Faith That Sticks {GIVEAWAY}

I am a firm believer in teaching children to love reading at a young age. As soon as my children were old enough to maintain eye contact, I was reading to them. They loved listening to my voice and looking at the bright colors. Soon they were big enough to turn the pages on their own and understand the story. Before I knew it, they were sounding out words and reading me stories all by themselves!

We rarely went anywhere without a book or two tucked in a bag, ready to bring out at a moment’s notice. As a result, I raised two kids who still value reading and love to immerse themselves in a book—so much so that when my son started to drive he kept getting lost. He had spent his riding in the car time reading books and therefore he didn’t know how to get to basic places like the store or his school.

To help build the value of reading in your child, check out the new line of Faith That Sticks books by Tyndale House Publishers. Filled with faith values and Bible stories, these books not only teach important lessons, but engage the child to understand the story by encouraging parent interaction. The stories also include stickers and activities to help keep children involved and reading the story over and over.

Picture2

Enter to win copies of the five latest Faith That Sticks books—just in time for Easter! Or check out the full line of Faith That Sticks products at faiththatsticks.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Desperate Diva Diaries: Christian Fiction for the Preteen Crowd

divadiaries2divadiaries

 

There were the Dork Diaries. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And now Angie Spady offers a Christian alternative with a female protagonist: Catie Conrad, star of The Desperate Diva Diaries series.

When Catie asks her journalist father for a sketchbook, she should have known he’d come back with the wrong item. Instead he gives her a diary. Well, maybe she’ll use it.

Thus starts Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters, the first book in the Desperate Diva series, which targets preteen girls ages 8-12. Catie is a typical sixth-grader: her life is full of drama, she loves fashion … and her dad wants to take her to an Indian reservation during her Spring break.

With all 4- and 5-star reviews on Amazon, Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters is a book your daughters will devour. As one reviewer said, “Sometimes I’ll hear parents say, ‘I don’t care what they’re reading, I’m just glad they’re reading something!’ But not all reading material for tweens and middle schoolers is created equal.” Angie Spady gives us a clean, fun book, full of illustrations by Channing Everidge.

The second book in the series, How to Become the Most (un)Popular Girl in Middle School, will be released in May 2015.

Big Thoughts for Little People – the New App and a Giveaway

Tyndale House Publishers is excited to announce its first children’s app. Released to the iTunes store in January, 2015, the Big Thoughts for Little People app is the perfect companion to the bestselling alphabet book with the same name, written by Dr. Ken Taylor (over 560,000 sold).

big thoughts

In the app, each letter of the alphabet is accompanied by five unique interactive games designed to teach children letter recognition and beginning word identification skills. Activities include matching games, coloring activities, puzzles, picture comparison, and much more!

The Big Thoughts for Little People app will encourage kids to remember that God has created each of them and the world they live in. This app is a worthwhile investment in any child’s spiritual and educational growth.

BTLP-1024x1024

—-

Courtesy of Tyndale House, we have 5 copies of the book Big Thoughts for Little People to give away. It’s a beautifully illustrated, hardcover book that would be wonderful for your kids or to give awy. Enter using Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Books on Praying for Children

parents book of prayers

 

On November 1, B& H Publishing Group released A Parents Book of Prayers by Tony Wood. This padded hardcover volume is a daily devotional, filled with Scriptures and prayers to pray over your children. Wood is an author and songwriter who has touched many, and this book has received accolades from the Christian community. It would make a beautiful gift this Christmas for a parent you know, or the perfect addition to your quiet time!

Recording artist Francesca Battistelli says, “Tony is one of the most prayerful and thoughtful people I’ve had the privilege to know and work with over the past decade. I’m grateful to call him a friend and thrilled to recommend this beautiful book of prayers for parents.  As a busy working mom, this is a God-send!”

—-

Here are some other titles to pick up if you’re interested in learning how to pray for your children:

The Other Side of the Story

Teaching kids empathy can be a great joy and struggle in parenting. We are all self-centered by nature, and showing children how to be other-centered takes some stretching. Helping a child understand how to “put himself in another person’s shoes” can be a great way to teach empathy.

What about looking at Bible stories in a new way? In the book The Whale Tells His Side of the Story, author Troy Schmidt imagines what the whale felt like with Jonah hanging around in his belly. (The subtitle, Hey God, I’ve Got Some Guy Named Jonah in My Stomach and I Think I’m Gonna Throw Up, pretty much says it all.) In the same vein as The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Frog Prince Continued,  Schmidt rethinks Bible stories. He’s also written the following biblical “other sides”:

Even if you aren’t able to purchase these books, having your child imagine another side of a Bible tale is a good way to spark imagination and explain having empathy. It can be a funny activity or a serious talk.

What “other sides” can you imagine?

Princess Gabby Girl and the Sparkly Dress

princessgabbygirl

 

 

Like pretty much all 5-year-old girls, my daughter, Libbie, LOVES princesses. Our home echoes with Frozen songs, is coated in glitter and sequins, and Libbie’s bedroom radiates pink. She is a girly-girl all the way.

So when Camilla Battaglia’s team sent us this new book, Princess Gabby Girl and the Sparkly Dress, my daughter had it open and was looking through it before I could even touch it myself. It doesn’t hurt that one of my daughter’s best friends is named Gabby, so Libbie recognized that word.

