Wrapping Up a Year with My Favorite Children's Mystery Books

Looking back over 2009, I would say two of my favorite children's mystery books are:
Renee Hand- The Case of the Missing Sock and The Case of Red Rock Canyon and
Elysabeth Eldering- State of Wilderness and State of Quarries

You will find my review for Renee's book at:

I know Renee Hand has added another book to the series called 
The Crypto-Capers in The Legend of the Golden Monkey

I would like to add this children's book to my "must read" list for 2010!

You will find my review of Elysabeth's book at:


If you haven't read these books, I recommend them to you for your children to read.

 Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Book Review: Mozart in the Future by Tania Maria Rodrigues Peters

Mozart in the Future

Carsten Peters invited me to review the children's book Mozart in the Future written by Tania Maria Rodrigues Peters and illustrated by Pedro Caraca.  Being a piano teacher for over 15 years and having a classical background I was delighted to have this opportunity and graciously accepted. Having studied Mozart and also having piano students choose a piece by Mozart for a recital piece, I was anxious to read this paperback book and read the author's approach to a great classical composer. Besides, the book title intrigued me.

My Thoughts:

The book begins in a small village  in Vorarlberg where we meet Max one of the main characters who loves to play the piano,  along with his mom and dad, a sister, too. This family has a similar lifestyle as mine, the love of gardening, cooking and preserving food. Right away Tania reveals to us the family dynamics of a laid-back father, a strict mother who strongly desires for her two children to be successful in music and a four-year-old sister who adores her brother.

The main characters, Max, and Mozart meet one another and develop a beautiful exchange of friendship. Young readers will stay captivated as the plot flows along in today's world with TV, cell phones, elevators, and escalators. The boys seem to need each other and the spirit of music inspires them both. This wonderful book written by Tania is a powerful love story of music and a fun adventure filled with imagination and inspiration for all young musicians and music teachers to read.

I was so impressed with Tania's detailed descriptions with her writing skills! Page 44 reads:

" Max takes him to a room where the piano is. Mozart runs to it like a person who has not had a drink for days and suddenly sees a jug of water."

If you are a creative person in need of inspiration to continue with your composing and practicing of your instrument or if you find yourself performing in front of crowds of family and friends with joy and strength from your heart and just need a reminder of refreshment to keep dreaming, creating and shining brightly for all to see, then I highly recommend this great book to you. It is definitely one that I will want my piano students to have in their library. You will want to find out if Mozart can return to the past when the future is in his mind! I love music and I love this book! 5 stars!

There's a Torte recipe at the end of the book that you will enjoy, too!

About The Book:

Max is really a boy like any other, but he has a talent for music
and a strict mother who wants him to be a great musician.
When the doctor says that Max must not to go to school for a few days,
Max has no idea that he is about to meet one of his heroes:
Mozart, the genius
who was one of the greatest composers of all times.
Can you imagine Mozart as a child, going down a snowy slope on a sledge,
watching cartoons on TV or eating hamburgers?
Well, in ‘Mozart in the Future‘ all that and more is possible
when you follow their adventures as they try to return Mozart
to his own time, helped along by a mysterious fairy-like being called the
Spirit of Music.

 For more information about the author, visit her website at:

In the true spirit of the season, I would like to say "thank you" for your loyalty to LadyD Books.

Wishing you joyful holidays and a new year of peace and happiness.
Merry Christmas!

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Books Bought #6

Books Bought is a meme that Cindy has been hosting for several months on Cindy's Love of Books. The purpose of this meme is to share with you the books I buy and for you to do the same. If you're interested in participating, you might want to stop by her blog.

Here's my book purchase and yes, it's another wonderful children's book!

  Thomas & Friends Musical Pop-Up Treasury [With Soundbox] (Hardcover)

Product Details

    * Hardcover: 24 pages
    * Publisher: Publications International (December 2007)
    * Language: English
    * ISBN-10: 1412792932
    * ISBN-13: 978-1412792936

Reading level: Baby-Preschool
Enjoy 5 stories with 10 pop ups. The stories are enhanced by a musical feature.
10 Pop-Ups. 4 Thomas Adventures | Thomas and his Friends are ready to roll. Your little engineer will ride along with these 4 trains stories and 4 favorite Thomas songs.

