Bergers Book Reviews

Make and Move: Shark

Author: Jen Green
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-62686-490-0
Pages: 28
Price: $19.95

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There are many kinds of sharks and most of them are harmless to humans. These fascinating sea creatures come in many interesting shapes and sizes. Illustrations and descriptions of some of these sharks are included in this guidebook, which details the features that make them unique. Skeleton, skin, size, fins and tails, as well as other body styles and behaviors are described and explained.

In addition to reading the shark guidebook, kids can make a model shark from heavy-duty cutout cardboard pieces. Make and Move: Shark is a fun book for all kids who love to learn about animals.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 27, 2017 Posted by | animals, children, nature, science | Leave a comment

Guided by His Light

Author: Susan Jones
Illustrator: Pauline Siewert
Publisher: Good Books
ISBN: 978-1-68099-282-3
Pages: 64
Price: $9.99

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A good book to read at bedtime can quiet and soothe a tired child. And what could be better than a gentle, rhyming prayer book? Guided by His Light is a collection of short poems that remind children of God’s love. Illustrations of happy families, animals, and the natural world accompany these prayers.

Each prayer has a title, and some of these include God’s Words Bring Comfort, God Gives Me Strength, My Heart Is Full of Joy, and God’s Love Is Perfect. Each is crafted to provide comfort and reassurance that God loves and forgives his precious children.

This hardcover has a special glow-in-the-dark cover to encourage bedtime reading. Kids and parents will love this sweet evening prayer book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 26, 2017 Posted by | children, Christian | Leave a comment

Stories on the Journey: A Homiletic Biography (Cycle A Homilies)

Author: Rev. Peter G. Jankowski
Publisher: Lighthouse Christian Publishing
Genre: Catholic / Christian
ISBN: 978-1532765834
Pages: 292
Price: $11.95

Video series
St. Patrick’s Church of Joliet, IL
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During his 20 years as a parish priest, Father Pete Jankowski has faced his share of joys and struggles. Sharing these stories in the form of homilies, he encourages and educates his parishioners on a weekly basis. Now these Cycle A homilies have been compiled into Stories on the Journey.

Each of the homilies includes the designated Sunday title, as well as the scripture readings for that Sunday’s Mass in Cycle A. Father Pete expands on the Gospel readings each week, sharing stories of his own experiences as priest, as well as his interactions with parishioners. These homilies are warmly written and encouraging in style, sometimes challenging his listeners to respond to the words of Jesus and what He demands of us. But they’re also down-to-earth and meant for the average reader who doesn’t have a theology degree.

There are several typos in the text, and a good proofreading would have helped prior to publishing. But if the reader can overlook this small flaw, the messages in each homily are really enjoyable to read. I will adding be adding this book to my reading list during each Cycle A year. This is part of a planned four-volume series, which includes Cycles B & C, as well as special homilies. Father Pete will be donating proceeds from the sales of Stories on the Journey to benefit St. Patrick’s Church.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Catholic, Christian | 1 Comment

Complete Guide to Bible Journaling

Authors: Joanne Fink and Regina Yoder
Publisher: Design Originals
Genre: Art / Christian
ISBN: 978-1-4972-0272-6
Pages: 176
Price: $19.99

Joanne Fink’s website
Regina Yoder’s website
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At one time, Bibles were illuminated by professional artists who added beautiful artwork to hand-copied books. Since the modern printing age, Bibles have been mass-produced with little to no illustration. But God’s Word comes alive when accompanied by carefully crafted art, and Complete Guide to Bible Journaling shows us how to do this ourselves.

Adding artwork to our own Bibles might be a scary proposition, but it doesn’t have to be perfect – it only needs to come from the heart. The choice of medium can include colored pencils, markers, stickers, and even paint. Instructions for each of these techniques, as well as templates are provided. In addition to sharing their own work and techniques, many of the artists featured in this book share the reasons why they were drawn to Bible journaling and how it’s changed their lives.

Special journaling Bibles are available, but even if you don’t have one, you can still use these techniques. And if it really makes you uncomfortable to draw or write in your Bible, you can use this guide for outside-the-Bible artwork. This book is a wonderful resource on learning to immerse yourself in God’s Word through art. I highly recommend it.

April 20, 2017 Posted by | art, Christian | 1 Comment

Pray for Justice

Author: Lou A. Bordisso, O.C.
Publisher: The Apocryphile Press
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-944769-40-6
Pages: 150
Price: $16.00

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Every day the world’s neediest go hungry, searching for a place to lay their weary heads. The rest of us simply go about our business, hardly noticing them. But what if we actively prayed for them and for a change in our own mindset?

