Is Beach-Trashing OK? Author Fiona Lumbers is back, with CLEM and CRAB.

Clem, a little girl, discovers a crab at the beach; and, sadly, she also discovers a lot of junk left behind by her species, humans. What she does with the collected trash isn’t unique—making a collage—what happens in her classroom is.

Mention the words, sea, surf, and sand to someone, and often, what follows is a smile. Why? Because the experience of being by an ocean with its repetitive waves lapping onto the shores, where its daily gifts from beneath the water come forth, is memorable. Many children experience this ocean thing at early ages, perhaps when they were first introduced to the water and sand, with a bucket and a shovel. In her 32-page picture book, CLEM and CRAB, author and illustrator, Fiona Lumbers, shares the good, the bad, and the ugly of one particular beach story. Through pastels colors and simple text, she tells a story that displays true sensitivity to the environment–and points out that children–like parents, teachers, and others–can help improve the made-messy-by-people beaches, even if it is, one… beach…at a… time.

Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays, a children’s book reviewer. September, 2019, review. This is a 5-star book.,-with-clem-and-crab/

NEW: August Starts a Free Book Give-Away. Here’s How it Works…”

(Picture Book Selection for August 2019)
  1. The list of new followers’ names will be posted on my Facebook page, on, my blog, on the last day of each month when there is a book give-away. For example, on August 31, 2019, I will post the list of new followers’ names for August only.
  2.  The first day of the following month, September 1, 2019, I will post the winning name selected randomly from the list. Then, September 1 also begins the next month’s book giveaway, and so on.
  3. I need a minimum of 10 new followers or more in the month in order for there to be a drawing and a book giveaway.
  4. NO fees required. (Not sure if necessary to include this; but, I am anyway.)
  5. Added bonus: Should 50 or more new names sign up to follow my blog within the book give-away month, I will donate a second book to the Children’s Department of Western Maryland Hospital.

The rules are simple. Hope to see your name on the list. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions at

Double-Dog Dare!– #4 in the “Doing-the-Dog” Series for Children’s Book Reviews, from PatSays

                         The Pups Save the Bunnies, by Alyssa Satin Capucilli (published by Nickelodeon in 2016), and Biscuit and the Big Parade (an I Can Read! book) by Ursula Siegler Sullivan (published by Harper in 2018), certainly qualify for today’s Double-DOG Dare Challenge: Which one will come out on top of the pile? Let’s judge them by three areas:

First, which pooch pal(s) does the kisses thing? ( I call it the lick-ability factor.)

Second, which doggy truly does “get it” from humans (Dog IQ)?

Third, what about each canine’s personality?

To Issue #1.Okay, what about lick-ability?  If your child isn’t seeking a smoochy-pooch story, then this is a definite “At-a-boy.” tag for both books. The artist for Biscuit illustrates a perky golden Cocker Spaniel that prances merrily alongside its owner toward the Big Parade; and the author’s well chosen words and brief sentences provide the teaching part beginning readers need. As in the Pups, no smothering tongue-licks there either, even though the Paw Patrol gang of a police dog, a construction worker dog, a fire dog, and three more dogs work together to resolve a problem.

To issue #2. Next, does Biscuit score in his IQ as a puppy? He does! He gets an A+ with his smarts when he rescues something important. But, the Pups, too, score the same: an A+ because of their team efforts to solve the farmer’s big carrot scare.

To Issue #3. Then, at the end of each story, both types of canines– Biscuit the puppy, and the Pups (aka Paw Patrol)– prove themselves small heroes with big hearts.

Dogs and their love-ability characteristics are the reason they score most often as the #1 pet choice by millions of Americans.

Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays Children’s Book Reviewer, July 17, 2019.

April Review of author-illustrator Debi Gliori’s board book, The BOOKWORM

Reviewer: PatSays, Patricia A. Timbrook, Children’s Book Reviewer

Max has a need to own a pet. He begins by asking for the most obvious one: a puppy. But, Mum turns that one down, as well as the next four pets and critters Max requests. Not discouraged, Max decides to find a pet on his own. With several failures, he settles on an average worm found in the yard, that he moves from its outside home to Max’s bedroom. There, he sings and reads to the worm and names it, the “Bookworm”. Throw in a little more imagination from Max, and the Bookworm soon becomes a dragon that flies away. Not discouraged this time either, Max, returns to Mummy’s idea of owning a goldfish as a pet. And, voile! Max can imagine the goldfish is slowly morphing into a shark. Mummy and Daddy never believe the dragon story, of course. But, that’s still okay with Max. In the end, the Dragon “Bookworm,” returns to Max’s room to hear another bedtime story.

