Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Joy to the World By Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch


My thoughts: 
I do love a good Christmas story, and books with several novellas that are themed are especially delightful to read. In Joy to the World there are three lovely novellas set in England during the time known as Regency. These three stories take place around 1814.

The charm of the period and the social mores are intact as is the conversations between those of authority, ladies and gentlemen, hired laborers, etc. 

I have read other books by each of these authors and each time have found them to be totally enjoyable. This collection of novellas does not disappoint. 

I especially enjoyed meeting characters from previous novels by the authors. In Heaven and Nature Sing we have Edith's story. She is from the Elusive Miss Ellison (Regency Brides Collection). Love this.

In Far As the Curse Is Found we see the effects of war of long ago and how it affected the soldiers. I love how the female protagonist leads the man who is suffering back to the Bible and to acceptance of who and what he is post-war. Beautiful story.

In  The Wonders of His Love we venture forth with characters from Erica Vetsch's series Serendipity Series which I have loved. Overpowering in authority, the Dowager Duchess tries to manipulate Cilla into a marriage with an aristocrat whilst she is developing feelings for the itinerate artist engaged to paint the new Duke's and Duchess' portraits. A sweet story of love and breaking free of bounds of societies' restrictions. And this, too, was a sweet meet-again with previous story characters.

About the book: Inspirational Regency romance with a Christmas twist from three best-selling authors

In Joy to the World, three popular authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas in one book have depth, faith, and satisfying stories all packed into the perfect length for readers to curl up and take a brief break from their holiday busyness.

"Heaven and Nature Sing" by Carolyn Miller

Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome their obligations and fears to find their way back into each other's arms?

"Far as the Curse is Found" by Amanda Barratt

One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

"Wonders of His Love" by Erica Vetsch

A Scots portrait painter with a hidden identity finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he'd fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Andrea Bocelli - You'll Never Walk Alone (Believe Studio Session)

This magnificent song is one I remember from my youth. It is gaining momentum in these days of uncertainty. As Andrea Bocelli (remember, he has been blind all his life) sings it so beautifully, let the depth of its meaning and the majestic impact of the words AND music fill your being. 

Love it! Pass it on to someone you love. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Ottoman Dominion (#3 in Empires of Armageddon) by Terry Brennan from Kregel Publications [Giveaway USA Nov. 17-Dec.8]

Diplomatic Security Service agent Brian Mullaney wants out. He's been drawn against his will into a dangerous international mission with world-ending implications--and his final assignment is going to pit him directly against the terrifying, evil entity known only as the Turk.

But when the Turk's minions breach the US embassy in Israel and the American ambassador disappears, Mullaney has no choice. He must accept his role as the final guardian of a mysterious box, his only weapon against the powers of darkness bent on preventing the second coming of the Messiah, no matter who or what they annihilate to accomplish their goal. Can this man who's already lost so much find the strength and faith to save the world--and fulfill the prophecy of peace?

Soon to come: Chat With Vera's review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The final volume of the Empires of Armageddon trilogy will have fans of Joel Rosenberg, Ronie Kendig, and Frank Peretti on the edge of their seats up to the final page.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Lovely picture books dealing with loss and change: "The Boy and the Gorilla" & "Rain Before Rainbows" [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

The Boy and the Gorilla by Jackie Azua Kramer & illustrated by Cindy Derby (Hardcover ISBN: 9780763698324, Ages 4-8)


My thoughts:
Death can bring sorrow, grief, and lonliness at anytime and to anyone. It is hard to experience when one is an adult and even harder to experience the death of a loved one when you're a child and then to have the ability and opportunity to process that loved one's death.

The Boy and the Gorilla starts with the darkness and despondency of the death of a young boy's mother. They are leaving the gravesite and then are at home with people who are paying their respects. The colors and artwork are grey, black, blue and bespeak a heaviness of heart in the coloration and expressions.

As the story progresses this darkness expressed in the illustrations begins to brighten and give way to the promise of a brighter day ahead - slowly and surely.

As with children everywhere, this boy-child has an imaginary companion - "Gorilla." He is unobtrusive even with his massive size. He quietly responds to the statements and questions of "boy" with clearly stated truths. "Boy" seems to grasp the idea and comprehends.

This is a moving picture book that will help grieving adults reading to grieving children come to understand the reality of death, its inevitability for all living things, and how one can still have the lost loved one still with oneself in our activities, our thoughts, our memories.

A truly lovely book.

About the book: On the day of his mother’s funeral, a young boy conjures the very visitor he needs to see: a gorilla. Wise and gentle, the gorilla stays on to answer the heart-heavy questions the boy hesitates to ask his father: Where did his mother go? Will she come back home? Will we all die? Yet with the gorilla’s friendship, the boy slowly begins to discover moments of comfort in tending flowers, playing catch, and climbing trees. Most of all, the gorilla knows that it helps to simply talk about the loss—especially with those who share your grief and who may feel alone, too. Author Jackie Azúa Kramer’s quietly thoughtful text and illustrator Cindy Derby’s beautiful impressionistic artwork depict how this tender relationship leads the boy to open up to his father and find a path forward. Told entirely in dialogue, this direct and deeply affecting picture book will inspire conversations about grief, empathy, and healing beyond the final hope-filled scene.

 

Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls & illustrated by David Litchfield (Hardcover ISBN: 9781536212839, Ages 4-8)


My thoughts:
The year 2020 has been frought with uncertainties, sadness, changes, troublesome issues, sadness, etc. Some have experienced great loss or unexpected trouble in a variety of ways. Children have lost the joy of childhood playing with others, school activities and associations. Just a hard year. You might say that, "2020 'rained on our parade'."

While Rain Before Rainbows was not written to help children deal with the issues of 2020, it certainly can help them realize that often there is the grey of a rainy day before the beauty of a bright, colorful rainbow.

The illustrations are stunning and beautifully present the evolution of beginning to ending of start to finish of night before bright day and so on.

An absolutely positive book with stunning illustrations and text that provides a hopeful and uplifting outlook on life. I heartily recommend. 

About the book: In this heartfelt story about courage, change, and moving on, a girl and her companion fox travel together away from a sorrowful past, through challenging and stormy times, toward color and light and life. Along the way they find friends to guide and support them, and when the new day dawns, it is full of promise. With gorgeous, richly realized illustrations and immense hope at its heart, Rain Before Rainbows holds out a ray of sunshine for anyone looking for light.

GIVEAWAY
2 Winners, Each Win Both Books
Begins November 16
Ends December 12 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses
(NO P.O. Boxes. Canadian winners must provide phone number)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prizes are provided and sent directly to the winner by publisher, Candlewick Press, or publicist.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Nothing Short of Wondrous (American Wonders Collection #2) by Regina Scott

My thoughts: 
I found it interesting to read a story in the Yellowstone National Park in the early days of America's settlement of the area. The strife to keep the park pristine and free of man's disruptive behavior was also interesting. I am glad for the early days when people realized the importance of caring for the natural wonders, geysers, bubbling steam and Sulphur pots, amazing forest, and the Buffalo or Bison who had already been so depleted. 

I found the story slow paced. The characters simply didn't grasp my attention but neither was there a true fault in the author's development of them. Simply, didn't engage me a lot.

The boy, Danny, was the exception. Who couldn't love this boy? 

I finished the book and can recommend it as a good, gentle read and it is especially one that would interest anyone who has visited the park area or who has an interest in nature preservation.

About the book: When a sassy widowed hotel owner partners with a world-weary cavalry officer to defend the country's first national park and save the last wild buffalo herd in Yellowstone from poachers, they discover that two wounded hearts can lead to one powerful love.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review from the publisher. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Her Secret Song (Brides of Hope Mountain #3) by Mary Connealy

My thoughts:  Book 2 in the Brides of Hope Mountain ended with the oldest sister of the Nordegren girls, Ursula, remaining in an isolated, snowed-in cabin atop the mountain. Her fears of the world and of people overwhelming her.

As book 3 opens Ursula has lasted the winter in her self-imposed isolation and has a song in her heart. Music fills her being. But she senses a need to go down the mountain to where her sisters and a world of people abide.

Meeting an injured man, she reaches out to help him seek safety and cares for his many injuries. The story then brings Ursula and her sisters back together and their journey down the mountain begins.

Packed with welcome and awesomely witty storytelling, Her Secret Song brings a conclusion to this highly enjoyable, relaxing, and fun read. Author Mary Connealy coaxes out the funny and the impossible, the exciting and the mundane to bring a reader moments of totally enjoyable reading.

About the book: After a rough winter spent alone, Ursula Nordegren realizes she must overcome her fears of the outside world and begins a trek down Hope Mountain. Along the way she finds a badly wounded stranger and realizes God may have used her decision to leave as a way of saving the man.

Wax Mosby was climbing Hope Mountain in part to atone for his terrible choices. He was hired to drive out the Warden family and now knows he was duped. But when he's wounded during the climb, the last person he expects to rescue him is a beautiful blond woman with the voice of an angel.

As both Ursula and Wax weigh the costs of living new lives, the two find an unlikely bond. And they're joined by Ursula's sisters and the Warden family as the final showdown over the family ranch looms with the coming of spring.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Monday, November 2, 2020

WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND? by Sam McBratney & illustrated by Anita Jeram [Review & Giveaway]

The first new Guess How Much I Love You picture-book story for 24 years!


My thoughts: 
The enchantment of story and picture from the joint work of Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram leap from the pages of this newest in the Nutbrown Hare stories.

Little Nutbrownbrown Hare is growning and venturing forth in search of a friend. He goes hither and yonder in his sweet search questioning "Will you be my friend?". Such a sweet and gentle story for your little ones to have read to them and for treasuring the joy of friendship as Little Nutbrown Hare does.

Parents and grandparents will love to present this sweet picturebook to their little ones. Those who grew up loving Big Nutbrown Hare and Guess How Much I Love You story will want a copy for their own keepsake. Such is the joy these stories bring the heart and mind.

Lovely!

About the book: One day Big Nutbrown Hare is busy, but Little Nutbrown Hare wants to play so he goes off exploring on his own. He discovers another hare in a puddle - then realizes it's his reflection. He spots his shadow and wants to race it - only to find it's just as fast as him. Then up on Cloudy Mountain he finally finds someone to play with: a little snow white hare called Tipps. And she's real! This lovely new story is a wonderful companion to the classic picture-book Guess How Much I Love You ; a charming tale about friendship with a delightful and original twist.

GIVEAWAY
Begins November 3
Ends November 27 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & Canada addresses . No P.O.Boxes
Canadian winners must provide phone number. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Natural Zensations Bar Soaps [Review & Giveaway - USA]

The "new kid on the block" is a brand new online webstore for natural soaps whose Grand Opening was October 10 - Natural Zensations. Their inventory of natural soaps are environmentally positive in that the ingredients are safe, natural, contain no artificial substances, and actually good for your skin. And... Made in the USA. Also, and this is quite important, NO PLASTICS are used for packaging. Their mission.....

“We have embarked on a personal mission to make a positive impact on our earth for future generations. Every step, however small, is significant. By creating an environmentally friendly soap, we believe that together we can be part of the solution instead of the pollution.“ (be sure you read the "Our Story" page - https://www.naturalzensations.com/our-story)


Their first soap was the Zage On Me. 


BODY BAR SOAP – ZAGE ON ME

Sparked by open and freshness, this body bar blend includes sage, lemongrass, and spearmint essential oils. This body bar soap is design for superior lather and skin feel. This soap is popular with both men and women.

Ingredients: saponified oils of sunflower*, coconut*, palm*, and safflower* (with retained glycerin); water; essential oils of sage, lavandin, lemongrass, and spearmint; calendula petals; rosemary extract. * ingredients marked with an asterisk are certified organic, $12.00

 


Last evening I used the "Lavender" bar soap for my bath. It lathers beautifully and is such a good feeling soap on my skin. After bathing, my skin did not feel taunt or dried out. Very positive experience.

