Archives For Kids


[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”B075K7MNPJ” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”220″]“A Vision of Inclusion and Redemption”
A Review of

The War on Kids:
How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way
Cara Drinan

Hardback: Oxford UP, 2017
Buy Now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”0190605553″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B075K7MNPJ” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
Reviewed by Trudy Taylor Smith

In The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way, law professor Cara H. Drinan draws on both academic research and first-hand, personal accounts to expose the oppressive system  that funnels our nation’s most vulnerable children and youth into prisons. More than one million kids are arrested every year across the country (4), and nearly 100,000 of them will be incarcerated alongside adults (73).

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Inspired by this great public radio interview with Bruce Handy, author of the new book, [easyazon_link identifier=”1451609957″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult[/easyazon_link], I asked my Facebook friends for their favorite kids books that they have re-read as adults.

“Images from children’s books — a great green room and a red balloon, the white witch’s Turkish Delight, a lean and wicked cat in a red top hat — act as madeleines (or portkeys, or time turners, or rabbit holes, or wardrobes) calling up sleepiness, childhood rooms, grilled cheeses, long parental legs coming in and out of rooms, and that particular, pleasant ache of nostalgia. [Bruce Handy] … puts extraordinary care into replicating and preserving those feelings.” – NPR

Here are twenty of the most frequently-named
children’s books that are enjoyed by adults.

(In alphabetical order by author’s last name)


*** What other kids books
have you enjoyed as an adult?

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0763681172″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”234″]Friendship and Loss

A Feature Review of

Raymie Nightingale: A Novel
Kate DiCamillo

Hardback: Candlewick Press, 2016
Buy now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”0763681172″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ]  [  [easyazon_link identifier=”B015WVEZR0″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
Reviewed by Sarah Brown
It is hard to review a book like Raymie Nightingale without wanting to append a great big post-modern ‘spoiler alert’ in flashing red letters, because a full appraisal necessitates mentioning the ending. Three quarters of the way through the book, you find yourself holding it at arm’s length, squinting at it with only one eye open, and hoping for the sort of redemption that wends its way through most of Kate DiCamillo’s other novels. True to form, DiCamillo delivers her characters from what seem to be insurmountable challenges; equally true to form, she eschews a fairy tale sort of ending in favor of one more recognizable to young readers as a resolution they might actually encounter in their own lives.

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I’ve heard a good deal of complaining recently about how they aren’t many good kids books related to the Christian holiday of Easter.  Not about spring, and cute bunnies and ducklings, but about the Easter story.

So, I set out to compile a top 10 list…

And along the way, I stumbled upon the wonderful blog, Aslan’s library, that features “beautiful and true theological books for kids.” (I highly recommend connecting with them!) Aslan’s Library confirmed a number of titles I already had on my list, and added a few more. If they have reviewed a book on the list below, I will link to their review…


10) [easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0310222176″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”137″][easyazon_link asin=”0310222176″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Peter’s First Easter[/easyazon_link]

by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

I love Wangerin’s writing, but the artwork in this book is not my favorite…
Read a review from Aslan’s Library.


9) [easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”1586170244″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”127″][easyazon_link asin=”1586170244″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Easter[/easyazon_link]

by Fiona French

Read a review from Aslan’s Library.

8) [easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”038539277X” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”144″][easyazon_link asin=”038539277X” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”douloschristo-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Easter[/easyazon_link]

by Jan Pienkowski

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Kids books have the best titles…
This book could quite have the best book title of the year!
(And almost certainly the best book title in the Christian marketplace!!!)

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”161739839X” locale=”us” height=”65″ src=”” width=”75″ alt=”Is This The Best Book Title of the Year?” ]Buy this book:  [ [easyazon-link asin=”161739839X” locale=”us”]Amazon[/easyazon-link] ]   [ [easyazon-link asin=”B004Z1RW8S” locale=”us”]Kindle[/easyazon-link] ]

As far as humorous book titles go, I’m still partial, however,
to Cooking with Poo.

What’s your favorite book title?

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Just received this book in the mail today, and despite the apparent plot similarities to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I’m looking forward to it.

Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame. (Enchanted Attic Series)

L.L. Samson

Paperback: Zonderkids, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [  Kindle ]

Watch for our review in the near future…

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404778: Ronnie Wilson"s Gift

A Review of

Ronnie Wilson’s Gift

By Francis Chan
Hardback: David C. Cook, 2011.
Buy now:  [ ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Raising kids that are not defined by the consumerism of the broader culture is a huge challenge in the Western world today.  Certainly as adults we can see that part of the good news of following Jesus is that we have been set free from the consumerist patterns of the world in which we live.  Our kids will eventually see our non-conformity (or our struggles to follow Jesus in this way) and will undoubtedly have questions.  How do we explain the good news of following Jesus to our young children and how this good news guides us into a life where the resources we have are not for our own satisfaction but for that of the Kingdom?

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Topsy Turvy World
William Brighty Rands

[ One of the poems set to music on
Natalie Merchant’s recent Album: Leave Your Sleep
Read our review…  ]

If the butterfly courted the bee,
And the owl the porcupine;
If the churches were built in the sea,
And three times one was nine;
If the pony rode his master,
If the buttercups ate the cows,
If the cat had the dire disaster
To be worried, sir, by the mouse;
If mamma, sir, sold the baby
To a gypsy for half-a-crown;
If a gentleman, sir, was a lady-
The world would be Upside Down!
If any or all of these wonders
Should ever come about,
I should not consider them blunders,
For I should be Inside Out!


“Just What the Children Ordered.

A review of
Sewing School:
21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make
By Amie Plumley and Andria Lisle

Reviewed by Jeni Newswanger Smith
and Miriam Smith

Sewing School:
21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make
By Amie Plumley and Andria Lisle
Hardback: Storey Publishing, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

SEWING SCHOOL - Plumley and LisleA few years ago I taught a beginning sewing class, 4-H style, for some 3rd graders.  I shelled out the money for the approved text and set about teaching the kids all about their machines, how to make a straight line, how to backstitch, etc.  The kids were somewhat interested, but what they really wanted was to get their hands on a machine. How I wish I had Sewing School by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle back then!  This book is delightfully hands-on.  It’s written in a such a way that a child who can read can also do most things on his own with only occasional adult help.

When we received the book, Miriam (7) sat down to look through it.  These are her words: “At first I thought I’d never make anything, because my mom sometimes forgets things. But it was easy because I didn’t need my mom’s help much. I want to make the doll skirt and one for me to match!”

There are so many things that impress me about this book.  The pictures/layout/illustrations look as superb as any modern crafting book out there—in other words, it will appeal to craft-loving adults and children alike.  It’s not cutesy or childish, but very appealing and child-appropriate.  Another thing I love is the authors and photographer (Justin Fox Burks) use items that children have actually made.  Any parent who crafts with children knows that the “finished object” pictures in books and on websites often differ incredibly from what a child is typically capable of producing. This leads to great frustrations for new crafters. The projects pictured in Sewing School were created by children—and they are lovely and child-like.  Miriam wanted to do just about every project in the book!

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A Review of

Children’s Nature:
The Rise of the American Summer Camp.

Leslie Paris.
Hardback: NYU Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Chris Enstad.

I, more or less, grew up at a church camp. Starting in third grade you could find me up on the North Shore of Lake Superior at the church camp my congregation had the foresight to organize and build in the 1950’s. By the time I began attending “our” camp it was already well-established with cabins, a lodge, a chapel, and traditions going back decades. Every camper knew that the “biffies” stunk; but some stunk more than others. We knew that the “cool” kids figured out how to sneak out at night to meet a camper of the opposite sex at “the Rock” presumably to sit together scared of being discovered but, of course, the stories became embellished by morning. There were ghost stories and disappearing camper stories. Underneath it all we developed a deeper relationship with each other and, through twice-a-day chapel and daily Bible study, with God. I was the second generation of my family to attend that camp and it is amazing to know that there are third, fourth, and fifth generation campers up there as I write this.

It’s hard for me to imagine that as early as the late nineteenth century there was no such thing as children with leisure time. With the rise of urban life on the East coast came a desire to hold on to the pioneering, outdoor spirit of the recent American past. In Children’s Nature: the Rise of the American Summer Camp, Leslie Paris, Associate Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, has written a part-historical, part-anthropological study of this phenomenon. In doing so, Dr. Paris gives great insight into how summer camping became such an important part of so many people’s lives and, indeed, American culture itself.

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