Unique in its concept, as well as its play on words—The BOOKWORM—by Debi Gliori, validates her understanding of how the minds of little ones think and imagine. The illustrations in the seventeen-paged board book, include many soft-face characters, and detailed surroundings. The imagined worm-turned-dragon changes from a small, pale earthworm into a big, bright, red dragon. The book, short in text, ( even though there is an ocasional word not for a young child, i.e. “decided”) sells on “believability.” Are Ms. Gliori’s talents of writing and illustrating “all in the wrist”? Or, perhaps, it’s better to declare that hers are, “all in the Mind.”

Rating: 5 stars
Image result for images of the bookworm board book by debi gliori

Remember Kids’ Arch Books?, Well, Joseph’s Still Among Them…

Reviewer: Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays

Remember Arch Books? You might, if you were raised in a Christian household or had received them as a gift. I purchased them in the late 90s to read to our grandchildren. From the Arch Book’s website, the picture books number in the hundreds and they are priced modestly. So, collecting them can be inexpensive and fun. Amazingly, their 150 year-old publishing company, Concordia, to date has produced millions of these little books (and a lot of other resources) from both the Old and the New Testaments. If you have not yet discovered these bible story gems for little ones, you still can– online at,  in a Christian bookstore, or borrow a copy from a Christian school library.

Joseph Forgives His Brothers, a 1996 paperback bible story, by author Robert Baden and illustrator Chris Sharp, is one of many Christian children’s books I had purchased for our grandchildren in the late 90s. Arch Books have stood the test of time and the test of time includes parents, grandparents, or anyone who enjoys reading aloud to children, the accounts from the old and the new testaments in an age-appropriate level.  Arch’s picture book account of what happened when Joseph’s siblings banished him is written with historical accuracy and a rainbow of bright illustrations, that, together, adequately depict appropriate feelings of jealousy and mercy; and acts of God’s protection and care. The theme of forgiveness reflects the love that Jesus has for all of mankind. And, the actions following that forgiveness prove the depth of that Godly trait. In Joseph’s case, not only did he forgive them for their wrongdoing toward him; but, he gave his brothers money, he fed them, and he provided his entire family with a new home. This pictures the grace of God, that “outstretched arm” that gives to man that which is undeserved.

The “Dear Parents” section on the last page of every Arch Book truly complements each book’s theme, with suggestions on how to explore other ways to help children understand family issues, whether they be envy, or selfishness, or jealousy; this page also includes what the bible says regarding the love of Jesus. Joseph Forgives His Brothers, as well as all of the other dozens of Arch Books by Concordia, stay true to their mission: to produce the truth of God’s Word for children.

(PatSays, Children’s Book Reviewer Patricia A. Timbrook 3/25/2019)

Rating: 4 stars


Libros Arco...





What Things “Wa-Hooed!” on Easter Morning? Find out in this PatSays Review of New Kids’ Book

Image result for book cover image of the crazy easter day by jill roman lord


Some… pitter-pattered, and some, croaked. Some howled and some soared. Some swooped, or cooed, or hopped and bopped, while others did much more.

In a new 2020 board book, published by B & H Kids, titled THE QUIET/CRAZY EASTER DAY, written by Jill Roman Lord and illustrated by Kelly Breemer, children see a world explode into excitement following the resurrection of Jesus, God’s Son. The writer uses many animal sounds, people’s actions, and an angel to express what could have happened on Easter morning; and the illustrator delights the reader with happy characters throughout the 24 pages.

This book definitely offers a creative new look into our Lord’s Resurrection Morning for young children; and is produced in a square, but thick, picture book that will survive readings or chewing for years to come. Although the word “crazy” is in the title below the crossed-out word, “quiet”, (maybe for attention), perhaps a better word like “noisy” might have been used, since children today may interpret crazy to mean weird, or insane. Or maybe, kids won’t ponder it at all. However, The Quiet/Crazy Easter Day truthfully parallels the biblical account of Christ’s rising from the dead. And for that, believers can shout, Aleluya!

Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays, children’s book reviewer, February 10,2020.


WHAT’S UP with WORRISOME WEBSTER? “How? Not Me? Oh, NO!”– Children’s Christian Book Review by PatSays



WHAT’S SO WONDERFUL ABOUT WEBSTER?, a 2019 picture book from B & H Kids, written by authors and brothers, Stephen and Alex Kendrick; and illustrated by Daniel Fernandez; takes its reader on a “School Field Day” with fourth grader Webster.

Throughout the 29 pages of conversation (third-person viewpoint), Webster is characterized as the kid who needs encouragement about everything, it seems. But,  when he receives a biblical answer from Dad and Mom, Webster still cannot believe in himself. The book’s full-color illustrations allow kids to identify with today’s school classroom setting, and with a boy like Webster. So, what happens that opens Webster’s eyes to the real truth about himself? Is it through Mia, Caleb, or Hannah? or Ms. Pumpernickle? or Mom and Dad? Webster’s lesson learned isn’t without some disappointment and trepidation. Yet, the end result surprises even Webster himself.