Oh my gosh, I had no idea  that the world of Thomas & Friends is endless! I can tell my grandson will be exploring many more books, puzzles and learning products...  their marketing strategy is amazing! Both grandsons have Thomas Backpacks. Here's another great book:

Christmas Sing-Along Sound Book

Your little engineer will love the Christmas Themed Sing-along Sound Book.  Press the buttons, sing-along with the songs, and enjoy the magic of Christmas on the Island of Sodor. Sing-Along lyrics to all 10 songs make it easy to share the fun.
This sound book includes 2 Thomas & Friends songs plus eight holiday songs.  Each button plays 2 melodies:

3 Replaceable Long-life
AG-13 Button Cell Batteries Included.

Ages: 18+ Months

Now tell me, what books have you purchased for gifts today?

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Friday 56

I spent a lovely day at our Friday Farmer's Market and met several Grandma's that were shopping for children's books. The best seller's of the day were books about pirates and princesses. During the slow hour of the day, I had a chance to jump into a paperback book that I will be reviewing soon. It's called Mozart in the Future by Tania Maria Rodrigues-Peters with illustrations by Pedro Caraca.

If you're interested in joining us in this fun blogging game, here's what Friday 56 is all about:

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog http:startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Here's Mine:

"I'm not going to tell you who he is because you wouldn't believe me."

Mozart in the Future by Tania Maria Rodriques-Peters

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Book Review- The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Product Description

THE TRUTH is a delightful, humorous secret diary, written by a girl who is 10-11 years of age. She is wise and yet innocent. Her words acknowledge those priceless truths that we all knew as kids. She makes us cry and laugh and see ourselves. Everybody loves reading her thoughts, secrets, adventures and solutions to difficult problems. Girls are naturally curious and this book gives them a real opportunity to see how a girl like themselves in so many ways handles her toughest problems and most personal thoughts. Mom can read the book along with her daughter and not only be brought back to herself as a youngster, but find on every page relevant topics for discussion with her daughter. How do you handle a bully? How do you handle a crush on a boy? What about teasing? How do you find time to listen to your daughter? Do we have enough fun together? What really matters? There is space right within the book for the girl and or mom to make notes or her own diary entries. The book ends with discussion ideas that can also open up whole new areas of topics for mom and daughter or the young reader and other members of her family, friends, or teachers. Behind this very easy read, written by a positive psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience, is the psychological message to the girls reading THE TRUTH that they can and must keep the fire and passion of their girlhoods as they grow up and have the courage to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood.. For parents the book is a way back to what made them feel most special at 10 or 11. Once parents are back in the place where their kids live, then listening, trust and real sharing can begin. Every girl and ever parent wants this kind of TRUTH!


Product Details

* Reading level: Ages 9-12
* Paperback: 112 pages
* Publisher: The Enchanted Self Press (January 1, 2008)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0979895200
* ISBN-13: 978-0979895203

Author's Bio

This book review is part of a series that covers the topic of Positive Psychology. The Official Guide to Positive Psychology is Barbara Becker Holstein. Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is the originator of The Enchanted Self(R). She has been a positive psychologist in private practice and licensed in the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts since 1981. She is currently in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein. For more information, visit

My Thoughts

I liked the book "The Truth". It's a cute book and I enjoyed reading the secret diary of a ten-year-old girl. At times, I chuckled out loud remembering that the author's chosen words describing the girls feelings were my feelings exactly. So what makes this a winning book is the universal connection of putting feelings into words that all girls and grown up girls can relate to. I believe the author did a superb job in this being her main focus. In today's world, girls are in need of knowing how much they are loved through all the emotional and physical changes they endure. For all the princesses out there, this is a great book for self-awareness, self-acceptance, and good self-esteem. The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything) is a light, easy read. 5 stars. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the small size of the font and words typed above dotted lines made it more difficult to read for me.