BODY BAR SOAP – LAVENDER


Ingredients: saponified oils of sunflower* and coconut*; water; vegetable glycerin*; essential oils of orange, lavandin, and tangerine; rosemary extract. * ingredients marked with an asterisk are certified organic $12.00 each

BODY BAR SOAP – PEPPERMINT

This fragrant minty soap is going to one of my daughters who is currently having a love affair with minty bath products. What joy this will bring to her!

Ingredients: saponified oils of sunflower*, coconut*, palm*, and safflower* (with retained glycerin); water; essential oil of peppermint; wheat grass*, barley grass*, peppermint leaf*; menthol; rosemary extract. * ingredients marked with an asterisk are certified organic, $12.00 each

Here is an opportunity to take a little off the cost. They are currently on sale for $10.00 and here is a code for a bit more off!

Use Discount Code: NATZEN10OFF for 10% off your purchase at https://www.naturalzensations.com NOTE: Purchase is NOT required to enter #giveaway.

GIVEAWAY
Two Soaps: Bold Attraction and Zage on Me
Begins October 23
Ends November 16 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE: I received products to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and mailed directly to the winner by Natural Zensations. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Point of Danger (Triple Threat #1) by Irene Hannon

My thoughts:  The author, Irene Hannon, never seems to fail to capture the reader's interest at the onset of a book and keep it right to the end.

In Point of Danger the reader is left wondering who the culprit is throughout the book. The danger grows day-by-day in unexpected ways and shows the intent and threat that whoever is behind them poses to Eve Reilly.

Eve Reilly is an intelligent professional woman who hosts a talk show that discusses controversial political, behavioral, and perhaps even environmental subjects. The individuals who listen are for her and many are verbally opposed to her rhetoric. But the question is, are they so opposed to her dialogue that they are willing to delivery a bomb?

The detective assigned to her case is handsome, intelligent, dependable, and seemingly unavailable emotionally. But he is good at his job.

I totally enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next installment in the "Triple Threat" series.

About the book: Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews, but now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.

Police detective Brent Lange can't find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he's convinced they're connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve's voice silenced--permanently.

But unless he can track down her foe, fast, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes--and who is swiftly winning his heart--may not survive.

Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon is back with a heart-stopping new series that will have you turning pages well into the night. 

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Revell Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica S. Perl & illustrated by Shahar Kober [Review & Giveaway]

We are again looking at a children's book featuring the Jewish Hanukkah celebration. 

My thoughts:  This is a sweet little story of a Jewish family who has just moved into a new apartment. The boxes with all their things are still to be emptied.

But Hanukkah is about to begin and they need their menorah and the candles that go into it. But they can't find it. So they begin to improvise.

Each night a candle is lit and there is a special activity or food for that night. There is symbolism in each night's candle lighting and the activity or food commemorating the Hanukkah celebration.

Since they can't find the items of food or other materials to observe each night's celebration, the children run up and down the stairs to the various apartments, meeting their neighbors who in turn provide a variety of items so the family can have a Hanukkah Celebration. Not quite authentic but definitely memorable.

A nice story about a Jewish holiday and its significance to the family. A nice story of new neighbors being kind and helpful. A nice story of children content to make-do and not to whine.

A good read to learn a bit about a Jewish holiday even if you're not Jewish.

About the book: It shows children and reminds parents that, like the shamash, individual people have the power to spark change and brighten the lives of those around them. Its celebration of unsung helpers is particularly timely, as we honor the healthcare and other essential workers who are risking their lives during this unprecedented time.

It’s Hanukkah, and Max and Rachel are excited to light the menorah in their family’s new apartment. But, unfortunately, their Hanukkah box is missing. So now they have no menorah, candles, dreidels, or, well, anything! Luckily, their neighbors are happy to help, offering thoughtful and often humorous stand-in items each night. And then, just as Hanukkah is about to end, Max and Rachel, inspired by the shamash (“helper”) candle, have a brilliant idea: they’re going to celebrate the Ninth Night of Hanukkah as a way to say thanks to everyone who’s helped them!

This is not only a heartwarming and fun story, it’s also an invitation to join in a beautiful new Hanukkah tradition: celebrating a ninth night with new neighbors and friends! The book includes a guide to celebrate your own “Shamash night” – even if you’re not Jewish.

Perl was inspired to write The Ninth Night of Hanukkah (Sterling Children's Books; 9/15/20; ISBN: 978-1454940883; Hardcover $16.95; Ages 3+; 40 pages) by a conversation with her daughters in which they questioned why the shamash wasn't given its own (ninth) night of honor after spending eight nights helping the other candles. Hanukkah is the perfect time to show appreciation for those who help others and the world at large, and if it means keeping the menorah and the latke pan out for one more night to do so -- well, who can argue with that?

About the creators: Erica S. Perl is the author of many books for children, including All Three Stooges (the 2018 National Jewish Book Award winner, and a Sydney Taylor Honor), When Life Gives You OJ (Sydney Taylor Notable), and Goatilocks and the Three Bears. She lives in Washington, DC, with her family. Learn more about her on Twitter @ericaperl or at www.ericaperl.com. Shahar Kober is a freelance illustrator and art director who lives in Israel. He graduated from Shenkar College of Design in 2005. He illustrates children's books, and contributes illustrations to newspapers, magazines, websites, and animation projects. You can find him at www.skober.com.

🕎 GIVEAWAY 🕎
Begins October 15
Ends November 3 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Children's picture books about Jewish holidays, Purim and Hanukkah [Review & Giveaway - USA

We're looking at a couple of books from Wisdom Tales publishing company that are distinctively Jewish. These are children's books about the celebration of Jewish holidays. I believe that our Christian heritage is rooted in Jesus, but also in those who went before and are brought alive to us in the Old Testament which is also a history of the Jewish peoples. 


