Friday, December 4, 2009

God Gave Us Christmas / God Gave Us Love / Treasured



Title: GOD GAVE US CHRISTMAS
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Illustrator: David Hohn
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
October 2009
ISBN: 1-4000-7175-5
Genre: Childrens

Little Cub and her family are preparing for Christmas, but Little Cub has some questions about it, such as “Is God more important than Santa?” Mama decides to take Little Cub off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas.

Along the way, Little Cub and Mama find signs of how God works all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that…

“Jesus is the best present of all.”

GOD GAVE US CHRISTMAS is a charming story with beautiful illustrations. I liked how Mama Bear showed Little Cub how Jesus was the reason for the season, and how she pointed all the ways that God showed himself to those who cared to look.

I read this story out loud to my four year old and my seven year old and both were enchanted by it. My oldest son listened in and made some comments about how there were some very good points brought out in the story. GOD GAVE US CHRISTMAS would make a beautiful gift for your favorite child this holiday season, or even for slightly before when your child starts asking questions about Santa Claus and God. $9.99 hardcover.


****


Title: GOD GAVE US LOVE
Author: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Illustrated by: Laura J. Bryant
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7447-1
Genre: Childrens

Little Cub and Grandpa are going fishing, but their fishing trip is interrupted by mischievous otters that want to play instead of letting them fish. Getting irritated at the otters, Little Cub questions Grandfather about why we must love others—even the seemingly unlovable.

Grandpa attempts to answer Little Cub’s questions by giving tender explanations that teaches Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grandpa explains that all love comes from God and that we must show love to others because…

“Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”

GOD GAVE US LOVE is a sweet and beautifully illustrated picture book that is sure to delight the hearts of your small children. I read GOD GAVE US LOVE to my four year old and seven year old, and both of them were enthralled by the story.

The book is well-written with characters that even parents can’t help but love, and has valuable lessons for small children, especially when you are trying to teach them to be nice to those that irritate them. Pick up a copy of GOD GAVE US LOVE for your favorite child. $10.99 hardcover.

****


Title: TREASURED
Author: Leigh McLeroy
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7481-5
Genre: Inspirational/Christian Living

Every treasure tells a story. And this story has your name on every line. (from the back cover)

TREASURED begins with a story of what Ms. McLeroy received when her grandfather died. A cigar box, filled with the things that had been in her grandfather’s possession when he died. His wallet. His keys. And a few other miscellaneous items. Other people put their treasures on refrigerator doors, scrapbooks, sock drawers, and top shelves. And if we open these places we discover the story of whom or what we’ve loved, how we lived, and what matters most to us.

Ms. McLeroy maintains that God is a collector too, and his treasures are tucked away in the pages of His book. An olive leaf. A fig leave. A scarlet thread. A few grains of barley. A blood-stained cloth. According to the author, each of these reveals a facet of His heart, and tells the story of a Father who treasures us.

In TREASURED, Ms. McLeroy considers reminders of God’s active presence and guides us in discovering evidence in our own lives of his love.

TREASURED is a small, gift-book sized volume, that would, actually, be good for gift-giving. I read through this book as a devotional, as it opens with a verse, then goes into a personal story, then the biblical story, with more verses. The chapters are a bit longer than your normal devotional, and I didn’t always have the time to sit and read through it all in one sitting, but there are good breaking points where you can close the book, go do what you need to do, and then come back to it.

I found that TREASURED tended to ramble a bit, and was a bit unfocused at times, but it still gave me much to consider, as I paused to think about why on earth would—say, a fig-leaf—be important to God! It marked a terrible time in history, when man disobeyed God and invited sin into the world. But as I continued through the book, I realized it was not so much the item, but the actions of God that shows God’s personality, his behavior, his holiness.

TREASURED would be a good book for anyone to receive for Christmas. It will show them that they are important to the Heavenly Father. $14.99 hardcover. 200 pages.


Author Bios:

Leigh McLeroy is the author of The Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary. An avid collector and recorder of everyday moments, words, and wonders, Leigh’s keen eye for God’s presence in ordinary life infuses her writing and living with a deep, insistent joy. A frequent conference and event speaker, the author makes her home in Houston , Texas , and posts often on www.leighmcleroy.com and www.wednesdaywords.com.

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado , with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

to learn more about or purchase these books at RandomHouse.com:

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074815

http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400074471

ttp://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400071753

These books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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