Bergers Book Reviews

Figley vs. the Mookling Hat (Mutasia)

Authors: Suzanne Cotsakos & Ryan McCulloch
Illustrator: Ryan McCulloch
Publisher: Mutasian Entertainment
Genre: Children
ISBN: 9780692106327
Pages: 48
Price: $15.99

Author’s website
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When everyone in Mutasia starts wearing Mookling hats, Figley decides he needs one, too. After all, he can’t be left out of the fun. But when he tries to find one for the party that evening, his efforts end in failure. So he does the best he can, and arrives at the party with a Squonk hat, instead.

Initially, the others are puzzled by this silly, squishy hat. But when they decide his hat is so much more special than their Mookling hats, they all have to get one, too. Once everyone is wearing Squonk hats, they wonder why they don’t feel as unique as they thought they would. Figley knows the answer, and after sharing it with the rest of the Mutasians, they know what to do. Soon everyone is sporting the hat that best fits their personality.

Figley vs. the Mookling Hat is a silly story that encourages individuality. By exaggerating the ridiculousness of everyone doing the same thing, it shows kids that it’s best to be themselves, even if they’re different from their friends. And they might discover that their way is just as cool as everyone else’s.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Suzanne and Ryan stopped by Bergers Book Reviews for an interview. Please be sure to check it out here!

October 18, 2018 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

The Summer of New Beginnings

Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Women’s fiction
ISBN: 978-1503901247
Pages: 284
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
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Meghan Briggs is running the family business after her father’s death. Always the responsible one, she stepped in immediately, putting her own dreams on hold. When Meghan rescues a puppy, she tries hard not to fall in love, expecting his owner to show up any moment to claim him. But she’s not as wary when she meets the handsome new vet.

Tracy Briggs followed her heart, making a disastrous romantic decision. When she returns home as a single mother, Meghan and their mom are there to help her pick up the pieces. Her son, Lucas, will need special attention, and the family bonds in the process of helping him.

While this story is full of romance, it’s more about family and the ways they work together. All three of the ladies in this book struggles with something from their past, but now they’re making a new beginning. The Summer of New Beginnings is an enjoyable “warm and fuzzy” read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 17, 2018 Posted by | romance | Leave a comment

Pull It Off

Author: Julianna Zobrist
Publisher: Faithwords
Genre: Christian / Women
ISBN: 978-1-5460-2592-4
Pages: 240
Price: $22.00

Author’s website
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When it comes to living our own lives, many women don’t have the nerve to actually pull it off. They defer to the wishes of others rather than discerning their own unique path. Julianna Zobrist has struggled with accepting her own individuality, but has learned how to develop it while creating an authentic life. In Pull It Off, she shares some pointers with the rest of us.

Readers will smile at Julianna’s opening anecdote about her wedding, where the planning centered on everyone but the bride and groom. Rather than honoring their own picture of the perfect day, they conceded to the spoken (and unspoken) desires of others. She then shares some more humorous and not-so-humorous stories of others imposing their thoughts and opinions on her and her husband, Ben. Being a Christian pop singer married to a major league baseball player is challenging enough, but when you add several kids and too many conflicting ideas about how to raise them, things can get complicated. But Julianna shows us how they place their own marriage at the top of their priority list, ensuring its survival.

Julianna Zobrist takes a lighthearted approach in her story-telling, but her suggestions are clear. If we want to live authentic lives, we need to focus on our own needs and wants and go after them. Pull It Off offers a great message for women.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 16, 2018 Posted by | Christian | Leave a comment

Good News for a Change

Author: Matt Mikalatos
Publisher: NavPress
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1-63146-856-8
Pages: 208
Price: $15.99

Author’s website
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Sharing the good news about Jesus should be easy. We know He came to earth to save us from our sins and guarantee our place in Heaven, but how can we communicate this message without sounding too preachy? If you’ve ever struggled with knowing how to approach this topic with others, Matt Mikalatos offers some great advice.

Matt has had first-hand experience with these conversations, and in Good News for a Change, he shares the lessons he’s learned along the way. We learn how to identify what’s really good about the good news, frame it in a way people will not only listen to, but also understand, and make it meaningful to the person we’re speaking with.

This uplifting and inspiring book helps us see that opportunities for evangelism are all around us, and being prepared is easier than we think. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 9, 2018 Posted by | Christian | Leave a comment

Mission Defrostable (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast)

Author: Josh Funk
Illustrator: Brendan Kearney
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2811-9
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
Illustrator’s website
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The refrigerator is too cold, and Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are worried. What is causing this deep freeze? Suddenly, Agent Asparagus arrives, pleading for help. He’ll lead them to the freezer so they can see what’s going on.

But when Agent Asparagus is whooshed away, the pair have no idea how to get to the freezer. Lucky for them, Baron von Waffle knows the way and agrees to lead them. But this time, they are captured while the Baron escapes. All ends well when the Baron sneaks back to rescue them both, which prompts teary-eyed sniffles from the perpetrator of this frozen situation, along with a promise to turn the temperature back to normal in the fridge.