Children need to know that others sometimes believe differently and have different holidays. Children won't be confused if taught correctly but will grow to understand and appreciate these differences.

The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah by Martha Seif Simpson, illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard

  

My thoughts: 
In The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah approaches and the toyshop owner (in the "old country") has sold all his dreidels.  A dreidel is a spinning toy similar to a "top" and was a beloved toy of Jewish children. While the story teaches virtually nothing about the holiday itself, it does teach how miracles cannot be bought.

The book's back pages include information regarding the decorations which are letters or symbols that are part of the dreidel game and are part of how you play the dreidel game. 

The story itself is of how the dreidel is sold to selfish, demanding individuals and when they couldn't get it to spin, they returned it to the toyshop for a refund of what they paid. Finally, the toyshop owner gives it to a kind, sweet boy for whom the dreidel spins beautifully.

A lovely story.

About the book: This dreidel doesn't work! the father had cried. What do you mean? How can a dreidel not work? the shopkeeper asked. It was certainly the most beautiful spinning top the shopkeeper had ever seen, with magical golden letters on its sides. But it just would not spin for two spoiled children who insisted on owning it! Later, the shopkeeper decides to try it one last time: would it spin for another child, one who carried the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart? In this beautiful holiday story by award-winning author Martha Simpson, and brought to life by the imaginative illustrations of award-winning illustrator D. Yael Bernhard, the happiness and joy of the Hanukkah miracle will warm the heart of young and old alike with its simple message: wonders still occur for those who are ready for them. Included is a useful appendix that explains Hanukkah, and an explanation on how to play the dreidel game."


  

Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim by Martha Seif Simpson, Durga Yael Bernhard (Contributor)

 

My thoughts:  The noise of the graggers being played with by shoppers and children is really bothering the toyshop owner. Yet he still purchases additional graggers from the peddler.

After receiving the newer graggers from the peddler, a young boy hurryingly enters the toyshop and selects a gragger beautifully painted that has Queen Esther's name on it to give his sister who is also named Esther. With some reluctance the shopkeeper agrees not to sell it a few hours so the boy can return with adequate funds to purchase it.

Soon a very large boy arrives and rudely demands he be sold the Queen Esther gragger. When told he can not have that one, he bellows loudly and slams his hand on the counter demanding that specific gragger for himself. The shopkeeper is adamant to not sell it to this rude customer telling him that he is not welcome in the toyshop.

The young boy returns and buys the gragger after which the bully confronts him and tried to get the toy from the sister who by now is holding the gragger.

The story ends well with shouting and the noise of the graggers driving the bully away. A well written story about the celebration of Purim which is the celebration of Queen Esther's defiance of Hamman in Jewish history when Hamman sought to rid the kingdom of Jews. Hamman was defeated.

The story of Esther is important in the Biblical context for Christians as well as it is rooted in Jewish history. Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating Esther. The back pages of this children's book provide non-fiction information about Purim and graggers. 



About the book: Young Esther is given a special gragger (a noisemaker) to celebrate the fun, and sometimes raucous, Jewish festival of Purim. An older boy bullies her to get it for himself, but Esther reacts with great courage and intelligence, her actions reflecting the biblical story on which Purim is based. The lively cast of characters quibble and carouse in a bygone world of warmth, surprise, and generosity. There is even a parade for children only. The appendix helps readers understand the history of Purim, how it is celebrated today, what a "gragger" is, and how to make a simple noisemaker. Following the award-winning The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin, author Martha Seif Simpson and illustrator D. Yael Bernhard have again created a new toyshop tale of playful language and images that hint at ancient roots and hidden meanings, which are just waiting for young readers to find. This is a tale ideal for reading aloud for fun, but also for learning.
GIVEAWAY
Begins October 12
Ends November 6 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and sent directly to winner by publisher, publicist, or author/s.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Give a blessing to someone with the Butterfly Box [Review & Giveaway]


Just what is a "Butterfly Box"? Well, it is a delightful, inspiring, encouraging, fun-to-receive gift to someone you care about or to yourself. Read on.....

Life is busy, and it can be hard to find the time each day to connect with Christ. Butterfly Box is here to help! We thoughtfully curate a themed box each month to help reclaim those quiet moments with God, build your intimacy with Christ, and live out your faith in the world around you! 

Each month's box is designed to illustrate a biblical theme and encourage spiritual growth.

  • 5 to 6 items such as jewelry, artwork, books, décor, personal pampering items, faith sharing cards and other specialty items
  • All items are carefully chosen and undergo a rigorous selection process
  • Products are faith-based or support small Christian businesses.
My thoughts: I received one of these lovely boxes and it is jam-packed with goodies. A sweet little bracelet. A journal. A devotional book on prayer by Stormie Omartian. A couple of treats. This is all packed neatly and beautifully in a box and shipped. 





I plan to gift mine to someone I love. What about you? What about sending a token of love and encouragement. You can opt for a one-month gift or subscriptions of more months. You set the amount and they don't renew beyond that. Really safe subscription plan and just a joyful way to bring some blessings into someone's day-to-day life.

This 6-month giveaway has a value of nearly $200.00 and you don't want to miss out. 

CLICK HERE FOR GIVEAWAY 
Ends Oct. 30, 2020

Transform. Renew. Pursue.

​The Subscription Box That Encourages Women In Their Faith.


Every month, a different themed box full of 4-6 hand selected top quality items is curated. 

🦋Inspiring Books, Devotionals or Journals
🦋Christian Jewelry
🦋Scripture Decor
🦋Theme Related Gifts
🦋Self-Care Items (Soaps, Lotion, Candles) 

Each month's box is designed to illustrate a biblical theme and encourage spiritual growth containing 5 to 6 items such as jewelry, artwork, books, décor, personal pampering items, faith sharing cards, and other specialty items. All items are carefully chosen and undergo a rigorous selection process. Products are faith-based or support small Christian businesses.

