Monthly Book Review

Children’s Books

Guess How Much I Love You

The first book for the monthly book review is Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. This book has been around since the mid ’90s. It was published by Candlewick Press.

Guess How Much I Love You fills your heart. When reading it your child, you can tell them how much you love them through this story. It has some funny moments like when the little hare pulls down the big hare’s ears to make sure that big hare was listening. It makes you want to say aw at the end when the two hares lay down next to each other under the stars and whisper “I love you.”

The pictures are very well done, despite only using a few colors throughout. It is simple but effective. The writing is well done as children think exactly the way the little hare does. That being said, as an adult and as children learn to read using this book, the names Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare are not easy to say. They tend to ruin the flow of the rest of the dialogue that is smooth the whole way through.

Overall, this book is one I would recommend. The pictures are clear and fun, the words flow, and the book teaches how much a parent and a child can love each other.



Goodnight Moon

©HarperCollins Publishers

Goodnight Moon is the classic children’s story. It covers many of the popular ideas like the cow jumping over the moon and three bears sitting in chairs. These ideas actually reference The Runaway Bunny, also by Margaret Wise Brown. The cow jumping over the moon picture in Goodnight Moon matches the original in The Runaway Bunny, as well as the fishing illustration of The Runaway Bunny being another picture on the wall in Goodnight Moon. A third spot is the open book of The Runaway Bunny on the shelf of the bookcase in Goodnight Moon. The rhyming ritual and fun ideas are what helped sell millions of copies.

The sentence lengths vary from a couple words to about 10. This variety provides the ability to grow for children learning to read. The pictures are detailed well and are both in black and white and color.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really any type of plot. Although, it does follow how a child may say good night to anything he or she sees. Children do this because they feel a connection to these items and provides a ritual that kids follow. It is this ode to the familiar that connects with children.

A fun thing for kids to look for is the mouse on each of the colored pages. It is something they can do even if they are unable to read yet. It also follows an easy rhyming pattern in each of the sequences. I recommend this book as it is a classic children’s book and should stay that way.



Parenting Books

Dad Time “Savoring the God-Given Moments of Fatherhood”

©2014 Max Lucado

Published by Thomas Nelson

Dad Time “Savoring the God-Given Moments of Fatherhood” focuses on the special and unique moments of fatherhood as the subtitle suggests. The book is a mixture of bible verses, personal stories, and snippets of advice. This combination makes this collection a quick but intriguing read. The personal stories and advice are actually from either prior books or sermons preached by Max Lucado.

Lucado begins with reminding us that our children are God’s children and we need to give them to Him. But it starts with us dads looking to Jesus, trusting in who God is. We are reminded by one of Max’s sermon notes, “Dads, when you lead by example, you are sowing eternal seeds.” It is the example of Jesus’ unconditional love that we need to exemplify to our children. Our job is to watch over our children, keep them safe, and most importantly, Lucado states, “help your child walk in the way of the master.” He also provides these key attributes needed during fatherhood: commitment, spending quality time, and grace. These help our children understand that we will always be there for them and want them to be who they really are.

The end of the book brings together a couple key themes that flow throughout: our lives and our kids’ lives are works in progress, that Jesus paid for something we cannot truly fathom, and despite our doubts—trust in Him.