art, children

Modern Art Explorer

Author: Alice Harman
Illustrator: Serge Bloch
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Modern Art
ISBN: 978-0-500-65220-6
Pages: 96
Price: $19.95

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Modern art is certainly… different. Visiting a modern art gallery can leave us scratching our heads, wondering what the artist had in mind. So how can we learn to appreciate it?

Modern Art Explorer offers kids a glimpse of some of the more famous pieces from the modern art era of the 1860s to the late 1960s. In the introduction, we learn a little bit about this movement in art history, and find some suggestions on how to look at the featured pieces. Then we explore 30 different artworks, which are shown along with the artist’s name, date created, and other interesting details about the piece and the artist. The final section presents a timeline of the period which includes the happenings of the day, along with a glossary and list of artworks.

Kids and adults will find Modern Art Explorer fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger



Author: Justin Kane
Genre: Christian
ISBN: 978-1636251462
Pages: 407
Price: $19.99

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Many of us grew up in churches where we were expected to follow a set of rules in the hope that we could please God. But the sad reality is that we’re all sinners, and the only hope we have of getting to Heaven rests on the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us in dying on the cross. But what if we have it all wrong? What if God only sees Jesus when he looks at us?

Shifting from a functional gospel mindset to a relational one won’t be easy if we’ve already been conditioned to work for God’s approval. But the Bible provides hope that God actually offers a relational gospel. Over 800 scripture references are included in this book that help us rediscover the gospel, the new you, God’s gift of righteousness, God’s way of transforming us, and who God is.

Drifted offers a new and dynamic way of improving our relationship with God. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Marvelous Magicians

Author & Illustrator: Lydia Corry
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Magic
ISBN: 978-0-500-65221-3
Pages: 48
Price: $19.95

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Magicians have been dazzling audiences for 5,000 years, but some were renowned for their spectacular tricks. Marvelous Magicians features eight groundbreaking illusionists who shaped modern magic, plus it showcases other interesting facts about magic through the years.

The magicians appearing in this volume are Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Richard Potter, Harry Kellar, Long Tack Sam, Adelaide Herrmann, Harry Houdini, Howard Thruston, and Dante. In addition to sharing these mini biographies, this magical book also explains the art of illusion, the role of the magician’s assistant, and why magicians guard their secrets so closely.

Children will enjoy reading about the wonderful tricks these talented magicians were able to perform. I highly recommend Marvelous Magicians.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

self improvement

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Guided Journal

Author: Stephen R. Covey and Sean Covey
Publisher: FranklinCovey
Genre: Self-improvement
ISBN: 978-1-64250-317-3
Pages: 200
Price: $18.95

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a classic self-help book that may people have used over the years to improve their lives. But putting its ideas into practice can be a challenge. Sean Covey has created this guided journal for those who are looking to get even more out of this process.

This guided journal is designed to work with each of the seven habits over several weeks. Each week readers learn more about the habits, while putting them into practice in their own lives. They’re also encouraged to set weekly goals and action plans. Blank space is included for jotting notes and ideas in the weekly sections.

If you’d like some assistance in using these 7 habits, this guided journal will a big help for you.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, self improvement

Survive the Day

Author: Ben Young
Publisher: David C Cook
Genre: Children / Self-help
ISBN: 978-0-7814-1464-7
Pages: 208
Price: $22.99

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When it feels as if life is out of control and nothing is going right, it can be difficult to see the light. Those are the times that try our souls, and we struggle to fight our way out. Survive the Day was written in response to author Ben Young’s own life storm, and he shares the insights he learned in the process.

Moving through painful circumstances takes time, and Young guides us, holding our hand the whole way. We face the challenge to move forward, make the choice to do something about our situation, and finally find the courage to change. The author shares his own story throughout, as he offers us his suggestions in handling our problems.

