We had a chance to review If He Had Not Come from David Nicholson. It is a book related to Christmas that is ideal for ages 6 and up.
If He Had Not Come is a thought-provoking story about what it would be like if Jesus had not come. Despite being excited about Christmas the next day, Bobby can’t get the words “If I had not come” out of his head after reading the Bible with his dad. Except the next day didn’t seem like Christmas at all! Not only were stores open, factories working, etc. nobody even knew what Christmas was! Could he be imagining this?
This world without Jesus is not only confusing, but scary as well! There are no churches, no hospitals, no places to help the needy. It is really thought-provoking, not just for the kids, but for us as well! What would life be like if Jesus hadn’t come? There definitely wouldn’t be Christmas, but what else would be different? Would we face a world without churches and places to care for the needy? A world where being kind just isn’t the “normal?” Could you imagine being the only one who knew about Jesus and understood that this is what life would be like if He had not come?
Although the book is recommended for ages 6 and older, it’s not uncommon for our 4 year old to also sit in on a story with our other 2 children as well (ages 6 and 8). At first, he didn’t seem interested, and I didn’t expect him to be. Although the illustrations are beautiful, the story line really is in depth. Surprisingly, though, he eventually decided he wanted to join in as well!
What I appreciate about If He Had Not Come is not only does it offer an important message in a thought-provoking story, but it also offers the opportunity to dig deeper in the back of the book. There are a variety of questions to discuss the book from basic overview questions to more in depth discussions, activities, etc.
Because our children are younger, we went over the basic questions/discussion that are first listed. Even then, it was a lot more discussing on my part to encourage responses. I only went over the questions and discussions with our older two children. They do have challenges with open-ended questions, but I still thought it was very constructive and helpful to really reinforce the important message reflected in the story.
It asks them to think about how they would feel if they had a day like Bobby where he discovered Jesus hadn’t come. Is it confusing, scary, a little bit of everything? It asks them to consider more deeply what would life be like if Jesus hadn’t come. What might not be here? What might people be like if they never knew Jesus? It’s really a great set of questions!
Overall, I think If He Had Not Come is a great Christmas book for children because it really helps reinforce what Christmas is all about and helps children to understand the importance of Christmas – celebrating Jesus’s birth. How blessed we are that he did come! If He Had Not Come can be purchased for $18.95.
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Many members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed If He Had Not Come with their families with children of multiple ages. Click the banner below to read their reviews!
We had the chance to review The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Peter Rabbit at the Farm from Kinder Cottage Publishing. I love Peter Rabbit and even had the nursery adorned with Peter Rabbit when our two youngest kids were babies. So I love that Tales of Peter Rabbit are adaptations of the original works from Duff Graham for the Henry Altemus Company.
Although the original works were written in the 1900’s, they have updated some of the text to language we use today. What I appreciate, though, is that they are true to the original works. There were phrases we don’t use today that I think really brought the stories to life. I love feeling like we’re experiencing everything the story is – including the history that is reflected in the language.
The beautiful illustrations also stay true to the original works and really tell the story through the illustrations. Our kids really liked them as well. They’re so unique and different than modern illustrations.
The books are ideal for ages 3-9. They are too advanced for our children to read themselves as our oldest two both have reading delays. They read at around a late Kindergarten to early 1st Grade level. I believe children in the upper range could read them without assistance. For us, they have become part of our both our nighttime reading and read aloud time during our homeschool circle time.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
The Tale of Peter Rabbit is like the introduction to Peter Rabbit. It gives us insight to his adventurous, mischievous character as well as his family and why it’s so important to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden! It is fun and full of adventure. It definitely keeps our kids’ attention.
There were a couple of statements that are a little straight-forward like finding out why they need to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden because of what happened to his father. I think I was the one that was a little surprised the first time, but it didn’t phase our kids at all.
I like that through Peter’s adventures we learn a lot about character in general. I think the takeaway lesson is that we should obey our parents because they love us and want to protect us. Choosing not to can result in consequences like getting yourself into dangerous situations. We actually discussed it afterwards, which I always love those teachable moments.
Peter Rabbit at the Farm
Peter Rabbit at the Farm begins with a short introduction to Peter Rabbit, so if you are new to the stories you can still choose to read this story first. It also gives us a preface of an upcoming tale as well.
Of course, he was ready for mischief again and he was off to more adventures. In this book we get to meet so many different characters! I love that Peter goes beyond being mischievous but also sets on a mission to help others. Not only that, but he showed leadership to solve the problem by delegating others to help with tasks.
He went on to make more friends. He got into more trouble, too! He realized it was time to go home!
I think there are many lessons in this story from friendship, leadership, and what happens when you get too curious!
