I Want a Horse, written and illustrated by Mikaela Vincent and published by CreateSpace (2016) is a sweet book that would be nicely shared by moms and their daughters.

Kimberly wants a horse. She wants, wants it, so, so badly and she imagines all the great things they would do together. 

Kimberly’s room is too small for a horse, her mother explains patiently. Kim is not deterred. (For us moms, this is beginning to sound familiar, right?) Mother reminds Kim that they live in a city, in an apartment and on the twenty-third floor. Kim still doesn’t give up. Her mother says Kim needs to think more about what the horse needs. Horses need open spaces to run. Mother’s reasoning angers Kim. The idea of having a horse, she says sorrowfully, is stuck in her head.

Mother hugs her daughter. She reveals that she too wanted a horse when she was a child and still dreams of riding this horse. She helps Kim consider that not all dreams have to come true in real life. God can use our dreams in a different way.

The colorful illustrations are full of affection and spirit. The illustrator has visually captured Kim’s and her mother’s enthusiasm for having a horse of their own. Her choice of color and sweeping strokes help us enjoy and appreciate imagination for its own sake.

I think moms and their young daughters (ages, four- to seven-year-olds) will enjoy this book.

On another matter, acquiring books can become expensive. Yet kids are voracious in their need for good books. The team at Books 4 Christian Kids has talked about this conundrum and we have an idea that may help.

Think of some families that you know and invite them to trade books with you. And trade back. And keep it going. I think this is particularly important for Christian literature for children. I think public libraries often overlook some really good Christian children’s literature.

If you are concerned about germs being passed. “The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) recommends a 24 to 48-hour quarantine of returned books as the safest and most effective way to disinfect them.”  https://www.ala.org/tools/sites/ala.org.tools/files/content/NEDCC%20recommendations%20for%20disinfecting%20books_Mar2020-converted.pdf  This piece further goes on to say use gloves when putting the books in quarantine, a bag works, remove gloves immediately afterwards and then wash your hands for twenty seconds.  

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website. 

This I Know, written by Clay Anderson, illustrated by Natalie Merheb, and published by Swing High Children’s Books (2020), invites families with young children to see God in the world around them.

In this picture book a family of five go on a road trip. Though Anderson speaks of it as a day spent, I think that is a stretch. So much country is seen and enjoyed that the use of the word “day” should be taken loosely.

The family go to the seashore, the countryside, the mountains, and a forest during autumn. Their experiences are wide and full of delight as they find God at sandy beaches, in a lightning storm, on a mountain peak with the snow falling, and on a hillside watching shooting stars. His marvels, His love and His care are everywhere.

Along with the text that describes the family’s trip and what they are discovering about God’s world, each spread includes the statement, “Jesus loves me this I know” and then continues with a reference to what the family is shown enjoying on that spread. For example, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the ocean tells me so,” is on the pages that show the family having fun at the beach. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the universe tells me so” is on the pages where the family is looking at the night sky.

The rhyming text is fun and easy to read. The illustrations are colorful, exuberant, and child-friendly.

I think the book will be best enjoyed by four- to seven-year-olds, though younger children will enjoy the pictures. All children will love repeating the “Jesus loves me this I know” refrain and delight in learning the different phrases that follow.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website. 

One Fine Day by Rachel Hauck and Carrie Padgett is sure to amuse you. Published by Sunrise Publishing (2022), it is a cute tale of second chances. The main characters who have experienced many struggles in the past, grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. They come to discover His purposes in their lives.

Chloe La Rue never thought she would be thirty and widowed. She also never imagined herself moving back from Paris to her old bedroom and taking care of her mother who is undergoing cancer treatments.

Married to Jean-Marc La Rue, an extreme sports competitor, Chloe had been a pastry chef and dreamed of owning her own cafe someday. But ten months ago, Jean-Marc was killed in a sports accident. Chloe stayed in Paris for a while after her husband died, but the sorrow and memories were overwhelming. When the opportunity came to go home, she bought a one-way ticket.  

Chloe had lost her father at age eight and her husband at twenty-nine. She believed that coming home to Hearts Bend, Tennessee, would help her regroup, give her a chance to help her mother as she battled breast cancer, and then eventually, she could get back to making pastries.

Chloe’s mother suggests she seek a job at a local bakery.

