Review/Author Interview-Seedlings: Fables from the Forest

Review: Seedlings l LadyD Books

 Book Description

Fun fables from the forest for readers 4 - 8. Author C.D. Baker invites children to discover five virtues of a happy life through stories told by trees. The power of gratitude, humility, selflessness, kindness, and forgiveness are revealed in memorable tales that children are sure to love...and to remember.


cdbaker illustration from his dedication page

 The above illustration is from C D Baker's dedication page and reads:
To Davy and Will; once Seedlings, now Trees.

Friday 56

"No, Pop Pop, we can save him... I know it." She hugged Garden beech's wide trunk.
Greetings, Seedlings by C D Baker

Favorite Story Line

"Did you know that trees speak to each other when the wind moves through their branches?

Blue Spruce

Blue Spruce

"I know that I am beautiful," said Blue Spruce to Douglas one morning. "But I think I need something more."

Blue Spruce illustration by C D Baker


 An excellent interactive book for young readers, families and teachers. These beautiful short stories convey a special moral, typically with trees as characters. Thankfulness, forgiveness, humility, helpfulness and kindness are major themes brilliantly woven in story form and enhanced for the visual learner through splendid illustrations. I especially like to ask the questions the author has posted after every chapter, plus there's a page for drawing Christmas trees, or anything you'd like.

Blue Spruce is a favorite with our grandchildren, a widespread coniferous tree that has a distinctive conical shape with hanging cones but is so unsatisfied. Next, we learn about a maple tree with silver leaves underneath and a large Norway maple shade tree who can't grow well next to selfish Shady Maple. Then, a fast growing tree named Poplar sees that Mulberry, a small deciduous tree can't keep up but together face a strong lightning and thunder storm. Towards the end we read about the dialogue between a wise mighty Grandfather Oak and lazy Slope-Oak tree that may grow into something very large or impressive. Lastly, a heart-warming garden transformation through time, with much pruning, a vision of hope and love fulfilled. I love the author's writing style of talking trees and I can picture them in my own backyard. This is a superb legacy to share with all of our grandchildren.

Get this one, it doesn't disappoint. You will be blessed and I long for the story to be a movie one day!

5/5 stars. Highly recommend this one for home, school and church libraries to my friends.

About the Author

C. David Baker writes full-time from his small farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where he and his wife raise livestock with an interest in natural and humane methods. The father of two sons, he has written seven historical novels and two books of Christian reflection, which have been variously published in the U.S., U.K., Ukraine, and Germany. 'Seedlings' is his first children's book. Baker has a Master's degree in theology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. More information is available at,


Author Interview 


I was delighted to catch up with C.David Baker upon his return trip abroad. He agreed to answering a few questions in my interview with him... just for you dear readers. Hold on to your hats. You'll indeed be blessed to hear from the author of Seedlings.

Tell us a bit about your book and where it’s available.
Seedlings is a short collection of fables about the lives of young trees who learn timeless virtues for a happy life. Not a religious book, it nevertheless ends each of five stories with a brief excerpt from the wisdom of the Bible. Each story also offers a few discussion questions that will help the young reader apply the story to her own life. Color illustrated, large print; recommended for children 4 - 8.

It is available in paperback and Kindle editions on

What was the inspiration for your book?

I was walking with my 3 year-old niece who was frightened by the roar of leaves above us as a storm approached. I told her not to be afraid because that's just how trees talk.  She seemed to be comforted by that and so we walked back to the house with me telling her stories of talking trees. I was struck by how important the stories became to her. I then spotted my two young sons and realized that I had directed all of my writing to adults, ignoring the children in my world. So I decided I'd write a couple of books that could mean something in their lives. Seedlings is one of those books.

What was your aim for this book? What did you want readers to think and feel when reading it?

I wanted children to be encouraged toward those timeless virtues that could make their lives happier and healthier. To do that, I wanted to present them with memorable characters in imaginative circumstances. I'm hoping this simple book will become a shared experience for parents and children, one that will they think of fondly over the years I do about my mother and The Little Red Caboose.

Do you have any other books currently available?

This is the only children's book that I've released. I have another pending illustration. However, I have published seven novels for adults and two books of spiritual reflection. You can find them at my website:

What will you be working on next?

