*Beyonders Trilogy

Jason, an ordinary American boy, is summoned into a world that needs a hero. Original, highly imaginative, full of action and characters who are ready to give their lives for a worthy cause. The Beyonders Trilogy by Brandon Mull. Aladdin Books. (paperback) A World Without Heroes Seeds of Rebellion Chasing the Prophecy Reading Level: Teen/YA,…

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Road Trip USA

The sensible way to plan a vacation would be to decide months in advance where you want to go and how you want to get there, make reservations, buy tickets, and put it on the calendar. But life doesn’t always go as planned, and sometimes you need a change of scenery anyway. Our family wanted…

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Four Good Books for Littles

Young children need Truth, and it’s never too early to begin. Board Books by Danielle Hitchen, illustrated by Jessica Blanchard. Baby Believer series. First Bible Basics: A counting primer An excellent God-centered, doctrinally solid, appealing introduction to the Bible and the Trinity. One God, two natures of Christ, three persons in the Trinity, four gospels…eight…

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Ordinary Homeschooling: Just serve dinner.

This is a dangerous post. If you’re like me, you’ll see the resources that our family has chosen and think “Ooh, THAT’s what I need to improve my life!” I can’t promise you that, any more than an instant pot cookbook will revolutionize your meal planning. But I can show you a few resources that…

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Purple House Press: An interview with Jill Morgan

Purple House Press revives delightful out of print stories for a new generation. 1. What motivated you to start Purple House Press? Back in the 90s I sold out of print children’s books. My customers kept requesting the same books over and over even though they were hard to find. One of them was Mr.…

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*God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell and Catalina Echeverri

God’s design for diversity was beautiful from the beginning but marred by sin, requiring a Redeemer to rescue us from our mess. *God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri. The Good Book for Children, 2017. 32 pages. Reading Level: Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 What are your favorite ideas in…

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Library’s Most Wanted

Libby intends to round up all the offending library users for crimes of mistreating library resources, but the cost of her vigilance is high. Library’s Most Wanted by Carolyn Leiloglou, illustrated by Sarah Pogue. Pelican, 2020, 32 pages. Reading Level: Ages 4-8 Recommended for: Ages 4-8 Libby loves helping her aunt in the library and…

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Lois Lenski Books: A Sampling

Lois Lenski books continue to be enjoyable and insightful reading for all ages. Lois Lenski Books Yesterday I shared a long-overdue introduction to an author who has greatly influenced my life. Isn’t it funny how it happens? First, Mom read Puritan Adventure and Strawberry Girl aloud. Then, because most of Lenski’s regionals were housed in…

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Lois Lenski

Who was Lois Lenski? Lois Lenski was a prolific author who lived from the end of the 19th-century long into the 20th. She was a Midwesterner, daughter of R.C.H. Lenski (a Lutheran minister whose commentaries were regularly mentioned from the pulpit by my non-Lutheran pastor), and a Newbery-award winner whose line drawings enhanced all of…

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I am NOT a Reader

I am not a reader. I am not a writer, despite childhood ambition. I am not a knitter, though I used to claim that identity. I am not a homeschooler, a baker, or a pianist. (There are other things I could wish I were: a gardener, a runner…but I am not.) A recent severe identity…

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Community in Staying Home and Dreaming of HOME

There’s a strange sense of community in reaching out while everyone is staying home. Because this pandemic is of great concern to the whole world, there is an unusual international obligation, giving us opportunities to love our neighbors without actually spending time together. Instead of being excluded from others’ activities, we’re sharing the burden of…

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*Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time

Nya faces tough choices when her little sister falls ill near the remote water hole. Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Brian Pinkney. Clarion 2019, 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture book, ages 4-8 Recommended for: ages 4-8 What do you do when the little sister who accompanies…