In high school Chloe had had a huge crush on Sam Hardy, but they had only been good friends. Now he is a Tennessee Titans quarterback with too many broken memories to return to Hearts Bend.

A torn ACL sidelines Sam from the game and he needs to work with a very good sports medicine doctor in Hearts Bend. To safeguard his future he decides to buy the town’s premier bakery, Haven’s Bakery, with his business partner Rick. The deal is too good to pass up, but he is unaware that the owners have hired Chloe, the one girl from Hearts Bend he can’t forget.

Sam also struggles with his past. When he was fifteen, his parents divorced, and his mother left town. He hasn’t seen her since. His father Frank, married Janice and now they want Sam to attend Frank’s 60th birthday party. In order to secure a spot with the best sports medicine doctor in town, Dr. Morgan, Sam has to agree to go to the party. 

Sam and Chloe run into each other at the bakery. She is very surprised that he is the new owner and her boss. She finds that she still carries her old attraction for him. He feels the same way, but they both believe it is way too soon to pursue it. It turns out that Chloe’s specialty is cakes, and she has been hired to make Frank’s birthday cake for the upcoming celebration.

As time passes, Sam and Chloe grow closer together. They begin to grow in their faith. They begin to desire God to take over the decisions they will make. Chloe is finding her broken heart is beginning to mend. Sam is finding out things about his family he had not been aware of before. This helps him as he processes his past bitterness toward his parents. 

In time, all is resolved, and the ending is happy. A surprise for Chloe at the end of the story is heartwarming. I know you will enjoy this story as much as I did. One Fine Day is best enjoyed by readers eighteen and above.

Patsy Ledbetter has written poetry, short stories, devotionals, and book reviews for many years. She has also been a drama instructor, special needs teacher and substitute teacher. She and Kevin have been married for 41 years. They recently lost their oldest son Craig, age 33. They now have three children, Vanessa, Bethany and David. They also have three grandchildren, Elyse, Aurora, and Hayden. Kevin has been a music pastor most of his life and together they serve the Lord in a local church. Patsy loves to read, pray, and spend time outdoors and with family and friends. Her main desire is to bring glory to God through all the talents He has given her.

Dear Book Lovers,

“I think children need to learn about reality. I don’t protect my child from the world,” some parents say to me when we talk about children’s literature. I’m kind of taken aback. Probably, I hope, they mean they don’t try to isolate their child from the world. Not isolating the child I understand, but what’s so bad about protecting?

In the Bible, cities of any importance are walled. The walls protect the citizens from wild animals and marauding bandits. It is a disgrace for a city’s walls to be broken down, for it to be unable to protect its people. It is a sign of God’s disfavor.

But–and this is really important to notice–living within a walled city did not mean being cut off or isolated from the rest of the world. A city’s walls had gates. People and goods could come and go through the gates. But armies and raiding bandits were kept out. Domesticated animals came in. Lions and bears stayed out. There were some controls. It was a useful, productive way to live. The people who lived in the city were freer to pay attention to their lives. (I’m not saying that everyone who came through the gates was without malice and that mad dogs were never in the streets, but these were incidents.)

The world, the flesh and the devil, all tell parents that kids need to be wised up, toughened up. “Exposing them to life without restriction will do it,” promises the world, the flesh and the devil. They lie. And they want to shame you or scare you into not respecting childhood, into thinking that anything an adult knows or has experienced should be known or experienced by a child–and by every child.

The world, the flesh and the devil want children to be without protection, without walls, so that they can carry off their hearts and minds and enslave them. Me? I say, “Let’s hear it for good walls and good gates!”

P.S. At Books 4 Christian Kids we look very carefully and talk a lot about whether a book is appropriate for a particular age group. Though we consider the vocabulary and the sentence structure, our main concern is a book’s subject matter and whether it is handled in a godly manner. Book Lists will help you discover such worthwhile reads.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website. 

A Month of Summer by Lisa Wingate is the perfect summer read! Published by NAL Accent; 1st edition (2008), this novel will intrigue you in many ways.

The story begins when Rebecca Macklin receives a long-distance call from the Dallas police. Her aging father, Edward Parker, has been found wandering the streets alone. His wife, Hannah Beth Parker, is in a nursing home, having suffered a stroke.

