VeggieTales: The Best Christmas Ever! by Melinda Rumbaugh

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

In this festive VeggieTales book, the Veggies are celebrating Christmas—decorating the tree, singing carols, and exchanging gifts. But in the middle of all the activity—though it’s so much fun to give and receive presents—the Veggies all know that the greatest gift of all was God’s gift of Jesus, his Son. Children will love the colorful art featuring their favorite Veggie friends. Parents can use this book to introduce little ones to Jesus’ birth as the reason we rejoice at Christmastime.

Review:

VeggieTales has long since been a unique series that spreads the Word of God in creative ways for children of all ages. Though they have changed a lot in recent years from their original stories (and look), they still have the same goal, to tell kids how much God loves them and to make them wiser in their day to day lives.

The Best Christmas Gift Ever! is written in the newer style with the newer animation but it is a super cute book nonetheless. Without me trying to sound like the synopsis, it is a bright book with the intentions of spreading the real meaning of Christmas while also enjoying the usual traditions of the holiday season.

It’s writing is fun and engaging and the hardback, which has actual cardboard pages, is durable against even the toughest accidents (such as falling in the bath tub because the only time your toddler will listen to a story is, well, in the bath tub…). So with the upcoming season and the need for some smaller “stocking stuffers”, I highly recommend The Best Christmas Gift Ever! (pun may or may not have been intended…)! I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

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Rated: * * * * *

Meeting of the Mustangs by Cathy Kennedy

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

A black colt is born into a band of wild mustangs and soon learns that life can often be difficult. Follow his story as he goes from a free spirit to being captured for profit, and find out how one man gains the trust and extreme loyalty of a very special horse.

Review:

Fans of the popular Disney movie Spirit would absolutely love this story of a black colt as he goes through life as a free stallion across the wilds of the U.S.

The storyline is adventurous and will certainly keep the reader’s attention. The chapters are small enough to entertain younger readers with small attention spans but contain a good amount of substance to entertain the older audience. Though the intended audience is young teens and tweens, some of the content may be too emotional for the younger  animal lovers. To prevent spoilers, I won’t say anything else, however this book can be equally as emotional as the referenced Spirit. 

Overall, Meeting of the Mustangs is an excellently written book and I recommend it to horse lovers between the ages 10 and 14. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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Rated: * * * *

 

What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner by Sally Huss

The Synopsis:

In this book you’ll meet several fine-feathered folks (a duck, a goose, and a turkey) who, after some tricky beginnings, become friends. With amusing rhyming verse to tell the story, the point gets across… that anyone can become a friend. This story is one to tickle the heart of any child, and subtly spark the spirit of gratitude within them. It emphasizes the importance of being thankful. 

Review:

What’s For Thanksgiving Dinner is a super fun book that brings in the popular game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” to tell the story.

This book definitely allows the kids to visually see and understand the meaning of being thankful. The rhymes are fun to read aloud and the pictures are engaging and illustrate the story perfectly.

It’s meant to be a silly, entertaining book for kids aged from 2 to 8, so there are some things in the storyline that are inaccurate, such as a duck wishing to eat a goose and vise versa, etc., but I don’t think that this is worth deducting stars over.

Overall, I think that many kids will enjoy this Thanksgiving book all year long, because being thankful is for more than just one day. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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Rated: * * * *

 

The Roll-Away Pumpkin by Junia Wonders and Daniela Volpari

The Synopsis:

On a windy autumn day, Marla Little comes running down the hill yelling, “Help! My giant pumpkin is rolling away! Onward it goes, rolling and turning, with no sign of stopping! Diddle-dee-doo! Oh, what shall I do?”

A little girl chases her giant pumpkin all over town with some help along the way. It’s the perfect autumn bedtime story to read with your little pumpkin.

Review:

A giant pumpkin rolling out of control, it takes a village to stop it! In this fun little rhyming book, we follow a girl chasing her pumpkin in a desperate attempt to stop it.

The illustrations are gorgeous and capture the mood of the book with perfection while the writing brings the reader into the story in a fun way that is sure to keep the youngsters engaged in the story.

The only *possibly* questionable content is that one of the lines in the book refers to a “plump lady” and she is indeed, illustrated very plump. And though I don’t wish to be that reviewer that finds something to get offended about in every book, however I know from interacting with different children, that some kids who may struggle with obesity can be very sensitive to that and this may trigger certain emotions.

But despite the last said, I think the The Roll-Away Pumpkin is a cute book and can be enjoyed by both girls and boys to get into the Autumn mood, I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

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Rated: * * * *

Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch by Shana Gorian

The Synopsis:

On a sunny autumn day brother and sister James and Mandy head to the pumpkin patch with their friendly dog, Rosco, to choose a pumpkin for Halloween. While riding a hay wagon, visiting a petting zoo, and joining the kids on a scavenger hunt, Rosco sometimes makes mischief. But when the kids find trouble deep inside the corn maze, will Rosco shape up and help out? Join the kids and their rascally dog for fun and adventure in Rosco The Rascal Visits The Pumpkin Patch.

Review:

Rosco the Rascal is a charming character that reminded me a bit of the beloved Hank the Cowdog, but for a slightly younger audience.

The story is adventurous, exhilarating, and well written for the intended audience of about 6 to 10 years old. The characters will be loved by the readers and kids, both boys and girls, will adore Rosco as he and his human family visit the pumpkin patch.

I know that many families will not care about the content in support of Halloween in this particular book and their tradition of pumpkin carving, but I am aware that some families may be looking for a simple book celebrating the fall season exempt of Halloween and if that is the case then unfortunately you will be disappointed. There is a good deal of Halloween content ranging from Jack-o-lanturn carving to scary scarecrows and pranks in the corn maze, but as I said, most families won’t be bothered by this content.

So in overall, I give Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch 4 out of 5 stars and will definitely be keeping my eye out for other books in his series.

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Rated: * * * *

The Time Key by Melanie Bateman

I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.

The Synopsis:

As Stanley got closer, he saw two figures beating on a lone man, while four others stood back to watch. “Hey!” Stanley’s voice sounded hoarse in his ears. “Leave him be!”

SHADOWS THAT MOVE ON THEIR own, a mysterious device that looks like a pocket watch, a man on the run from monsters that exist in dreams—all are connected to Stanley because he interrupted a mugging. Now Stanley holds the Time Key, an object that allows him to travel through time. With the extraordinary gift of being able to see both the past and the future, he may be the only one who can save his family.

Review:

The Time Key takes a bit of a twist on the usual time traveling stories, where instead of a time machine, we follow the main character with his ever handy time key.

Though the storyline is enjoyable and well thought out, it progresses so slowly that I felt like I was never getting any further into the story, that with every chapter I had more questions than answers and the ending was, unfortunately, weak in providing those answers.

I did enjoy the action that took place, as well as each and every one of the characters, I just couldn’t get into the story as much as I would have liked to. But when looking at the book’s content, I was pleased that it was clean of any swearing as well as nothing sexual. The action had a tendency to get decently detailed and because the perps are shadows, some readers may be disturbed by how they gruesomely kill their victims. As for morals, there was a good amount of family bonding and understanding that the mistakes of the past don’t define who we are but they do guide the future, also that dwelling on the past often corrupts the future.

So overall, I give The Time Key 3 out of 5 stars and am resolved to say that this book simply wasn’t for me, but some of you who follow Literature Approved will more than likely enjoy it.

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Rated: * * *