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The Night of His Birth

“Sing out, my soul, the wonder…” How marvelous the mystery of giving birth to the Son of God! What might have been the musings of His mother’s mind? The Night of His Birth by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Lisa Aisato. Flyaway Books, 2019, 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture book, ages 4-8 Recommended for: ages 4-8…

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5 Questions for a Book Giver’s Interview

If you like giving books for birthdays, Christmas, hygge, or any other reason, you may often be wondering: what would this child enjoy? We love giving and receiving books! Here are some questions to get you started, perhaps during family feasting and fellowship. 1. What is the best book you read this year? Take special…

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Reformation Day Homemade Doughnuts

Homemade doughnuts are a delicious family tradition for celebrating Reformation Day or a hosting a Harvest Party. I am not a food blogger, so you won’t see a lot of photos detailing the process or gorgeous layouts of the results. My apologies. But these are VERY good, and have been served at every harvest party…

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Slugs and Bugs Easy Readers

Who Will Play With Me? by Randall Goodman. Broadman & Holman, 2019. 57 pages. Are We Still Friends? by Randall Goodman. Broadman & Holman, 2019. 57 pages. Reading Level: Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Based on the Slugs and Bugs show, this new easy reader series introduces two friends (an enduring theme for this…

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The Delights of Childcraft, part 2

Yesterday I introduced a set of books that impressed me as a child, and I appreciate them more now as a parent and home educator. Here I describe the contents of the individual volumes so that you may consider adding a few more items to your collection. Volume 1: Poems of early childhood Beginning with…

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The Delights of Childcraft, part 1

I remember the first book that taught me to love poetry as a child. “Antonio, Antonio,” by Laura E. Richards, was in the second volume of Childcraft, and it was so silly and delightful, it didn’t take me long to memorize it, even though it was a whole page long. Even better, the same author…

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*Urchin of the Riding Stars (Mistmantle Chronicles, book 1)

cover of urchin of the riding stars

A conniving traitor who plots to overthrow the throne by dispatching one family member after another is threatened by a heroic young squirrel who drops out of the sky. *Urchin of the Riding Stars: Mistmantle Chronicles, Book One by M.I. McAllister.  Purple House Press, 2021, 293 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12 Recommended for:…

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Wile E Coyote, Physical Science Genius

Find out why that poor coyote never actually catches the speedy roadrunner in these clever science books for young physicists. Wile E. Coyote, physical science genius (series) by Suzanne Slade and Mark Weakland. Capstone Press, 2014. Zap! Experiments with energy Splat: Experiments with states of matter Thud: Experiments with forces of motion Smash: Experiments with…

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Pilgrim’s Progress Roundup

When you are ready to introduce your family to a classic edition of Pilgrim’s Progress, two simplified versions complement each other beautifully, providing solid familiarity with this magnum opus, so that the original is more accessible when your children are ready. *Little Pilgrim’s Progress: From John Bunyan’s Classic by Helen L. Taylor.  Moody Publishers, 2013,…

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Shakespeare Fun and Frivolity

Shakespeare fans who have room on their shelves and a box of freshly sharpened colored pencils will find good application for both with three fun and frivolous titles to add to their collection. Pop-Up Shakespeare by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor, illustrated by Jennie Maizels. Candlewick Press, 2017. 10 pages Now…

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The Pilgrim’s Progress Movie

The movie version of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, which included some creative liberties, was faithful to the themes of the classic allegory and fueled a delightful family discussion about the differences between the book and the movie. Can a movie measure up? It can be difficult for me to watch a film version of a well-loved…

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Kindred Retreat 2019 and a Fortitude Booklist

Megan was refreshed after a day of listening to three wise women at a one-day retreat…and she brought home another booklist. Note the fairy tale motifs: Three wise women giving counsel. A few weeks ago I drove three rainy wee morning hours to hear Cindy Rollins, Angelina Stanford, and Renee Mathis speak at the CiRCE…

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Last-Minute Must-Read Christmas Picture Books

