. This sets her books apart from cartoon only illustrations.

The consistency of these geography books makes this series perfect for the school setting. An educator can count on the fact that students will be introduced to the basics. There is enough detail to make this series appropriate for middle school and even high school students as well.

  It would be great to see this series used as part of a  school geography or social studies curriculum.  It is clear that each book, though simple in design, presents a wealth of information and research.   This book as well as the other books in the series is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Oh Susanna: It's in the bag by Carole P Roman

What may seem like a trivial problem to an adult, may be an insurmountable burden to a grade school child.  In her newest book, Oh, Susanna: It's in the bag, Carole P. Roman shares the challenge faced by a young girl when the every day stresses pile up and become bigger stresses.  In this allegory, the ballooning back pack symbolizes the ever mounting stresses faced by Susanna, a young school aged girl.  Smaller problems add up: unfinished homework, a poor grade, social anxiety over a sleepover invitation- until they become way too much for the girl to handle. Rather than addressing the seemingly trivial problems, Susanna figuratively and literally hides them away ignoring, burying her shameful secrets under her bed,  until the anxiety mounts and she has an emotional
breakdown. Ironically, the backpack breaks under the pressure  as the zipper bursts under the ballooning weight of everything she stashed away.  In addition to children, no doubt, I'd imagine many parents can relate to this story as well.   Once again Roman shows her versatility as a children's writer,  With skill, she writes an entertaining as well as a comforting tale about what happens when you keep secrets and burdens hidden inside.   This is the perfect story for elementary school readers to read as well as the perfect bed time story for parents to read to children.  The illustrations by Mateya Arkova are the perfect graphic touch to start each chapter. As a blogger I received a
complimentary copy of this book.  It is available for purchase on Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Colored Pencil Painting Portraits: Master a Revolutionary Method for Rendering Depth and Imitating Life by Alyona Nickelsen

Colored Pencil Painting Portraits: Master a Revolutionary Method for Rendering Depth and Imitating Life by Alyona Nickelsen is a must have resource for any artist who wants to add realism their drawings.  For those artists who prefer the use of colored pencils for their art- this will take their hobby up to the next level of detail and realism.  For those who prefer oil paint, pastels or acrylic, this will introduce the reader to the versatility of the colored pencil.  Personally, I never realized that the colored pencil could be so versatile in creating art.  Many assume that colored pencils are for doodles or for grade school art projects.  This book will have you see the colored pencil in a whole new light.  This is an eye opening instruction book that shows that their are other alternate mediums for realistic portraits beyond acrylic or oil paint.  As a blogger I received a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

NIV, True Images Bible The Bible for Teen Girls By Livingstone Published by Zondervan

NIV, True Images Bible  The Bible for Teen Girls By Livingstone  Published by Zondervan is a brand new bible that is made for teenage girls.  This hardcover bible is the perfect size for daily reading.  Included with the full NIV version of the bible are graphic features throughout which make this an inviting bible for teens.  Also included are magazine - like articles and quizzes relevant to today's generation of teenage girls.  The main issue with this bible is that I see it as too "worldly" in that it promotes too much materialism and materialistic values when it comes to the articles and advice.  This bible seems more about adapting worldly man made values to a Christian life rather than teaching biblical values.  I don't believe any dating advice or fashion advice belongs in a bible of any sort.   I see this as a "lukewarm" bible that reinforces transitory material values.  I feel that many girls may feel alienated simply because they do not fit into the popular, socially accepted, affluent, first world defined, teenage girl mode. I feel the niche market for this bible may be for an outreach  program for privileged  teen aged girls who have never been introduced to the bible to slowly introduce them to the bible in a palatable way.  I felt it reinforces  stereotypical ideas of the ideal girl's life in that it assumes all girls are automatically interested in boyfriends, shopping and makeup.  For this reason, this is not a choice that I would automatically make for a teenaged girl.  As a blogger for booklook I received a copy of this bible for the purpose of this review.