Wild Thing – Book Review



Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don’t always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. Readers will be hooked on the series’ vivid characters, whose quirky personalities fill Winnie’s life with friendship and adventure.

In #1 Wild Thing, Winnie’s fearful heart finally begins to trust God again as she tries to gentle the horse of her dreams, Wild Thing.

I think that, at some point in their lives, all girls go through a horse-crazy stage. I know that I did. When I was about eight, I devoured every book I could find on horses. Now that I am an adult, I am still looking for good horse books to share with the special girls in my life, and that search led me to the Winnie the Horse Gentler series. Wild Thing is a great start to this series of horse books for girls. Winnie and her family have just moved to a new town – again. When she discovers a beautiful Arabian horse in need of gentling, she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her.

I enjoyed this book, and know that as an eight-year-old I would have loved it. The story is entertaining and includes topics such as fear and guilt, which are addressed in a method appropriate for the intended audience. A descriptive writing style and a cast of quirky characters make this an enjoyable read. As an added bonus, the back of the book includes a guide on horse behaviors and breeds.

If there is a horse-crazy girl in your life, this would be a perfect book to share with her!

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Heaven by Stephen Elkins – Book Review


HeavenCover-smallerAs an aunt, I am always on the lookout for books to read with my little nieces and nephews. (Admittedly my fascination with children’s books started long before that, but, hey, they provide the perfect excuse!) When I first saw Heaven: What’s It Like? How Do We Get There?, I was struck by how sweet the cover is. I am a firm believer that the illustrations in children’s books are just as important as the words, so I was very happy to see the beautiful artwork by Kirsteen Harris-Jones.

The inside of the book is simply formatted. The left side of the layout is headed with the words “What is Heaven Like?” and under that is a “title” for the page (Heaven is Safe, Heaven is Real, etc.). Under this is a Bible verse and a short poem related to the topic, and on the right hand side is an illustration.

Overall, I thought that this was a very cute book. There were several things in particular that I liked about it. In addition to the illustrations, which I have already mentioned, the words are easily accessible to kids. It is the kind of thing that I could see an older child reading to a younger sibling. At the same time, having each layout be essentially a different story is convenient for children with short attention spans who might not want to sit through all 125 pages.

This is definitely a book that I will be sharing with the special little ones in my life!

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