Rebecca, her husband and their nine-year-old daughter live in Santa Monica. Rebecca and her husband are lawyers and in practice together. Recently they took an anniversary trip to San Diego to try to work on their communication issues. The law practice and their daughter’s many activities had recently come in the way.

Rebecca leaves for Dallas. When she arrives at her father’s home, things are in disarray. Hannah Beth has a special needs adult son living in home, but KayKay, the caregiver, is gone. The house is a mess and there is very little food in it. Rebecca has no idea what medications her father is supposed to be taking. Teddy, Rebecca’s disabled stepbrother, works on his plants in the backyard and doesn’t know any details of what should be happening. Rebecca also can’t find any financial records, so all the purchases will need to come from her own account.

Hannah Beth hears that her stepdaughter has arrived and worries about what may be going on in her house. Rebecca has not visited in thirty years. The last time she saw her was when Rebecca was twelve years old. Rebecca was supposed to visit her father for a month every summer, but decided to stay away due to her mother’s bitterness toward her father and his second wife.

Now, Rebecca is required to help them all, needing to forge a relationship with her father, Hannah Beth, and Hannah’s son Teddy. Awakening old ghosts of bitterness and putting them to rest is something she must do. Her faith is small in the beginning, but it increases throughout the story. 

Rebecca takes her father to see the doctor and he is admitted to the hospital for a few days to get his medications correct. She must also hire a caregiver before she leaves.

Hannah Beth makes some friends and meets some colorful characters in the nursing home. Rebecca and her stepmother do the best they can to communicate. Rebecca brings Teddy and Edward to visit. Hannah Beth is so looking forward to returning home. 

In the book, both Rebecca and Hannah Beth share details of how they are feeling. We learn how they are handling all the upset and changes in their lives. We, the readers, watch as they learn how to accept each other. In the end, all turns out well. Rebecca is very happy to once again be reunited with the family she shunned many years ago. I enjoyed learning the wonderful lessons the main characters were taught and seeing how their hearts had become open to each other. 

In this moving story of forgiveness, two women heal from the betrayals of the past, seek unity, and discover the meaning of family. You will definitely learn a lot about your own family relationships by reading this story. This book is best enjoyed by readers aged eighteen and above.

Patsy Ledbetter has written poetry, short stories, devotionals, and book reviews for many years. She has also been a drama instructor, special needs teacher and substitute teacher. She and Kevin have been married for 41 years. They recently lost their oldest son Craig, age 33. They now have three children, Vanessa, Bethany and David. They also have three grandchildren, Elyse, Aurora, and Hayden. Kevin has been a music pastor most of his life and together they serve the Lord in a local church. Patsy loves to read, pray, and spend time outdoors and with family and friends. Her main desire is to bring glory to God through all the talents He has given her.

Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon, published by Viking Penguin (2007) may seem like an odd book to recommend to those who have not yet reached their thirtieth birthday. Father Tim Kavanagh, the main character, has just turned seventy. But that’s what I’m doing. There’s much to be savored from a long life that has been God breathed on. Another member of the team and I have been mulling over and talking about criteria for the books we would want to recommend. We decided we are looking for and hoping to find stories that show God in action. Home to Holly Springs has that all over.

Tim Kavanagh, a retired pastor, living in Mitford, North Carolina, receives a mysterious note. It says only, “Come home.” No signature. No return address. Home is Holly Springs, a small, old town in Mississippi, and Tim has not been there in thirty-eight years. He doesn’t want to return, but he believes that God is leading him there. His wife of eight years cannot travel with him because of an injured ankle. Tim decides to go it alone. He and his old dog, Barnabas, set off in his red convertible Mustang.

Holly Springs has changed since the days of segregation and its ugliness, but in physical appearance little has changed. Memories collide with the present as Tim sees and visits the various buildings and businesses that still remain—the family home out in the country, the drugstore, the church his father made him attend, the other church where his grandfather preached, the infamous staircase that rocked his family and the town with scandal. In Tim’s vivid memories we see him as a child and as a young man. We meet his parents, grandparents, friends, his enemies, his fiancée. And most importantly, we meet his beloved Peggy, the black woman who nurtured him like a mother until he was eleven and then suddenly disappeared.

