What a Bragger! By Lee Ann Mancini

I am so impressed with this author and series!! Each book focuses on the compassion we should have for others and our relationship with God. Big ideas for such little readers, but Ms. Mancini shares them in delightful and memorable stories.
Adults and children alike have trouble tolerating someone who is always bragging and tooting their own horn. The author helps young ones and adults look at this through God’s eyes. Corey and his friends have had it up to their gills with Melissa blowfish always boasting about her possessions and superiority to the others. This goes on every day. In anger, Corey goes home and shares Melissa’s irritating attitude with his parents. I love that his parents just didn’t agree and join in his gripe session. They gently guided their little boy in showing God’s love and kindness. Upon following her home the next day he finds she is very poor and has nothing. This prompts him to realize his many blessings and thank God for them. With Melissa’s birthday coming up and the teacher planning a surprise party, Corey and his friends pool their money to give her a special gift. What a beautiful example for kids to follow; love and the joy of giving sacrificially! Melissa is overwhelmed by her surprise. She in turn brings thank you notes to all the students. I like this because children don’t write thank you notes anymore; they must be taught to show gratitude. At the end of the book she thanks the Lord for her friends and family. The colorful bright illustrations are attention getters. As with the other books there is a hidden Christian symbol of the fish (cute!) to find. The books are of superior construction and materials and made to last for a long time. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated are my own.

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Fast Freddy By Lee Ann Mancini

Every child wants to be accepted and liked by their peers. Since no one is exactly alike (thank goodness!) differences in appearances, talents, and skills will in variably surface. If these are obvious, a child can easily be singled out, made fun of, bullied and rejected. This delightful story addresses the problem of children not accepting those who are not like them.
Freddy is starting a new school and like any new student is nervous he might not fit in. Being an octopus is very different than the other sea students. Everyone shuns him until the teacher talks to the children. She points out she and Mr. Seahorse Janitor are very different yet the class likes them. The students take heed and become his friend. Everyone is surprised and happy to find out Freddy has a hidden talent that benefits all of them.
There were many things I liked about this book. First of all Freddy prayed asking God’s help on his first day and at the end of the book thanked Him for His blessings. Children can learn that we are to ask God for our needs and thank Him for all He does.
There was also a strong lesson in not looking on outward appearances. This reminded me of 1 Samuel 16:7 where God tells us He looks at the inward person and their heart. If God does it then it must be very important and we need to also. Freddy shows young readers that if we judge someone without getting to know them, we may miss valuable hidden qualities they have to contribute.
Good Christian children’s books are difficult to find, especially for younger children. The illustrations are vibrant, colorful and detailed. Each page has so much to look, just the ticket for keeping a little one’s attention. High quality is found in every part of the book, from the sturdy washable cover to the durable page; something that will last and be passed on to the next generation.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated are my own.