Books for Young Readers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Zondervan

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Here’s a look at some new resources from Zondervan this month for your family:

*The Bedtime Book

Sometimes I can’t sleep, so I have different sleeping strategies. One time I DID try counting sheep, all the way to 500! I was, of course, tired, because it was late. It definitely took me a long time! So whenever I can’t fall asleep now, I’ll think about this book and how the pig counted sheep…and fish…and dinosaurs!

I would recommend this book to kids who maybe are scared of not sleeping, and the dark. Hint: Me! – Melody (age 10)

You know I LOVE a book with raps…er…rhymes! Our favorite time of day with the girls, especially when they were babies, was bedtime (not just because we were going to get a little break from diaper-changing and such) because it was fun reading a book with them before they head off to sleep. Sometimes it was a few board books and other times they wanted to read the same book over and over again. The Bedtime Book is perfect for a simple story before your kiddo heads to dreamland. There are some cute rhymes in this one. – Joyce (mom)

Get your own copy *HERE.

 

*5-Minute Adventure Bible Stories 

I like when Moses put his staff in the water.

They’re not super long so they’re good for bedtime stories.

I would recommend this to everybody. – Emily (age 8)

I like this book because it makes me think about the Bible in a different perspective. I also learned new things “It probably took eight to twelve HOURS for the waters to part.

I would recommend this to everybody. – Melody (age 10)

As you can see in the picture below, two words I like are together in this 5-Minute Adventure Bible Stories book! Adventure + Discovery!! You’re sure to learn something new in this book as you read with your little one. – Joyce (mom)
Get your own copy *HERE.

OTHER REVIEWS

The Bedtime Book – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads | BookLook Bloggers
5-Minute Adventure Bible Stories – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads
 | BookLook Bloggers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Books for Young Readers [June 2017}

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Zondervan

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Here’s a look at some new resources from Zondervan this month for your family:

*The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Gramps and Gran

This book is about grandparents. My favorite part is the pictures of Noah with his family in their big family tree. I like spending time with my grandparents and hugging them.  I recommend this to everybody. – Emily (age 8)

This book is a story of Grandparents Day and the bear cubs share their favorite things to do with Gramps and Gran. On the inside of the back cover, there are some ideas on how to celebrate the day. – Mom Joyce

Get your own copy *HERE.

 

*NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible, Hardcover, Full Color Interior: Explore the Story of the Bible 

When I saw this Bible and opened it, I was excited. This Bible really takes you back to when the Bible was written. I like the pictures and the references to where the verses are in the Bible. Another thing that I like about the Bible is that it has pictures of the things to help you visualize it. Let’s say, for instance, ornaments – you will see a bunch of gold necklaces. I thought it was really cool to explore the Bible in this way, to peek into Jesus’ world, and to dive in to discover what life really was back when Jesus and his followers were alive. – Melody (age 10)

Get your own copy *HERE.

*Run with Me: The Story of a U.S. Olympic Champion

We love a good Olympic story and this is a great one! One of our favorites to watch during the Olympics is Track and Field so we were excited for a chance to read Run with Me. Now, if you have been around awhile you know I am not a runner. It’s not one of those things where I shouldn’t say that because everyone can be a runner and such. I mean, I have bad knees and I’d much rather have my legs when I’m old than call myself a runner. So, therefore, I walk…we walk…we walk around the neighborhood, we walk around the town, we walk down at the marina, we walk at the park, we walk at the mall, we can walk for days, but running, not so much…BUT I love a good track story because everyone I know runs..they run on the treadmill, they run a 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, run for fun, run for charity, run through colors, run through bubbles, run through mud, all kinds of running stuff. And I cheer them on.  Anyhow, none of that has to do with the book, except that we really enjoyed watching Sanya run in the Olympics. It is so incredible what the human body can do. I love the stories that Sanya shares in the book. They are very detailed and helps me connect more to her story and life in Jamaica. She tells about the lessons she has learned from her coaches, parents, sister, and God. – Mom Joyce

Get your own copy *HERE.

