Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fan Peacock Craft - Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester Laminack Book Review

They say you should never judge a book by its cover. Maybe so, but kids do anyway and so do adults, especially when it comes to picture books! Three Hens and a Peacock is one of those books that has spectacular and very funny cover art. On the front? -- A dismayed but fabulous looking peacock with three hens sticking their heads through his fan. On the back? -- The posteriors (a.k.a bottoms) of all four characters. Hilarious!

Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester L. Laminack, illustrated by Henry Cole. Peachtree Publishers (March 2011); ISBN 9781561455645; 32 pages
Book Source: Review copy from publisher

The cover sets the tone perfectly for the book. A peacock arrives on the Tucker family's farm and the once quiet farm becomes a bustling, noisy place. The shrieking, strutting peacock catches the attention of those passing by. Many visitors stop to admire the peacock and purchase produce from the farmer's stand. With ruffled, jealous feathers, the hens complain, "that lazy peacock gets all the attention and we do all the work." Hoping to smooth things over, the farm's wise old hound suggests that the hens switch places with the peacock. The hens get all gussied up in bangles and beads while the peacock tries his hardest to lay an egg and fails miserably. Eventually, they all learn that taking another's place is harder than it looks, and they gain an appreciation for each other's unique talents.

Full of plenty of humor and a subtle lesson in character, Three Hens and a Peacock is a frolicsome farmyard tale. Cole's eye-catching watercolor, ink and colored pencil illustrations play a huge part in advancing the storyline. Even the endpapers serve a purpose. The peacock feathers in the front announce the upcoming arrival of the peacock, and the back endpapers foretell the next surprising events on the farm -- hmm...what kind of animal lays a very big egg?

There are plenty of ways to use the book as a teaching tool. Besides discussing the problems of trying to be someone you're not, I took the opportunity to also discuss with my kids why a peacock with a fancy feather train cannot lay an egg. I opened our DK Encyclopedia of Animals (seriously, every home library should contain at least one animal encyclopedia) and found the page about peacocks. It shows a nice picture of a peahen next to a peacock. We learned that peahens, the female birds, do not have colorful fans. Male birds sport the fancy feathers and use them to attract the females. Thus, the bird pictured in Laminack's book is a male, and male peacocks cannot lay eggs. :) We also learned that a peacock's train can reach up to 5 ft.-3 in. high! Wow, that's only a few inches shorter than Mommy!

Related Links:
Lester L. Laminack - Website
Henry Cole - Website
National Geographic - Peacock
Peafowl - Enchanted Learning
Peacock - PBS Nature Video on Teachers' Domain

⚜ ⚜ ⚜ ⚜ stArt - Round Accordion Fan Peacock Craft ⚜ ⚜ ⚜ ⚜

The proud, flamboyant peacock character calls for an equally stunning craft. Our peacock folded fans are pretty "fan"-tastic, I must say so myself! With this craft, kids can manually fold and unfold the peacock's shimmery train feathers.

1. Following the Folded Fan instructions found on Family Fun, construct the circular fan. Cut a sheet of 12" by 12" green scrapbook paper in half to make a 12" x 6" piece of paper.

2. Starting with the 6" side, accordion fold the paper making the folds around 3/4' wide. Once folded, find the center of the folded paper and staple.

3. Take two popsicle sticks and glue the sticks onto the paper, one on each side of the staple. Allow glue to dry.

4. After the glue dries, bring the two popsicle sticks together and secure with a rubber band. Bring the top sides of the fan together to form a circle and use invisible tape to secure the peacock's fanned out feather train. Using yellow and orange paint, dot feather "eyes" onto the fan with your finger.

5. When the paint dries, glue small sequins on top of the feather eyes to add some shimmer.

6. Cut out a peacock body shape from blue cardstock. Decorate with blue glitter glue and add a yellow beak, googley eye and blue head crest.

7. Glue a folded piece of paper to the back of the body.

8. Turn the fan over. Adhere the peacock body to the fan by gluing the other side of the folded paper on the back of the body to the underside of the popsicle stick on the right (refer to picture below). Allow to glue to dry.

Fold the fan together and then have fun showing off the peacock's magnificent train by slowing unfolding the fan! Can you make your peacock dance?

abc button Shibley Smiles

A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Show off your ideas at ABC & 123 Show and Tell. Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up.