A Parent Connection page follows the story’s end, and helps to round out the book’s theme, taken from the scripture, Psalm 139:14, “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Teaching children that the Creator God formed each one of them with great thought and love, validates in them how special they truly are.

They Are Out There! And They Are “KID-COOL!”: Book Reviews about THANK YOU, MERCURY; DEAR PLUTO; & THE MOON SHOW


Image result for book cover image of dear pluto carmen gloria       Image result for book cover image of dear pluto carmen gloria      Image result for book cover image of dear pluto carmen gloria

While we may not know that the Greeks called a star, astron, and that the English named it a steorra, most of us are familiar with the word, astronomy, the scientific study of celestial bodies, that class subject learned from our teachers of school days past, right? But, honestly, how much fun was put into that school genre? And FUN? What fun? Some of us older folk may recall a ceiling-hung, kinetic mobile with assorted sizes and colors of balls, each one attached to a thin wire. Interesting as the kinetic planet mobile was, fun did not emanate from any of its parts. But, if you were the blindfolded class genius, who felt each “planet”,  and named all of them correctly, then, maybe you had a level of fun. Today is different. An author-illustrator thought about fun, connected it to astronomy, and dared to publish about, SERIOUSLY.

Carmen Gloria wears a variety of hats, as well as one called children’s writer & illustrator. In her latest astronomy picture book series– THANK YOU, MERCURY!, DEAR PLUTO, and THE MOON SHOW, published by UNCOMMON GRAMMAR– she includes FUN on every page. Her personal style permeates each star, moon, planet, or asteroid through their likable, expression-filled faces, making them “cool” for any young reader/learner’s experience. The text size, the full-color illustrations of galaxies and space, as well as the anthropomorphic spheres, along with the Q & A page that follows the story, all work hand-to-hand (or, moon face-to-moon face, if you will), to create a unique, interesting, and FUN science book that kids (plus adults) will enjoy reading– and one, too, that they will remember, perhaps for an eternity. “Mercury, Pluto, and Moon, you rate a 5-Star Galaxy of delight.”

Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays, Children’s Book Reviewer, January 14, 2020.



TEENS– IT’S EASY, IT’S FAST, & IT’S OUT NOW: ON-THE-GO Devotional, 200 Devotions for Teens, by Leslie Hudson

On-the-Go Devotional: 200 Devotions for Teens
B & H Publishing Group’s ON-THE-GO Devotional (200 Devotions for Teens)  2019 book for young people may be insubstantial, and as small as a salad plate; but, with timely topics, and brief, but concise, spiritual challenges, the book is a feast for the soul.
Author Leslie Hudson pairs familiar subjects– such as hope, humility, and heart–with matching scriptures that are followed with brief comments, bullet phrases, and possible scenarios and familiar situations. Finally, a “To-Go”  section ends each page. This devotional  certainly provides its reader with knowledge on how to live the Christian life for today and beyond.
Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays, Children’s Book Reviewer, January 14, 2020.

NEW & TRUE: The PROMISES of GOD Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell

To most of us in the realm of Christian literature, including  some new bloggers and book reviewers such as myself, Jennifer Lyell is anonymous author. But, with her newly released storybook bible, THE PROMISES of GOD, from B&H Kids Books, her anonymity is sure to diminish.

In Lyell’s storytelling writing style and through dramatic, yet, somewhat dreamy art, from Thanos Tsilis, both author and illustrator adapt the Old and the New Testaments into one year’s worth of stories for kids and parents through titling each devotional week as a unique promise of God.

Not a big book–such as B&H’s EPIC Bible– The PROMISES of GOD Storybook Bible, The Story of God’s Unstoppable Love, looks and holds like a early reader chapter book; and, its hardback cover shows a night scene where a worshiping Moses is looking heavenward to God–the Beginning and Ending of all.

Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays Children’s’Book Reviewer, December 15, 2019.




EPIC for Kids is Back–Devotional Style, by Aaron Armstrong, art by Heath McFerson


Whenever B&H Publishing releases Christian resources, we can be assured that the products have been created with great respect in regards to God’s Word, the Holy Bible.

In 2019, the company released, EPIC Devotions, 52 Weeks in the Story that Changed the World; and, the results are the same. In this adaptation by author Aaron Armstrong, Christian families will enjoy reading through and learning about the entire bible by following its 52-weekly devotional format, which includes exciting and interesting illustrations, by artist Heath McFerson. His pictures complement the book’s huge contents, like the Old and New Testaments, with each other.

Parents will want to include this timely and “in-touch-with-kids-of-today” resource along side the B&H Bible Book, EPIC, The Story that Changed the World. More of this, please!

Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays, Children’s Book Reviewer, December 13, 2019.

It’s All About GOD– the New Christian EPIC Devotional Book for Kids scores A++!