Princess Gabby Girl is a moral tale about a young princess who finds a gorgeous sparkly gown in a secret wardrobe. She’s told by Miss Marvelous, an only semi-creepy woman in a mirror, that to keep her dress sparkling, she must be kind and do good deeds. Based on Matthew 5:14-16 (You are the light of the world), this very pink tale is a nice alternative to traditional princess paperbacks.

If your child is as obsessed with pink and princesses as mine is, you should grab up a copy of Princess Gabby Girl and the Sparkly Dress. It will incite some good conversations about being the light of the world and shining brightly with kindness.

Summer Beach Reads for Moms and Dads

My husband and I are very much looking forward to spending some time this summer ALONE for our 10th anniversary. We’re hitting up a nice island with a beach and without our kids for a few days. I am excited about spending a lot of time reading.

Are you headed to the beach, too? Or at least a chair by the pool or in your backyard? If you’re looking for a nice, clean book for a summer read, here are some ideas.

 

What would you recommend for a good beach read?

Preparing for Advent

I know, I know. I don’t want to skip over Thanksgiving! I love it! But if you want to make a meaningful experience for your children this December, it might take some prepping.

I wanted to share with you my two favorite Advent activities that I’ve been doing with my (little) kids the past few years.

 

 

My lovely friend Amanda has such a heart for helping parents reach their kids for Christ. A few years ago, she wrote this e-book called Truth in the Tinsel. It’s an Advent experience: a 25-day guide with Scripture, crafts, activities, and application to help you tell your child the whole Christmas story – from Isaiah and the prophecies to the cross.

You can see my personal post about it here. But I just have to tell you how much my daughter enjoys this. I think this year, now that she’s 5, it will be even better. The Bible stories and truths are really starting to sink into her little heart. And I think Truth in the Tinsel is one of the best ways to fight back against secular Christmas. Make your focus Jesus … not presents.

{I love Amanda’s FAQ post if you have any questions about it!}

___________

Last year I also put together a list of 25 Jesus-centered Christmas books on my own blog. I wrapped each one in Christmas paper. Last year, each night in December the kids picked one book to unwrap and read. They thought this was the BEST THING EVER, and I loved the time reading together and again, reinforcing the true meaning of Christmas.

I would really urge you to take December as yours as a parent. Refuse to go to every party and event if you need to. Spend the holidays impressing Scripture and truth on your child’s heart, so you can emerge from December refreshed and in awe of God’s great work through Christ.

 

Books about Salvation

My daughter is almost 5 now, and she’s getting to the point where she’s starting to “get” Christianity. She is so sweet in her love for Jesus and prayers. We just finished reading the New Testament in the Jesus Storybook Bible, and she asked questions about heaven coming to earth and Jesus returning. How wonderful it is to see her faith and knowledge grow!

As a former English major and book lover, I always look for new books on topics that interest her. So I’m searching out books about salvation for children. Here are some books I found, with thanks to Amanda White of OhAmanda for her suggestions.

answerbook

The Answers Book for Kids, Volume 4: Questions from Kids on Sin, Salvation, and the Christian Life by Ken Ham (Master Books, 2009). Ages 3+. Helps kids (and parents!) think through some of the tougher questions of Christianity, like “why does God allow sin?” and “what does being ‘born again’ mean?”

Sammy Experiences God by Tom Blackaby and Rick Osborne (B&H, 2013). Ages 4+. Relating the concepts of the classic Experiencing God for children, this book follows Sammy, who learns that God can be close and involved in his own life.

The Prayer That Makes God Smile by Stormie Omartian (Harvest House, 2009). Ages 3-7. “Reassuring little ones that God’s love is a forever love, Stormie shows kids how to give thanks for family and friends, give their wants and needs to their heavenly Father, and trust Him to do what is right for their lives. She then explains what it means to pray the best prayer of all–asking Jesus to come into your heart.”

If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart by Jill Roman Lord (CandyCane, 2007). Ages 2-5. This board book is the only one we actually own. It’s a sweet, rhyming book that helps a child’s first exploration of salvation.

Mrs. Rosey Posey at the Yum Yummy Birthday Cake by Robin Jones Gunn (Zonderkidz, 2008). Ages 4-7. Your child can learn to read while learning about forgiveness. While this book doesn’t deal directly with salvation, it mirrors Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden and shows the power of mercy.

Do you have any children’s books about salvation you love and would like to share?

 

Hey God, Can I Get Off the Ark? Reimagining the Noah Story.

getofftheark

 

Released in May from B&H Publishing Group and author Troy Schmidt, Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain … helps children see Noah’s story from a different point of view: that of a raven on the ark.

Oh sure, we’ll all heard the story of Noah’s Ark a hundred times. But have we heard it from the perspective of other living creatures who witnessed the history-making event? Hey God, Can You Stop the Rain so I Can Get off Noah’s Stinky, Smelly Ark?  imagines how a certain raven from the story might recount those forty days and nights, helping kids ages 4 to 8 discover Noah’s epic voyage in a whole new way. The “Parent Connection” feature will help moms and dads take the story further with scripture references and tips on how to talk with their children about what really happened. There’s even a free online app to make this bright retelling even more animated and interactive.

Troy Schmidt has writing and video production credits ranging from assignments with Disney (The Mickey Mouse Club) and Nickelodeon to Max Lucado’s Hermie franchise. He is currently the lead writer for The American Bible Challenge hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on the Game Show Network. Troy and his wife have three sons.

You can purchase Hey God … from LifeWay, Amazon, ChristianBook.com, among other book retailers.