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Book Train Tunnel

No need to buy a train tunnel when you have stacks of books readily available in your home! Choo! Choo!

Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kids' Poetry Challenge - National Poetry Month 2011

"Children rarely gravitate to poetry on their own. It’s an acquired taste. They must be introduced to it early and often by their teachers and parents, the critical influences in their lives." - "Can Children’s Poetry Matter?" by J. Patrick Lewis

Last year my daughter had so much fun illustrating her own poetry book we thought maybe other kids might like to join in the fun this year! We are hosting a poetry challenge during the month of April in celebration of National Poetry Month.

It's simple to participate and a great way to introduce children to the world of poetry.

♦ Every week in April encourage your child to illustrate a poem, any poem. If they are older they can compose their own poem and/or practice their handwriting by writing the poem on their picture.

♦ Each Friday post the illustration on your blog and include part of the text* of the poem your child illustrated. If the poem came from a poetry book, consider adding the source information as well. (If you can't post on Friday, don't worry! The link-up will remain open all week long, so feel free to post the picture any day of the week.)

*According to the KidLitosphere site, to avoid problems with copyright, "if a poem is under copyright protection (and most contemporary ones are), only a couple of lines can be quoted under fair use."

♦ Link up to the My Poetry Book Kids' Poetry Challenge Post on Brimful Curiosities each Friday. Also, consider joining the Poetry Friday link-up during the month of April.

Need an example for inspiration? My Poetry Book Entry #3: A Duck Poem

Kids' Poetry Challenge Button

Poetry For Children Resources:
A Treasury of Read-Alouds: Poetry for Children by Jim Trelease
Judy Freeman's 150 Favorite Poetry Books for Children
Children's Poetry - The Poetry Foundation
Reading Rockets: National Poetry Month
Tips For Reading with the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky [pdf]
Brimful Curiosities: Read Aloud Poetry
Book Aunt: A Handful of Poems: Five Anthologies for Small Children

A Few Children's Poets Websites:
J. Patrick Lewis | Children's Poet & Author
Kenn Nesbitt's
Mary Ann Hoberman
Jack Prelutsky
Shel Silverstein
Dr. Seuss |

Kidlitosphere Celebration of Poetry Month:
GottaBook - 30 Poets/30 Days
Liz Garton Scanlon - Original Haiku-a-Day
Jone MacCulloch - 30 Days-30 Students
Jama Rattigan: 2nd Annual Poetry Potluck
Irene Latham's Poetry Party
EduHaiku - students write school-related haiku
A Wrung Sponge - haiga (original haiku + photos)
April Halprin Wayland - Original Poem-a-Day
Susan Taylor Brown - Original Poem-a-Day
Deo Writer - Original Poem-a-day - Poem-a-Day
Mary Lee Hahn - Original Poem-a-day
Miss Rumphius Effect - Poetry in the Classrom
Lee Wind - GLBTQ Teen Poetry
Biblio File - poems or review of a novel-in-verse
Writer on the Side - reviews on Thursday plus other poetry related posts
The Poem Farm - poem idea-strategies or poetic techniques

National Poetry Month Poetry Friday schedule:
April 1
April 8
April 15
April 22
April 29

I do hope you'll consider joining our poetry challenge. Check back this Friday, April 1st, for the first link-up.

To help encourage participation, I'm giving away a paperback copy of the poetry book, The Tighty Whitey Spider: And More Wacky Animal Poems I Totally Made Up by Kenn Nesbitt, illustrated by Ethan Long. Every time you link up a post to one of my Friday Kids' Poetry Challenge posts, you gain one entry in the giveaway contest!

“Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.” - Voltaire

Monday, March 28, 2011

HOP Movie Giveaway - Tie-In Books Prize Pack

I'm sure you've heard by now, but in case you haven't, a new Easter-themed family movie by Universal Pictures is set to release on April 1st -- HOP! In this combination live-action/CGI-animated film, a bunny named E.B. (the Easter Bunny's son) doesn't want to take over the family business. Instead he runs away to L.A. to fulfill his dreams as a drummer for a rock 'n' roll band and ends up staying with a human named Fred. From the trailers I've seen of the movie, it looks like a humorous film. I couldn't help but laugh when I saw that E.B. poops jelly beans!

The theme song for the movie is "I Want Candy." If the Easter Bunny heard my pleas, he would be placing books in those Easter baskets instead of candy! Perhaps Little, Brown Books for Young Readers heard my plea. Just in time for the HOP movie release, LB Kids has published five different tie-in books for various ages:

HOP: The Chapter Book by Annie Auerbach and Kirsten Mayer. LB Kids (February 2011); ISBN: 9780316129008; Paperback; 80 pages

Based on the film, the HOP chapter book covers the movie plot and features a few black and white illustrations from the movie. Of all the LB Kids tie-in books, this one does the best job telling the entire story of E.B.'s adventures in L.A. with Fred, and, later on, his fight to keep the chicks from taking over his father's factory.

HOP: Chicks Versus Bunnies by Kirsten Mayer. LB Kids (February 2011); ISBN: 9780316129039; Paperback; 24 pages

This tie-in book covers the very end of the movie. Led by head chick Carlos, the factory chicks try to take over the Easter Bunny's factory while his son, E.B., is away. As the chicks lower the Easter Bunny into a boiling vat of pink Easter egg dye, a large fight ensues. Luckily, the Easter Bunny has the Pink Berets and E.B. on his side. The back of the book contains a page of punch-out Easter egg holders.

HOP: Meet the Easter Bunny by Kirsten Mayer and Lucy Rosen. LB Kids (February 2011); ISBN: 9780316129015; Paperback; 32 pages

This beginner reader book follows E.B. (the Easter Bunny's son) as he takes a tour of Easter Island and the Easter Bunny’s magical workshop. In the factory, all different kinds of candy run along conveyor lines, bunnies paint eggs and chicks carve chocolate bunnies. The Easter Bunny even has a fancy sled, just like Santa Claus. Will E.B. decide to take over his father's job? Find out in the book! My daughter tried to read this one on her own, but the level is just slightly above her kindergarten abilities with words like "interrupts" and destiny." She did, however, enjoy the search and find picture challenge.

Hoppy Bunnies: A HOP Movie Tie-In by Kirsten Mayer. LB Kids (February 2011); ISBN: 9780316128995; Board Book with Finger Puppets; 12 pages

Told in rhyming verse and beginning with the phrase, "Twas the night before Easter," this short board book provides an Easter version of The Night Before Christmas. For some reason, I never imagined the Easter Bunny delivering candy in a flying Easter sleigh, but according to this book, that is his preferred mode of transportation. The puppets in this book are like the ones found in the popular Despicable Me book, Sleepy Kittens. Unfortunately, unlike the kittens, the bunny puppets don't serve much of a function in the book.

Counting Chicks: A HOP Movie Tie-In by Kirsten Mayer. LB Kids (February 2011); ISBN: 9780316129046; Board Book; 12 pages

Easter chick Carlos narrates this small-sized board book. Along with Phil his assistant, kids are encouraged to count items (from one to ten) as they are placed into a large Easter basket. All the candy and eggs will make you hungry for an Easter treat. My toddler son prefers this book over all the others, but I do wish that the items in the book were a little bit larger so they were easier for little fingers to count.

Related Links:

HOP Movie Website:
HOP Facebook:
HOP Twitter:!/ebhop

Want to win a gift set for your little bookworm's Easter Basket? Thanks to LB Kids and Universal Pictures, Brimful Curiosities' readers can enter to win a HOP Book Prize Pack.

One (1) winner will receive a prize pack including all 5 book titles:

* HOP: Hoppy Bunnies
* HOP: The Chapter Book
* HOP: Meet the Easter Bunny
* HOP: Counting Chicks
* HOP: Chicks versus Bunnies

To enter, leave any comment relevant to this post.

• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section. • Contest is open to US Only
• Contest ends on Monday, April 11th, 2011 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification. Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section. 2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader

Thanks to Universal Pictures and LB Kids for providing a copies of the HOP movie tie-in books for review. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bridget's Beret by Tom Lichtenheld - My Little Train by Satomi Ichikawa - Famous Works of Art in Picture Books

Two of the books we brought home from our last library visit contain famous works of art. What an excellent opportunity to introduce my children to a few famous artists! This week we talked about Monet, Van Gogh, O'Keeffe, Matisse, Cézanne and more. It was a completely unplanned educational activity.

Have you discovered any other picture books that contain versions of famous works of art?

