Grow, Candace, Grow | Book Review

Grow, Candace, Grow, by Candace Cameron Bure, and illustrated by Christine Battuz is a beautiful story about patience. Thank you, Zondervan, for sending me a free copy to review. In this sweet story, New York Times bestselling author and star of the hit Netflix series Fuller House Candace Cameron Bure, writes about a little girl named Candace who is soo excited for spring because it means FLOWERS! She asks her teacher if her class can plant a flower garden, and they do, but Candace wanted to see flowers right away. When they don’t seem to be growing quickly enough, Candace gives them lots of water to try to help, and ruins the garden. And then, unlike most stories where the character saves the day with hijinks like buying fully grown plants and sneaking into the garden at night to cover their mistake, Candace fesses up and apologizes, and then buys new seeds that her class plants. And the second time around she waits patiently even though it’s hard, and is eventually rewarded with beautiful flowers. I love the lesson of the story, and I just read it to my littlest and she loved rooting for Candace. She also loved the beautiful illustrations, especially the glittery cover! This would be a lovely book to give a little girl!

Little Duckling’s Easter Prayers | Book Review

Little Duckling’s Easter Prayers, Illustrated by Kasia Nowowiejska, is just the sweetest little book of prayers for young children. Thank you, Zonderkidz, for sending me a free copy to review.

Each prayer in this book is a gentle rhyme that reminds us of God’s great love, and many blessings. I love the prayer Wings of Safety that begins “As a bird protects her young beneath her feathered wings, I know you will protect me too, no matter what life brings.” The illustrations are all whimsical and adorable. I love that the format of this book allows me to read just one or two prayers to my littles if they’re not on the mood to curl up and listen to a longer story. I’m sure we will be enjoying this book for years to come.

Ten Little Eggs | Book Review

Ten Little Eggs, Illustrated by Jess Mikhail, is such an adorable, heartwarming picture book! Thank you, Zonderkidz, for sending me a free copy to review. In this story, Mama Hen has ten eggs that are about to hatch, one at a time. The story format is the counting down concept that is great for building number skills, but this is the cutest one I’ve seen, because as each one hatches, it’s a completely different animal that hatches from an egg, from a penguin to a platypus. My daughters will NOT let me tell you what is in the last egg because they thought it was such an exciting surprise. But I will say that Mama is thrilled by each and every baby, and it’s such a beautiful picture of love covering differences, and welcoming those who are nothing like you into the family. Plus the illustrations are soooo cute. Even my ten-year-old was saying “aaaaw” on every page!

Havenfall | Book Review

Oh my goodness, this book! I stayed up two hours too late last night finishing Havenfall because I could NOT put it down!

I should probably start by telling you a smidgen about it. Here’s a quick blurb:

“Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .

Sara Holland takes the lush fantasy that captured readers in Everless and Evermore and weaves it into the real world to create a wholly captivating new series where power and peril lurk behind every door.”

So, I picked this one up because I loved the cover (I mean, look at it!), and I loved Everless and Evermore that Sara Holland also wrote, but I wasn’t 100% sold on the description. Once I got into it, though, I fell in love. I can’t say I like it more than Everless….but it’s at least a tie. And it was a strong 4.5 star read for me! I loved the contemporary setting (though I do hope we get to somehow explore the other worlds in the next book).

I loved the twists and turns the story took, as well as the way the magic came into play. And I loved seeing Maddie (the main character) learn that the way she saw the world may not be the whole picture, and…well that would be a spoiler, but she had a nice character arc. Maddie states that she likes both boys and girls, but there’s only a small amount of actual romance in the book, and nothing explicit. It’s not the focus of the story, which I liked. I would personally rate the book as okay for ages 12 plus (though obviously all kids are different).  I need to get my grubby little hands on book two NOW, but since I can’t do that yet, I’ll instead just urge you to pick this one up if you enjoy YA fantasy with a contemporary spin, and characters with relatable anxiety, with a good dollop of mystery mixed in.

Thanks Bloomsbury and NetGalley for the free advanced ebook to read and review. All opinions are my own.

The Girl The Sea Gave Back | Mood Board Monday (on a Thursday).

Hey y’all. I love making aesthetic boards for books, but I’ve been busy. I finally have one ready for one of my favorite books of 2019 – THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK! You can read my review of it here.

This was seriously the loveliest book. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Though you should probably read Sky in the Deep first. Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day!