Monday, April 23, 2012

Paws & Tales: Being Kind and Caring

This DVD contains two episodes of a delightful series for children created by Chuck Swindoll. The Club consists of some kids (animals who talk and are dressed like children) who are mentored by a big bear named “Papa Chuck.” Playing time is approximately 50 minutes. These two episodes are all about a go-cart race that gets out of hand in a number of ways. Taught amidst the action are forgiveness, teamwork, kindness and friendship. This reminds me of some of the cartoon series my children used to enjoy but with some character training thrown into the mix. The stories are highly enjoyable and ones my grandkids will enjoy watching over and over. Also included are some downloadable related activity files. I received my copy of this DVD from Tyndale House for review purposes.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Song of My Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

When I picked up this book to read I expected to have a wonderful time reading this book. As always, I was not disappointed. Kim Vogel Sawyer never disappoints. I love to read about read Christians with real life dilemmas and I love to read about Kansas so this book was a winning combination. A young girl (Sadie) is forced by circumstances to go to Kansas where her cousin has found her a position as a clerk in a mercantile and also an opportunity to sing in a new opera house. Her father’s illness has created a situation in which Sadie much earn money to support her parents and her young siblings.

When Sadie joins her cousin Sid in Goldtree, Kansas things aren’t quite what she had expected. She likes her job in the mercantile with the Baxter sisters, but their brother Asa who has hired her to sing isn’t quite on the up and up. Her growing affection for the new sheriff, Thad McKane, is complicated by the fact that Mr. Baxter wants her to keep some information about his operation secret.

This story is about an interesting piece of Kansas history – Prohibition. Ms. Sawyer has handled the subject in good detail and this puts human feelings and aspirations into what was a couple of rather uninteresting paragraphs in our history books.

The characters in the book are all interesting folks – Miss Shelva and Miss Melva, the twin sisters of Asa Baxter that seem to think in tandem; cousin Sid, who was Sadie’s favorite cousin in childhood and stands ready to defend her as a young adult; Thad McKane, whose past makes him want to do more for God and must discover what avenue God would have him pursue; Sadie, whose love of family puts her into an untenable position which her Christian upbringing pulls her through; and other people whose Christian lives shone through in their dealings with others.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House for review. But I definitely would have bought this one anyway!

The story kept me wondering how it would all turn out in the end and trusting that the faith of these people would set them free in the end. I love stories about people living their faith that aren’t preachy – just very REAL. Kim Vogel Sawyer is the Queen of making it REAL!