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The Most Magnificent Thing–experimentation

The Most Magnificent Thing

by Ashley Spires

The Most Magnificent ThingThe first thing you will notice about The Most Magnificent Thing is the quirky art style. The main character, a little girl, is drawn with a large head and body and pencil thin arms and legs. Her “best friend in the whole wide world” is her dog, drawn in the same style without any softness. The background is mainly black and white line drawing. This is not an art style that typically attracts me to a picture book, but it is the perfect backdrop for this story.

The main character is described as a “regular girl” and remains unnamed. This is the story of how she makes the most magnificent thing ever. Her project turns out to not be as easy as she anticipates, but she perseveres through various versions to the point of total frustration. She works through her anger, redirects her experimentation, building on her past failures, and in the end is satisfied with the results.

I really enjoyed reading this story and wished I had a child with me to share the experience. The Most Magnificent Thing opens up a wealth of opportunities for discussions about creativity, experimentation, success, failure, and persistence. It would be fun to read to a classroom or an individual child.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kids Can Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Children’s Fiction 

Notes: Ages—3-7 years

Grade Level—Preschool-2

Publication:   April 1, 2014—Kids Can Press

Fierce Faith–the making of a battle plan

Fierce Faith

by Alli Worthington

Fierce FaithAlthough we all know how to put on our “Sunday” faces for those who don’t know us intimately, we all have struggles of one kind or another. In her book Fierce Faith, Alli Worthington gets real with Christian women. She gives us a “battle plan against the fear, worry, and anxiety” that want to pull you down. She uses anecdotes to illustrate the kinds of battles that we face and identifies that the attack usually comes from the spiritual realm. She offers Scriptural promises and practical applications and ways of fighting back with a “fierce faith.”

Worthington addresses issues you may not even know you have because you avoid confronting them by strategies such as staying busy, bingeing on a variety of things, or becoming numb. I don’t consider myself a fearful person, but I got zinged a number of times as she addressed fear of betrayal, rejection, and an uncertain future. Some might identify with FOMO (the fear of missing out) which began with Adam and Eve but is put on steroids by social media. Fear of failure and not measuring up are other common forms of attack.

Alli Worthington offers practical help for common problems. She encourages the reader to trust God and explains how to do that. I recommend this book for all Christians regardless of where you are in your faith walk.

I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Zondervan for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Christian

Notes: The end of the book has workbook like pages to help the reader develop a person battle plan.

Publication:  January 23, 2018—Zondervan

Memorable Lines:

Fear doesn’t have to stem from some catastrophic event that cripples us. Everyday worries can be as crippling as catastrophes. Fear often stems from small worries and anxiety that build up over time, eventually shutting us down or causing us to explode.

Sometimes the illness or disability isn’t cured, the financial hardships aren’t resolved, the bad news doesn’t change, but when we throw ourselves at Jesus’s feet, he gives us what we need to walk through our difficult seasons and to fight against the storms that darken our skies.

You can choose to believe the truth that Jesus has a purpose for you beyond your failures and allow him to rewrite your story. Our futures are already claimed by God; we don’t have to stay stuck in a cycle of fear and failure. Failure doesn’t have to be your story. He is still writing your story.

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