I know, I know, there’s so little time left before the Day of Much Rejoicing and Celebration, but I’ve got two strong recommendations for Christmas picture books that are definitely worth the effort to track down. Silent Night Silent Night: The Song from Heaven by Linda Granfield, art by Nelly and Ernst Hofer.  Tundra Books,…

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Books for the Whole Year

The new year is a great time to begin something fresh, whether it is a new Bible-reading plan or a commitment to read a book a week. Here are a few suggestions you won’t want to miss, all of which would make great Christmas gifts. Bonus: each of these will last long beyond the short…

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Saben Chai

UPDATE: Thanks to a comment from a thoughtful reader, I decided to try authentic assam tea instead of Lipton. There is no comparison, and no return to former ways! Now the concentrate is stronger, richer, and everyone is happy. We don’t often share recipes, but a hot beverage, or any form of tea, is such…

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*Adrian Simcox does NOT Have a Horse

Adrian insists that he has a horse, but Chloe argues the obvious facts until she learns to see through his eyes. *Campbell, Marcy. Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse. Ill. By Corinna Luyken. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018. Reading Level: Picture book, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Adrian Simcox has an imagination…

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Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

What if God took the very instrument that caused your suffering and turned it into a tool of blessing for many? Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant, ill. by Boris Kulikov. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.  Reading Level: Picture book, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 The warning of every parent…

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The ABCs of Building Your Picture Book Collection

What, you thought you could just walk into a bookstore and buy a book? How do you determine whether or not a picture book is worthy, not only of your book budget, but also the limited bookshelf space in your home? A good picture book has universal appeal and is worth adding to your home…

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Becoming a Better Bibliophile

I keep convincing myself that I would be a better person if I simply buy another book. These will make me more godly. This will make me a better cook (and get supper on the table in time). No wait, this one. This will inspire me to be a better wife. This one will help…

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The Read-Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie

Sarah Mackenzie offers a welcome and updated look at making connections with your family through books in The Read-Aloud Family. The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections With Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie. Zondervan, 2018. Is there room for another book about the importance of reading to your children? If you are a busy parent…

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*I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris and Lane Smith

no good at rhyming

If you want to read this hilarious and thoughtful poetry book, hide it from your kids or else you’ll never get a turn. I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris and illustrated by Lane Smith. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017. 192 pages.…

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A Christmas for Bear by Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton

Bear and Mouse add to their memorable experiences by celebrating Christmas together. Christmas for Bear by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Candlewick, 2017. 48 pages. Reading Level: Picture Book, ages 4-8 Recommended For: all ages Curmudgeonly Bear has plans for his first Christmas party: sitting by the tree, eating imported pickles and…

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The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

Bottom line: When the big trucks take over the streets of New York, the pushcarts push back. Support your local vendor. The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill. New York Review Children’s Collection, 2015 The Pushcart War started when Mack, a truck driver, purposely ran down Morris the Florist and pitched him headfirst in a pickle…

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Retro Read: Mr. Revere and I by Robert Lawson

Mr. Revere and I: History as told by a horse in this humorous middle grades historical fiction. Mr. Revere and I: An account of a certain episode in the career of Paul Revere esq., as revealed by his horse… By Robert Lawson. Little, Brown and Company, 1953. Reading Level: Middle grades, ages 8-10 Recommended For:…

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Reformation ABCs

Reformation ABCs introduces readers quickly to the people, places, and things of the Reformation in engaging picture book format. Reformation ABCs: The People, Places, and Things of the Reformation–from A to Z by Stephen J Nichols and Ned Bustard. Crossway, 2017. Reading Level: Picture books Recommended For: Families with kids of all ages There were…

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Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Dusky Rinker

The hardworking construction team needs help! Working cheerfully, they get a big job done. Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Dusky Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  Chronicle Books, 2017, 32 pages Reading Level: Picture books, ages 0-4 Recommended for: ages 0-4 The delightful construction crew awakens from a good night’s rest ready for a new project, but…

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Sherri Dusky Rinker Interview

If you are already fans of Sherri Dusky Rinker’s delightful bestselling picture book Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, you will certainly enjoy the sequel, Mighty, Mighty Construction Site. The hardworking crew awakens refreshed, but they need help to complete a big job. We have featured Ms. Rinker and her books in the past here and here,…

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Responding to Correction: What does it look like in books?