Pray for Justice is a thirty day book that encourages us in caring for those who most need it. Each day’s section provides morning and evening prayers with a quote to guide our intentions. These prayers follow a simplified form of the Catholic Liturgy of the Hours that will take only a few minutes to complete. The reader is also encouraged to keep a spiritual journal while following this prayer regimen, and questions are provided to deepen our commitment to the less fortunate.

Those who already pray the Liturgy of the Hours will find this format somewhat redundant, so they may need to vary it slightly to incorporate parts into their normal prayer ritual. But all those who really ponder the quotes provided and ask themselves the hard questions will find themselves changed by their experience. This is a great prayer guide for Catholics and other peaceful people.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Catholic, Christian | Leave a comment

A House for a Mouse

Author & Illustrator: Rebecca Westberg
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1450511421
Pages: 24
Price: $9.49

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Whiskers and Cheesepuff are two mice living in a house. Foraging among the humans is great until one day Whiskers is nearly caught. The humans put out sticky traps to catch the mice, and Cheesepuff decides it might be best for them to leave. But Whiskers has a different plan which leads to surprisingly wonderful results.

These two mice are comfortable in their “house for a mouse” when they are suddenly faced with adversity. Although the easiest choice is to simply walk away, Whiskers thinks it’s possible that they can peacefully coexist. And in offering kindness to the people in the house, he finds a way for them all to be happy.

A House for a Mouse is a sweet animal story with a subtle message of peacemaking. Kids will love it!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 13, 2017 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

Mini Habits for Weight Loss

Author: Stephen Guise
Publisher: Selective Entertainment LLC
Genre: Diet / Personal development
ISBN: 978-0996435444
Pages: 252
Price: $14.35

Author’s website
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The dieting industry has a lot to say regarding what we put into our bodies. Whether we want to go low-carb, count calories, or watch fats, we can find a plan to suit our needs. But each of these diets falls short when we can’t sustain them for the long term. If it can’t be a lifetime commitment, it’s doomed to failure.

Mini Habits for Weight Loss provides a unique common-sense outlook to long-term weight loss and management. Any diet plan can be modified to fit the Mini Habits system, although Stephen Guise recommends we eat more of certain foods and less of others to have optimum success. Adopting new “mini” habits is the key to this system, and some other tips and tricks are provided to help us accomplish our goals.

Backing up his claims with a wealth of research and scientific proof, Guise makes a brilliant case for why people don’t lose weight long-term by using certain dieting methods. And he shows how even the savviest shopper can be duped by healthy-sounding claims by food manufacturers. Mini Habits for Weight Loss is the most common-sense book on dieting that I’ve ever seen. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 11, 2017 Posted by | self improvement | Leave a comment


Artist: Audrey Assad
Label: Fortunate Fall Records
Genre: Christian
Price: $18.95

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Inheritance includes a mix of classic Christian music along with some original tracks:

  • Ubi Caritas
  • Holy, Holy, Holy
  • Be Thou My Vision
  • I Wonder as I Wander
  • How Can I Keep from Singing
  • Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
  • Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
  • New Every Morning
  • It Is Well with My Soul
  • Even Unto Death
  • Abide With Me

These tunes are quiet, reflective, and meditative in nature, as Audrey Assad’s haunting voice is accompanied by gentle instrumental and electronic music. I found that this CD made me feel incredibly peaceful and conscious of God’s profound and wonderful love. “New Every Morning” is especially uplifting and is my favorite. I highly recommend Audrey Assad’s music.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 10, 2017 Posted by | Christian, music | Leave a comment

My First Book of Bible Verses

Author: Susan Jones
Publisher: Good Books
Genre: Children / Christian
ISBN: 978-1-68099-281-6
Pages: 64
Price: $12.99

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Children find scripture to be a great source of joy, and they love to memorize key verses. My First Book of Bible Verses shares 30 Bible verses for kids to learn and absorb, along with colorful illustrations and descriptions. A set of stickers is provided, and once they learn each verse, they can place a sticker in the spaces marked on the pages.

The Bible verses chosen for this book center on loving and honoring God, being kind and generous toward others, trusting in God’s goodness, living a moral and upright life, and praying. As they memorize these beautiful verses, children will naturally draw closer to God and their loved ones. I highly recommend this wonderful book for all Christian children.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 5, 2017 Posted by | children, Christian | Leave a comment