Sarah Young’s new devo for kids: “Jesus Listens”

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Many of you might be familiar with Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” series of books and devotionals. They’re filled with words that God speaks over us (and we know that He would say those things, because they’re all from Scripture), in a daily format. What a comfort to hear those loving words, instructions, and wisdom! Now, Sarah has written a similar devotional book for children, except the idea is flipped around. It’s called Jesus Listens, and 365 daily prayers are composed for kids to read to Jesus. And because He is Jesus, readers can know that He does listen! I was thrilled to receive a copy of this, and I’m going to share my thoughts with you below. First, though, more about the book, AND an Instagram giveaway! (ends 11/8/22)

Here’s more from the publisher:

Book Name Jesus Listens: 365 Prayers for Kids

Author Sarah Young

Publisher Tommy Nelson

In this inspiring 365-day book of prayers, Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, helps children talk to God every day.

More about Jesus Listens

Jesus Listens, the bestselling 365-day prayer devotional from Sarah Young, is now available for children. This book invites your children (and you) into an ongoing conversation with God, growing a meaningful prayer life and closer relationship with Him.
In this inspiring 365-day book of prayers, Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, helps children talk to God every day. Kids will learn how to pray honest prayers and know that Jesus is always listening to them. This book will equip parents who want to

  • teach their kids how to pray and talk to God
  • reassure their children that God is always with them
  • help their kids to read Bible verses every day

Children will learn the daily practice of reading God’s Word and talking to Him. They will

  • know that they can talk to Jesus about anything and come to Him when they are afraid, anxious, or worried
  • learn how to thank and praise God and take Him their requests
  • develop the habit of prayer

This inspirational book for kids ages 8 to 12 makes a perfect gift for

  • Christmas
  • birthdays
  • graduation celebrations and back-to-school
  • baptisms, Sunday school awards, or first communions

Jesus Listens: 365 Prayers for Kids is a wonderful tool to help your children read Scripture and pray every day of the year.

Purchase Link #ad

How to enter the giveaway

Giveaway – (5) winners will receive a print copy of the book. This is an Instagram giveaway, so please follow the directions below for your chance to be one of those winners!


First: ⇒ LIKE, SAVE, and SHARE this Jesus Listens Instagram post

Second: ⇒ FOLLOW me @jesuscalling @tommynelsonbooks @justreadtours

Third: ⇒ TAG a friend (up to 3x per post).

And then, ⇒ VISIT each hosted post of this tour for more entries. Schedule at @justreadtours. (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics. Instagram is not affiliated with nor responsible for this giveaway. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on November 8, 2022.)

What you’ll find in Jesus Listens

What an incredibly wonderful kids’ devotional!

First, let me tell you about the Jesus Listens format. The devotional contains 365 readings, dated for every day of the year (even February 29). Each devotional has a title and a corresponding verse, followed by a prayer that begins, “Dear Jesus.” Several paragraphs talk about the issues of life a child may experience (like the darkness of the world, personal struggles, realizing that Jesus is indeed with them at every moment). Sarah Young details these issues in the form of prayer but alongside them, proclaims what Scripture says about them, specifically–and ends with thanksgiving and gratefulness. The “Read On Your Own” segment includes four Bible verse addresses that children can look at that were touched upon in each devotional.

So how could a child use this? Since it’s written for ages 8-12, a child could read it alone, praying the words of the devotional aloud or silently. Then, the child can look up the Bible verses and read them. Of course at any time during this quiet time activity, more prayers or Bible verses could be included, since prayer is a back-and-forth activity between God and us! Jesus Listens could be used as a morning devotional or a nighttime one. And, it could also be used as a parent-child activity, with either one taking turns reading paragraphs or Bible verses. It would also be fantastic for homeschooling Bible time. And parents could also use it as a read-aloud devotional time as a family.

It is a wonderful way for children to:

  • learn how to pray
  • understand that prayer is a conversation
  • see that we can pray Scriptures to God
  • most of all, see that the Lord loves His children and wants a close & loving relationship with us all

Some of my favorite moments

I love Sarah’s writing style, where she combines the truths of Scripture in an intimate conversation with the God who made all of us and created us in all the humanness we are: our bodies, minds, emotions, and our will. Sometimes I think we forget that He made us and totally understands us! He delights in us, rejoices over us with gladness, quiets us with His love (Zephaniah 3:17). How amazing it is for children to really know that. Jesus Listens can make that happen for your children (and even for parents!).

Here are some of my favorite parts of the Jesus Listens devotional:

  • “You know about every single one of my troubles. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. So please help me not to be afraid of tears–or the troubles that cause them. I know you can use even my problems for good. You’re teaching me to be comforted by the fact that You’re in control. And I’m learning to trust that You know exactly what You’re doing!” (from October 10)
  • “I’m so thankful that You are the God who sees me. You’re training me to look for you too. Help me remember that You are here with me and You’re working in every moment of my life.” (from April 10)
  • “I know You’ll be working on me and making me more like You. You are going to do new things in my life, and I can’t wait to see what they are! I don’t have to think about the past. I don’t have to worry about mistakes I have made or things I wish I had done or said. Today is a fresh start!” (from January 1)
  • And maybe my top fave:
    • “Please teach me to keep looking to You for help–not to myself or the world around me. You have this amazing ability to be with me both right now and in the future, showing me which way to go. When I close my eyes and listen, I can almost hear you whispering, “Follow Me.” (from January 2)

What a precious devotional Jesus Listens is! This book will bless your children and help them know that God is ALWAYS there, listening to and tenderly caring for them. And isn’t that what we all need to know?

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

Timely (& free) kids’ coloring book from ANM: “A Home for Artyom”

*this is a sponsored post*

Recently, I had the opportunity to check out some wonderful family/kid products from ANM (Advancing Native Missions). This is from their ANM Kids on Mission division. Let me tell you more (and keep your eyes out for an awesome free family devotional in my next post)!

About ANM’s Kids on Mission Coloring Book

Like me, perhaps you and your loved ones have been praying for the people of Ukraine lately. Because the Ukrainians have been so deeply on my own heart and in my prayers, I was very excited to be able to tell you about this coloring book for kids that is based on a true story about a real person!

Created by ANM, the coloring book “A Home for Artyom” tells the true story of a child from Ukraine who gets to learn about Jesus, and the love that He has for everyone! Artyom is a boy who lives in an orphanage in Ukraine. When he is transferred to a new orphanage, he feels self-conscious and embarrassed because of the red bumps that break out on on his skin. He is lonely and ashamed of this, and he withdraws from the other kids.

One day, a man named Alex comes to the orphanage and tells the children about God’s love for them, and about God’s Son, Jesus. The children even learn that Jesus would never, ever leave them! Alex continued to come and share. But he also learned that when the kids turned 16, they would “age out” of the orphanage.

Before the coloring book is over, Artyom and the other kids will hear more about Jesus, visit families in their homes, attend summer camp and move to Light Houses (started by Alex) where they can learn more about Jesus, pursue higher education, and prepare for their own futures. Artyom will even join God’s family by believing in Jesus as his Savior! (Kids will even get to learn more about Artyom’s future!)

My thoughts about “A Home for Artyom”

I loved the story and pictures, which are told in language that even smaller kids will understand. The story focuses a lot on Artyom’s feelings and situation; but it also shows how one man, who’d experienced the loss of his parent, understood how kids without parents can feel. Because of that, Alex devoted his life and time to share the gospel with children in orphanages; and then, to provide a way for the aged-out teens to pursue education, adoption, and Jesus.

Although this coloring book/storybook is written for children, it has some significant truths in it about kids who live in orphanages. And how they, just like all of us, need to know that they are LOVED. It was a sweet and precious way to help our own children learn about kids in other nations; and a beautiful way that parents can engage with kids in coloring and then, to pray. It’s a gentle introduction as well to one way that missions can happen.

The coloring book is easy to print at home (although you could also print it at an office supply store). The front and back cover print in color and all the other pages are black & white coloring pages. After printing, I stapled ours with 3 staples on the left side (so that it could open like a book) and then covered the staples with washi tape. (You don’t have to do that; I just liked the way it looked and wanted the staples to be covered. Masking or painter’s tape could accomplish the same purpose.) Ours is colored with crayons, but kids could also use markers or colored pencils.

How to get your own free coloring book “A Home for Artyom”

To download your own free copy, click below on “Free Coloring Book.” That will take you to the Advancing Native Missions Catalog page. Scroll down until you see a red rectangle with the “A Home for Artyom” coloring book inside it. You’ll need to enter your email, then you’ll be able to download the coloring book.

Free Coloring Book

About ANM (Advancing Native Missions)

Since 1992, ANM has sent Christian workers to those who haven’t learned about Jesus, God, or the Bible. The key difference about ANM is that they equip these workers to go to unreached areas of their own nations! So rather than a missionary from a foreign country (like America, for example) going to share the gospel, these individuals get to hear the gospel from their own people. You can find out more about ANM at the ANM/About page.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post.

From the creator of VeggieTales: the “Minno Laugh & Grow Bible for Kids” – plus get 2 mos. of Minno Kids streaming service when you buy! (ends 4/30/22)

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My family has ALWAYS been a fan of VeggieTales! And now, FrontGate Media has introduced us to Phil Vischer’s newest creations: the Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids and the Minno Kids streaming service. If you picture both of these as being awesome, hilarious, and amazing, you’d be right. And if you purchase this Bible for your kiddos (via the link below) by April 30, 2022, you’ll receive a free 2 months’ subscription to Minno Kids! Let me tell you more!

About the Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids by Phil Vischer

I’ve had a lot of beloved Bibles for kids over the years. But I think Phil Vischer’s newest one is my favorite! It is a story Bible; in fact, it’s subtitled “The Gospel in 52 Five-Minute Bible Stories.” It’s written in classic Vischer style (subtle humor for kids that is simultaneously hilarious for adults) which also plainly sets out the truths of the Bible in clear, understandable language. The artwork is colorfully-drawn (and beautiful) cartoons.

Best of all, Vischer takes the Bible and, in 52 short yet pithy stories, tells kids the overall focus and content of God’s Word; from Genesis to Revelation. Each story ends with verses, conversation topics, and prayers for families. The stories include:

  • The Garden of Eden, creation, and the Fall–and Noah
  • Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph
  • Moses, the Children of Israel, their deliverance from Egypt and their 40-year wandering
  • Kings of Israel
  • Prophets of Israel
  • and then, of course, the Messiah! The annunciation, Jesus’ birth, and His temptation
  • the disciples and Jesus’ ministry, concluding in His crucifixion, death, and resurrection
  • Paul, the epistles, and even Revelation

There are also excellent infographics that cover the fruit of the Spirit, the generations from Adam to Jesus, the travels of the Israelites, important women of the Bible, and more. These are both fun and fascinating, and help even more to unlock for readers the scope and content of the Bible. It’s geared for ages 4-8, but I guarantee everyone in your family will love it!

About Minno Kids

We’re all rather used to streaming services these days, aren’t we? But I know that, with those streaming services, comes the very vivid understanding for parents that much content is not at all appropriate for children. Minno Kids is here to change all that! Virtually all the content is kid-friendly and either faith-encouraging or neutral in content, and organized for preschoolers, elementary kids, and tweens. On Minno Kids, you’ll find:

  • BibleMan, VeggieTales, the Buck Denver shows, and 3-2-1 Penguins!
  • Bethel Music’s “Come Alive” Dance Tutorials and eKidz Worship, plus lots of other kid-friendly worship
  • Minno Church at Home
  • “The Finders,” a sort of “The Librarians” kind of show for preteens
  • Bible stories and Devotionals
  • Specially-curated collections for Easter, Good Friday, and Palm Sunday
  • and more!

It is truly family-friendly and -focused. There is so much to love! Check out the service by clicking on this Go Minno link.

My thoughts and opinions about the Minno products

Fun fact: the word “Minno” comes from the Greek word which means “to abide.” Minno has connected that meaning to the Bible verse John 15:4, where Jesus says, “Abide in Me and I will abide in you.” So their products, the Minno Kids streaming service and the Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids, are designed to help kids and family connect to God. Pretty awesome company goal, right?

So first, my thoughts on the Bible. This is a product I’d happily recommend to all my friends or family who are looking for an excellent and winsome story Bible. I love the Genesis-to-Revelation content and explanation. When I was a new (and quite young) Christian, I understood very little about the Bible. I knew Bible verses I’d memorized at camp. But I didn’t know that God’s love story for humans began at creation, unfolded through the Old and New Testaments, (predicting and introducing us to the Messiah, Jesus) and ended victoriously at Revelation. What an incredible resource for kids and family this is! It is fun (sometimes hilarious) to read. Yet it’s full of Bible truths and will teach children (or even parents!) the story of the entire Bible. It is truly wonderful.

And I also highly recommend Minno Kids. Prices are quite reasonable ($6.99 monthly, $69.99 annually). And, there is a ton of content (120 shows of great variety, plus 50+ episodes of VeggieTales) that’s continually being added to. Shows are downloadable or streamable, and can be watched on phones, tablets, and computers. And it also includes articles and podcasts for parents, as well as devotionals. I loved (of course) the VeggieTales content. I loved the variety of video content for kids. And, I was moved and blessed by the worship content, curated especially for kids! Perhaps that was especially meaningful after Covid restricted our opportunities to worship together in congregations. But how wonderful to remind everyone that worship can also occur at home.

Overall, the best things about the Minno Bible and Go Minno are the hope and joy they provide. Viewers and readers will feel and believe those themselves. God is a God of hope; and His plan for us is amazing and happening every day!

And, Minno has a special offer for you!

Through April 30, 2022, Minno is giving a free 2-month subscription to Minno Kids Streaming Service for anyone who purchases the Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids through the link below. The Bible includes a coupon with a special code families can use to start this subscription.

Purchase Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a copy of these products from the authors. All opinions are honest and my own.

Beautiful picture book: “Good Morning, Little One” ~ a review

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FrontGate Media sent me the most beautiful picture book, just in time for Easter! Artist Amy Kavelaris painted and wrote Good Morning, Little One to share God’s delight and love for children. It is absolutely gorgeous, and you will definitely want to get a copy of this for your family (or others that you love!). Let me show you some of this wonderful book.

About Good Morning, Little One

In Good Morning, Little One, Amy Kavelaris pairs her beautiful painted animals with Scripture and words to remind children (and adults!) that God is always watching over them, rejoicing over them, and loving them. Subtitled “New Mercies and Prayers to Carry You Through the Day,” this is the perfect book to help establish your child’s faith early on! The endpapers and paste-down of this hardback are a lovely green and have promises from Scripture written in flowing font, with flower around the edges. There’s also a spot for the giver of the book to inscribe it to the child.

The characters in this book are lambs, puppies and bunny rabbits. They’re embraced by their animal parents, who are greeting them with God’s blessings in the new day, and the parents’ trust and belief that God will carry their precious child all day long. There are gorgeous illustrations with those main characters, plus some birds and mice tucked around the corners. Promises of God’s incredible care and love are written on each pair of pages. And, there are some surprises on the pages as well; Amy Kavelaris has tucked the Bible verses that contain the promises in tiny font, so families can do a treasure hunt for them as well as look them up in their own Bibles.

The prose flows gently and pairs perfectly with the pages. On these pages, children are reminded that God protects them, picks them up when they get tired, and will always seek them and find them when they are lost.

On the facing page to the promise that God carries us, children are treated to a visual illustration of what that can look like, where a puppy is carried in a comfy basket (with a plaid cloth) by its fluffy dog parent. (Maybe they are golden retrievers!)

Again and again in this lovely book, readers are treated to the beauty of God’s care for us in its Bible verses and the darling animals which are so beautifully painted by Kavelaris. Children are also encouraged to dance and worship God, to call out to God in prayers, and to remember that God crafted every single part of them. I just loved the pages that remind readers that even if dark moments come, God’s love will still shine brightly on them. This is a message not only that children need to hear, but that parents and grandparents will be comforted by as they share them together.

This book is just such a joy! I love its charming animals and beautiful verses. (The author even included my most favorite flower, peonies!) Its message, that the God who made us loves us, cares for us each day, and is thrilled when we reach out for Him, is the perfect way parents can start each day with their children. This book would be the perfect addition to an Easter basket, or a gift for a new baby; really, it’s the perfect addition to any child’s library. Don’t miss it!

Where you can purchase Good Morning, Little One

You can purchase Good Morning, Little One by clicking on this link from Amazon, Walmart, Christianbook, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. You can also download a charming, *free* Activity Guide to go with the book.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own.

“Dachshund through the Snow” ~ Review & Giveaway (ends 12/14/21)

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I have an adorable children’s book to tell you about! FrontGate Media sent me Michelle Medlock Adams’ brand new picture book, Dachshund through the Snow. Just in time for holiday celebrations! Keep reading for more, and also for info on how you can win a copy for your family!