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promo for the opportunity to review this great book. You can purchase the book here:

The Truth: I'm a Girl, I'm Smart and I Know Everything

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Book Tour and Review: Bernadine Feagins’ HAKIM AND TERRANCE SHADOW MYSTERY


Bernadine Feagins is a new author who is looking forward to many years of writing children’s books. She has always had a love of children and worked many years in early childhood education. During these times she witnessed the joy children felt as she would demonstratively read books. In addition she is a very active mom who loves to nurture not only her children, but those of family and community. She often had story time with those she loved and cared for. She developed her story telling skills through the numerous books she read to children, this gave her an inspiration to tell her own story, Hakim and Terrance Shadow Mystery. When Bernadine isn’t reading to children or involved in some other child nurturing activity, she can be found as a business woman that works for the IRS. Bernadine is available for interviews, book signings or public reading in schools and libraries.

Visit Bernadine online at

You might also like to view Cheryl Malandrinos' excellent interview with the author:


Hakim and Terrance Shadow Mystery is a wonderful story about a lost dog. Two best friends go on an adventure to bring Shadow home. Along the way you will meet nice neighbors, some kind business owners and many others. The mystery begins when someone finally provides a clue. What do you think that clue is? Find out today with your purchase of Hakim and Terrance Shadow Mystery.

EXCERPT and my favorite quote from the book:

The next day, Hakim woke up without his dog.

“Are you alright Hakim?” asked his mother.

“It’s hard not having Shadow here. He always licks my face to wake me up.” said Hakim.

“I miss him,” said Hakim.

“Why don’t you and Terrance make some flyers and put them on the poles, trees, and neighborhood stores.” said Hakim’s mother. “Don’t forget to ask first before doing so, Hakim,” added his mother.

Product Details

* Paperback: 68 pages
* Publisher: lulu.com (August 7, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0557090415
* ISBN-13: 978-0557090419

My Review:

Shadow Mystery is a wonderful children’s book about a boy named Hakim, his faithful dog, Shadow, and his best friend, Terrance. Shadow disappears one day and with the help of Terrance, Hakim’s family and people from the neighborhood, Hakim and Shadow are reunited.

Have you ever lost a family dog before? Well, I have several times and being that I raised Australian shepherd puppies, it was always a sigh of relief and immense joy to see your long lost friend come home. I love how the author Bernadine Feagins shows the relationship with the two boys as close friends and how they go about solving the problem of finding Hakim's dog. Bernadine warmly ties in a valuable lesson that doing the right thing is not always easy as Samyaha, a young girl, soon discovers.

What I especially like about the book is that there is a relationship between friends and animals, a sense of being together and belonging. The plot develops and moves along nicely showing the feelings and emotions of two boys and a girl. Every boy and girl can identify and relate to these feelings. Bernadine brings quality writing to the table with her special style of encouraging good self-esteem in young people. I look forward to reading more from the author. I give the book 5 stars and recommend this children's book with good illustrations to you. I liked the book!

Thank you Pump Up Your Book Promo for providing the book for review. You can purchase the book at:

Hakim & Terrance Shadow Mystery !

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Review- Beautiful Mess: The Story Of Diamond Rio

Beautiful Mess: The Story Of Diamond Rio

Many of you know that I played keyboard in bands for over 30 years. My good friend Marc, who is an excellent lead guitarist, well their band was headed to Nashville for an audition. They were turned down hearing these words, "Unless you're like Diamond Rio..." I just knew it was meant to be that I read the story of Diamond Rio and I thank Thomas Nelson for the opportunity.

Beautiful Mess
The Story of Diamond Rio
By Diamond Rio

Book Description

Can a band comprised of six very talented but very different musicians make a difference with their music?

What made it possible for Diamond Rio to weather the storms inherent in the fickle world of fame and fortune and go more than two decades without a single lineup change? Any reader in search of transparency and a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the band as a unit as well as the individual lives of the players and singers will be well satisfied. Can true loyalty exist within the competitive, seemingly unforgiving music industry? In A Beautiful Mess, Marty Roe, Dan Truman, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Gene Johnson, and Dana Williams each has an entire chapter devoted to his personal and professional life. A Beautiful Mess is a wild ride from the edge of disaster and a little-known secret to an ongoing heart-warming revival.

