A Servant Like Jesus By Lee Ann Mancini

Charlie the crab is another one of Ms. Mancini’s charming characters. He is very shy so the first day of school is somewhat daunting to the little fellow. While other kids embrace the special day or are crying for their parents, he decides hiding behind the sink and watching is the best choice. When he witnesses students having trouble getting along he is able to tell the teacher what really happened. The teacher is then prompted to ask him to be her special helper. This was just the ticket to bring Charlie out of hiding. Immediately he quotes his resume of special crab skills that he knows will come in useful. Later that day on a field trip a fellow student accidentally falls into a fire coral and is stung. Without hesitating, Charlie alerts the teacher, and rushes to his classmate’s side, to comfort and pray with him. Thanks to his quick actions the student receives first aid. As the day goes on Charlie realizes not only has he had fun, but that he is brave and able to be a servant like Jesus.
New experiences and places can be overwhelming to youngsters. It might be the first day of school, first time to be left at day care, Sunday school or junior church. Some are so incredibly shy like Charlie that it is painful. Children can relate to the cute, colorful Sea Kids facing the same situation. The little crab’s special abilities were needed and helpful to others. I was amused at all the values Charlies sees in his little “crabby” skills, especially walking sideways! I find this a wonderful illustration to point out each child’s unique God given abilities can be a blessing to those around them and can be used to serve the Lord. Prayer is a powerful message in the story, showing kids they can ask God for help, not only for themselves but others anytime and anywhere. Furthermore young readers can see it is okay to pray out loud in front of others. I also noticed another important encouragement for children to do right. When Charlie told his teacher about the students fighting he demonstrated there is a right time to go to those in authority with a problem. Too many youngsters fear being a “tattle-tale”. This is a wonderful point to discuss with your child the difference between tattling and the responsibility to share important information. This little red crab will help kids realize it if fun to serve others!
This book is another blessing in the series! I love how the author doesn’t just focus on just moral character but Christian values based on God’s word! My youngest Grandson is almost 1 year old and loves books. Red is his favorite color right now so I feel quite sure Charlie the crab, will be his favored Sea kid!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated are my own.

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God’s Gift By Lee Ann Mancini

What a unique children’s holiday book! I have never seen one like it before. The story opens with the sea families preparing for the holiday by decorating their caves and yards. Christian and Mary turtle are putting up their tree and lights getting ready for Christmas. Jacob and Jeremiah starfish are decorating for Hanukkah with their menorah. At the playground the friends begin to bicker about which is better, Christmas or Hanukkah and which yields the most gifts (a very important topic with children). As you can imagine nothing is resolved and the fuming kids go home. Arriving home they immediately vent their anger to their parents. The wise turtle and starfish parents arrange a meeting at each other’s houses to learn about the meanings of their very different celebrations. The young sea creatures learn many valuable lessons and respect for one another’s faith.
This book impressed me on many levels. First of all children of both the Jewish and Christian faith can enjoy it and gain understanding about beliefs and traditions unlike theirs. This is the one thing I feel makes it one of a kind! I was amazed that from the very beginning, Ms. Mancini shares the foundation of each faith’s holiday celebration in one sentence! Throughout the book there is the Star of David and a cross to find.
I appreciated there was no Santa Claus mentioned as I believe that takes away from our celebration of Christ’s birth, especially in the mind of a young child. I also applaud her for tackling the subject of kids overwhelming focus on receiving gifts! The sea parents help the children realize that presents are not what they celebrate and their true gifts are much greater. The parents are once again emphasized as those giving direction and wisdom to the youngsters. Of course as with all of the author’s books, prayer is a central part of the story.
This book took me back to my 2nd grade year. I had a dear friend, which I am still in touch with, that was Jewish. She belonged to my Bluebirds group too. I see now our mothers were wise women as we had a Christmas and Hanukkah party at separate times. It made our holiday celebrations very natural though unalike. Yes, I was focused on gifts and remember asking my mother if I could convert to Judaism as I was sure 8 days of festiveness would yield more loot than just one! I shared this recently with my dear friend 50 years later and we both had a good laugh.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated are my own.

God’s Gift By Lee Ann Mancini

What a unique children’s holiday book! I have never seen one like it before. The story opens with the sea families preparing for the holiday by decorating their caves and yards. Christian and Mary turtle are putting up their tree and lights getting ready for Christmas. Jacob and Jeremiah starfish are decorating for Hanukkah with their menorah. At the playground the friends begin to bicker about which is better, Christmas or Hanukkah and which yields the most gifts (a very important topic with children). As you can imagine nothing is resolved and the fuming kids go home. Arriving home they immediately vent their anger to their parents. The wise turtle and starfish parents arrange a meeting at each other’s houses to learn about the meanings of their very different celebrations. The young sea creatures learn many valuable lessons and respect for one another’s faith.
This book impressed me on many levels. First of all children of both the Jewish and Christian faith can enjoy it and gain understanding about beliefs and traditions unlike theirs. This is the one thing I feel makes it one of a kind! I was amazed that from the very beginning, Ms. Mancini shares the foundation of each faith’s holiday celebration in one sentence! Throughout the book there is the Star of David and a cross to find.
I appreciated there was no Santa Claus mentioned as I believe that takes away from our celebration of Christ’s birth, especially in the mind of a young child. I also applaud her for tackling the subject of kids overwhelming focus on receiving gifts! The sea parents help the children realize that presents are not what they celebrate and their true gifts are much greater. The parents are once again emphasized as those giving direction and wisdom to the youngsters. Of course as with all of the author’s books, prayer is a central part of the story.
This book took me back to my 2nd grade year. I had a dear friend, which I am still in touch with, that was Jewish. She belonged to my Bluebirds group too. I see now our mothers were wise women as we had a Christmas and Hanukkah party at separate times. It made our holiday celebrations very natural though unalike. Yes, I was focused on gifts and remember asking my mother if I could convert to Judaism as I was sure 8 days of festiveness would yield more loot than just one! I shared this recently with my dear friend 50 years later and we both had a good laugh.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated are my own…

I’m Not Afraid! By Lee Ann Mancini

Ms. Mancini has hit the mark on understanding another issue little folks face: Fear. With her colorful and whimsical characters she grabs their attention and helps them relate. Children avoid at all costs letting their friends know they are afraid . . . of anything! Possibly being made fun of and their childhood pride can’t bear the thought. When you think about it they are afraid of admitting they are afraid!
Susie shark finds herself in this exact same predicament at the Undersea Amusement Park with her friend Rachel octopus. Rachel wants to ride the new roller coaster ride but Susie is afraid. (Even adults can relate to this!) She makes excuses and tries to distract her friend from the idea with carnival games, less scary rides and binging on fair food. When Susie runs out of tactics her friend confronts her and uses the accusation every child dreads hearing: Scaredy-Cat!
Time is up! After making a call to her mom for advice and praying she faces her fear and as with most fears she finds out there was nothing to be afraid of! To add to the fun, there is a Bible symbol to look for throughout the book.
One thread runs through all of this series that I love is: Prayer. Some children are taught to pray before meals, but few are taught approach God with all of their needs. This teaches them to pray about everything but shows them that nothing is too small for the Lord to care about. The book reassures little ones that they are the only ones that are fearful, but best of all it shows them how to face it with prayer. I also liked the example of Susie calling her mom for advice. After conquering her roller-coaster fear, she realizes that with the Lord she has nothing to fear. This is a great lesson for children and adults alike! An exceptional book in every way!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. The opinions stated are my own.