About the book

In Dachshund through the Snow, we meet Crosby. Crosby is a miniature dachshund. But he’s even smaller than most! He’s the teeniest, tiniest one in his village. Even so, he has been growing. And practicing. And he thinks that he’s finally ready for the Arctic Animal Olympics in Diggityville.

While Crosby would like to be appreciated for qualities other than his size, his fellow kid animals in town focus only on his smallness. They tease him. And they catcall him. Even laugh at him. When he arrives for the competition, and an accident derails his competition hopes, all he can do is run away. Or, actually, dig away. And one thing Crosby can do is dig. And he digs far and fast.

When the pup comes up for air, he has no idea where he is. But a surprising encounter with Santa, and helping Santa out with his own challenge, might help Crosby to understand that his value doesn’t rest on his size. But on something even more important!

My thoughts

I loved so many things about this wonderful picture book! Its illustrations are lively, colorful, and charming. Crosby’s tale of being judged and laughed at for something he couldn’t control–his size–will resonate with children today, in a world where bullying is sadly very common. And what Crosby learns as he helps Santa and the reindeer shows that the size of our hearts is really MUCH more important than how big or small we are.

While Dachshund through the Snow is a tale about saving Christmas that’s based on Santa, the reindeer, and celebrating with gifts, rather than the Christ Child and the Nativity, I believe it would be a fun addition to any child’s holiday book collection. Parents and kids can take the opportunity to talk about Crosby, about taunting and name-calling, and everyone’s inestimable value after reading. And, it provides a cheerful and fun book that would be great for reading alongside hot chocolate (with marshmallows, of course!) and family snuggles. Great book for kids from toddler/preschooler ages through mid-elementary!

And, you can enter to win a copy!

To enter, simply click on the pink link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a FrontGate Media page where you’ll be able to enter to win. Giveaway closes on 12/14/21. Winner will be contacted by FrontGate Media. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Where you can purchase Dachshund through the Snow

You can find this darling book at Amazon. Just click on the highlighted link below to go to the book’s purchase page.


Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from FrontGate Media. All opinions are my own.

“The Wonder of Creation” ~ a fantastic new kids’ devotional (review & giveaway, ends 12/6/21)

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Momentum Influencer Network and HarperCollins Christian Publishing were kind enough to send me Louie Giglio’s fantastic new kids’ devotional book, The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science. It has been a delight to read; and I have a copy to share with one reader!

About The Wonder of Creation

Louie Giglio has written a number of books for children. This brand-new devotional shows kids God’s greatness, love, and creativity as they are illuminated in science. In The Wonder of Creation, Giglio tells kids about cool science in the earth, in space, in animals, and in people as he shares God’s Word and God’s care for us. Each of the 100 devotions includes a Bible verse, a reading about a little-known science fact, a prayer, a sidebar with more neat info, and vivid illustrations. Written especially for ages 6-10, each devotion is designed not only to captivate kids with science, but also with the God who designed and created everything.

And there is so much to find in this book! Giglio and his co-writer, Tama Fortner, do an excellent job of bringing interesting science facts to a child audience while including verses about the God who designed and created everything. Some of my own favorites included:

  • The octopuses’ garden in Monterey Bay
  • How geodes (LOVE them!) are made and where you can find the biggest one ever
  • NASA’s PUFFER robot, which was inspired by origami
  • Why a person has straight, wavy, or curly hair
  • Why the land on Jupiter’s moon Io could feel like a roller coaster
  • How ducks stay dry
  • And more!

Giglio doesn’t only include cool facts, however. He weaves the Word of God in with each one, and shows how God’s hand created all these amazing things in the physical world, whether it’s here on earth or in space. And how the mind of God thought of all of them. He also shows us how we can even get to know God better as we learn about what He has created.