Product Details

* Hardcover: 288 pages
* Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 15, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1595552685
* ISBN-13: 978-1595552686

Beautiful Mess: The Story of Diamond Rio (NelsonFree)

My Review:

Diamond Rio is a refreshing book for all musicians, band members and lovers of country music to read. I enjoyed many interesting details from the name quest of their band to good advice on the way to fame such as, "No, you gotta make a decision (about) who you are, what you wanna be. Pick one."

From a musician's perspective, it's so inspiring to read about real and accurate pointers from the beginning of the book, practice 4 hours everyday and then towards the back of the book, "If you only play for the shows or whatever, you're probably gonna start to get pretty stagnant."

I had to laugh, knowing how true 'in ear monitors' make all the difference when the band spent $66,000.00 for six guys to have them. I read in the middle of the book, "It was", Jimmy says, "the best money I've ever spent in my life."

Overall, Diamond Rio put together a marvelous story of their lives, photos of their precious families, their record success and struggles that kept them together plus community service and charities. I love the book Diamond Rio from cover to cover and rate it 5 stars! I highly recommend this great book to you... a story of teamwork, a blending of musicians about real conflict and redemption.

Visit their website:

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Books Bought #5

Books Bought is a meme that Cindy has been hosting for several months on Cindy's Love of Books. The purpose of this meme is to share with you the books I buy and for you to do the same. If you're curious and want to see what my blogger friend bought, visit:


Yesterday began with a light drizzle of rain falling which is a welcomed miracle to Southern California! I arrived at T.J.Maxx and headed straight to the book stand. I must have been thinking of food at the time because these two cook books were a perfect purchase. One of my hobbies besides growing my own food is preparing wonderful meals that my family will enjoy, especially my grandsons!

Here are my purchased books this week:

# Hardcover: 240 pages
# Publisher: Parragon Inc (December 2006)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1405488581
# ISBN-13: 978-1405488587

Perfect Greek (Perfect Cooking)

The cuisine of Greece is like the country itself- relaxed, sociable, and full of sunshine. Being Greek, I love to cook, eat outdoors and experience laughter around the table! I found this book to be true and authentic with:

* 112 exciting and delicious recipes

* Brief introduction to each chapter, full of useful ideas and tips

* A clear and easy-to-follow ingredients list and method for each recipe to ensure a perfect result.

* Inspiring photography of each recipe to set your taste buds tingling

Do you like something sweet like baklava, pistachio cake, or Greek shortbread cookies?
From roasted vegetables and moussaka to lamb and chicken kabobs, you'll be serving friends and family delicious Greek meals with lots of olive oil from fantastic selections!

Another book I purchased:

The Organic Seasonal Cookbook by Liz Franklin

# Hardcover: 128 pages
# Publisher: Parragon Inc (March 2008)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 1407524992
# ISBN-13: 978-1407524993

The Organic Seasonal Cookbook

This book is a celebration of the range of fresh food available at different times of the year. The introduction gives an overview of food, farming, and well being and explains why sustainable farming and food production are vital steps in ensuring we eat healthy, delicious food.

I has always enjoyed the farming lifestyle with my family and have reaped the benefits of an annual summer and winter garden. This beautifully illustrated guide features easy-to-prepare, enticing meals. The Broccoli, Chile and Garlic Crostini looks good and I think I'll try the Barbecued Beef Skewers with Butternut Panzanella! I'm looking forward to trying more healthier, tastier recipes from this author.

Happy reading and happy eating... Yasu!
Hello or yasoo - in Greek the same word for hello and good health to you is Yeia sou.

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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The Friday 56: Diamond Rio, Beautiful Mess

Beautiful MessImage via Wikipedia

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog, http://www.startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/ and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

It's Friday and I find myself excitedly looking forward to playing the game again!
Lately we've had lots of rain for Southern California so my evenings have been around a warm fire and for sure, cuddling up with a good book. This morning I decided to do a little bit more reading on a book that I will be reviewing for ThomasNelson called Diamond Rio: Beautiful Mess. This is a very interesting book and I'm enjoying the band members stories. Especially being a musician myself, how I love "musician talk", you know when keyboard players go on and on about open voicings with jazz chords.