This week the team discusses how characters respond to correction not only in our anchor books, but also in other literary or popular titles. In Wise Up chapters #6 and 7, we learn the important of listening to wise counselors, specifically parents, and receiving their correction. Part of choosing the right path (SRC week 1) is accepting…

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Building a Shakespeare Home Library Collection

When you want to enjoy Shakespeare with your children, you can either focus on one play at a time or spread a Shakespeare feast so they can form their own relationships with numerous plays. There are plenty of good reasons to take either approach either within your own family or as a shared experience with…

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Wisdom & Wonder Week 3 Booklist

Wisdom & Wonder Week 3 Booklist Weekly Theme: Responding to Correction (Wise-Up #6, 7) Additional Proverbs to Read and Think About 14:12  There is a way that seems right to a man . . . 17:10  A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool. 21:30  No wisdom,…

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Wisdom & Wonder Week 3: Responding to Correction

Welcome to week 3 of our Wisdom & Wonder Summer Reading Challenge! In Week 1, we learned about turning to God and away from sin. Jesus is the real wise man, and it is only through his grace that we can turn from our sin and to him in faith. Last week we learned that…

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Till We Have Faces: a Redeemed Reader Discussion

Before you read Till We Have Faces, you must first know the myth. You can either read a picture book version or the one by Apuleius that Lewis helpfully provides at the end of his book. Till We Have Faces is the myth of Cupid and Psyche told from the perspective of Orual, one of…

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Cupid and Pscyhe by M. Charlotte Craft

Fans of mythology, fairy tales and lovely picture books will enjoy the Crafts’ Cupid and Psyche. Cupid and Psyche by M. Charlotte Craft and illustrated by Kinuko Y. Craft. HarperCollins, 1996. 48 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 and up! Several thousand years ago the ancient Greeks and Romans told an early…

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Beauty and the Beast – Devotional #4: Redemption

This is the fourth devotional we’ve had on the key themes in Beauty and the Beast. To see links to previous three as well as information on the rest of our Beauty and the Beast series, see our Beauty and the Beast Adventure. Thoughts on redemption (because here at Redeemed Reader, we love redemption!) Redeem:…

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*Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol

A modest, well-read boy detective solves crimes great and small in these classic mysteries. Enjoy this post from the archives! (originally published July 8, 2015) *Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol. Puffin Books, reprints 2007-present. 96 pages each. Reading Level: Chapter books, Ages 4-8, Middle grades, Ages 8-10 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 (especially boys), Ages…

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The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell and Catalina Echeverri

A childlike and joyful retelling of the Christmas promise we have in Christ, perfect for the young at heart. This title is part of our Winter Book Fair 2016. The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri. The Good Book Company, 2014. 32 pages. This retelling of the classic Christmas narrative emphasizes the…

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The Christmas Story by Robert Sabuda

The Christmas story “pops” in this beautifully crafted pop-up book. This title is one of our Winter Book Fair 2016 Picks! The Christmas Story by Robert Sabuda. Candlewick, 2016. 12 pages. Reading Level: Picture book, ages 0-8 Recommended For: All ages Scenes from the Christmas story literally burst from the pages in Sabuda’s brilliant paper-engineered illustrations.…

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*The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The first book in a top-notch series about an extraordinary thief and the intertwining of three kingdoms is amazingly well done. *The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow Books, 1996. 304 pages. Reading Level: Teen, ages 12-15 Recommended For: Ages 12 and up Eugenides, a cocky thief, is hauled out of prison by the Magus of Sounis…

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*Lily: The Girl Who Could See by Sally Oxley and Tim Ladwig.

