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.

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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.

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.