Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Summer Reading Can be Fun!

Summer is coming, and every parent knows that children need to keep learning and growing even when they're not in school. I encourage you to pick up some of my books (or other books) and set aside time to read every day. Many of my books have games, crafts and other activities, so summer is a good time to do them.

Today I'm going to share about my books for the youngest readers. These are all for girls. Unfortunately I don't have books specifically for boys. My own boys have, of course, read the books and done the crafts in my books for girls. The older ones even helped me create the crafts for the books.

All of  my books are faith based and contain Scripture relevant to the topic and able to be understood by children.

The Just for Me! series says on the cover that it's for ages 6-9. I dislike that they put it on the cover. They are too easy for many nine year olds, and a four or five year old could understand the stories and do the activities with the help of an older sibling or parent.
 Just for Me! Friends 

Here is a review from Christian Children's Book Reviews:
Just For Me! Friends: A Fun Guide Just For Girls Ages 6-9, written and illustrated by Katrina Cassel, is, as the title says, “a fun guide just for girls.”

This girl-friendly book is packed with information and ideas about friendship. The book is divided into nine chapters. Each chapter deals with some aspect of friendship, such as the definition of a friend, how to be a good friend, and tips on finding and making friends.

Each chapter also has at least one friendship-related puzzle, Bible verse and “girl story.” Many chapters also have activities and quizzes. The book is interactive with places throughout the pages for the reader to record their thoughts and ideas.

Numerous pencil-sketches illustrate the pages. Answers to the puzzles can be found in the back of the book.

What I Like: Everything.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Some of the crafts included in this book are a friendship frame made from puzzle pieces (If you don't have a puzzle with lots of missing pieces to use, you can get one at the dollar store. Small pieces work best.), a paper chain with loops that say things you like about your friends, a friendship collage, a stand up photo and friendship crackers (like English Christmas crackers).

Chapter eight of the book has 15 (!!) things to do with a friend (or sibling). They would all make good family activities. They include games, crafts, recipes and other ideas.

You could read part of a chapter each night as a family activity and choose an activity from chapter eight to do on the weekend.

Here are several sister groups reading Just for Me: Friends together.

If you can't find the book at your local Christian bookstore, you can order it on amazon here.

Just for Me! My Family

Here are two reviews from moms who have read the book with their families.
My daughters and I have been reading this book together and we just love it! We have really enjoyed the fun activities included in the book and my girls look forward to reading together each day. We love that it all comes from a biblical perspective and that the girls are learning important things, like working together!

Our family has adopted several older children and we are working on building our family and sibling relationships. The kids have enjoyed the short lessons and activities. I like that it has a Biblical perspective.

In this book, girls will learn about the first family, find out why God made families, learn more about their parents, f ind out how to get along better with siblings, find ways to work together as a family, discover new ideas for family fun, discover ideas for serving together and learn fun facts about families.

Each chapter of the book features a Bible family (in rebus) and an animal family. Chapter One talks about the purpose of families and features Adam and Eve. The animals family feature is Koala Joeys. The craft is a family tree. Our family adapted it by giving it roots with adoptive parent names on them. The family activity is an indoor bowling game.

This one includes siblings.

 All the family trees came out a little different. 
 Bowling game made from cups

The book is especially good for non traditional families.

 We read through this book last summer and fall. I owe the kids a trip to the zoo. I told them after we'd read about all the animal families, we'd go to the zoo and see them.

 The activities in this book are younger than what the age on the book says. For instance, when I asked for a maze, they first created one that had only one path! When I asked for it to be harder, they made two paths. A three year old could do it, but the other activities are fun and can be done together.

This book is especially good for families with adopted children. Each chapter can be a springboard to discussions about families, family roles and other issues that we face with children who come from orphanages. Or even out of foster care.

Below are the links to the activities we did from this book. If you have time, check them out. Then you will know if the book would be of interest to your family.
family tree
bowling game
penguin cupcakes
candy tic tac toe--a favorite!
Frisbee game

We did the final project--a pinata--for Easter. The recipe in the book is wrong, just add flour and water until it's goopy! We painted the pinata rather than using tissue paper. 
pinata start to finish 

Another family got very creative with the project.

If you can't find it in your local Christian bookstore, order it here

Just for Me! The Bible

Here is the review from Christian Children's Book Reviews
The Just for Me! series includes a number of nonfiction activity books targeting specific age ranges. This title, Just for Me: The Bible, is "a fun guide just for girls ages 6-9." Written by Katrina Cassel, it incorporates stories, puzzles, games and activities with solid information about the Bible.
This book follows sisters Katie and Sarah as they encounter life. Each of their stories relates back to a lesson or introduces a specific story or fact from or about the Bible. Their father serves as a guide on this journey of discovery.
The text is broken into ten chapters. Each includes several invitations for interaction, from mazes, Rebus activities and memory verses to crafts, quizzes and codes to decipher. Every book of the protestant Bible is presented, from Genesis to Revelation, with at least one major story from that book.
The illustrations by Shelley Dieterichs offer simple line drawings done in black and white. An additional novelty: the book comes with a cross-shaped carabiner.

This books offers an excellent foundation of biblical knowledge for young girls and does it in an interesting way. I like that the information goes beyond Bible stories to Bible knowledge, like who wrote the Bible, how long did it take, etc. The activities are varied, which is great for maintaining interest. I also like the connections made between then and now. Sarah and Katie's stories help show how relevant the Bible is to us today. This book would be a wonderful tool for road trips!

This book will give girls an overview of the Bible. If your daughter already knows a lot about the Bible, this book may be too easy, and you might want to read The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible instead.

The book takes readers from Genesis to Revelation using stories, Scripture, quizzes, puzzles, crafts and activities.

This book, along with the previous books, are a good size to take along on trips. You can read them anywhere.

 If you can't find it in your local Christian bookstore, order it here. See how many unique places you can read these books!

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