favorite children’s books: part 3

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Someday by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds- Someday…all mothers think about what there children will be like someday. They all have hopes and dreams and prayers for their little ones. Someday captures it all so beautifully, both in words and pictures.

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A Balloon for Isabel by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Laura Rankin- I love Isabel! She is so cute and so fiercely determined to have a balloon!

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The English Roses by Madonna- I was given this book when I was younger. I’m not quite sure how many times I’ve read it… Many, many times, I’m sure. The quirkiness of the illustrations is wonderful. (Why are the pictures the best parts of children’s books?)

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Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman, Pictures by Ben Hatke-I love Regina Doman. Her Fairy Tale Retold books are amazing and some of my favorites to read and reread. Angel in the Waters is a beautiful, life-affirming story of a child in the womb, speaking to her guardian angel.  The illustrations are beautiful, as well.

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Joseph and Chico by Jeanne Perego and Donata Dal Molin Casagrande- Just what the tagline says, The Life of Pope Benedict XVI as Told by a Cat.

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The Clown of God an old story told and illustrated by Tomie dePaola – I’ll admit it, every single time I read The Clown of God, I cry at the end. No matter how many times I’ve read it, I still cry as if I’m reading it for the first time. It is such a sweet story. I dare you to read it and not weep.

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favorite children’s books: part 2

Part two of my favorite children’s books are fairy tales. I love fairy tales, the once upon a time and they lived happily ever after. The optimist in me believes in happy endings. 🙂

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The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop- I love this book so much. Not only does it teach about chastity in the context of a fairy tale, the story is well written and pictures are stunning!

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The Squire and the Scroll Written by Jennie Bishop, Paintings by Preston McDaniels- This is the boys’ version of The Princess and the Kiss. It’s also a sweet fairy tale “of the rewards of a pure heart”.

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The Complete Book of Flower Fairies by Cecily Mary Barker

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The Lord of the Rushie River and Flower Fairies of the Summer by Cecily Mary Barker- Cecily Mary Barker’s paintings are amazing. All of the flower fairies have a poem to go with them.

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The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo, Illustrated by Ruth Heller- I love reading Cinderella stories, especially ones from other lands. 🙂

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The Twelve Dancing Princesses As tolda by Marianna Meyer, Illustrated by K.Y. Craft-The cover of this book just blows me away. The beauty of the illustrations brings the whole story to life. I love The Twelve Dancing Princesses fairy tale already, but this copy pushes that love over the edge!!

What is your favorite fairy tale? Do you believe in happy endings? Do tell in the comments!

favorite children’s books: part 1

I don’t know what it is about children’s books that makes them so appealing. The pictures, the stories, the cuteness and the memories. I think we all have favorite books from our childhoods, books that our Mums and Daddies, big sisters and brothers, and grandparents read to us or we’ve read to our kids or siblings.

My favorite thing about most children’s books are the illustrations. Grown-up books should have pictures, too. The illustrations are as varied as the stories themselves. So, here is the first part of my favorite children’s books in no particular order.

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Chrysanthemum and Julius, The Baby of the World both by Kevin Henkes- I love Kevin Henkes, hands down. His writing style, Lily, Chrysanthemum, and his illustrations are splendid. I love the part in Julius, The Baby of the World, when Lily realizes she actually likes her brother after her awful cousin insults Julius. Lily makes Cousin Garland hold Julius and declare that Julius is, in fact, the baby of the world!

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Fancy Nancy written by Jane O’Conor, Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser- I want to be Fancy Nancy! Seriously, to be able to pull off those outfits? Yes, please!

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The Little House: Her Story by Virginia Lee Burton- Virginia Lee Burton’s pictures are darling. And the little house of the story is so cute. I want a house like that!

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I Am Invited to a Party! and I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems- Can I just say how much I love to read Piggy and Gerald books? They are so sweet and so silly. These are two of my favorites! Gerald’s long, crazy story when he breaks his trunk and Piggy’s preparation for the party. So funny!

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How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman- If you can travel all around the world gathering ingredients to make a very fresh apple pie, then you must have read this book! I love the look of the pictures.

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Miss Rumphius story and pictures by Barbara Cooney- When I was younger, I thought this book was called the Lupine Lady and I could never find it. Has that ever happened to you? You read a book when you’re younger and love it, but when you go to find it at a store or the library when you’re older, you can’t find it? I’m so glad I have this book, not only because of the story, but also because of the illustrations, the lupine pictures most of all.

What were your favorite childhood books?
Do you remember hearing them read to you?
Tell me about it in the comments!

The Pelican Bride~ review

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The Pelican Bride-Beth White

Genevieve Gallain is grateful to have left the dangers of 18th century France behind. Being a Huguenot, or Calvinist, was dangerous in the times of Louis XIV. However, she might be trading one danger for another. Genevieve and her sister have traveled on the ship Pelican to what would become Mobile, Alabama, to become mail-order brides. Tristian Lanier, an exiled cartographer, isn’t looking for a bride. But there’s something about Genevieve Gallain that attracts him to her. But will the secrets of Genevieve’s past threaten their happiness and the safety of the fort?

The Pelican Bride is one of the first books I’ve read about mail-order brides, but the issues touched on in this book go much deeper than that. Genevieve is a member of a denomination that was illegal in France. The British were attempting to take over France’s holdings in America. The book showed how the Native Americans were either wary of the French or firm allies. Some of the authority figures were corrupt. The story was a tangled web of loyalties, politics, religion, and love.

Brief history lesson: At that time, Louis XIV had revoked the Edict of Nantes, against the advice of the Pope. The Edict gave Protestants the freedom of worship and equal political rights with Catholics. Louis had seen the Protestants as a serious religious and political threat. They were ordered to become Catholic or leave France. Louis XIV wanted to be the Supreme Head of the Church in France, just like the King of England. Pope Innocent XI remained firm and Louis never dared take France into schism.

I was disappointed in Beth White’s handling of her Catholic characters. They were lukewarm believers in name only.  Her writing style also left something to be desired. The dialogue and pacing seemed disjointed and ran on oddly. There were too many secrets between the characters and I couldn’t connect to any of them. I don’t think I would ever read The Pelican Bride again, even if the cover is very pretty.

A Sister’s Hope~ review

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Sisters of Holmes County: Book Three- A Sister’s Hope by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Young Amish woman Martha Hostettler is bewildered and very worried about continuing attacks on her family. The attacks have varied between seemingly harmless pranks to real, life-threatening dangers. She is determined to find out who the culprit is before something even worse happens. Among the suspects is the man Martha has fallen in love with, Luke Friesen. Luke is determined to prove his innocence, not only to Martha, but also to Martha’s father, who is determined to keep them apart.

I really enjoyed this book. I literally could not put it down. A Sister’s Hope is the first book that’s kept me up till the wee hours of the morning (okay, 11:30) for a looong time. It was so gripping and page-turning. Yes, it’s the third book in the series, but I can’t complain. It was a free book from the library. Me + free books = happiness.

I was surprised by how much I liked the book. I’ve read a couple of Wanda E. Brunstetter’s books and wasn’t blown away. The writing in  A Sister’s Hope was so much better. The characters were engaging, much more than her other books. And don’t get me started on the mystery of who the attacker was! There’s no definite clues until almost the very end. I was shocked and a little horrified by the identity of the attacker. I’m glad everything turned out well in the end. All in all, I was very happy with this free book.

Have you read any of Wanda E. Brunstetter’s books? What did you think of them?