I presently researching a historical novel for adults set in 17th century Ireland. Pirates, scallywags, a beautiful Irish siren and a foolish boy all lead the reader to consider what a truly meaningful life looks like.

How did you originally get into writing?

I think it was fourth grade when I wrote a comic strip for the elementary school newspaper. It was quite a kick to get shoved into my locker with demands to know what would happen next. :)

Otherwise, I've always been writing something, though my family had to eat so I strayed for some time as a started a business.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

I have no idea. Not negative reviews though.
Actually, I suppose it's that sense of congruency when you 'feel' like you're doing exactly what you were made to do.

What do you find hardest about being a writer?

Finding an audience. Your friends and family will always tell you that you are the best writer since Dickens, but its the broad audience that will ultimately reveal the truth. So finding an audience that either affirms or condemns the work is important...and they are just so hard to find!

Who or what would you count as your main influence?

Hmm. I suppose encounters with my own shortcomings have influenced my writing the most. I find there is a great deal to learn about life once you're willing to drop the pretense. Though I do not consider myself a religious person, I do find it easier to do that as I reflect more deeply on God's love.

What do you enjoy reading?

I actually spend a great deal of time reading non-fiction. My novels are typically historical fiction, so I'm buried in research. But I enjoy books on spirituality, cosmology, and the nature of life. I confess that I struggle to read fiction because I too often find myself studying the author's technique instead of enjoying her work! 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'Master and Commander,' and 'Drums Along the Mohawk' remain among my favorites.

Who is your favorite author?

J.R.R. Tolkien

What would be your ideal writer’s haven for creating your book? Would you have a desk in a quiet cabin somewhere or an iPad on the beach?

Oh, quiet cabin!
Actually, I'm fortunate to have a terrific little studio overlooking my horse pastures and within a five minute walk from my beloved creek. I've a big rock at the edge of the water where it rushes past. That's where ideas come to me.

Thanks so much, C. David Baker for a wonderful glimpse into your writing world. Best wishes and much continued success with  Seedlings and future endeavors.

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

Review: The Love Letters from God

Review: Love Letters from God l LadyD Books

The Friday 56

God's Wonderful Words to You
"And you can be sure that I am always with you. (Matthew 28:20)"
This children's picture book is 40 pages, so I used the last page to participate in this book meme. Here's an example of one of the "flip-the-flaps."
Your Invitation

God would like to invite _______


To join Jesus' team


Right where you are


Right now

What Do I Need to Bring?

Just yourself

If you would like to join Jesus' team and have Jesus with you always, please reply by letter.

Love, from God

P.S. Don't worry about mailing your reply. Just write it inside the envelope on the next page. (I can see in there!)


Book Description

What child does not love to receive mail? What if that child could receive, open and read his or her own personal mail from God? The Love Letters from God will invite them to do just that! Accompanying each story in this unique children’s Bible is a very special and encouraging letter, each tucked away in its own lift-the-flap envelope, just for them. Written for children ages four to eight, the Love Letters from God includes eighteen of the most popular Bible stories—nine from the Old Testament and nine from the New Testament. Following each story the child will find his or her own letter from God. Children will love the excitement of opening the letters and parents will love how each letter elaborates on the Bible story being told. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Wonderful Words To You will accompany each story and letter. Much more than a mere memory verse, each carefully chosen promise will be God’s very own personal words of love, encouragement, and hope. This book will culminate in an invitation for the children to write their own RSVP to God.

Love Letters from God: Bible Stories 

My Review

This is the best "lift-the-flap" book that provides great Biblical information with a fresh approach by using pint size postcards just for children to read. These love letters from God are real treasures of His affirming love to everyone. The author echos a strong spiritual message here. Each page is filled with beautiful illustrations that give a scrap book feel, like a colorful quilt. I am very impressed with the beauty of detail and richness of the layout of Biblical scriptures woven in story form. This is an excellent visual journey for the reader. What a delight for young people and their parents. Makes a great gift, plus a wonderful addition to home and church library.

5/5 stars. I recommend the book to my friends.

I received this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my honest review. 

Another Example of Love Letters from God 

Dear _____

A lot of bad things happened to poor Joseph. No wonder he sometimes felt so sad. If you ever feel sad like Joseph did, if something happens in your life, that you just can't understand, try to remember that you are never alone. I promise I will never, never leave you. And that's a promise I will always keep.