We really enjoy both books. They are small, hardback books about the height of my hand. They have around 60 pages, but there is usually text on one page and an illustration on the other. Plus, most pages have just a short paragraph.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Peter Rabbit at the Farm can be purchased for $4.00 each.
The Peter Rabbit series contains a total of 10 books. Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed the various books. To check out their reviews click on the button below!
Disclosure: I received the Bosley’s New Friends (French-English) book to facilitate my Dual-Language Children’s Book Review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and those of my family.
We are teaching our children French, which is the other language I know fairly well. I studied it through high school and while I was in college. It was only natural for me to include it in our children’s education as well! Unfortunately, though, because it isn’t taught to young children as frequently, helpful resources can be scarce. I believe this can be said of many languages. This is particularly true of resources beyond a formal curriculum.
When I was introduced to Bosley’s New Friends, I could not believe all of the languages in which it’s available. In fact, on Bosley, the Language Bear there is a dual language book available in many different languages as well as a variety of titles.
What I find most appealing about Bosley’s New Friends is not only is it offered in many languages (these include: Spanish, German, Italian, French, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Hindi), but the story itself is also about language.
Bosley is wanting to play with other animals but can’t understand why they won’t play with him. He is having a hard time understanding why they don’t understand him when he talks and why he doesn’t understand them. After speaking with his dad he learns about how they speak different languages and how we can learn a new language one word at a time – sometimes by just watching, listening and trying to understand.
I think this is a wonderful message for young children because to some, learning another language comes easily while to others it may not be as easy. It’s a good reminder that it takes time and patience, which is what Bosley had to learn. Eventually he learned many of the words spoken by the other animals and made many new friends! To me, this message also helps to express the ability to build bridges to connect to others who speak another language or even live in another country. Learning another language is building a connection with those that speak that language.
We have used a variety of techniques to teach our children French, and I am definitely excited to add Bosley’s New Friends to our book list. I, personally, choose to read the page in English first and then in French. You can approach how you use it to the way you feel your children will best learn. Sometimes I choose to read it in French only and point the pictures as I’m saying the words they are learning. I also point to the pictures when reading in French after I have read the English as well to reinforce what had been read.
Story interruptions are usually discouraged, but I definitely allow them to stop me and ask questions or confirm their thoughts. “Oh, so ‘les oiseaux’ are ‘the birds!'” Then their faces light up when I confirm it or answer their questions. All three children (ages 8, 6, and 4) really enjoy Bosley’s New Friends and have all interjected thoughts or asked questions. So I know they not only enjoy the story but really are learning from it as well!
The Bosley the Language Bear books are more than just two languages, which really adds to the learning experience. It uses repeating words to reinforce that word, opposites, highlighted text, corresponding imagery and contextual learning. Learn more about Bosley’s Dual Language Books.
I think dual language books are a fantastic way to teach and reinforce another language, and I think Bosley the Language Bear really covers all of the bases. In fact, I would say they go above and beyond! I was so impressed with the details and approach to learning that they use and will definitely be checking out other titles!
Bosley the Language Bear also offers great resources on their website like a Free Teacher’s Guide and a blog!
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Disclosure: Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing a copy of The Sparkle Egg to facilitate my Easter book review. No additional compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own and those of my family and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.
Before Christmas, I had the chance to review The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie. It is a great story to focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas and offers a great tradition we started with our family and are excited to continue.
When presented with the opportunity to review The Sparkle Egg also by Jill Hardie, I was excited to share it with our family knowing it would focus on the true reason we celebrate Easter. I was excited to learn more about how it offers a symbol of the true promise of Easter and how we can make it a tradition for our family.
In The Sparkle Egg Sam is feeling guilty about a lie he told his parents and can’t seem to shake that feeling even though they told him they forgave him. On Good Friday they make a special Easter craft – the Sparkle Egg. He was told to draw a picture of anything he felt guilty about or ashamed of and place it in the Sparkle Egg.
On Easter morning when he opens his Sparkle Egg it’s empty! This is a reminder that Jesus died for us and rose again, and we are forgiven. Those things are wiped away.
I think this is such a wonderful lesson that kids can really understand. Our kids are ages 7, 6, and 3, and I felt like they all understood the concept. Although we haven’t made our own Sparkle Eggs yet, it is a tradition we will be starting this Easter. I think it is a great way to remember what Jesus did for us and remember we are forgiven. It’s a very real concept for children to understand God’s perfect grace – something even adults struggle with sometimes!
Once again, I am so happy to share something so important with our children in a way that they can understand. I love to share a moment with our children, and I’m excited to make The Sparkle Egg part of our Easter Tradition. How will you #ShareAMoment this Easter?
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Would you like to win The Sparkle Egg children’s Easter book? The giveaway will run from 3/29 – 4/12 at 11pm Central time and is open to US and Canada (void Quebec) ages 18+. Enter the giveaway here.