In the present, Tim has no living family in Holly Springs. They have passed on, but their deaths did not close the story of their lives’ influence on Tim’s present life. Encountering these memories afresh, Tim wrestles with still unresolved childhood experiences, unanswered questions, half-known answers and the loss of friends, dear friends, who vanished from his life.

This kind of a story is not unknown in literature or in film. The hero, after encountering the past, gains a different perspective and some additional information. With new insight and understanding he leaves the past. It can be a useful journey for a reader, reminding him that his own memories may indeed be incomplete, and that the backpack of his mind may need repacking with an eye to discarding a few cherished albeit erroneous beliefs.

Karon offers a reader more. She does something truly worthy of a person spending time with Father Tim in Holly Springs. She offers that goodness and mercy does follow us all the days of our lives. As the story unfolds and unfolds some more, Tim learns that what was awful and sad at the time was not the end. God moved in people’s lives, breathed into those lives new life. In His hands life did not stay broken. In His hands there was and is redemption. God’s grace, His forgiveness, and truth change the outcomes of bad situations and bring healing and joy. And He keeps on doing it. He did it for Tim’s ex-fiancee, for his friend Tommy, for Jim Houck, for Tim and for others.

Tim does find out who sent the request for him to come home, and it leads him to a gift quite unexpected, but because God is in it, rich in ways that Tim could never have imagined.

Home to Holly Springs is a work of fiction, but God says to His children that goodness and mercy shall follow us. That is truth. I think reading the novel and seeing God’s goodness and mercy played out in Tim’s life may help you, the reader, remember and watch for it in your own. It helped me.  

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.)  Her latest works for children are I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue, mystery novels for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website. 

Synopsis

The Biscuit book series written by Alyssa Capucilli and illustrated by Pat Schories is a collection of simple stories. These books help very young children develop a love for books and stories and help older children (4- to 5 year-olds) continue that love and read on their own.

The first book, Biscuit, introduces the main character, a cute puppy, and his bedtime delay tactics. Biscuit first wants to play with his human caregiver, a 4-5 yr. old girl who remains nameless. He then wants a snack. After the snack, he wants a story. After the story, a hug. After the hug, a kiss. And, then another hug and kiss. He finally falls asleep when he curls up with her.

In the follow-on books, Biscuit plays with animal and human friends, solves problems, and has fun with his caregiver while doing everyday activities such as taking a bath, playing ball, going to the pet show, visiting the big city. The stories are narrated by Biscuit’s young caregiver who is prominent in the illustrations but not mentioned in the text.

Reading Level

The series contains two types of books. The Biscuit lift-the-flap, touch-n-feel, and board books introduce babies and toddlers to words and sentences.  The Biscuit I-Can-Read books introduce preschoolers to shared reading and kindergarteners to independent reading.

According to Harper Collins, publisher of the series, the Biscuit I-Can-Read books are written for emergent readers. The books have simple vocabulary, recognizable sight words, and repeated phrases. Most books are rated level F or G in the Guided Reading Level system and 100-250 in the Lexile Framework for Reading system.

Biscuit books are available at local public libraries as well as bookstores and online retailers. A comprehensive listing of books in this series can be found on the author’s website, https://alyssacapucilli.com/books-category/world-of-biscuit/.

My Opinion

Two thumbs up for the Biscuit series!

It is a sweet, innocent series that advances with children as they move from infancy through kindergarten. It easily satisfies my two criteria for books that nurture children’s minds: 1) Do the stories foster godly values? 2) Do they capture children’s imaginations?

Although the Biscuit stories do not explicitly talk about God, they contain values that align with the Bible. From Biscuit’s young caregiver, children learn how to take care of one of God’s creations, a pet puppy, by giving it a bath, taking it to the vet, and teaching it new tricks. The young girl models treating pets kindly and patiently one-on-one and in social situations with other kids and their pets. She shows children how to include a pet into normal daily activities, whether it be going to the library or visiting a farm.

The Biscuit character teaches children important values and skills. In a number of the stories, young readers learn from Biscuit to welcome new social situations as opportunities to befriend people they don’t know or who are different from them.  In other stories, the puppy demonstrates how to be curious and explore one’s surroundings and try new activities.