Here's my 5th sentence entry:

"Marty kind of thought so, too, but it was her enthusiasm - which included enough ambition to do all the legwork - that encouraged him to do the audition."

Happy Friday! Hope you'll join us

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Blog Tour and Book Review: Value Gifts for the Holiday Season

A big thank you to Liz from Waterbrook Press for this blog invitation: Value Gifts for the Holiday Season. They randomly chose two wonderful books for me to review.
The first book offers priceless insights to help build a meaningful relationship.
What Women Don't Know (and Men Don't Tell You): The Unspoken Rules of Finding Lasting Love. The second book by Cheri Gillard, 99 ways to Stretch Your Home Budget
provides readers with invaluable resources at a low cost.

What The Book Is About

Sadly, many women today see their ongoing singleness as a weakness or lack of worth. In truth, our dreams go unfulfilled not because we do not deserve for them to come true, but often because of wrong assumptions—assumptions that can easily be corrected.
Drawing on both male and female perspectives, this book deals with the hard issues and questions you and other women ponder as you consider how to obtain lasting love. What Women Don't Know (and Men Don't Tell You) will help you adjust your desires, redefine what you are attracted to, set your values in order, and determine your goals—freeing you at last to pursue the loving relationship you desire...Michelle McKinney Hammond, bestselling author, speaker, singer, and co-host, with Joel A. Brooks, Jr., senior pastor of Christian Life Center, clears up misperceptions, providing women with the information they need to succeed in a lasting male-female relationship ─ both while waiting and after the wait is over.

Product Details

* Paperback: 208 pages
* Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 15, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0307458504
* ISBN-13: 978-0307458506

My Thoughts

The book is overflowing with wonderful wisdom and guidance for all. It's the kind of book every mom and grandma wants her daughter and daughter-in-law to read. Both authors want to give women the information they need to succeed in long-term, lasting male-female relationships and teach them how to find satisfaction, value, and fulfillment in their relationship with God, both while they wait and after the wait is over.

First, we see that it's not o.k. to tear someone else down or crush their spirits. Nor is it good to bury anyone's self-esteem. The story warmly moves along with more insights giving you safe boundaries and protecting you from men whose intentions are not honorable. So, how do you obtain lasting love?

In today's world where young ladies hope for true love is fading over the horizon of their longing and they're deciding that something is better than nothing, the author Michelle McKinney Hammond outlines a beautiful plan of wisdom and insight that will give you a firm foundation to wholeness:

* Understanding your value
* Knowing your name
* Protecting your valuables
* Knowing how to set yourself apart from other objects of desire

I love this book and highly recommend it to you! 5 stars! Michelle is a great writer and Pastor Brooks adds his insights from a man's perspective as well. The book will encourage and inspire you to be in a love relationship where you are celebrated!

What Women Don't Know (and Men Don't Tell You): The Unspoken Rules of Finding Lasting Love

99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget: LadyD Books
Product Details

* Paperback: 112 pages
* Publisher: WaterBrook Press (July 21, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0307458415
* ISBN-13: 978-0307458414

 About The Book

With words like “recession” and “record unemployment” filling the air, the typical family–regardless of how the economy is treating them–will be paying attention to the budget. That’s why 99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget will receive a warm reception as it delivers scores of practical ideas to save cash around the house.

Cheri Gillard, formerly an obstetrical and NICU nurse, is a freelance writer and editor, plus the mother of quadruplets. 

99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget

Book Contents

  1. Thought for Food
  2. Passion for Fashion
  3. On the Go
  4. About the House
  5. Plug and Play
  6. Style Wiles
  7. General Hospital

 My Thoughts

Cheri Gillard introduces the reader to many great money saving tips. In fact, she has listed 99 ways to stretch your home budget and with today's economy, this book is timely for all. Like many of you, I was familiar with most of the tips shared in the book. I'm sure many folks have implemented these ideas during the depression and I continue to incorporate many of these frugal ideas in my lifestyle. So overall, I think this is a great book for every young housewife, single parent and college student who wants to make ends meet.