Survive the Day offers compassionate and Godly wisdom for moving through our grief and pain. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


If I Had a Unicorn

Author: Alex Barrow & Gabby Dawnay
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-500-65226-8
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95

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Finding the right pet can be a challenge for kids, but one little girl thinks a unicorn would be just perfect. Unicorns are fun and friendly, and they make everything sweeter. But unicorns are very rare, so she’ll have to wish extra hard to find one.

If I Had a Unicorn is a cute rhyming book that details all of the delights of having a unicorn for a companion. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

cats, children

Why Do Cats Meow?

Author: Dr. Nick Crumpton
Illustrator: Lily Snowden-Fine
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Cats
ISBN: 978-0-500-65238-1
Pages: 48
Price: $16.95

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Cats make wonderful companions, but do we really know everything there is to know about them? Well, no cat would reveal all its secrets, but Dr. Nick Crumpton offers some insights about our feline friends.

Do all cats hate water, or just some? What do their whiskers really do? And how can we interpret their various meows? These questions and many others are answered in this fun and informative book.

If you’d like to learn more about the cats you live with, I highly recommend Why Do Cats Meow?

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Mr. Business – The Adventures of Little BK

Author: B.K. Fulton
Illustrator: Salaam Muhammad
Publisher: Owl Publishing
Genre: Children
Price: $9.95

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Book 1: The First Day of School
Book 2: Science Project
Book 3: Secret Places
Book 4: My Favorite Thing
Book 5: Smart Guy Glasses
Book 6: The Cow
Book 7: Represent

Brian Keith (B.K.) has just started at a new school. He faces bullying on his very first day, and needs to learn how to handle it in the best way. He faces racism, and realizes he doesn’t have to worry about what others think about him as long as he likes himself. He learns to defend his “secret places” but also knows when he is safe. He takes something that doesn’t belong to him, and tries to make things right. He starts to wear glasses, and realizes they actually make him smarter. He speaks his mind and makes someone unhappy, but learns that the right words can fix things. And he learns that he needs to be himself, even if he feels like he’s not fitting in, especially when those people are actually looking up to him.

Little B.K. is a smart black boy who tries to the right thing. He dresses nicely, is kind to his parents and others, and he wants to be a good student. While the plots are a little thin in these books, B.K. is a great role model for black children on how to live a good, productive life. I admire the author for creating these books, and I would recommend them to anyone who feels their children may need to hear these messages.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Goddesses and Heroines

Author: Xanthe Gresham-Knight
Illustrator: Alice Pattullo
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Mythology
ISBN: 978-0-500-65191-9
Pages: 128
Price: $19.95

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Most people have some knowledge of Roman and Greek mythology, but what about China, Russia, or Mexico? In Goddesses and Heroines, kids will be introduced to 13 goddesses and heroines from various cultures, told in a unique and creative way.

The goddesses featured in this book are Aphorodite, Isis, Hekate, Inanna, Mulan, Baba Yaga, Parvati, Mayahuel, Nangsa, Osun, Amaterasu, Simorgh, and Brigit. With colorful imagery, poetry, and imaginative illustrations, each of these women comes alive for us on the page. In addition to their stories, a full page is dedicated to symbols and information about each of the women.

Goddesses and Heroines provides fun and interesting insights into the lives of these fascinating women. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Six Critical Essays on Film

Author: Mike Kimmel
Publisher: Ben Rose Creative Arts
Genre: Movies
ISBN: 978-0998151359
Pages: 146
Price: $14.99

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Serious film students study the classics to learn about the craft of acting and directing. Six Critical Essays on Film provides in-depth critiques of six classic films as a college guide for film appreciation.

The films the author selects are Taxi Driver, Star Wars, Annie Hall, Casablanca, Blonde Venus, and The Gold Rush. In each essay, he explores directing and casting choices, special effects, acting, scenery, and other features that made each film special in its own way. The casual viewer might not notice the fine details in these films, but these essays show us the behind-the-scenes techniques that made each of them memorable.

Final notes to students include a glossary of film terms, recommended reading, and a list of must-see movies. Six Critical Essays on Film would be a handy resource for any student who wants to study the film classics with an eye to details. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger