The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia #2) by C.S. Lewis

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official blurb
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy find their way through an old wardrobe into the world of Narnia. There, they unite with Aslan to fight the White Witch and save Narnia from perpetual Darkness.

my blurb!
Three siblings discover a magical land and then come to find that it is their destiny to save it.

3.5 stars

 

what i liked
I can vividly picture the scenes in this book.  I mean, I have seen the movie, so maybe that was why- but I’m gonna say that it was because of how descriptive it was.
There is something so magical about discovering an entirely new world within the confines of a house.  I don’t think that walking into that wardrobe will ever be anything short of amazing for me!
The overall allegory in this story is so well written- there is no room for confusion and it is so easily understood in the mind of a child.  I mean… it’s really pretty cool.  For instance- turkish delight is so good, it’s sinful.  See what I did there?  I couldn’t help myself.  Edmond has a taste of turkish delight and that is soon all he can think about.  It becomes an unquenchable desire to have more turkish delight regardless of the EXTREME consequences it would take to acquire more.

what i didn't like
Edmond sucks so badly.  I mean, wow- he is AWFUL.  I should mention that he isn’t inherently sucky- his siblings (or maybe the narrator) mention that he went away to boarding school and came back with this level of suckage.  He is a genuine unkind soul and I just got so irritated reading about him!
There is a scene featuring Aslan and Edmond and that scene was perfectly awkward in every way.
I think that Peter is portrayed as mean to Edmond.  And I didn’t really like that! Not that Peter was mean, but that he came across that way.  Because seriously, Peter said everything I wanted to say to Edmond.
Again, just as in The Magician’s Nephew, the sexism in this book was off putting for me.  Just so many constant insults about girls.

Overall, I thought I was going to like this book more.  I discovered when reading my copy, that I had actually read the book in college but I hadn’t remembered that at all!  So there are a few reasons that perhaps I didn’t like it as much- being a kids book and a reread, and having already seen the movie.  But I will say, that that has not stopped my love from blooming in the past.
Also, you know when it snows and everything is a beautiful winter wonderland and people all around you make references to Narnia?  I just want to point out that when Narnia was in this perpetual state of winter, it was being ruled by a dark and evil queen.  (Did I just make it obvious that I don’t like winter?)

 

while reading you should
Listen: The Blue Planet by Hans Zimmer
Watch: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe movie!
Eat: Turkish delight! (oh… that’s gross? Okay,  eat dark chocolate brownies.)

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The Magician’s Nephew (The Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S. Lewis

the magicians nephew

 

official blurb
In this unforgettable story, British schoolchildren Polly and Digory inadvertently tumble into the Wood Between the Worlds, where they meet the evil Queen Jadis and, ultimately, the great, mysterious King Aslan. We witness the birth of Narnia and discover the legendary source of all the adventures that are to follow in the seven books that comprise the series.

my blurb!
Read chronologically, this is the first book in The Chronicle of Narnia series, telling the origin story of the creation of Narnia.

4 out of 5

what i liked
This was a great start to The Chronicles of Narnia series. I really enjoyed reading it!  I had a hand injury when I started doing this buddy read, and was in a bit of a time crunch to complete it – so I actually read the print version and listened to the audiobook version in order to finish it on time.  And I would recommend either version of this book.
This is written for young readers.  I know you’re wondering, “How do you love it so much when you’re not a young reader?”  First of all, don’t be rude. Secondly, I really enjoyed the writing style! I was nervous that the old english would overtake me, but because it was written for kids it was a lot less intimidating!
This book features great quotes, amazing life lessons and a lot of Christian allegories throughout.
My favorite part about it, was probably all of the snide references about people who think they’re better than everyone else.
Shout out to Polly (why isn’t that name more popular by the way? What a cute name!) and to Aslan.  They were my favorite characters in the book!
The last big pro of the story for me was the final chapter.  It was a great wrap up for the story- almost more epilogue-ish.  And I love a good epilogue!

Now, I know I mentioned this is a kids book, but I also feel the need to mention that the queen was SCARY.  Lewis did a great job with her, I had no compassion for her whatsoever because – wowzah- that woman was out of control.  This isn’t in the pro or con column for the book- but I wanted to mention that if you’re thinking about reading this book to your kids.

what i didn't like
Diggory was so completely annoying in this story.  He is one of our main characters and oh boy, I found him so frustrating.  The uncle in the story was also way too much for me, but it made you really dislike him and he wasn’t supposed to be likable so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
There are a lot of statements about women being lesser than men throughout this book.  Insults to girls overall.  Now, this book was dedicated to a girl, and I feel that Lewis overall does have the girls stand above the boys as far as plot goes.  So if you’re studying the book, you would probably notice that and let it go. However, since this is a book for children, I’m not sure if they would easily separate the girl insults from the overall character arch.

while reading you should
Do: go on a walk in the countryside.
Listen: Zero by Hans Zimmer
Drink: tea. (this is an English book, afterall)

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Let’s Get Ready for Bed by Michael W. Smith

lets get ready for bed

 

I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my free and honest review.

official blurb
From Grammy Award-winning artist Michael W Smith and the co-creator of Veggietales Mike Nawrocki comes Let’s Get Ready for Bed, the second in a series of bedtime books in the Nurturing Steps line. This sweet and sleepy picture book will lull your little one to sleep with their favorite stuffed animal characters the Nighty Nights.

my blurb!
A Christian themed book featuring friends and a bedtime routine.

3 out of 5

what i liked
This book starts with a page in the beginning with who the book is gifted from and who it is for.  Every children’s book should start out with that!
Rhyming is always in the plus column for me. And this book has it! Books are just more fun to read to your kids when they rhyme!
This book is educational.  For instance, one of the pages goes over why kids wear pajamas to bed.

This book would be great for ages : 4- 5 yrs old

what i didn't like
This book is long!  I think there could be page numbers on it.  It is 20 pages long, which made it too long for my 2 and 3 year old.
The premise of the book was a bit odd.  It’s two friends who watch their other friend, Puppy, get ready for bed. And after watching Puppy do quite the routine before bed, Puppy finally sees them and they all sing a song together.

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I review for BookLook Bloggers

The Gift That I Can Give by Kathie Lee Gifford

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I received a free copy of this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

official blurb
The Gift That I Can Give is a heartwarming story from Kathie Lee Gifford of how all children have something they can do today to make a difference. Whether it is being kind, giving a family member an extra-big squeeze, visiting someone who is sick, or cheering on a friend, this story will inspire children, leading them to want to read it again and again.

my blurb!
A children’s book about a girl trying to figure out how to use the gift that God has given her.  Perfect for kids age 2- 4 years old.

3.75 our of 5

what i liked
Wow the illustrations in this book were amazing!  They were done by Julia Seal and I will quickly be looking her up to see what else she has illustrated.  They did a great job of keeping my littles attention (which is not always easy to do).
I also appreciated the cover value of this book- it features glitter (that does not come off on everything), and butterflies.  My kids saw it and immediately wanted to read it!
The biggest compliment that I can give this story is that as soon as I finished it for the first time, my two-year old asked me to read it again immediately!
I loved the message of this book, God gives you a gift that may not be extravagant but is a great and useful blessing.
I also appreciated seeing multicultural kids in this book!

what i didn't like
I love a rhyming book with good cadence. They are my favorite to read to my littles!  But there were a couple of pages that didn’t flow well for me.  This is a big downside for me because as the reader- it’s one of the biggest incentives for me to read it 1000+ times for my kiddos.

Overall the illustrations in this book and the message of the book were a big win for me.

while reading you should
Pray with your kids!
Listen to: Jesus Loves Me
Ask your kids what they want to do to show kindness and use God’s gift!

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God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia J Newbell

official blurb
God’s very good idea is to have lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other. This stunningly illustrated journey from the garden of Eden to God’s heavenly throne room shows how despite our sinfulness, everyone can be a part of God’s very good idea through the saving work of Christ. This book will help children see how people from all ethnic and social backgrounds are valuable to God and how Jesus came to rescue all kinds of people. It will also excite them about being part of church.

my blurb!
A 32 page children’s book about God’s goal- to love everyone.

5 out of 5

what i liked
The illustrations are amazing! While reading this to my toddlers, I thought there was NO way this book would keep their attention with all of its words combined with its length. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong and well… I was wrong! (Sheesh, what do you want, blood?!)  The pictures in this book are amazing. You’ll love them.
The message! The whole point of this book is to reiterate to kids over and over again- that God loves EVERYONE and you need to too!

what i didn't like
Nothing! It was a great and easy read! And in my case with littles, it was a read that I will continue to read until I can read it no more.

when to read
All day every day! This book is required reading for kids!

while reading you should
Sing: Yes, Jesus Loves Me
Eat: popcorn (this suggestion is for no reason other than my littles love eating popcorn right now)

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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