COUPON CODE:  10% off!  WELCOME10 - Click Here to purchase

DISCLOSURE: I received the pictured Butterfly Box to facilitate a giveaway. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaway is hosted by Butterfly Box and publicist who are solely responsible for winner selection and prize distribution.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Do your "Happy Dance" in some BonAngel Women's Novelty-Funny Socks [Review & Giveaway - USA]

We recently featured the Bonangel men's dress socks and the men's fun, novelty socks. Now it's time for the ladies to have a bit of fun, too. It's time to take the chill off the toesies and have some happy feet sprinting about our day. 

 

The BonAngel sock company (Amazon online store) has graciously offered  an opportunity for Chat With Vera readers to win a set of women's novelty, fun socks. Also, any of their women's novelty/fun socks can be purchased with a 30% discount code and special link - available only HERE.


Ladies, these fun socks have just enough "cling" for comfortable wear and "stay-put" quality. They will bring out your inner funny side and they are especially cheerful on "down" days. They will bring a bit of fun and joy to days that can be dismal or boring. 

They will be conversation starters. 

The socks are 80% cotton, 15% nylon, and 5% spandex. Just right for comfort, washability, and wearability. 

Not too thick. Not too thin.




Designs are fun and varied. Colors are vibrant. 

It's time to break out of the mold and have a bit of fun. 

This one's for you, the ladies. Here is the opportunity to win a set for yourself. Don't forget, ladies, that they'll feel great on your feet and put a bit of spring in your step, too!




30% Discount code is discoverable only in the Rafflecopter Giveaway Entry below.

Find BonAngel Socks Shop on Amazon - CLICK HERE


GIVEAWAY
2 Winners Each Win
1 Pack Women's Novelty/Funny Crew Socks
Also: Discover 30% Discount Code
Begins October 6
Ends October 28 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only


DISCLOSURE: I received a pack of socks for review purposes. Opinions are mine, alone. Winner's socks are provided by BonAngel Socks on Amazon and shipped directly to the winner. I received a small compensation for original posting and images.


BONANGEL CHRISTMAS NOVELTY/FUN SOCKS.....

The Plans We Made by Kathryn Cushman & Lauren Beccue [Review & Giveaway]


My thoughts:  What a delightful book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. 

The authors were skilled in the development of characters with believable personalities, some flaws, some wonderful traits. The conversations were genuine seeming and not contrived. 

The story line was complex but woven so beautifully that this reader could believe it was taking place in my own neighborhood. I loved the contrast of living in Southern California to the Rhode Island area. I loved the decisions characters had to make that were life changing.

I loved the "boys" and their banter. I loved the families. I loved the sweet romance that slowly developed. I grieved over the tragedy of a dreaded cancer diagnosis for a teenager and the way the family supported each other.

Simply stated..... I totally enjoyed this contemporary story.

About the book: When past secrets hold the only key to hope for the future…

Caroline Chapman is reeling from a broken engagement. Determined to start again, she moves cross-country for her dream job of planning events in the historical mansions of Newport, Rhode Island. Just as her life is getting back on track, she gets an email that shakes her very foundations.

Linda Riley’s life looks picture perfect - a wonderful husband, two great kids, involved in church and the community. Then comes the diagnosis that shatters the facade. In order to save her son’s life, she must reveal secrets that can rip everything apart.

Connected by more than painful circumstances, these two women discover a sacred bond. In this beautiful story of love, loss, and the fight for life, Caroline and Linda experience the reality that life doesn’t always go according to The Plans We Made.

About the authors:

Kathryn Cushman graduated with a degree in pharmacy from Samford University. After hanging up her lab coat, she shifted her focus toward writing. Her previous works have received multiple nominations for both the Carol Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award. The Plans We Made is her tenth published novel.

Lauren Beccue graduated from Holy Cross with a BA in English and now lives with her family in Santa Barbara. She writes about faith and family, with an emphasis on agricultural passages of the Bible. This is her first novel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also..... Authors' Gift With Purchase....

MAKE YOUR PLANS IN PENCIL! 

Now, go buy your copy of The Plans We Made online or at a local bookstore, then be sure to head to Lauren’s website to claim your bonus freebie!

Make Your Plans in Pencil - The Plans We Made - Proverbs 19:21

Just contact Lauren with your name, address, and where you purchased the book, and she’ll send you a set. That's it! (US only and get 'em while they last.)

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Giveaways hosted by publicist and/or authors who are responsible for distribution of prizes.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Fight the pandemics with natural, organic, and vegan soaps and hand creams from GoodEarthBeauty [Review & Giveaway]

Good Earth Beauty Exclusives collection of #natural & #vegan bar soaps

Through the years I have used many types of soap beginning with Ivory Soap (you know the white bar that floats?) and then other brands that include deodorant soaps (with chemicals to deodorize our bodies), detergent "soaps" that are "better" for our skin, and perfumed soaps that run the gamut of sensual delights.

But in 2020 washing our hands, and our bodies with unprecedented frequency has become imperative. It works at stemming the spread of viruses and bacteria that make us sick. But while it is doing that, it also takes a toll on the condition of our skin.

Chapped. Cracked. Drained of natural protective oils. That has been the status quo. 

But we can avoid much of the bad effects of frequent washing by using products that don't strip the skin of oils, that protect, that sooth. And that is where the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives product are your rescue and go-to products to use.

So today, we're going to look at some natural  soaps that are made in the USA and in small batches using natural and sustainable ingredients.  And when we're finished, you will have an opportunity to be one of two winners of GEB Exclusives Bar Soap and 3 Mini-Hand Creams. 

Activated Charcoal Soap 

Soaps that include the ingredient of activated charcoal are usually good for folks who have issues with rashes, acne, and irritations of the skin. The tea tree oil combined with the activated charcoal should be helpful for those who need an extra bit of help in taking care of their skin. Probably it will be good for anyone's skin.

About it: Ingredients: saponified organic olive, coconut, palm oil and shea butter, activated charcoal, tea tree and lavender essential oils

Pumpkin Soap 

Those of my readers who follow my reviews already know that I absolutely love Good Earth Beauty's Pumpkin Soap. This soap is particularly divine feeling as you're using it and for how you skin feels afterward. The scent is absolutely heavenly and doesn't linger where it might conflict with whatever scent you choose to wear for the day. Love it!

About it: All natural Pumpkin Soap with Pumpkin Puree and Pumpkin seed oil, Great seasonal pumpkin scent, Ingredients, Saponified oils of olive, coconut, palm shea butter and pumpkin seed, pumpkin puree, natural pumpkin fragrance oil.

All Natural Vanilla Soap

When I used this vanilla soap in the bath, I found it lathered nicely and had a very gentle scent. No, you won't smell like a cake or cookie reeking with the scent of vanilla flavoring. It is a nice gentle fragrance. My skin had a nice clean feel and doesn't feel dried or chaffed at all. Nice. The lovely oils used in creating this soap add richness that can surely work wonders on your skin.

About it: Ingredients: saponified organic olive, coconut, palm oil and shea butter, natural fragrance oil

Good Earth Beauty Exclusives collection of #natural & #vegan hand creams

This delightful feeling hand cream (lotion) comes in an assortment of scents.


I am already in love (I should really use all caps here because it is a MAJOR "IN LOVE") with the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Rose Hand Cream and the Lavender Vanilla Hand Creams. But they have more that might surely top the list in preferences for you. Never too heavy on scent but just perfect, and the feel of these hand creams is just absolute perfection.

My hands are luxuriating in this smooth, moist, silky cream.

Hey! Did I tell you that I LOVE IT!

I have used and shared my love of the Good Earth Beauty Exclusives Hand Cream in the scent of Rose with my Chat With Vera readers. But this delightful feeling hand cream (lotion) comes in an assortment of scents. I can't say enough about how much I enjoy using this hand cream and how smooth my hands feel when I use it. It isn't heavy or sticky feeling.


Your skin will definitely feel like you've been wrapped in silk no matter which scent you choose.

Before you know it, Christmas will be here. With shortages still persisting during the COVID-19 Pandemic, why not go ahead and shop real early for gifts that will ensure clean, soft skin for everyone. 

Use discount code VERA10 for a 10% discount, and FREE SHIPPING on USA addressed orders.

GIVEAWAY
2 winners each will win
3 Mini GEB Exclusives Hand Creams &
 1 bar of GEB Exclusives Soap
(Product selection by GEB)
Begins October 4
Ends November 6  @ 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
Soap $9.25-$12.00
Mini-Hand Cream $2.75 each
DISCLOSURE: I received products from Good Earth Beauty to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Winners' prize will be sent directly to them by Good Earth Beauty. Product information on products may be located on https://www.goodearthbeauty.com 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Jefferson Measures a Moose & No Ordinary Jacket from Candlewick Press [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

No Ordinary Jacket by Sue-Ellen Pashley &  Illustrated by Thea Baker

 My thoughts:
  What a sweet little story. Its about a small girl who loves her jacket and wears it incessantly. But, alas, she outgrows it. The journey of this favorite jacket is touching and so sweet in this day when such an abundance of stuff engulfs society and no one seems to value any specific item to the extent that it becomes cherished.

The days of make-do, pass-it-along, and re-do with pieces of clothing are seemingly past. But perhaps there are a few families such as this one that finds ways to extend the life of a treasure by re-fitting it to a different purpose.

Especially sweet story of a little girl and an especially nice example of re-purposing something.

About the book: Amelia wears her favorite jacket everywhere. She wears it to preschool. And to Aunty Kath’s house. And to the store. Even to bed! But one day, she can’t fit into it anymore. Perhaps she should give it to her little sister, Lilly? Then she can wear it everywhere . . . until it doesn’t fit her either, and the jacket can live on in other surprising ways. A reassuring text combines with enchanting collage illustrations to tell a story that is as warm and cozy as a well-loved coat.

Jefferson Measures a Moose by Mara Rockliff & illustrated by S. D. Schindler


My thoughts: I am quite fond of biographical picture books of famous people because I believe it creates an interest in real people, places, and things that can grow as the child ages.

 I don't think of Jefferson Measures a Moose as a biographic book about Mr. Jefferson. It does elaborate on his interest in numbers and how they relate to the world around him.

It seems evident, that Mr. Jefferson had a "gift" for mathematics though that is not what he is known for in the annuals of American History. This snapshot into his interest in numbers does not show us what made him famous and how he helped to shape America.

It does allow young minds to explore numbers themselves and see how numbers are essential to our understanding and relating to the mundane as well as the awesome.

Perhaps this book will encourage a child to chart the growth of items in his or her own little garden. Measure how many steps it is from point A to point B. In other words, perhaps it will encourage the child to think about what is about him and how numbers fit into the scheme of things.

About the book: The author of Mesmerized shares another comical true tale of a Founding Father using science to defeat ignorance and stop the spread of false information.

Thomas Jefferson was wild about numbers. He was constantly counting, measuring, and observing things that caught his interest. He loved sharing his discoveries and reading the discoveries of others. But when a famous Frenchman published a book about America, Jefferson was appalled: all the information in the book was wrong. The author insisted that America was a wretched, dismal place, where birds could not sing, dogs could not bark, and everything and everyone was puny and weak. Thomas Jefferson resolved to set the record straight — with numbers — and prove to the world that the new nation was worthy of investment. But how do you show that a country is plentiful in an age when photography hasn’t been invented yet? Mara Rockliff, master of children’s nonfiction, details another little-known moment in math and natural history, illustrated with humor by prolific artist S. D. Schindler and accompanied by extensive back matter and an informative author’s note.
GIVEAWAY
Begins October 2
Ends October 26 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses.
Canadian winners must provide phone number.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winners' prize is provided and mailed directly to the winner by publisher or publicist.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Fashion-Forward Series Takes a Little Mouse on a Big Adventure - Claris, Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris by Megan Hess [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 978-1760504953
Hardcover $17.99
Ages 3-8 ~ 48 Pages

My thoughts:
  When I saw the cover of this picture book I absolutely feel in love with the beautiful illustration and delightful, fashionable mouse, Clarise.

And, oh my, that was just the beginning. Every single page is packed with adorable, wildly extravagant scenes from New York and the fashionable stores, streets, decorations, buildings, and especially people.

Do folks roam the streets of New York dressed like this in today's world? Probably not. But it makes for fun reading, glamerous characters (and yes, young readers and listeners can enjoy pretty, fashionable attire), and the hustle and bustle and the extravagant Christmas decorations that make New York such a dream place.

But the story is the essence of the book and youngsters can learn a lot from the characters' strengths and flaws. The action is great as a "mystery" or "action" story for youngsters with Clarise and her trusty side-kick Monsieur coming to the rescue.

Special in this series is that Megan Hess, acclaimed fashion illustrator for major fashion houses, is both author and illustrator. And she has written a rhyming story that is attention grabbing and packed the pages with brilliant and beautiful illustrations.

I hate that I've missed her previous "Claris" books. I highly recommend this enjoyable book and think it would be so nice to give a child before Christmas.

You can pre-order the book by clicking here

About the book: A sweet little mouse takes on a cheeky cat burglar with holiday cheer! Can Claris and Monsieur save the day – the New York way? 

The Claris series, with more than a million books in print, follows an adorable mouse who moves to Paris to follow her fashion dreams, for fans of Eloise and Olivia. Destined to delight fashion-obsessed readers of all ages!

Fashionable illustrations will draw young readers into Claris’ glamorous life again and again, while budding designers delight in the characters’ detailed outfits. Rhyming text makes this story of friendship and following your dreams a fun read-aloud for both kids and parents. Claris is more than a story – it’s a whole new world for children to explore as they follow the fashionista mouse on each new adventure, from her move to Paris in The Chicest Mouse in Paris (8/2018; ISBN: 978-1760502591) and the runways of Fashion Week in Fashion Show Fiasco (6/2019; ISBN: 978-1760502874), to the beaches of the French Riviera in Bonjour Riviera (3/20; ISBN: 978-1760504939) and now a winter romp through New York City in Holiday Heist.

About the Author: Megan Hess is an acclaimed fashion illustrator who works with some of the most prestigious fashion designers and luxury brands around the world, such as Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Montblanc and Tiffany & Co. She is the official illustrator for Bloomingdales New York, and completed the cover artwork for all of Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell's books, as well as a private commission for Michelle Obama, and has collaborated with Gwyneth Paltrow for the 'Blo' Blow Dry Bar campaign. Claris: The Chicest Mouse in Paris is her first children's book series. Find Megan and Claris on Instagram @meaganhess_official and @claristhemouse

GIVEAWAY
Begins September 27
Ends October 22 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA/CANADA addresses
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided and sent directly to the winner by publicist or publisher.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Soft, hand tie-dyed onesies and bibs for the baby in your life - Support small businesses [Review & Giveaway]

Baby clothes are simply adorable. And that's exactly as it should be. Adorable baby clothes for an adorable little one. But there is that practical side, too. Sometimes you need a bit of the simple life and that calls for onesies!

Sometimes, the little one needs an extra layer of clothes and that calls for onesies!

Sometimes you just want them relaxed in the least you can put on them, and that calls for onesies!



D.L.Widger has a small, home business of tie-dying face masks, baby onesies, and baby bibs. We're supporting her in this endeavor by presenting her unique tie dyed onesies. You can purchase these via a Direct Message to her Instagram account. DM @D.l.Widger and she'll give you the details. #tie-dye-onesies

I have a  soft pink set that she sent me and it will go for my newest great-granddaughter. It's a bit large for her now but she will soon grow into it. These sell for $25 for the onesies and bib is $7.

GIVEAWAY
1 Onesie & 1 Bib
Begins September 26
Ends October 20 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by D.L.Widger.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Priti NYC Natural Nail Care found at Good Earth Beauty is gluten, paraben, & cruelty free [Review & Giveaway]

The last time we talked about nail polish, we spoke of how the uncertainty of the times and how Covid-19 is governing our lives with the fear of contagion with limits on going out to work, socializing, and just living day-to-day.

That fear is still there. We're still slow to socialize, shop, play, work as normal. But some limits have been lifted and folks are beginning to come out of the isolation that drove us to fight this novel virus and to protect ourselves and those we love.

But we still need to stay isolated or away from large groups. We still need to wear a mask. We still need to exercise care by distancing ourselves and diligent hand washing. 

And we still need to add a level of self-care and of prettying-up ourselves. We need to use nice products on our skin. Good stuff to make us pretty and add a dab of color to our lives.

PRITI NYC Nail Polish can help you do that. And... Priti NYC Nail Polish is one of the good guys! It's natural. It's safe. It's long lasting. It's definitely pretty!

Our hands have been lathered and rinsed until our cuticles, knuckles, and nails  are showing a bedraggled look.

Fix it! ...


Get a bottle of polish. Get a clipper. Get a file. Then trim, shape, and get pretty.

Find this Color "Cool Paris" (a lovely pink with touch of voilet) & other beautiful colors. Note: this color is not as violet as it appears in this picture. CLICK HERE

What color would you choose? Liven up the day with a crimson red or be beguilingly beautiful in a blushing pink. What's your choice?

Now here's a superb thought..... order online! (Don't go in stores where those Covids abound.) The folks at GoodEarthBeauty.com which is a fabulous all natural product beauty shop online is the perfect place to shop natural, vegan, cruelty free, etc. I love it!

Here is the Priti NYC Nail Polish I'm trying out right now. I'm telling you, it went on beautifully. I applied a nice base coat. Then two coats of this beautiful Priti NYC Nail Polish. And finished with a clear top coat. 



"I feel pretty, oh so pretty....." (You know the song...)

You can, too. Go ahead and check out what they have. CLICK HERE



NEW NAIL POLISH #232 COOL PARIS COLLECTION PRITI NYC NATURAL NAIL CARE GLUTEN FREE, CRUELTY FREE, ALL NATURAL, PARABEN FREE


A natural nail polish! Priti NYC Polishes are safe and completely Non-Toxic, and do not contain toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP. Each is housed in a 12.6 ml. bottle that is completely recyclable. They are fast drying, chip resistant, non-yellowing, contain a UV inhibitor, and are super durable and glossy. All Priti Polishes are named after similar colored plants and flowers. #232 Cool Paris looks like hydrangea. Made by Priti NYC Natural Nail Care made in USA. Price $13.00

Ingredients: Butyl Acetate (an organic compound common used as a solvent. Colorless, soluble found in many types of fruit), Ethyl Acetate (an organic compound with a pungent smell like pear drops), Nitrocellulose (a long lasting film forming agent derived from cellulose), Acetyl Tributyl Citrate (colorless non-toxic liquid used as a food adaditive), Phthalic Anhydride/Trimellitic Anhydride/Glycols Copolymer (intermediate for the synthesis of surface coating in dyes and adhesives), Isopropyl Alcohol (non-toxic alternative to formaldehyde, Stearalkonium Hectorite (a thickening agent to make sure all the glitter doesn't sink to the bottom), Adipic Acid/Fumaric Acid/Phthalic Acid/Tricyclodecane Dimethanol Copolymer (an organic compound used as a food flavoring ingredient found in mushrooms, and lichen), Citric Acid – obtained from citrus fruits. MAY CONTAIN: D&C Red #6 Barium Lake, D&C Red #7 Calcium Lake, D&C Red #34 Calcium Lake, FD&C Yellow #5 Aluminum Lake, D&C Yellow #10 Aluminum Lake, FD&C Blue #1 Aluminum Lake, Ferric Ammonium, errocyanide, Red Iron Oxide, Black Iron Oxide, Guanine, Bismuth Oxychloride, Mica, D&C Violet #2, D&C Red #17, D&C Red #33, D&C Yellow #11, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Green #3, D&C Green #6, D&C Yellow #10, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate (and) Tin Oxides, Silica (and) Aluminum Powder (and) Iron Oxides, Aluminum Powder

 

Use 10% Discount Code: VERA10
Free Shipping in USA
 


GIVEAWAY
1 Bottle Priti NYC Natural Nail Polish
(no choice of color)
Begins September 21
Ends October 19 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.

DISCLOSURE: I received a lovely product to facilitate a review. Any opinions given are my own alone and are freely given. I was not required to render positive thoughts on the products. I only recommend those products which I or a member of my family or close friends and will use. The winner's prize will be provided and shipped directly to the winner by Good Earth Beauty. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or damaged products. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Picture book biographies of two women who made a difference: Frances Perkins & Jane Adams

Dangerous Jane: The Life and Times of Jane Adams Crusader for Peace by Suzanne Slade & illustrated by Alice Ratterree 


My thoughts: 
Dangerous Jane is a beautifully illustrated story of a women born into a life of affluence. As a child, she had personal tragedies that molded her personality but didn't break her. Her mother died when Jane was two years old and a few years later Jane had what they thought might be tuberculosis which left her body deformed. She felt she was ugly and unwanted.

But then she saw the need - exceptional need - of the poor and poverty stricken people in her city. She became a person of real compassion and in adulthood turned that compassion into good works.

Later in her adult life, she traveled in Europe on behalf of the suffering people there. These people were also those with whom the United States battled during WWI. This drew opposition toward Jane.

She lived into old age continuing her good works on behalf of the poor. 

This is an exceptional children's book about an exceptional woman. A must for school and public libraries.


About the book: Jane's heart ached for the world, but what could she do to stop a war?



This energetic and inspiring picture book biography of activist Jane Addams focuses on the peace work that won her the Nobel Peace Prize. From the time she was a child, Jane's heart ached for others. At first the focus of her efforts was on poverty, and lead to the creation of Hull House, the settlement house she built in Chicago. For twenty-five years, she'd helped people from different countries live in peace at Hull House. But when war broke out, Jane decided to take on the world and become a dangerous woman for the sake of peace.

Suzanne Slade's powerful text written in free verse illuminates the life of this inspiring figure while Alice Ratterree's stunning illustrations bring Jane Addams and her world to life.


Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers' Rights by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Kristy Caldwell


My thoughts: 
As this book opens with a challenge to the young reader to consider the math of calculating when they, the reader, will qualify to receive Social Security Retirement Benefits. Unless you already know the major achievement of Frances Perkins, you may wonder just why that is an important thought to process in a biographic picture book.

Frances Perkins was born in 1880 in Boston into a home that valued education. Although women were not considered needful of education beyond the basics, her father thoroughly educated Frances. She ultimately received a Masters Degree. An amazing achievement for that time. 

But she was also taught by her parents to be a caring individual with a responsibility to help those in need at every opportunity. As a young woman, she saw the plight of young and older women working in factories - extremely long hours and under dreadful conditions. She sought ways to improve circumstances for them. This led to being appointed by the Governor of New York as a social director to improve conditions. So began her plan that worked in New York and led to her position in President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Cabinet. An as part of the President's team, she developed the Social Security System.

This is an amazing story about an amazing woman. A book that needs to be in every school and public library.

About the book: How many years will it be until you turn sixty-two? What year will that be? Once you've read Thanks to Frances Perkins, you'll know why these are important questions--and why you may want to thank Frances Perkins.

After Frances Perkins witnessed the Triangle Waist Factory fire in 1911, she was forever changed. While some activists pressed factory owners for change, Frances decided to work to bring about new laws that would force employers to treat people better and make workplaces safer. When she became Secretary of Labor in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration--the first woman cabinet member--Frances had the opportunity to make real her bold vision of a country where no one was left out. As a result of the Social Security program that she created, we have built a society where we help one another.

Deborah Hopkinson's energetic text and Kristy Caldwell's appealing illustrations introduce readers to a fascinating woman who has changed many American lives. Back matter features more information about Frances Perkins, Social Security, and resources for economic education.

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.