Your Promise Keeper, 


About the Authors

Glenys Nellist was born and raised in a little village in northern England. Her stories and poems have been published in children’s magazines where her writing reflects a deep passion for bringing the Bible to life for young children. Glenys lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, David.

Sophie Allsopp grew up in a small English village and Hong Kong, where she particularly enjoyed living in a hotel and going to school on a tram. After studying for her illustration degree, Sophie won several awards and has now been illustrating for over 20 years. She lives in England with her husband, son, and a cat called Sadie.

Love Letters from God: Bible Stories

I loved the book and am so grateful for the opportunity to share it with my grandchildren.

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

Review: High Protein Raw Food Cookbook

Review: High Protein Raw Food l LadyD Books

High Protein Raw Food Cookbook: 100 Truly Easy and Yummy High Protein Recipes for the Raw Food Lifestyle

The Friday 56  (56% reader)

" Let the almonds soak for 8 hours, the flax seeds for 8 hours, and the sunflower seeds for 2 hours." -- Jon Symons

About The Book

As a raw foodie, can you guess what question I get asked most often?

Well, it isn't, "how much weight have you lost?" or, "have you seen a dramatic improvement in your health?" (yes), or, "do you generally just feel a lot better on a raw food diet?" (yes), or, "is it true you have more energy than ever on your diet?" (yes)... no, the question I get asked the most is...

"Where do you get your protein?" (ugh!)

"Ugh" Not only do I get tired of answering the same question over and over, but also because the question is misguided.

The fact is that it is easy to get enough protein on a raw or plant-based diet, and I've written this book to demonstrate just that.

And no, my recipes aren't bland mixtures of foods clinically formulated to provide protein requirements. These are amazingly yummy raw meals and drinks like: raw hot chocolate, cashew pesto sauce, raw tortilla chips, raw cinnamon rolls with icing, breakfast crepes, raw chili, macaroni and cheese, and raw lasagna.

You get the point. These meals are quick and easy to make, amazingly tasty and they provide plenty of protein.

I visited my parents recently and my mom made a raw dinner for our family. All the dishes were from my book. Being the trouper that she is, she also prepared "normal" (non-raw and non-vegan) versions of the main dishes for my dad (let's just say he isn't known for being open to new foods). Much to everyone's surprise, my dad never touched the normal versions of the dishes, and was asking for seconds of the raw dishes.

In the beginning of the book, I lay out all the facts you'll need to prove to yourself and your concerned friends that a raw or plant-based diet provides all the protein you need, even if you're a high-performance athlete like Carmelo Anthony and Venus Williams (both of whom eat a plant-based diet).

Each recipe comes with its protein content in grams per serving. Use the introduction section to calculate how much protein you really need per day (much less than you've been led to believe) and then add up your meals' protein content and you will be enjoying the amazing benefits of the raw food lifestyle with none of the "where do you get your protein?" concerns.

Being a raw food chef myself, I've also included the "total time" involved for each recipe. If you're like me, you've probably pulled out your favorite raw cookbook and start preparing a meal for tonight's dinner only to find out there is 18 hours of dehydrating time that wasn't mentioned in the recipe. In this book, I break down soaking times, marinating times and dehydrating times and prep times, so you'll know exactly how far in advance you need to begin to prepare each meal.

Also, I'm a simple chef. I don't like having to buy a package of something for $8 from the health food shop that I'll only need in a raw recipe once every 2 years. With these recipes, I've made sure they can all be made with common and readily available ingredients.

And finally, I've made sure that the recipes can all be accomplished quickly and easily. While some do have extra hours needed for dehydrating or soaking, the actual preparation times are, in most cases, quicker than traditional home cooked meals.

Give my High Protein Raw Food Cookbook a try and start eating and feeling better right away.

My Thoughts

The author presents a very meaningful message for better health, explaining the benefits in eating raw foods. I was impressed with the plethora of excellent information regarding the need for protein; just how much to have and why we need protein. There is so much to learn here. What I especially like is the valuable content on soaking nuts and seeds, along with understanding enzyme inhibitors. This is not a hard, technical book to understand but one of the superb recipes that are simple to make with a little bit of prep work involved. You can confidently share with family and friends that you are indeed getting enough protein with many plant-based foods. I have tried 21 delicious recipes so far and I am recommending the book to friends. I don't want them to miss out of having overall better health.