Bridget's Beret by Tom Lichtenheld. Henry Holt / Christy Ottaviano Books (April 2010); ISBN 9780805087758; 40 pages
Book Source: Copy from local library

"Before Bridget made any kind of art, she'd put on her beret and adjust it just right."

Bridget's favorite pastime is drawing. She has many art supplies, and, most importantly, like all great artists, she owns and wears a beret. Sadly, on a very windy day, her fabulous black beret blows away. Without the special hat for inspiration, Bridget finds herself suffering from -- *gasp* -- artist's block! Thankfully her sister comes to the rescue and helps her remember that when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.

Lichtenheld's book overflows with creativity, cuteness and plenty of clever quips and illustrations. My family is a huge fan of Lichtenheld's previous books (Duck! Rabbit! & Shark Vs. Train) and love his entertaining comic illustration style. A talking rabbit is just one of the many funny touches. He manages to craftily work in a few interpretations of famous art into this book. Bridget creates lemonade poster renditions including one of van Gogh's "The Starry Night" and another inspired by "Whistler's Mother."

As soon as I read the inside jacket flap and discovered that this book was about a girl who loves to draw, I knew I wanted to read it with my daughter. Bridget's Beret is the perfect book for budding artists.

The book includes a handy "How to Start Your Art" guide in the back that discusses several famous works of art: Giuseppe Arcimboldo, "Summer" - Mary Cassatt, "Child with a Red Hat" - Paul Cezanne, "Still Life with Peaches and Pears" - Vincent van Gogh, "Bedroom at Arles" - Henri Matisse, "Icarus" - Claude Monet, "Still Life with Sunflowers" - Georgia O'Keeffe, "Above the Clouds I" - Pablo Picasso, "Bull's Head" - Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, "Self Portrait in a Cap, Open-Mouthed" - Georges Seurat, "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" - Alfred Sisley, "The Boat in the Flood"

Related Links:
Tom Lichtenheld Website

My Little Train by Satomi Ichikawa. Philomel / Penguin (November 2010); ISBN 9780399254536; 40 pages
Book Source: Copy from local library

"Where do you want to go? I will take you anywhere," says the train. Whoo whoo whooo.

This train book is all about imaginative play. A little toy train takes various toy passengers on an adventure through a typical home cluttered with random toys and other items. The train stops at a pond (the fishbowl), the field (a painting), the forest (a potted plant) and even climbs a mountain (the couch) and drops animals off at all the different locations.

My Little Train is one of my three-year-old son's favorite books. The short, fragmented sentences are full of all sorts of sounds, making the book a lot fun to read aloud. Plus, it is simple enough for a beginning reader to chug through, and my daughter has read it to my son several times. The ending is a little weak, but the detailed illustrations by Ichikawa make up for anything the text might lack. It's full of inspiring ideas for creative train play. Central Station is made from books stacked up and if you look closely, you can tell that many of the books included in the stack are ones the author wrote or illustrated. Art enthusiasts will recognize the poppy field painting where the train drops the sheep off. It is remarkably alike Claude Monet's "Poppy Field."

Kid Konnection Link up your weekend book posts at What My Child is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, Feed Me Books Friday at Little Sprout Books and/or Kid Konnection at Booking Mama.

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (3/25/11)

Please check out my other "Full to the Brim" posts as well. Many contests are still underway. I publish "Full to the Brim" every Friday. If I missed your book giveaway, feel free to mention it in the comment section or send me an email. Thanks for visiting my blog and come back soon!

My giveaway(s):

LaRue Across America: Postcards From the Vacation by Mark Teague - Ends 4/4

Other book giveaways:

The Children's Book Review - Book Giveaway Ends 4/18
Birthday Giveaway: $300 worth of children’s books
Storied Cities - Book Giveaway Ends 3/31
Urban Animals by Isabel Hill
Joan Holub - Book Giveaway Ends 3/30
What Does Cow Say? by Joan Holub
Almost All the Truth - Book Giveaway Ends 4/7
National Geographic Kids: Human Footprint: Everything You Will Eat, Use, Wear, Buy, and Throw Out in Your Lifetime by Ellen Kirk
art Projects for Kids - Book Giveaway Ends 3/25
Inkblot by Margaret Peot (tweens)
Books Kids Like - Book Giveaway Ends 3/31
A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull (middle grade)
Literary Rambles - Book Giveaway Ends 3/31
Born to Fly by Michael Ferrari (middle grade)
Devotion Mama - Book Giveaway Ends 4/2
Dinosaurs For Kids by Ken Ham
Thoughts of Mommy - Book Giveaway Ends 3/28
The Ballad of Rango: The Art & Making of an Outlaw Film
Vintage Kids' Book my Kid Loves - Book Giveaway Ends 3/27
One Kitten For Kim by Adelaide Holl and Don Madden
Mother of 1 Princess and 2 Princes - Book Giveaway Ends 4/6
Beautiful Blue Eyes by Marianne Richmond
Cincinnati Coupons - Book Giveaway Ends 3/29
Little Green Books
Surviving and Thriving - Book Giveaway Ends 3/28
Shooting Bears: The Adventures of a Wildlife Photographer
Jumping the Candlestick - Book Giveaway Ends 4/17
signed copy of The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade by Deborah Diesen
The Children's Nook - Book Giveaway Ends 4/18
Big Bunny by Betseygail Rand and Colleen Rand
Mommy Loves Giveaways - Book Giveaway Ends 4/1
Ready, Set...WAIT! What Animals Do Before a Hurricane by Patti R. Zelch
The Fourth Musketeer - Book Giveaway Ends 3/31
Eliza's Cherry Trees: Japan's Gift to America, by Andrea Zimmerman and Ju Hong Chen
PB Junkies - Book Giveaway Ends 4/1
Picnic at Camp Shalom by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Deb Melmon
The Fabulous Audrey Hepburn - Book Giveaway Ends 3/26
Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos
5 Minutes for Books - Book Giveaway Ends 4/6
Baseball picture books: Little Baseball, I Spy with My Little Eye Baseball and Lipman Pike: America’s First Home Run King
Spanglish Baby - Book Giveaway Ends 3/27
The Birthday Box/Mi caja de cumpelaños and Higher! Higher!/¡Más alto! ¡Más alto! both by Leslie Patricelli
Hip Mamas Place - Book Giveaway Ends 4/4
My Name Is Not Alexander and My Name Is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry
Familylicious - Book Giveaway Ends 4/10
I Love You More by Laura Duksta
Bookscoops - Book Giveaway Ends 3/27
Reading for Epilepsy Purple Day Giveaway: The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand- New Colors by Chris Barton and illustrated by Tony Persiani or When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Table for Five - Book Giveaway Ends 4/19
Barefoot books Giveaway
Robyns Online World - Book Giveaway Ends 4/6
Lost & Found by Shaun Tan (middle grade)
Coupon Clippin' Mommy - Book Giveaway Ends 3/30
The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown
Fox in Socks - Book Giveaway Ends ??
signed copy of Raj the Bookstore Tiger illustrated by Paige Keiser
Reading Vacation - Kindle Giveaway Ends 3/31
Latest edition Kindle Wi-Fi

LaRue Across America: Postcards From the Vacation by Mark Teague Giveaways:
There's a Book - Ends 3/31
Mundie Kids - Ends 4/12
Dad of Divas - Ends 3/28
Grams Made It - Ends 5/23
The Bragging Mommy - Ends 4/6
Mamma Mia - Ends ??
The Family that reads Together - Ends 3/28
The Children's Book Review - Ends 4/12

Pine-Sol and Reading is Fundamental book giveaways (My People, illustrated by Charles R Smith Jr, The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney and The Dot by Peter H Reynolds):
Simply Being Mommy - Ends 4/7
3 Kids and Us - Ends 4/4
Mom Start - Ends 3/29
Dealicious Mom - Ends 4/1
An Island Life - Ends 3/31
Frugal Freebies - Ends 3/31
Rave and Review - Ends 4/29
A Nut in a Nutshell - Ends 4/4
Stockpiling Moms - Ends 3/26
Money Saving Madness - Ends 3/28

Fish for more children's book giveaways at Lori Calabrese's Fish for a Free Book linkup each Friday

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer also has a new book giveaway linky with lots of YA and some other kid's books.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lamb of God Lenten Craft & The Ultimate DVD Read and Share Bible: Volume 2

At church, before communion, we often sing The Agnus Dei. "Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us." I often wonder what my kids are thinking when they hear the verses of the Agnus Dei. During Lent many of us teach our children that Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. The imagery of Jesus as the Lamb of God is a natural extension of this teaching and the symbolism is worth discussing during the Lenten season with your kids.

