The Big Story Seek-and-Circle Bible Battles By Alyssa Jones

What a wonderful surprise this book was to receive! Not only is it a super sturdy board book but it is also BIG. I liked the fact that the bright colorful illustrations were not cartoonish but realistic yet still attractive. The large size is a plus since this is an activity book. A child can lay it on the floor having room to lean on it and work. The use of dry erase markers makes this an entertaining book to be used again and again.
While I love Christian board books to teach little ones more about God and His Word, I was particularly impressed with the unique subject of this one: battles of the Bible. Not an easy thing to teach small children, but with the help of this fantastic book they can have fun and learn the basic facts. The first two pages are for parents: scriptures to read, truths to remember and questions to ask. The next page explains the Armor of God. How perfect because that is what we need in any battle!
There are 5 battles depicted. Each one is a 2 page spread (I liked this!). At the top is the scripture reference where the battle is found. To the side is a key with 20 things to find in the picture. There may be anywhere from 1 – 18 pictures of a single item to discover. The pictures are not super tiny in a lot of seek and find books but they will still be a challenge. In addition, there is a large circle with a picture of with a part of the armor of God to find. Another teaching plus giving the children a visual children representation. At the very end of the key is a “Christ Connection” showing how Jesus is a part of everything in God’s plan. An outstanding book!
I received this book from Lifeway Bloggers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

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A Seat by the Hearth By Amy Clipston

Priscilla had fled her Amish home 8 years ago to escape her emotionally and verbally abusive father. She had not fared very well in the world. You might say she had jumped from the frying pan into the fire. She became involved with a physically abusive alcoholic. After having a son with him and finding she could endure no more, she escaped. The only place she had to go was back home. Showing up on her parents doorstep after such a long absence and with a six year old illegitimate son, took a lot of courage, but she had no other alternative.
While her mother was thrilled to see her, her father had not changed a bit. He was still stony and gruff. She accepted her lot and all of his ultimatums. She had to dress and be Amish again in every aspect. As with Amish custom she also must confess her sin before the church and ask forgiveness, hoping to be brought back into the fold. Harder yet he demands she will marry an Amish man ASAP! Another man is NOT what she wants in her life.
Mark Riehl, the most sought after bachelor in the community finds himself drawn to her. Not only is she distrustful of him being sincere, but becomes angered at his attempts at friendship. She sees him as nothing but a vain flirt. He hurts for her and truly wants to be a friend. He doesn’t give up! After the two are caught by her father and the Bishop in an innocent but incriminating situation they are forced to marry or both be shunned. Does she flee again or enter a marriage with no love?
This book was definitely emotionally charged! I couldn’t put it down! When someone is abused, the pain spreads like a ripple to those who love and care about them. Her mother grieved over her husband’s treatment of their daughter and wanted to bring comfort. Mark wanted to protect Priscilla and take care of her, but she was not open. As a loving mother she ached to do what was best for her son. There were times my chest actually tightened feeling Priscilla’s, frustration, pain and hopelessness. The book is also filled with surprises that catch you off guard. This is my first book to read of Amy Clipston’s and I for sure want to read more. A very satisfying read! Hoping there is a sequel!!!
I received this book free from http://www.Booklookbloggers.com in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.