A beautifully illustrated picture book biography about a brave woman artist-turned-missionary to the Arab world. *Lily: The Girl Who Could See by Sally Oxley and Tim Ladwig. Oxvision Media, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-10 Lilias Trotter was a talented artist in Victorian England who studied under John Ruskin and…

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*The One O’Clock Miracle: A True Story About Trusting the Words of Jesus by Alison Mitchell

Humorous illustrations enliven this picture book that retells the story of Jesus healing a father’s son. *The One O’Clock Miracle: A True Story About Trusting the Words of Jesus by Alison Mitchell, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri. The Good Book Company, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, ages 0-8 Recommended For: Reading aloud, ages 0-8 An…

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Brother Andrew: Taking Bibles to the World by Renee Taft Meloche

Brother Andrew’s life comes alive for young readers through the rhyming text in this picture book. Brother Andrew: Taking Bibles to the World (Heroes for Young Readers Series) by Renee Taft Meloche and illustrated by Bryan Pollard. YWAM Publishing, 2009. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 As a boy…

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Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent by Geoff and Janet Benge

Andrew never expected that God would fulfill his desire for adventure by using him to smuggle Bibles to believers in communist countries.   Brother Andrew: God’s Secret Agent (Christian Heroes Then and Now Series) YWAM Publishing, 2006. 220 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 10-12 Recommended For: Upper middle grades and young teens, ages 10-15 As a…

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*The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Laferton and Catalina Echeverri

This picture book beautifully brings the creation-fall-redemption story to life!  *The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross: the True Story of Why Jesus Died and Rose Again by Carl Laferton and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri. The Good Book Company, 2016. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 0-8 (families, Sunday School classrooms, and more!)…

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This Is My Home, This Is My School by Jonathan Bean

A boy shares an honest, somewhat chaotic day (or perhaps a week!) in the life of homeschooling. This Is My Home, This Is My School by Jonathan Bean. Publisher, 2015. Pages. Reading Level: Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 A boy shares an honest, somewhat chaotic day (or perhaps a week!) in the life of…

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Reading Roald Dahl Redemptively: Two Thoughts

First posted in 2013. Summer is a great time for relaxing and reading of all kinds of fun books not usually assigned in literature class, like those by Roald Dahl. But it is still a good time to ask: how can a Christian read an author like Roald Dahl redemptively? I grew up hearing Charlie and…

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Ask a Librarian: Peter Pan

We love hearing from our readers! Ask-a-Librarian is an occasional feature in which we answer a reader’s email query. There are plenty of books we have read but not managed to review here, so I’m glad Tamra submitted this question: “I am looking for your review on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan book. We’ve started it…

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McBroom series by Sid Fleischman

This post is part of our “Summer of Great Family Reads” series. Don’t miss the initial post full of more excellent recommendations! McBroom’s Wonderful One-Acre Farm: Three Tall Tales by Sid Fleischman. Beech Tree Chapter Books, reprint 1997. 64 pages. Here Comes McBroom! by Sid Fleischman. Greenwillow, reprint 1998. 80 pages. Reading Level: Chapter books,…

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Charley Harper’s Book of Colors by Zoe Burke and Charley Harper

Charley Harper’s Book of Colors by Zoe Burke, illustrated by Charley Harper. Pomegranate Kids, 2015. 24 pages. Reading Level: Board books Recommended for: Ages 0-4 Burke’s engaging poems introduce the late American modern artist Charley Harper to a new audience. His vibrant colors and distinctive shapes make this an ideal choice for the littlest listeners…

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5 Ways to Connect Legos and Literature

What do you do when spring is shining and the kids are squirming? If you have a child who is enthusiastic about Legos, enrich their time with a little literary creativity!  Here are five suggestions: L.E.G.O.S. 1. Listen to audiobooks while they create. Suggestions: Audiobook reviews on RR, Jim Weiss, Librivox (select “children’s literature” under “genre”)   2.…

