Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Charlie the Tramp - a children's book review

I was first introduced to Russell Hoban when my children were young. His series of children's books featuring a badger as the main character caught their attention quickly. Bedtime for Frances was one of their favorites and we read it often as they were preparing for bed. Mr. Hoban began writing books for children's in the the late 1950s. He was trained as an illustrator and wrote copy for advertising agencies. He also produced paintings for books and magazines. Mr. Hoban preferred writing over illustration and passed the illustrating of his books on to others.

Today, I had the pleasure of reading another of Russell Hoban's books, Charlie the Tramp. This classic was first written in 1966 and has been re-released in a beautiful 50th anniversary hardcover edition. In this delightful little book, Charlie, a beaver, decides he wants to go off into the world to become a tramp. He has decided the life of a tramp is much more desirable than that of a beaver and much easier, too. The story develops as Charlie shares his decision with his parents and his grandfather. In an excerpt from the book, Charlie says, "Tramps don't have to learn how to chop down trees and how to roll logs and how to build dams. Tramps just tramp around and have a good time. Tramps carry sticks with little bundles tied to them. They sleep in a field when the weather is nice, and when it rains they sleep in a barn."

I was pleased to find the presentation of good morals and values in the story line. Charlie learns he has the right to make up his own mind as his parents give him the freedom to do so. Charlie learns, after setting out on his own, that being who he was supposed to be wasn't so bad after all.

This hardcover book is geared toward children ages 3-8 but would appeal to children of all ages. The book is illulstrated by Lillian Hoban, wife of Russell Hoban. The photos in the book are done in black and white. Each drawing has a whimsical nature that children will love.

Charlie the Tramp received the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award in 1968. The author, now deceased, leaves quite a legacy of beautifully written books for young readers. A complete list of Mr. Hoban's books can be found here.

I would like to thank Plough Publishing for giving me an opportunity to review this wonderful children's book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The book was presented for my honest review and I was not encouraged to provide a positive review.

The book can be purchased through Plough Publishing by clicking here. It can also be purchased on Amazon.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The One Year Book of Healing - a book review

The One Year Book of Healing, Daily Appointments with God for Physical, Spiritual, and Emotional Wholeness, by Dr. Reggie Anderson, is a wonderful book. It's filled with devotionals for each day of the year.

Dr. Reggie Anderson is a primary care physician practicing medicine in a small rural area of Tennessee. He's been in practice for thirty years and has learned much about God's faithfulness in healing. Through stories involving some of his patients over the years, Dr. Anderson shares encouraging words regarding the way God continues to work in and through lives. In writing the book, Dr. Anderson hopes readers will be inspired to have hope. He says, " The devotions in this book are meant to encourage you to pursue a closer relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I want you to see the many ways he intervenes in the lives of the sick and hurting and the many ways that he heals so that you will be inspired to have hope; the faith to know he can bring healing to our life, as well; and the patience to wait for him to act on your behalf. I want you to see what I see every day - that God is alive and that he is active in our lives."

The book is divided into twelve months and there is a devotional for each day of each month. At the beginning of the month, Dr. Anderson provides a checkup - a short overview of what might be expected during that month. As each month comes to a close, Dr. Anderson provides a booster shot, a short encouragement toward better health for the following month. Each devotional begins with a Scripture reference and following the reference is a story of healing formed into a meaningful devotion. Dr. Anderson uses his own personal interactions with patients to provide a relatable message.  At the end of the devotional, Dr. Anderson makes a suggestion, in the form of a prescription for the day (Today's Rx), suggestions a specific way the reader can feel better or grow stronger. 

Since we're currently in the month of October, I began my reading there. At the beginning of the October devotions, Dr. Anderson lists his October Checkup. Listen to the way the month begins: "October brings the smell of crisp apples and the color of pumpkins and falling leaves. As the air takes on a chill, we pull on our favorite sweaters and boots. There's no better time for a walk to enjoy the tapestry of trees transitioning from summer to winter in hues of burnt gold, rustic brown and bright orange....take a few moments in October to share gifts of kindness with those who are least suspecting." Dr. Anderson's writing style is very descriptive and instantly draws the reader into the book. October's booster shot gives a healthy tip on how to stay well. "As the cooler air drives us inside, we tend to sit more and eat more carbohydrates, leading to an increased risk of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. So get outside and walk. Exercise will help to prevent many chronic illnesses." 

I like the way the author gives practical tips and uses encouragement as he writes. Each devotional is well thought out and revolves around the true story of one of Dr. Anderson's experiences in the medical field. Names and circumstances have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved but Dr. Anderson weaves real life situations with spiritual truths into a beautiful tapestry of words. 

This book would make a lovely gift. I am thankful to have received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review from Tyndale House Publishing. It has been my honor and joy to review this book although I was not encouraged to give a positive review.

Purchase the book on Amazon here.

Purchase the book on Christianbook.com here