You will be encouraged and inspired to be more creative in your plans and every day to day approaches in fulfilling your many needs. The summaries after each chapter are very informative and you can finish the book in one sitting. You'll learn about homemade cleaning products, flow control valves, online pharmacies plus incorporating fun activities of visiting state parks, playing board games and shopping at second-hand stores and garage sales. 4 stars. It's a good book on survival with tips on how to live within your means! I look forward to reading more from the author.

99 Ways to Stretch Your Home Budget

These books were provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

Friday 56

Yes, I know it's early Saturday morning. My goal for this new game is to post it on the correct day which is a Friday. My only excuse is that I stayed late at a school holiday boutique book sale... so here I am sharing with you this wonderful game that I seem to enjoy so much. If you're interested in participating, here's the rules:

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog and to Storytime with Tonya and Friends at http://storytimewithtonya.blogspot.com/
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.


Here's mine:

"A few moments ago, I picked up Kay Warren's book Dangerous Surrender: What Happens When You Say Yes to God. I love every word of this book. In fact, I just stumbled across a quote in it from Francis Fenelon; I believe it's a word for me - right here, right now."

Embracing Your Freedom by Susie Larson

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Books Bought #4

I purchased another polar bear book "I Love You This Much" by Lynn Hodges. This book will be a gift for my other grandson.
I Love You This Much

* Product Description

Share God’s love for his children through this moving story about the love between a parent and child. Filled with beautiful illustrations that reflect the soothing melody and gentle words, you and your child will treasure the precious moments shared together with this wonderful story, I Love You This Much.

* From the Back Cover

Share God’s love for his children through this moving story about the love between a parent and child. This sweet little tale is based on a beautiful lullaby, I Love You This Much, sung by a parent to a child, as a gentle reminder to children of just how much they are loved by their earthly parents -- as well as their heavenly Father. Filled with picturesque illustrations that reflect the soothing melody and gentle words, you and your child will treasure the precious moments shared together with this wonderful story, I Love You This Much.

* Product Details

* Reading level: Ages 4-8
* Hardcover: 36 pages
* Publisher: Zonderkidz (January 1, 2001)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0310232686
* ISBN-13: 978-0310232681

* Biography

Lynn Hodges

Lynn Hodgeson is a professor of music, voice, music theory, and piano, and one of America’s most gifted producers, arrangers, and writers of children’s music.

She is the coauthor of the best-selling I Love You This Much, and winner of numerous awards and multiple Dove Award nominations.

Sue Buchanan is the coauthor of the best-selling I Love You This Much. She is also the author of I’m Alive and the Doctor’s Dead, Girls Just Gotta Have Fun, Duh-Votions, and Mud Pie Annie, and coauthor of Friends Through Thick and Thin. Sue lives in Nashville, TN.

Illustrator: John Bendall-Brunello

My Review:

I love this book and I know my Grandson will too. I plan to give it to him at Christmas. It's a beautifully written story. The illustrations are lovely. And, best of all, it comes with a CD that has the entire story sung as lyrics to a very nice melody. I plan to give the book along with a polar bear puppet and I think the song will mesmerize my grandson because it is so soothing to listen to. The tune is very catchy and you will want to join in and sing the refrain without any prompting. This is a really special book accompanied by a really special song.

The text rhymes beautifully. The story illustrates God's love in a simple, straight-forward way making it easy for little minds to understand. A mother and child bear are the stars in this delightful book about parent-child love. The book begins with Ephesians 3:17-18: "I pray that you ... may have power ... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." The parent bear tells the child bear how much love there is for the younger bear, a love repeatedly described as "best, most, high, low, deep, and wide." This runaway bestseller is just right for toddlers! 5 stars!

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

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Review: Jesus is for Everybody- Building A Personal Relationship with God

Product Description

This book is about life, not religion. God is with us right now and wisdom exists where our intellect meets salvation. JESUS is for Everybody explains how to build a personal relationship with God based on the teachings of Jesus Christ associated with common knowledge... My goal is to provide insight into the way of life that leads to the Kingdom of God as illustrated through the resurrection of Jesus Christ... I write about developing a personal relationship with God in terms of life, rather than religion. I believe God's message is fact and not left to human opinion, and we should discontinue blaming one another for acts performed by religious groups in the past. It is acceptable to search our heart in understanding the foundation for our beliefs. God provides us the extensive knowledge to seek wisdom from the writings of many people dedicated to making a contribution in life... Without including the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the scriptures are merely a sequence of historical events just like the others... JESUS is for Everybody illustrates that: "God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son. Anyone who believes in Him will not die but will have eternal life...

About the Author:

The name "Sophia" in Greek means wisdom. I am Greek and my Aunt's name is Sophia. She is a lovely person who has influenced my life greatly as a Christian. The author of Jesus is for Everyone says, "Through illustrations and analogies I want to help people comprehend the consistency of God's message..." Sophia works as an Information Technology Auditor residing in Washington DC. Sophia desires to teach new believers about God by explaining life illustrated through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Sophia demystifies the truths of the Bible and helps Christians find their way around the propaganda surrounding religion and back to the simple truths surrounding God's love. she adds, "It is a matter of what we believe that drives faith."

Product Details

* Paperback: 316 pages
* Publisher: iUniverse (January 2, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 0595719856
* ISBN-13: 978-0595719853

Jesus is for Everybody
My Review:

Sophia has a great understanding that the basic nature of humanity is self-preservation. I think that's what makes grace so beautiful on the undeserving heart because it's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. I like Sophia's approach to the Gospel being for everyone no matter how much money, education or power attained, the need for humanity to reconcile with God is the heart of the Gospel message and is the solid teaching in Sophia's book.

Another part of Sophia's book that I like is surrendering to the Holy Spirit. Although we really think we know what we need based on what we know so far, we really need to relinquish overall control to the director of our future for His purpose. My favorite chapters of the book are Faith & Prayer, Faith & Love and Church & Giving.

Sophia does a great job in mapping out the believer's mission to show the world how God lives through us by how we continuously honor Him in the good we show others. If you're looking for an intellectual approach and strong convictions on serious subjects such as the rights of the unborn, discussion on race, split target marketing with black gospel/ Christian contemporary music pick up a copy of the book today.

Jesus Is for Everybody

The one thing that I did not like about the book was this overall sense of being 'talked at' instead of 'talked with'. I missed reading "What do you think?" or 'What is your experience or opinion?'

I give Jesus is for Everybody 4 stars. You will find so much information packed into Sophia's book that it will take you several days to process and review her opinions. Being a Grandmother, I am fond of Sophia's writings about decisions that drive success, about children's mistakes of today becoming wisdom for tomorrow and from page 206 " As we learn to love, we recognize that unconditional support can build unlimited self-esteem." Sophia White revitalizes that love with an exploration of the scriptures of the Bible and the intimate relationship we were meant to have with God in "Jesus is for Everybody."

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD

Blog Tour: Treasured/God Gave Us Love/God Gave Us Christmas

Treasured: Leigh McLeroy

Treasured/God Gave Us Love/ God Gave Us Christmas

by Leigh McLeroy/Lisa Tawn Bergren

All three books are wonderful gift books, just in time for Christmas. Treasured will guide you in discovering evidence in your own life of God’s attentive love. And the “God Gave Us” series are wonderful books for children that teach them about the many types of love and the meaning of Christmas. These books will encourage you to draw near to the Savior during the Christmas season, reminding you that Christ’s birth is the reason we celebrate!

Here’s a summary:


Cigar boxes. Refrigerator doors. Scrapbooks and sock drawers and top shelves. These are the places we store our treasures–the keepsakes that tell the story of whom and what we’ve loved, how we’ve lived, and what matters most to us.
God is a collector, too, whose treasures are tucked securely into the pages of his book: a golden bell here, an olive leaf there, a scarlet thread, a blood-stained cloth, a few grains of barley. Each of these saved artifacts reveals a facet of his heart and tells the story of a Father whose most precious possession is…us.
In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides us in discovering evidence in our own lives of his attentive love.