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3 Irresistible Picture Books for Boys

one big pair of underwear cover

Pop quiz: What’s the funniest word in the English language? What competition is the fiercest? Do machines that are massive and gloriously noisy EVER have to quiet down for the night? Answers: 1. One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura GehlEvery boy who is four years old (or nine, six, two, or forty-eight, for that…

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Three Recent Board Books to Share With Little Ones

Little ones need access to plenty of sturdy board books so they can participate in family read-aloud gatherings. Here are three titles to pick up next time a little one needs some attention. For families who are studying ancient Greece The Mini Myths series by Joan Holub and Leslie Patricelli sets famous stories from Greek…

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Five Favorite Snow Stories

Snowbound? Wishing you were? Here are some titles to enjoy with a cup of hot chocolate. Supertruck by Stephen Savage. Roaring Brook, 2015. 32 pages. A humble garbage truck has a secret identity which saves the day and all the snowbound city trucks in this Caldecott honor winning title. If you have a child who…

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Caldecott Buzz and Possible Picks

Book award committees have such a delightfully difficult task. The ALA Caldecott awards will be announced, among others, on Monday, January 11, and there is always much discussion in the book world leading up to the event. This year there seem to be a lot of books that are nice but don’t contain much of…

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*Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

*Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss. Random House, 1949. 56 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Bartholomew and the Oobleck is a brilliant example of Theodore Seuss Geisel’s delightful use of language with a clear moral that is not heavy handed. Bartholomew (first introduced in The 500 Hats of…

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Happy 150th birthday, Alice in Wonderland!

Alice in Wonderland turned 150 years old this year! Here are seven of the many reasons I believe Alice is worth celebrating with a tea party, an unbirthday party, or at least some of the Queen of Hearts’ jam tarts. Why I enjoy Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass 1. Because it was…

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Interview with Jonathan Bean, author and illustrator

I’m delighted to introduce our readers to Jonathan Bean, author and illustrator of a recently published picture book about homeschooling based on his childhood experience: This Is My Home, This Is My School (FSG, 2015). He has won numerous awards for both writing and illustrating, and was kind enough to share his experience as an…

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Phoebe the Spy by Judith Griffin, illustrated by Margot Tomes

Phoebe the Spy by Judith Griffin, illustrated by Margot Tomes. Puffin Books, 2002. 48 pages. Reading Level: Middle Grades, Ages 8-10 Recommended For: Ages 8-10, Ages 10-12 Phoebe’s father owns an inn in Boston around the time of the American revolution, and one day he comes to her with a serious matter. He has heard…

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Brick Flicks by Sarah Herman

Brick Flicks: A comprehensive guide to making your own stop-motion Lego movies by Sarah Herman. Skyhorse Publishing, 2014. 206 pages. Reading Level: Young Adult, Ages 12-15 Recommended For: Middle Grades, Young Adult, Ages 10-up (for experienced Lego builders; may require parental assistance) Moviemaking with Legos has been going on long before the popular feature film…

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A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne

chocolate moose for dinner, book cover

A Chocolate Moose for Dinner is a whimsical, unique classic that invites readers to play with words as it explores idioms. A Chocolate Moose for Dinner by Fred Gwynne. Scholastic, 1976. 32 pages. Reading Level: Ages 4-8, Picture book Recommended For: Ages 4-8 When a child hears her parents using idioms, she imagines literal interpretations…

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Ask-a-Librarian: Lemony Snicket and Literary Worldview

Ask-a-Librarian is an occasional feature in which we answer a reader’s email query. “Dear RR: What are your thoughts on Lemony Snicket?” A reader recently asked our opinion on the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket that was published about fifteen years ago. It’s been a while since I read them, but my overall…

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Back to School Backpack 2015