In addition to promoting godly values, the Biscuit stories capture children’s hearts and minds. The cheery, colorful, realistic illustrations draw young readers into the stories and hold their attention until the end. The Biscuit character illustration is the series’ crown jewel. Children can’t help but fall in love with the cuteness and innocence portrayed in the Biscuit puppy illustrations. Some children fall so much in love with the illustrations that they ask for their own puppy or a Biscuit stuffed animal. Young readers actively engage their minds and mouths by reading aloud repeated phrases such as “woof, woof.”

Children will remember these Biscuit stories long after they outgrow them. They will read them to their children and grandchildren.

Carissa Excelsis is a storyteller and a mom. She has been telling original stories ever since she captivated her kindergarten classmates with her story about a mama bunny going to the hospital to have a baby bunny. She loves to capture children’s imagination through oral and written stories. Prior to being a mom, she created product branding strategies and wrote marketing copy. She hopes one day to have her children’s stories and God-stories published.

The rector of Hope and Glory Community Church has been tasked with seeing the lovely old place through its last days. But he believes there is still hope that the church will revive. How? By bouncing the Heavenly Hugs Prayer Shawl Ministry out of its comfortable prayer chapel into the local mall!

While the chapel is being renovated, the older ladies have to relocate their ministry. With some resentment and trepidation, they settle in a local bookstore/coffee shop. The manager asks them to leave, so they end up on comfortable couches outside an anchor store.

Here their beautiful knitted shawls draw the admiration of passers-by. When people hear that they pray over the shawls as they knit, they begin dropping off prayer requests on coffee shop napkins. Two young women even request knitting lessons! When prayers start getting answered, the reputation of the knitting group grows.

The people they attract are mostly young professionals and college students in the midst of big challenges. These men and women do not fit the typical profile of Hope and Glory attendees. Some have purple hair. Some have piercings. Some have made poor life choices.

These people whose lives brush against their own stir up the personal pain and struggles hidden in the placid-looking lives of the members of Heavenly Hugs. Praying for others reminds them of their own need for God.

The bishop asks the rector not to interfere with God’s process in the Heavenly Hugs experiment, so the rector lets it run its course.

Will the knitters be able to reconcile the brokenness of their community and their own lives with the serene stained-glass quiet of their aging church? What is their true mission, and will they rise to the challenge? Will Hope and Glory Community Church survive?

I looked forward to reading this book every day. It cheered me up. Written by Sharon J. Mondragon and published by Kregel (2021), The Unlikely Yarn of the Dragon Lady is about 250 pages long. It is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com. Oh–and if you are a knitter, there’s plenty of shop talk about making beautiful shawls.

Donna Fujimoto’s children love to read. She is a graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary. Her collection of short stories, 9 Slightly Strange Stories with an Uplifting Edge  is available as an e-book at Amazon.

From Nancy– Before we launch into Tom’s review, I wouldn’t be doing my job, if I didn’t point you to 21 Days of Joy which is a collection of short stories in celebration of mothering. Mother’s Day is coming Sunday, May 8, 2022.

As the cover of my paperback edition explains, in his 9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life (Tommy Nelson, 2004), Dr. Henry Cloud “probes the mystery of why some lives really work and others don’t.”

His book explains some discoveries Dr. Cloud has made that go beyond both his training and practice as a psychologist, as well as his own successful personal development. Someone might suggest that his book is just another self-help manual. I’d recommend that you’d do better to start with this one right now.

A young adult reader will have experienced enough life to recognize successful people. Cloud suggests that some characteristics of success are so unexceptional that people often ignore them. You have to give Cloud credit for observing more than just the successful people around him. He picked up on the elusive reasons his successful friends were successful. He defines his successfuls as “déjà vu people,” because he often had to experience several successful people before something clicked inside for him to appreciate what he was observing. Here he reveals his findings—nine, at least—and they are not complicated.

Cloud has fun defining his nine things with such names as: “dig it up,” “pull the tooth,” “hate well,” “don’t play fair,” and “upset the right people.” Yet he goes into sufficient detail with each concept, giving examples, Bible verses, and case studies, so that the reader comes away with a good understanding of each.

For example, “dig it up” refers to finding a useful direction in life, one that suits YOU. I could spend hours talking about all the college students I’ve taught who were in college for the wrong reasons and about other students who eventually managed to redirect themselves to more personally productive majors or careers.

