Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading



37 words

a gentle book

a teaching book

worth reading again…and again

art is so Tomie dePaola

This sweet little book calls us to open our eyes and see all that is around us…the tiny and the large.  Let us be grateful for all that is set before us, from a ladybug to a flower to a rainbow as well as each another.  Having gratitude can turn our worlds around and upside down in positive ways.  Each day is new, filled with much for which to give thanks.

Tomie de Paola’s illustrations are his usual types of drawings, and so perfect for this book.  Pale yellow pages are the background for the drawings, colored with gentle aquas, greens, yellows, tans, and oranges.  He used acrylics on tea-stained Arches 150 pound paper.

Age Range: 2 – 5 Years


Tomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is well-known for his children’s books.  Over 15 million copies of well-over 200 Tomie dePaola books have been sold internationally.  He has been writing, illustrating, and being published for over 40 years.  Many awards have been given for his work, including a Newbery Honor Book (26 FAIRMOUNT AVENUE in 2000), a Caldecott Honor Book (STREGA NONA in 1976), Golden Kite Award (for Illustration-GIORGIO’S VILLAGE by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in 1982), 1990 USA nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in illustration-International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), and many, many more.  In 1999, he was selected for the New Hampshire’s Governor’s Arts Award of Living Treasure.

He lives in New London, New Hampshire, with his Airedale terrier, Brontë, working in a renovated 200-year-old barn.  You can find him @



Book Information

ISBN-13: 9780823434435
Publisher:  Holiday House, Inc. 
Publication date: 08/10/2015
Pages: 32
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Posted in Adult Fiction, Book, Book Review, Christianity, Reading

A SPARROW IN TEREZIN by Kristy Cambron


A Hidden Masterpiece Novel #2

  • Two love stories intertwined throughout the book
  • Two love stories connected by a child, grown to be elderly
  • Two love stories of two distinct time periods: one in the now, the second in World War II
  • Two love stories seeking honest relationships where two people can be themselves
  • Two love stories where the couples call upon God for their strength in the midst of seemingly insurmountable odds, tremendous suffering

Sera James (from The Butterfly and the Violin) is opening a new art gallery in California, moving everything from New York.  She is preparing to marry William Hanover at about the same time.  Everything looks like the start of a fairy-tale life for them.

BUT…William is accused of a crime he did not commit, is arrested barely before the wedding ceremony is completed.  From here, one side of this story centers around this new marriage, the fight for innocence and battling accusations that wound, struggling to hold onto hope in a future with William, and the discovery of the other side of this intertwined story.

The other side begins in 1939 when Kája Makovsky, living in Prague with her family, is forced to flee as the city is coming under the occupation by Nazi Germany.  Kája must leave behind her half-Jewish family.  In 1942, as a reporter for The Daily Telegraph in London, Kája feels the terror of this war because the “London Blitz” has arrived over England.  Through her job, she learns that Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the European continent.  Kája feels she has no choice but to return to Prague, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Survival and hope tie Sera and Kája together.  Their faith holds them up as they do their best to protect those they love and all they hold dear.  Their own lives fall into the background when far more is at stake as they each risk everything for those they care about most.  A survivor of the Holocaust (a third person) shares her story of hope from this deep, dark period of history with Sera, binding Sera and Kája across time.
It is a wonderful story.  It can be read without having read the first, but I believe it would be better to have read The Butterfly and the Violin.  I find that reading true stories of the Holocaust gives me an actual perspective of how people survived and how they aided others.  I have read Corrie ten Boom’s story as she and her family aided the Jews in Holland.  She was taken to a concentration camp and survived, although her sister did not.  Her real life is all about Jesus.  He was on her lips until God brought her home many years later.  I also like historical fiction of many eras, but like to read these Holocaust novels by Kristy Cambron for she brings faith front and center, making God so very important in the midst of this hell on earth.  I highly recommend these two books.



Best of 2015 List (Genre Fiction) —Library Journal Reviews 

Book of the Month Pick, Christian Fiction (Feb. 2015)  —Library Journal (starred review)

Received a nomination for RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Book of 2015

Geen musje zal Vallen (Dutch translation) —Kok Publishers



Kristy Cambron holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University.  She worked in instructional design, corporate training and communications for a Fortune-100 Corporation.  Kristy is a Speaker and Design Manager at The GROVE storytelling ministry.

Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal Reviews and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best of 2014 lists, and received a 2015 INSPY Awards nomination for best debut novel.  A Sparrow in Terezin is her second novel and, as you can see from the awards listed above, it has received wide acclaim.  Kristy’s third historical novel, The Ringmaster’s Wife, was named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10 and will release in June, 2016.

Kristy is not shy about things that are important to her:  “Jesus Christ is everything.”

Kristy  lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons.  She can be found @  and and on Facebook @ and @


Book Information

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Publication date: 04/07/2015
Series:  Hidden Masterpiece Series, #2  
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading

QUEST by Aaron Becker


 “The Journey Continues”Journey Trilogy #2

This is the next chapter in the Journey Trilogy that began with the Caldecott Honor Winner, “Journey.”

This wonderful wordless adventure continues in the same fine style that the first did.

In Quest, a king suddenly, and mysteriously, appears in a city park door and gives the two children a map along with some objects.  Then the king is captured.  The girl and boy draw what they need to open doors, to fly above the fast-approaching enemies.  They draw the equipment they need to get to the next step on the map, all in order to save the king.

Please take your time and look carefully…for the details tell this story…

  • colorful pieces of chalk appearing in odd places
  • wild bugs
  • sea creatures
  • animals
  • birds
  • flying contraptions
  • sailing ships of a vast assortment

Pages done in sepia tones, blues, and grays, gradually painted with all colors, create art that truly tells a story.  Mr. Becker uses pen and ink along with watercolors.

Aaron Becker’s incredible imagination gives these stories such a power of wonder.  The reader, both young and old, is inspired with hope for a journey of his or her own as these children are followed.

“Return,” the “Journey Trilogy third and final episode, is expected to be published August, 2016.

Age Range:  4 – 8 Years


Aaron Becker was born in 1974, in Baltimore, Maryland.  As a child, he was interested in outer space (influence was, most likely, his mother, an astronomy teacher at a community college).  At one point, he began drawing space rather than desiring to fly in it for he loved to draw.

He worked as a designer in San Francisco’s dot-com era.  He then decided to attended Pomona College, graduating in 1996.  He spent six months at the Art Center in Pasadena, CA where he learned some fundamentals of illustration.  It was there that he met a film designer who encouraged him to send in his portfolio.  Within a few months, he was working on the film adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express.  He spent eight years illustrating scenes in children’s animated films.  He learned more of the fundamentals of image-making and storytelling during the period.  Then he moved back East and started to work on Journey, his first book.  Journey, a wordless children’s book, was a Caldecott Honor in 2014.  Quest, the second book in the trilogy, has received tremendous reviews.  He now lives near Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.

You can find Aaron in several spots online:  and  and a great interview @  where you will see photos of places where he has ventured which became part of the “journey.”




Book Information

ISBN-13: 9780763665951
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
Publication date: 08/26/2014
Pages: 40
Product dimensions: 10.90(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.40(d)