5/5 stars.

Here's a peek at recipe titles that I like so far:

1. Zucchini Pasta with Spicy Lemon Pepper Salad
2. Cinnamon Pancakes with Fruit Topping
3. Banana Pecan Pancakes
4. Blueberry Pancakes
5. Easy Breakfast Tropical Fruit Bowl
6. Raw Chili
7. Raw Tortilla-Style Soup
8. Collard Green Veggie - Nut Wraps
9. Walnut - Stuffed Bell Pepper
10. Spring Rolls with Chile Sauce
11. Raw Corn, Avo and Black Bean Salad
12. Cuke - Avo Soup with Cilantro
13. Nutty - Veggie Burgers
14. Burritos with Spicy Zucchini Sauce
15. Spaghetti and Nut Meatballs
16. Taco Salad Dinner
17. Raw Ravioli with Red Pesto
18. Fruit Salsa
19. Eggplant Fries (tamari/chipotle powder)
20. Banana Maple Walnut Ice Cream
21. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Cashew Pesto with Basil

2 c. basil leaves
1/2 c. olive oil
3/4 c. raw cashews, soaked several hours
1-2 large garlic cloves
1 handful watercress or parsley
Juice of 1 lemon, pinch of salt

Pulse for 30 seconds, slowly. Pour in olive oil.

High Protein Raw Food Cookbook: 100 Truly Easy and Yummy High Protein Recipes for the Raw Food Lifestyle

One of my grandson's eating choices is all natural, raw fruits and vegetables. Yes, he likes Mac n' Cheese along with the other 4 grandchildren... but Ryan eats mostly raw foods.  As I get older, I find myself changing in the area of food choices. How about you?

What are you reading this week and are you enjoying it?

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

Asian or African Elephant?

Safari Park: Elephants: LadyD Books

Safari Park: Elephants: LadyD Books

Many times throughout the year I like to visit the San Diego Safari Park. I enjoy bringing my camera along, always hoping for some great shots. I must say, the elephant exhibit is phenomenal! Experiencing the elephants up close, surrounded in the beautiful preservation with natural colors, is quite I sight. The fact that they are safe from poachers comforts my heart immensely. The bond between these two was quite an experience to witness. My outing reminded me of an E-book I like.

 Friday #56

"A mother elephant will fight to protect her baby and the other elephants in the herd will join in and help her."

Elephants: Children's Book About Elephants: Fun Facts And Pictures (Fun To Learn Series 2)

About The Book

  • What an elephant looks like.
  • Where do elephants live?
  • What do elephants do all day?
  • Who is an elephant's enemy?
My Review

I know that elephants have a very good memory but I didn't realize they have six sets of teeth because they eat so much. This is just one bit of information provided by the author who has a plethora of elephant facts for children and adults to enjoy. I really like this very educational and engaging book. It's a great story for young readers, explaining how elephants live, eat and communicate. In addition to all of the wonderful information, the pictures of the elephants are quite nice. Plus, there's a bonus quiz added in the back of the book. A sweet presentation of mama and baby Sarita discussing the differences between Asian and African elephants.

5/5 stars. I would recommend to a friend.

Elephants: Children's Book About Elephants: Fun Facts And Pictures (Fun To Learn Series 2)

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis

Good Morning Turtle Doves

Morning Dove: LadyD Books

Two Turtle Doves: LadyD Books

Six Turtle Doves: LadyD Books

Right outside the office window, underneath the naval orange tree in the grove, I spotted one turtle dove. At first, it was hard to see him since his grey-brown body blended so well with the grove soil. Soon there were two turtle doves... which then turned into a family of six mourning doves. I've read that they can produce six broods a year in warm areas, like SoCal.

Needless to say, I'm always delighted to see them on our land. Very peaceful and they fly so quickly. As you look at the land, you can see we are still experiencing drought conditions with pleasantly warm temperatures while the children go back to school.

Let's hope rains return to sunny California this winter!

What have you discovered this week along your bird-watching trail?

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis