Thursday, March 1

God Gave Us Love

I love all of Lisa Tawn Bergren's picture books!  We began with God Gave Us You continued on with God Gave Us Two, and have just finished reading the new boardbook God Gave Us Love for the first time.

My children love to read and, even though they can read themselves now, having me read a picture book to them is special.  Some of my fondest memories were when my brother and I would spend the night at my Grandma's house.  From elementary through high school, she'd read picture books to us at bedtime. That's not something you ever outgrow!

God Gave Us Love is very well-written.  Because of the sweet, eternal message it has, reading it to your children will be sure to bond you even closer together.  The illustrations are beautiful.  The story itself is something special along the lines of Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny (which is a classic in children's literature you should definitely read if you haven't already!)  I have to admit, I like this story even better than the famous Miss Brown's because of the inspirational message within its pages. This one is meant for babies and toddlers--it is in a board book format.

I highly recommend this book and am so glad I had the opportunity to review it!  I also recommend the others I've read in the series: God Gave Us You and God Gave Us Two. You can read my reviews of them by clicking their titles.  Or you can read excerpts from each of them at Amazon. : )

The wonderful people at Waterbrook Multnomah provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of this review.  All views presented are my own.

Sweeter Than Birdsong

Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles . . . but real freedom is sweeter.
I love the book Sweeter than Birdsong not simply because it's an inspirational romantic story, but because it is based on the lives of real people: Kate Winter, who was the first American woman to receive a college diploma (from Otterbein College in Ohio, to be precise) and Ben Hamby, who was a songwriter and abolitionist before the Civil War.

A stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real events.

The author, Rosslyn Elliott, wrote a captivating story which kept me hooked.  I loved and admired her characters.  The heroine, Kate, changes very much throughout the story; she overcomes both severe shyness (which I've struggled with in my own life and could relate to) and she realizes she can do so much more to bring people to freedom than she ever realized.  When life opens Kate's eyes to a great need, she doesn't turn away from it like so many people sadly do--she faces it head-on.  The decisions and the sacrifices she makes to bring slaves to the freedom she knows is touching and powerful.

Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage-and her voice-if she is to sing a new song for their future.

This book made me want to delve further into the true stories of Kate Winter and Ben Hamby, and it gave me a better understanding of the  Underground Railroad.  Sweeter than Birdsong was a fast, easy read, but it was by no means purely entertainment.  It is something very much worth reading and I highly recommend it!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at Litfuse for providing me with this book to review!