Epic Devotions: 52 Weeks in the Story That Changed the World  -     By: Aaron Armstrong     Illustrated By: Heath McPherson

When B & H Publishers produced EPIC, The Story that Changed the World, a new bible book for kids in 2018, the Christian company scored an A plus. And, with its newest addition, EPIC Devotions, 52 Weeks in the Story That Changed the World, it scores an A double plus.

Why such a high rating for any new version of a retelling? After all, isn’t that what new bible versions do? retell in their own style and vernacular? In that sense, EPIC should be but one more kids’ bible versions. But, it is not just one more version. It stands out for its uniqueness. The high rating for this truly invaluable book comes because it is scriptural accurate, powerfully illustrated in bold colors,  and includes in each of its 52 devotional weeks, thought-provoking questions for kids, and verses to help answer those questions.

First, it was EPIC, THE STORY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD; today it is EPIC DEVOTIONS. Don’t be surprised if B & H puts together another BLOCKBUSTER in 2020– another EPIC.


The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society on Boasting

In the USA, Christmas time has arrived again. We all know when it comes, don’t we? Even if we don’t look at a calendar, we see the signs: new toys and tree ornaments,  glossy magazine ads, the “before-the-season sales” sale; the street santa clauses and church  carolers, the stocked-up market shelves and stores, and Town Square tree-lighting ceremonies. T’is also the time when Christmas party toasters, boss “roasters”, and unwanted self-boasters seize their opportunities, like some of the fighting Black-Friday shoppers, and wield “wounds”, as well as words.

So, too, words and wounds permeates Randall Goodgame’s new children’s book, THE SOCIETY of EXTRAORDINARY RACCOON SOCIETY on BOASTING. As in his other Slugs & Bugs books, he tells a story that is founded on a Biblical scripture, so that children will see the theme in action. Through the illustrations of two main characters, Maggie and Marty, kids witness what the “Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, really is, and what God’s Word tells them to do about it. The “Good’ in this educational book is the Soers (The Society); the “Bad’ is what happens between friends when boasting, fighting, selfishness enters the scene; and, the Ugly? Let’s say, that’s what sin looks like; and, in this story in particular, it’s the ugliness of boasting in self, rather than boasting in the Lord.

Children’s Book Reviewer, Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, PatSays, December 4, 2019.


Can Kids Find Their Own “Shape?” Pamela Kennedy Shows Us How They Can.

Who knows how to help young children identify shapes, see themselves as one of several basic shapes, and put that together in a simple board picture book? Answer: Children’s book author, Pamela Kennedy in her newest board book, WHICH SHAPE SHOULD I BE?, illustrated by Holli Conger, and published in 2019 by B & H Kids, a Little Words Matter series.

Although not a typical board book for youngsters–packaged with few words and mostly pictures–the author uses more grownup sentences, rhymes them, asks questions, and lets the child select from a multiple choice picture. Each large shape is pictured on the left page, while the  multiple choice illustration is located on the right side. Following the nine shapes on 22 pages, is a Christian message and a bible verse that supports the book’s theme: God made us all different. WHICH SHAPE SHOULD I BE? would be an educational addition in elementary schools, for family reading times, and for Sunday School hours.

Which Shape Should I Be?  -     By: Pamela Kennedy     Illustrated By: Holli Conger

Children’s Book Reviewer for Lifeway Publishers, PatSays, Mrs. Patricia Ann Timbrook, November 13, 2019.

Watch Out for More SLUGS & BUGS!– It’s Randall Goodgame’s Latest Kids’ Book

Book cover image of The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society        Ambassador International button

PatSays, Children’s Book Reviewer,


Who’s watching out for those ugly SLUGS & BUGS? Not the real ones–just the ones created by Christian author and award-winning musician, Randall Goodgame? He’s the man who created the rhymed title, SLUGS & BUGS for his songs in 2008. From there, he went into writing his Slugs and Bugs series for the children’s Christian book market, through B & H Kids Publishing, in Nashville, Tennessee. His latest picture book, The Society of Extraordinary Raccoon Society, illustrated by Joe Sutphin, introduces young children to the meaning of cheerful giving, adapted from the bible verse, 2 Corinthians 9:7.

In this 30-page, hard-back book, an adult raccoon invites two young raccoons to step into the world (inside a big tree) where other raccoons live together in a new and happy “society” of extra-ordinary raccoons.  The book’s format of thirteen full, double-page spreads, illustrate the story with a multitude of expressive characters. In large print, the sentences–sometimes complex, sometimes simple, and sometimes rhymed–depict what happens when raccoons stop stealing, like raccoons most often do; and, instead, they become happy givers. The parallel of raccoons-to-people helps kids better understand the principal of giving, according to God’s Word. Also, parents who go online for the book, will find a Bonus Content available.