I was captivated by Cloud’s Principle 4 on “do something.” There he says something that is more subtle than obvious. “[Successful people] tend to call on themselves as the first source to correct difficult situations. It does not matter [who’s to blame or at fault]…they will ask themselves, what can I do to make things better…they make a move.” Read the chapter. He’s not talking about being lazy—he’s talking about hesitancy, and he offers concrete suggestions to get someone on track.

Probably the longest paper a student could write, requiring tons of resesearch, is something called a ‘dissertation.’ Lest you wonder, Cloud probably could not be described as lazy, and he was beyond hesitancy. However, confronting his own dissertation project, a mountain of a task, it took prayer to get him going. God provided a verse about the lowly ant, Proverbs 8:6-8, to model his solution and provide Principle 5, “act like an ant.”

Reading the proverb, he noticed that some of it wasn’t about him, he was not a lazy person. Still, he didn’t give up trying to understand. After all, some of it was about him. In doing a dissertation everything depends on you. You don’t have teachers or professors telling you what to do. That was probably to suggest that he had reached a new phase of life, one of self-responsibility. Still, he hadn’t found the answer that was needed to kickstart his project.

Finally, he focused on the admonition to simply consider the actions of ants. There he realized God’s message. Remember where Matthew, in 17:20-21, tells us that Jesus said we can move a mountain? Well, ants move a lot for their size (maybe even mountains). The déjà vu person breaks down the larger task into one grain at a time. Move enough grains and you’ve moved the mountain from here to there. Further, the end of the proverb suggests that ants store up in one season for the next. You don’t do a dissertation all at once, but from one season to the next. The reader will enjoy what ants had to tell Cloud about approaching his project. He is Dr. Henry Cloud now, so you know the ending, he moved the mountain. You’ll want to read or recommend this book because of this story of God’s intervention.

In most chapters Cloud takes the time to apply his experience as a psychologist and as a Christian counselor to his observations. In his capacity as psychologist he uses case studies to enrich his explanations. However, early in the book he admits that he didn’t come to these principles as part of his classroom studies, instead they came from living life and doing business.

Further, his cases studies remind the reader not to forgo counseling when learning to apply the book’s lessons. For some people the behaviors might be easy to learn. For others, it will take time—maybe to undo life’s struggles and get on track. He asks the reader to remember that God has joined His people in various relationships, some of which demand deep commitment—and mountain moving.

The concepts of “hate well” and “upset the right people” imply that a Christian should be able to recognize evil and wrong. In this context, Cloud suggests that it is right to hate evil and to upset those who are doing wrong. He offers a complete explanation for these concepts.

Near the end of the book, he offers a good take-away statement: “If the kind, loving, responsible, and honest people are upset with you, then you better look at the choices YOU (my emphasis) are making.” Maybe a successful person understands, that, with God, they are responsible for their love and life.

I recommend this book for young adults, perhaps those in or on their way to college–maybe those on their way to a career and self-sufficiency. Cloud admits that there are surely more than nine characteristics shared by successful people, but any young adult would benefit from the ones Cloud has recognized and explained in this book.

Tom Hird is a university professor, retired. For more than ten years he has been a member of a men’s book club, reading and discussing both great fiction and an eclectic range of non-fiction. He believes that regular readers prove to be better students, because reading widely helps one soak up usage, style and knowledge for a variety of situations in life. He is the copy editor for Books 4 Christian Kids.

With graduation season just around the corner, let me suggest a wonderful gift book: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.

This charmingly illustrated picture book says a whole lot about life for young adults just starting out on their own, yet it is simply fun to read. Some sellers classify it as a children’s book and you may find it in the children’s section in the bookstore, but I think the message can reach and uplift people of any age.

Narration woven through the fanciful scenes describes the highs and lows, ups and downs of life. It highlights the freedoms and responsibilities of being in the world. It warns of times of failure, waiting, and loneliness. But the underlying and final message is one of overcoming and hope, and every page tells the story in rhyme!

This book is based on a graduation speech given by the author and is so encouraging!

Fifty-six pages long, published by Random House (1990), this book is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and probably at your local book store.

Donna Fujimoto’s children love to read. She is a graduate of Alliance Theological Seminary. Her collection of short stories, 9 Slightly Strange Stories with an Uplifting Edge  is available as an e-book at Amazon.

Book Reviews

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