OTHER REVIEWS

The Berenstain Bears Bless Our Gramps and Gran  – (coming soon) Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads | BookLook Bloggers
– NIV Kids’ Visual Study Bible – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads
 | BookLook Bloggers
Run with Me: The Story of a U.S. Olympic ChampionAmazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | goodreads | BookLook Bloggers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

LOVE LETTERS FROM GOD: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

Released: April 4, 2017
Author: Glenys Nellist
Illustrator: Rachel Clowes
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Price: $16.99
Page Count: 32
Ages: 4-8
Website | FB | Twitter

MELODY (AGE 10)

What is it about:  This book is about different girls, who, in their own way, had different traits to please God. I felt like I was one of these girls!
Like:  I like that it feels like you’re the actual girl in the story and the letters that are included.  I also like the Bible verses included.
Dislike:  I liked it a lot, so I can’t say I disliked anything!
Recommend: I would recommend this for kids ages 6-12.

EMILY (AGE 8)

What is it about: It’s about girls that do good things.
Like: I like that there are notes from God.
Dislike: nothing
Recommend: I recommend it to girls who are 3-4+ years old.

A NOTE FROM MELODY + EMILY’S MOM

I love this sweet book! It has 14 stories of women of the Bible. Each spread has a Scripture reference, a Bible verse, the story, and a lift-the-flap “love letter from God” to your girl. The letter tells about the lesson to be learned from the story. They are still relevant in our lives today! Each story is a great opportunity to talk to your own girl about what happened and if everyone in the story made the right choices.

OTHER REVIEWS

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook.com | Zondervan | Goodreads

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I’ll receive a tiny percentage at no extra cost to you.

Mandisa – Out of the Dark

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

*Mandisa – Out of the Dark

Released: May 19, 2017
Label: Sparrow
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BUY | #OutOfTheDark | #FlyBy

Story Behind The Album

Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, she fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her.

This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called ‘Out Of The Dark’ because that is exactly where God lifted her out of! She recently shared on Good Morning America.

Acoustic Video for “Unfinished”

Prove Me Wrong is the honest and heartfelt ballad about how Mandisa felt and feels about what happened to her friend, Kisha.

The songs on this album are encouraging, hopeful, catchy and at the same time heartfelt and honest. Interludes are mixed in here and there to add context to the touching stories woven throughout the album. Mandisa also collaborates with multiple top Christian artists of today in this uplifting offering.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will receive a copy of Out of the Dark! Giveaway ends Friday, May 26th. (Giveaway open to continental US residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing your current favorite song/album or just say “Howdy”. For extra entries, tweet about the album, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

OTHER REVIEWS

Amazon.com | Barnes and Noble

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I’ll receive a tiny percentage at no extra cost to you.

Books for Young Readers [May 2017]

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Zondervan

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Here’s a look at some new resources from Zondervan this month for your family:

*Jesus Loves Me!

I like that this book uses animals to express the feeling of the story. I also liked the text and the music at the end, but was a little confused when they used the deer to be “Jesus.” I would recommend this book to kids 2+. All in all, very cute and beautifully portrayed!  – Melody (10) 
Get your own copy *HERE.

 

*The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories

I like all stories and things about God. I don’t like all the bad things they say. I think kids 5+ will like it. – Emily (8)


Get your own copy *HERE.

A Note from Melody + Emily’s Mom: I don’t think I have anything else to add because the girls took the words right out of my mouth. They were thinking the exact same thing as I was thinking. We have a huge collection of Berenstain Bears books at my parents’ house from when I was a kiddo, so we are going to continue to add to it and have some fun reads while we are visiting.

OTHER REVIEWS

Jesus Loves Me!  – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook
The Berenstain Bears 5-Minute Inspirational Stories – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Christianbook | BookLook Bloggers

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.

Compassion International + Hillsong Young & Free

Introduction + Captions by: Melody (10)
Photos by: Norm (dad)
More info here –> compassion.com

Everybody was cheering. The music was blasting. I just was one of the many who was there, but I was also a Compassion volunteer, a volunteer who helped some kids get sponsored.

Why We Were There

At first, I was a little uncomfortable. I had only been to about 1 concert before, and that was at our church. I know that concerts are loud. Concert? I thought. But then my thought after, my sensible part of my brain told me, “Melody, it’s for a good cause. You can change people’s lives.” So that’s how, I, Melody, ended up in San Francisco for half a day and late into the night with screaming people. (I was not one of them.)

What We Did

I went to my dad’s work at about 3:30 in the afternoon. If you know me, and I had one short talk with you to introduce myself, you would know that I like singing. And drawing. And writing. So, while I was at his workplace, I drew. He also showed me around. It was pretty nice, with a cafeteria, break room, view of the Bay Bridge…everybody wants a good view of the bridge, right? The view also was around where his coworkers worked, so that that was nice. He introduced me to them. You really can’t believe how quiet workplaces are! You could hear every word that was said. I felt like I was being loud!

We walked to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which had a waterfall. There was a gushing sound as we walked under the waterfall – I have no idea why they let visitors do this, but they do! And I didn’t get that wet. It’s at Yerba Buena Gardens. Supposedly, when it’s warm outside, which it wasn’t on this particular day, people can sit and have picnics on the lawn. People were still sitting, and it was cold! After that, we headed to have a daddy-daughter date at the San Francisco Centre mall. For dinner, we ate Panda Express and for dessert, we ate Ghirardelli’s Chocolate. I ate a sample of a caramel square. We both had the same actually. Then, we left to go to Warfield Theater.

When we got there, there was a HUGE – no, HUMONGOUS – line out front. Most of the people looked like they were college-aged or teens. We had a problem getting in because we had to get in before the concert and had to skip the line. Finally, my dad just called our coordinator for the night. It was actually pretty easy to get there, but not if you were driving, due to San Francisco traffic, which if you live in San Francisco or have lived in San Francisco, you know it is bad. Mostly parking that night, and crowds, though. The entire show was sold out! We were lucky to have gotten where we were placed.

After we finally got inside, it definitely wasn’t how I expected it to be. I thought it might be a ton of volunteers and a huge theater. Warfield theater is small, on the bottom, but when you go to the balcony, on the top, you would rethink that. Some people mysteriously didn’t make it, so our group was small that night. I’d say about 15 people. We were told to sit down, and at 8:00, to come back and put on our Compassion aprons.

We basically enjoyed the whole show. There were flashing lights all around. Not every concert has that, I can assure you! Screaming people, mostly at the end, and at one song, they even turned on their cell phone flashlights! We weren’t sure we were where we were supposed to be, so we hurried all the way back down to check – oh, and also, did I mention, Warfield has a lot of stairs, too! We got to put on our aprons, but then I had to take mine off because some people in the front didn’t have any. Then somebody gave their apron to me. Again, I was asked to take my apron off…until they came with a refill of aprons. Hooray! What a lucky day! We rushed to our spots and then waited for the signal, which was “I’ve got some friends here to help me…if you’d like to sponsor a child, raise your hand.” I was leaning against the banister with my dad since there were no seats because the concert was sold out, as I mentioned before. Once we were signaled, all of the volunteers rushed forward to pass out the packets. Each of the packets had one kid on them. So I passed out one, and one person in another section raised their hand, so I had to hand it out, even though it meant that I wasn’t giving it out in my zone. (Each person got a zone in the theater to hand out packets to)

In the end, we stayed until about 10:00 to pass out kids. That sounds funny, doesn’t it? My dad and I worked together to help somebody sponsor one, but other than that, I got nobody. Apparently, you’re lucky if you can get one. And with this young crowd, they would probably have to ask their parents first.

We went home, since it was past 10:00 p.m., and there was lots of screaming and a long line out the door. I can remember it very clearly if you ask me. Home again, home again.

How Many Kids were Sponsored?

At the beginning, they did a head count and told us how many kids there were available to sponsor. During the sermon they were talking about for every kid, a generation is saved. I only got 3, but that’s ok.  I found out 75 children’s lives were impacted because of this event! That’s great!

Making a Difference

The number of kids available to sponsor may seem like a lot, but there are even more kids out there. There were symbols on the cards that showed how much they were in danger. I organized them into the ones that were in the most danger because I really wanted them to be sponsored. But there were ones who were in danger who didn’t get sponsored. I know I had the opportunity. But I didn’t use it. So today, I ask you, what can YOU do to make a difference in this world? What can you do to potentially change generations? Remember: 1 child, 1 generation.

A Note From Melody’s Mom:

We have been sponsoring Compassion children since college days with our church youth group. Then, when the girls were little, we found two little girls who shared the exact same birth dates with each of our own. It has just been a part of the girls’ lives, and as we shared in another blog post, it is rare to find volunteer opportunities for younger kiddos, so we hopped right on this one when I saw the age for volunteering was 10! I remember (snail) mail coming to our house about children sponsorship when I was young and thought it was a weird thing to do, but learning more about the details of organizations like Compassion International and Badjao Bridge changes things. (Sidenote: If you search “compassion” on our old blog, you can read a few posts there. We also sponsor a little girl through Badjao Bridge if anyone is interested in learning more about my friend’s organization.)

What are some of the service projects you and/or your family have been a part of locally or globally? What was the experience like?

Other Links:
Our friend’s trip as a Compassion Blogger
Volunteer at Compassion Events
Other ways to Get Involved with Compassion

STEM Reads

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

I was trying really hard to not pay attention when these orange boxes made their appearance on Instagram, but the words “book club” was calling out to me. I saw they were having a search for brand ambassadors, and if you know our two little bookworm-blogger-reviewer-learner girls, you know we were all over this opportunity. Well, we were chosen and we were scheduled to receive the box when we arrive back from our Washington, D.C. vacation. Sure enough, I received a text message notifying me that the package was delivered when we were in Kansas City. And when we got back to the house, there sat the package on the porch. The girls didn’t know we were getting the box or what was inside, so they were excited when I told them we were opening it.

We are slowly getting back to the swing of things around here now that we are back home from our trip, which means sorting through #happymail
📨📦📭
…and also laundry…must do laundry.
👕👖👗👚
Make sure to check out my Instastories to see the contents of some of the boxes!

Ready to read, learn, explore, and repeat thanks to STEM Reads! A perfect combo of resources for book lovers who want to discover more about STEM. I wish I had a better pic/vid of their first expressions when seeing all the items. They are excited to share their thoughts on the box’s contents. They immediately started playing the ThinkFun *Math Dice Jr. game and reading *The Boy Who Loved Math.

See “First Glimpse” video HERE | “Contents” video HERE

Here’s a look at all the fun stuff inside the box!

The theme of this box is “Math Mania.” I think I was the only one who was truly excited about this one. The girls were hoping for a science box because that is where their heart lies. :p But as you saw in their “First Glimpse” video link above, you’ll see that they were just as excited to read and try new STEM things.

I LOVE the “Recommended Order of Enjoyment” line in the Parent Zone because that is how my brain works. So I shall share about the items in the same order. :p

*The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman was the first book we read. The girl absolutely LOVED this one!!! Paul was not your typical kid (sound like any kiddos you know?). His brain operated differently than kids his own age. He grows up to figure out amazing math stuff, and he has a pretty funny life story to share with us.

*Bedtime Math: A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late by Laura Overdeck is made up of fun little stories with a side of math word problems for “wee ones,” “little kids,” and “big kids.” This book is just one in a series. The illustrations add to the stories and the problems are not overwhelming. This one is definitely great for reluctant math learners (or those who think they aren’t good at math).

*Annika Riz, Math Whiz by Claudia Mills has officially been claimed by the 7-year-old! To be honest, I wasn’t sure about this one. But it is a current favorite. I shared in THIS INSTAGRAM PIC how Emily found another book in the series at the library. The week after she found another one. I love that these books are more of a reflection of our own real lives.

*ThinkFun’s Math Dice Jr. is the game that came with this STEMReads box. It was the first thing the girls wanted to do. You can come up with your own rules, but if you play it as it is, it is more for younger kiddos who are working on simple addition. We do love the big colorful dice though! If all fit neatly into the small drawstring bag. ThinkFun does make a few versions – like this *Math Dice Tournament Kit – which would be great for older kiddos.

*Carson-Delloso’s Puzzles and Games for Math is for Grade 1 so it is too easy for my girls, but we will pass it on to a lucky future first grader or anyone who needs some review of grade 1 math. We have enjoyed a few Carson-Delloso workbooks in the past. My favorite part of these books are the stickers! 🙂

I couldn’t resist! I had to get some pics of the box too! I’m sure people more creative than I am have already come up with Pinterest-y things to do with these boxes, but if you end up getting monthly subscriptions, these would be great for housing your children’s school work or art work from a school year.

Get $10 off your first STEM Reads order when you use our referral link –> stemreads.refr.cc/joycem

Connect with STEM Reads Book Club on social media!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #stemreads | #stemreadskidzone

*Note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a tiny percentage if you make a purchase through my link at no extra cost to you. We received one or more items for review. Read my disclosure policy here.