Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a deacon dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Category: books (page 2 of 11)

Giveaway: Charlie the Tramp 50th Anniversary

charliethetrampRussel Hoban has written some of the best classics in children’s literature. Bread and Jam for Frances and Bedtime for Frances are two of the most loved.

In 1966, Hoban wrote Charlie the Tramp, illustrated by his wife Lillian Hoban. Charlie is a young beaver who wants to grow up to be a tramp. His parents, much to the dismay of Charlie’s grandfather, allow him to experience the life of a homeless beaver. During this experience, Charlie hears, like young Samuel in the night, the call to his life’s work.

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Book Review: Miss You Like Crazy

51lziec6oclMiss You Like Crazy, Pamela Hall, Tanglewood Press, 2014.

Walnut is a little squirrel who is going to miss his mom when she goes to work. They agree that it would be a lot of fun if he could go to work with her. They imagine the adventures they could share. Even though they cannot have these adventures all the time, Walnut’s mother assures him that he is always on her mind. Together they find ways to have a presence for each other when at work or school.

The story is light-hearted and fun. The illustrations are cheerful and eye catching. Toddler J enjoyed hearing the story, but I think she might have enjoyed the pictures of the squirrel family more.

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Book Review: The Redemption of Scrooge

515ehem1hel-_sx322_bo1204203200_The Redemption of Scrooge, Matt Rawle, Abingdon Press, 2016.

There are a few things that are a must at Christmastime. The tree with treasured ornaments. The rich aromas of holiday cooking. The time spent revisiting old memories.

For me, Christmas is not complete without watching Christmas movies. At our house, it’s A Christmas Story, Elf, and Christmas Vacation. And some version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. (My favorite is still the Mickey Mouse version.) Dickens’ Carol has captured readers for centuries. His story has been retold on stage, in film and television. Quite possibly because the story of Ebenezer Scrooge is timeless.

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Book Review: The Littlest Star

31626855The Littlest Star, Richard Littledale, Lion Hudson Plc, 2016.

Have you ever wondered how many stars there are in the great, big sky?

Richard Littledale’s book, The Littlest Star, is the story about the littlest of all the stars. This particular star was not as sparkly or exciting as the other stars, but on one holy night, it had the biggest, most important job of all.

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Book Review: Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education

MalalaMalala: Activist for Girls’ Education, Raphaele Frier, Charlesbridge, 2017.

In October of 2012, Malala Yousafzai was tossed into the mainstream media after the Taliban attempted to take her life. Malala was targeted because he was a girl receiving an education. Her father was targeted because he not only allowed her to get an education, he ran the school for girls.

After recovering from her injuries, Malala became a force to be reckoned with. She used her young voice to advocate for girls’ education. At the age of eighteen, she became the youngest person awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Book Review: Abigail the Whale

b1803a34179601-570f036a91e42Abigail the Whale, Davide Cali, Owlkids Books, 2016.

The title aside, I had hopes that this book for readers ages 6-8 would help reverse the body shaming of young girls. Abigail is a heavyset white girl on the swim team. As the book opens, she walks towards a group of jeering, thin white girls. They are making fun of her weight. The coach, a large, white male, does nothing to silence the bullying. He only tells Abigail, “if you want to feel like, think light.”

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Book Review: I Wanna Be a Great Big Dinosaur

iwannabeagreatbigdinosaurI  Wanna Be a Great Big Dinosaur, Heath McKenzie, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2016.

A few weeks ago, Toddler J came home from school roaring and stomping around the house.

It was a bit bizarre at first.

They were learning about the letter “D” that week. . . . . and dinosaurs. Remember the joy and excitement you had a kid when you were learning about dinosaurs? They are these mysterious beasts that roamed the earth. It was so unexplainable as a child, but we were so fascinated by the creatures.

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Giveaway: Say & Pray Devotions

51xal4gqil-_sx361_bo1204203200_Say & Pray Devotions is a hard, soft cover book perfect for toddlers beginning to form words. Each spread contains a one sentence devotion, such as, “God is big, and He made a big world!” There is a Bible verse and short little prayer.

The added bonus to this devotion are the words scattered across the pages. The “God is big” devotion, for example, features a beach scene and the words correspond to the pictures – dolphin, sand, seagull, ocean.

At our house, Toddler J flips through the book and asks us to “read.” We read the devotional sentence, the scripture, the prayer, and then she points at the different objects in the picture and we say the words. Some of them, she repeats.

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Book Review: No Place to Pray

nptp-frontcoverNo Place to Pray, James Carpenter, Twisted Roads Publications, 2016. 

Perhaps sparked by the tensions in our country over the last several years regarding race relations, Carpenter’s novel is timely and compelling.

Synopsis

Two young men, one bi-racial and the other white, meet in an overnight lockup, thus beginning a shared twenty-year downward spiral into alcoholism and homelessness. LeRoy and Harmon work together, drink together, and brawl together. As Harmon suffers from his final illness, they both bed Edna, a wealthy widow who — out of pity, curiosity, and loneliness — takes them into her vacation home by the river.

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Book Review: The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel

_240_360_book-2061-coverThe Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel, Mike Berenstain, Zonderkidz, 2016. 

It is hard to believe as I sit on a cool day in October that Christmas will be here soon. Even so, we have already read our first Christmas book, The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel.

It is the week before Christmas in Bear Country and there is very little snow. By the time Brother, Sister, and Honey get suited up, the sun has melted most of the snow away. The next day, however, brings lots of snow! As the cubs play in the snow, they discuss what kind of snowman they should build. They finally decide on a snow angel, complete with a halo and a harp.

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