John the Baptist proclaimed Jesus as the Lamb of God: "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 NIV)

God offered up the perfect sacrifice, his Son, the “Sacrificial Lamb." Through Jesus' death on the cross and His resurrection, we can have eternal life if we believe in Him. "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." (1 Peter 1:18-19 NIV)

When we sing about the Lamb of God, we remember Christ's death on the cross and the sacrifice, and we praise God and offer our thanks and devotion to the Lamb, our Redeemer. "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" (Revelation 5:12 NIV)

Lamb of God Crayon Resist Lenten Craft

In art, the Agnus Dei symbol is often depicted as a lamb bearing a cross or banner. We made our own Agnus Dei artwork today for our stArt project. Starting with a white piece of paper, we cut out the lamb's body in a cloud shape.

While the kids were busy cutting out a head and legs out of black paper, I took a white crayon and wrote "Jesus" on each of the white body pieces. I also added some white swirls to look like wool. Using watercolor paint, the kids covered the lamb's body with paint and, through this wax resist artwork, it was revealed to them that Jesus is the "Lamb of God." Our sins are represented by the paint and Jesus, written in white crayon, takes away the sins of the world. I cut out a cross shape out of brown construction paper while the kids painted.

After the paint dried the kids assembled their own Agnus Dei artwork. The artwork indeed reminds us that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Other Lamb of God Crafts:
Lamb of God Washcloth
Lamb of God Lenten Countdown Calendar

My family started reading Bible stories together at the beginning of Lent, in addition to our Lenten devotions. There are many different resources available to help parents teach their children about the Bible, including several different children's Bibles. Young children yearn to hear the Word of God and it's a good idea to share Biblical stories with children starting at a young age. The best children's Bibles teach various stories using engaging illustrations and are written with simple text that the child can understand.

The Ultimate DVD Read and Share Bible series by Gwen Ellis is a good choice for very young children (ages 2-6). So far, there are two volumes to this set and each book contains over 100 Bible stories from both the Old and New Testament. Each story is laid out in a very brief two page segment, and retold based on verses from the Bible. There's a discussion question that goes along with each story that helps encourage active learning and because each story is so short, it can be easily read aloud to even a very young child. What I like specifically about this series is that each book contains two DVDs that show the stories in animated form. The DVDs really help bring the stories to life and reinforce the stories in the book so kids will be able to better recall what they read.

Thomas Nelson sent my family The Ultimate DVD Read and Share Bible: Volume Two for review. Volume 2 begins with the Old Testament stories of Joseph and continues on with Moses and the Israelites' exodus out of Egypt. Other Old Testament stories covered include Balaam, Joshua, several stories from 1 and 2 Kings, Job, Daniel and Jonah. The New Testament stories include ones about the boy Jesus at the temple, Jesus walking on water and stopping the storm, and his interactions with Zacchaeus and Lazarus, among others. Volume two is appropriate to read during Lent and Easter because it also includes the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.

I am very surprised at how interested my children are in this particular Bible set. We own other children's Bibles, but this is the first time they've shown independent interest in reading and learning about the Bible. I really think the visual aspect of the stories on DVD helps make the text more interesting to them. The music and narration are pretty mellow sounding and rather comforting. I only have a few criticisms. Unfortunately, children cannot easily follow along using the book and DVD together because the DVD does not cover everything in the book and the stories are split up rather randomly between the two DVDs. Additionally, the narration is not taken directly from the text of the book and the noses on the animated characters look a little odd. The stories are not always presented in chronological order, but rather set up more like Sunday School lessons that jump to various stories.

However, I liked Volume 2 well enough that I also recently purchased the first volume so that my kids could read and listen to the other stories not covered in Volume 2. After we are finished we the set, I plan to donate it to our church so that it can be used by the Sunday School and other families. I think that overall the series provides a very nice overview of the Bible for young children. While it does not go into great detail, it provides a simple starting point for families looking to begin home Bible studies.

abc button Shibley Smiles

A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Show off your ideas at ABC & 123 Show and Tell. Find more great book tie-ins at JDaniel4's Mom Read, Explore, Learn link-up.

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)