Treasured Knowing God by the Things He Keeps

Product Details

* Hardcover: 224 pages
* Publisher: WaterBrook Press; 1 edition (September 15, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1400074819
* ISBN-13: 978-1400074815

 My Review

I love the way Leigh McLeroy begins her book with open accounts of honesty and sincere realness in sharing with the readers her journey of drawing closer to God's own heart. This book is like a manual in discovering God's treasures in His memory box of love for us. The book begins with A Fig Leaf and Leigh tells of shame and sin with "I know this dog better than I wish I did." She gives the reader inspiration in Fresh Olive Sprig that "hope really does float after all!" Leigh speaks of injustice, "I have no Teflon Coating to repel life's hurts." The book goes on to speak of the harsh realities of playground politics and I love how the author describes what she has discovered in warm tones, that we're not so different after all.

About half way through the book Leigh shares with us her sister's battle with cancer. I especially love her choice of action-packed words in describing the last enemy to be destroyed and that is death. Leigh goes on to say, "I hate cancer. It's an enemy with no manners, no mercy and no predictable pattern of attack... take that, cancer. You're an awful bully but you cannot win."

Leigh McLeroy ties up her journey of drawing closer to God by speaking of the grand architect, of knowing her shepherd's voice and believing with full assurance of His love for her. So what tokens or keepsakes would you collect in your treasure box that would forever remind you of God's love for you? I hope you will consider the book for renewed hope and inspiration. I love the book. 5+ stars!


God Gave Us Love

As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable.
In answering her questions, Grampa Bear gives tender explanations that teach Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grampa explains that all these kinds of love come from God and that it is important to love others because…

“Anytime we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.”

God Gave Us Christmas (God Gave Us...)

God Gave Us Love

Product Details

* Reading level: Ages 4-8
* Hardcover: 40 pages
* Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 15, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1400074479
* ISBN-13: 978-1400074471

About the Author

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She makes her home in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

My Review- God Gave Us Love

God Gave Us Love is the newest addition to the polar bear series by Lisa Tawn Bergren.
This tender relationship between Grandpa Bear and Little Cub is sure to warm your heart. This sweet tale begins with a fishing adventure but it was inconclusive because I felt they needed to catch a fish! The Little Cub becomes irritable when the otters chase away the fish. Grandpa reminds her that "... God wants us to show everyone his love."

This timeless message on unconditional love has lots of words said about God (for a children's book) but not so much on a story plot, action, problem type stuff. Little Cub has lots of questions about how do we really know God loves us and her very wise Grandpa does his best to respond with answers that reflect biblical truths: God always hopes for the best in us; He's always with us; He sent His Son to save us. I loved the pictures by Laura J. Bryant, especially the family of polar bears "group hug". Lisa Tawn Bergen does a good job explaining that God is love and we can see His love expressed in so many different ways, especially with family. I give this book 5 stars!

God Gave Us Love (God Gave Us...)

God Gave Us Christmas: 

As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?” Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that… Jesus is the best present of all. This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them.

Product Details

* Reading level: Baby-Preschool
* Hardcover: 40 pages
* Publisher: WaterBrook Press (October 10, 2006)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1400071755
* ISBN-13: 978-1400071753

My Review

I love reading this sweet book by Lisa Tawn Bergren to my Grandson because it has a sweet charm about it and I am amazed by David Hohn's polar bear detailed expressions! The tender relationship between Mama Polar Bear and Little Cub teaches young hearts about the true meaning of Christmas yet keeping the balance with popular traditions in celebration with Santa. Strong questions are posed by the author and tenderly answered in showing young and old alike the beauty of God's presence that surrounds us everywhere. You will want to cozy around a warm fire and read this book aloud to your children and grandchildren while you anticipate the arrival of Christmas this year! 5+ stars!

God Gave Us Christmas (God Gave Us...)

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. You can purchase books at:

All 3 books have great messages with wonderful, sensitive presentations. I love this blog tour as we kick off this year Holiday season of Christmas with its true meaning of God's love for us!

Warmest Regards,
~ LadyD