Mission Defrostable is told in rhyming verse with some larger words that children may have trouble pronouncing or understanding. But the story is so much fun that they (and their parents) will enjoy reading it over and over again. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 2, 2018 Posted by | children | Leave a comment

This Is the Day

Author: Tim Tebow
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Christian inspiration
ISBN: 978-0-525-65030-0
Pages: 224
Price: $25.00

Author’s website
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When Tim Tebow decided to pursue a major league baseball career, many people didn’t understand. Why would a successful football player go back to the minor leagues and try to rise through the ranks? Wouldn’t it be safer to pursue a career in broadcasting, as he had the opportunity to do? But as Tim explains in This Is the Day, life isn’t always best lived by making the safe choices.

Through a series of stories, Tim shows us the times in his life where important choices needed to be made. Although he admits he didn’t always choose correctly, he recognizes that God placed him in certain situations for a reason, and it was up to him to act. Maybe we don’t always see this in our own lives, but God asks the same of us, also. If we can learn to see how important this very moment is, we can make a difference in this world.

Tim Tebow is not only a talented athlete, but also a gifted story teller. This Is the Day is an inspirational read that gives us a lot to think about. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 1, 2018 Posted by | Christian, sports | Leave a comment

Shh… God Is in the Silence

Author & Illustrator: Fiona Basile
Publisher: Loyola Press
Genre: Children / Christian
ISBN: 978-0829446579
Pages: 26
Price: $8.95

Author’s website
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If children don’t know how much God loves them, they will find out when they read Shh… God Is in the Silence. Phrases including I love you, You are precious, and There is no one else like you, as well as many others are repeated, reminding children of these awesome truths. Illustrations of children in peaceful settings accompany these beautiful words.

God may be silent, but He lives in their hearts, and He wants them to know how precious they are to Him. Shh… God Is in the Silence is a wonderful book to read when children need reassurance, and it’s perfect for bedtime.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 28, 2018 Posted by | children, Christian | Leave a comment

Business Pig

Author & Illustrator: Andrea Zuill
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2684-9
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
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Jasper the piglet is born at the Sunshine Sanctuary for Farm Animals, and immediately, everyone notices he’s different. He won’t play in the mud or root for grubs like the other pigs. Instead, he sits at his computer in a suit and tie, working on spreadsheets and presentations.

All the other animals are being adopted, but no one seems to pay attention to Jasper. Feeling he needs to do something about this problem, he takes on an advertising campaign, hoping to attract the perfect owner. When a little girl in a business suit with a briefcase sees his ads, she shows up at the sanctuary to meet him. She takes his business card, inspects his charts, and reads his resume thoroughly. And soon Jasper has a new job – and a new home – with his new friend. “It was a perfect fit!”

Business Pig is a delight to read. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 26, 2018 Posted by | animals, children | Leave a comment

My First Wild Activity Book

Author: Isabel Otter-Barry Ross
Illustrator: Maxime Lebrun
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
ISBN: 978-1-62686-957-8
Pages: 32
Price: $12.99

Buy it at Amazon

Children may not be able to take a trip around the world to visit natural habitats, but they can do this from the comfort of their own homes. With My First Wild Activity Book, kids will explore the rain forest, desert, ocean, mountains, forest, savanna, and polar ice.

Each location has several activities: search and finds, counting, mazes, matching, connect the dots, coloring, and stickers. An answer key is also provided. At the end of each section, there is a space for young adventurers to place their explorer completion badge.

This activity book is more about fun than learning, and the amount of actual information provided for each section is manageable for small children. But by playing with this book, they will discover these seven different habitats and hopefully be curious enough to want to know more. Kids will love this fun activity book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 18, 2018 Posted by | children, nature | Leave a comment

As the Tide Comes In

Authors: Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Christian Romance
ISBN: 978-0-7352-9101-0
Pages: 352
Price: $14.99

Author’s website
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Tara Abbott has helped raise her two half-brothers, and how she’s looking forward to the vacation they’ve planned for her. When tragedy strikes, she makes the trip to St. Simons Island anyway. Dazed and confused, she has no idea where she is or what she’s doing there, but she searches relentlessly for answers.

Gavin Burnside is attempting to solve the family’s financial difficulties after his dad passed away. With his mom and the rest of the “Glynn Girls” to help, they hope to have everything resolved shortly. Finding Tara, lost and alone on the island, isn’t part of his plan. But who is Tara, and what is she really doing on St. Simons Island? And how is her future intertwined with his own?

Watching Tara cope with such a devastating loss is heart-breaking, and at times I wondered how she would ever recover. But with her loving friends, the Glynn Girls, and Gavin to support her, she starts to make peace with the past. As the Tide Comes In is a moving picture of God’s grace in unimaginable circumstances. I highly recommend this beautiful story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

August 27, 2018 Posted by | Christian, romance | Leave a comment