Back to School Backpack 2015 Here are some titles to inspire your students in the coming school year! We’ve collected a few of our favorite appropriate titles in the following categories: Something OLD, something NEW, something to BORROW from your local library and something TRUE for spiritual development. Books we have reviewed on Redeemed Reader…

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*The Golden Plate by Bernadette Watts

The Golden Plate is a picture book about Isobel, who struggles to hide her sin, and the relief of confession in restoring her friendship with Elisabeth. *The Golden Plate written and illustrated by Bernadette Watts. NorthSouth, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8Recommended For: Ages 4-8 When Isobel sees a golden plate in…

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Shakespeare Summer

During our break this summer, we are taking the opportunity to experience the richness of great literature in a multi-layered fashion. We don’t have all the distractions of other academics, so we are free to linger over wonderful stories that must be enjoyed and appreciated before they are examined. Hello, friend Shakespeare. Welcome, “A Midsummer…

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*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

*Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith. Groundwood Books, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 A little girl in a red jacket accompanies her father through the dull city streets, stopping to gather flowering “weeds” that spring through cracks in the sidewalk. In the midst of busy…

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Pilipinto’s Happiness by Valerie Elliot Shepard

*This post is revisited from the archives in honor of Elisabeth Elliot’s passing into glory. Pilipinto’s Happiness: The Jungle Childhood of Valerie Elliot, by Valerie Shepard, illustrated by Jim Howard. Vision Forum, 2012. 57 pages. Reading a book about growing up among the wild animals of the Amazon jungle put my recent concerns about a few…

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*Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

cover of mr. squirrel and the moon

Mr. Squirrel and the Moon is a delight for the ears and the eyes. This picture book is highly recommended! *Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser. NorthSouth, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 0-8Recommended For: Ages 0-8 When Mr. Squirrel awakes one morning to find something round and bright yellow in…

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Sally Lloyd Jones: A Mini Interview

Bestselling author, Sally Lloyd Jones, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us today as we review her book Bunny’s First Spring. What is an early book you remember reading in your childhood? Edward Lear: The Complete Nonsense. He drew the pictures, wrote the words, and was so very silly. I loved that…

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Bunny’s First Spring by Sally Lloyd Jones and David McPhail

Bunny’s First Spring by Sally Lloyd Jones, illustrated by David McPhail. Zonderkidz, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 A little bunny explores his world through changing seasons, sharing his exuberant observations with his affectionate parents. As winter arrives, he mourns the world that seems to be dying. Fearful of changes and very…

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*Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell

*Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover by Cece Bell. Candlewick, 2014. 50 pages. Reading Level: Easy Readers, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Age 4-8 Rabbit’s friend Robot is coming for a sleepover, and Rabbit has plans: make pizza, watch TV, play “Go Fish,” and go to bed. Instead of being annoyed with Rabbit’s demands that his list…

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Good Night, Knight by Betsy Lewin

Good Night, Knight by Betsy Lewin. Holiday House, 2015. 24 pages. Reading Level: Easy Readers, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Knight and his faithful Horse go on a quest to find the golden cookies that were in Knight’s dream. After looking high and low with perseverance, at last they are successful. Then Horse dreams…

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Owl Boy by Brian Schatell

Owl Boy by Brian Schatell. Holiday House, 2015. 40 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 Al is an owl fanatic. His walls are full of owl pictures. At dinner he points out that owls eat mice. All he can talk about is owls, and he can’t play sports with other…

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One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. Millbrook, 2015. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8 Recommended For: Ages 4-8 What do you do when the convenience of plastic bags turns into piles of garbage by the wayside, as well as health…

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Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver and Tomie dePaola

Little Poems for Tiny Ears by Lin Oliver, illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-4 Poetry offers excellent language exposure for babies, and this is a good collection for the first year. Oliver’s themes include a wonderful reflection of a baby’s world: recognizing parts of the…

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