Some of my favorite verses Giglio uses are:

  • How God’s mercies never end and are new every morning, despite our mistakes, imperfections, or sins (Lamentations 3:22-23)
  • How God chose us to be different than the world, via John 15:19, using the example of orange Bengal tigers and the rarer white Bengals
  • Proverbs 15:3-“The Lord’s eyes see everything that happens.”….even our hair follicles and how their shape makes our hair look a certain way!
  • The many zones of the sea and the specific things that go on in each of them…and remembering who made the sea (Psalm 95:5) and owns it

In addition, there is also a downloadable Parents’ Discussion Guide for The Wonder of Creation. It includes each devotion’s Bible verse plus 3 questions that the parent can ask their children after they read. They’re not “test” questions, but more open-ended questions that ask the child’s opinions about what’s described in each devotion, how they see Jesus or people responding, and even for fun ideas. It’s a great complement to the book and will bless both parents and kids with connection moments with each other and Scripture.

This book is written with such joy; and it was a joy for me to read! In my son’s younger years, we delighted in exploring science and seeing God’s hand in and behind it. That always gave us greater awe for the Lord and His incredible creativity…as well as giving us a love for creation (especially space! and the ocean!) that is still very much alive in us today. I delighted in reading The Wonder of Creation, and I joyfully recommend it to you! It would be a fantastic addition to any kid’s library.

This is a book that you could use in your bedtime routine with your kids; that they could read on their own; or that could be utilized in homeschools. It would also be a fun addition to morning devotional times. It’s just a fantastic devotions book, overall!

You can purchase The Wonder of Creation now!

The Wonder of Creation is available for purchase now! This would make a wonderful gift for your family or especially for your elementary school-aged child. Click though the Buy Link below to go right to the website where you can purchase your own copy.


Also, when you click on the Buy Link above, you can download a free sample of this devotion, plus check out the book’s Free Resources which include Educator and Activity Guides.

You can enter to win your own copy!

Momentum Influencer Network and HarperCollins Christian Publishing have kindly provided a copy of The Wonder of Creation for me to give away to one FINCHNWREN reader! To enter, simply click on the pink link below that says “Enter here!” That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you’ll be able to enter to win in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 12/6/1; limited to U.S. entries only. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to HarperCollins Christian Publishing for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own. I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

New kids’ devotional: “Roar Like a Lion” (CLOSED)

*Congratulations to Kelly W., the winner of the book!*

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Hi everyone! I have a fantastic kids’ devotional giveaway for you today: Levi Lusko’s Roar Like a Lion. I received a copy of this book from Momentum Influencer Network; and they’re going to give away a copy to one reader as well!

About Roar Like a Lion

This devotional is written for kids aged 6-10 from a Christian perspective. Co-written by pastor Levi Lusko and Tama Fortner, it encourages kids to embrace courage, remain hopeful, build their own faith, and, as the book says so beautifully on the back cover, “Understand how you are a part of God’s great story.” There are 90 devotional readings contained in a 192-page hardcover book, sized just right for kid hands (6 1/2″ x 8 1/4″). It’s illustrated by Catherine Pearson.

Each devotional starts with a title. Then, the Bible verse is listed. Next, the authors share how the verse could apply to kid life (in situations with siblings, parents, peers, friends, the world at large, or in their own choices). The devotional ends with simple prayers. Also, there are sidebars on the right which tell an anecdote or story, or summarize events from the Bible which relate to what kids have just read. These are entitled “Get Ready to Roar!” or “Did You Know?”

What you’ll read inside

You’ll find thoughtful, gently and kindly-written words that are just right for kids to read to themselves. (Of course, this could also be read by kids and parents together, in the morning or just before bed.) The authors know what it’s like to be kids, and to face issues that they face, because (of course) they were kids once themselves! Levi Lusko also is the parent of several children. So armed with day-to-day life experience, years of pastoring, and the Bible, they offer clear explanations of Bible verses and how they really do apply to kids’ daily experiences.

The writing is warm and clearly written in a caring manner, so that kids and readers know the authors understand what it’s like to face a world and situations that are beyond kids’ experiences; and that the Bible have loving and helpful words to apply. Verses that kids will remember or can memorize.

And, I have to mention the artwork! As you saw above, the cover art is breathtaking. I thought of stained-glass windows, while my son thought of origami-type paper art. (I think we’re both right!) Inside the book, under each title, you’ll find art that illustrates each particular devotional. Those echo again the collage/paper feeling of the cover art. They’re cheerful and wonderful. I even was reminded of one of my own favorite illustrators of children’s books and her work, Lois Lenski. Kids and parents will love the art, which takes each topic and brings it to life vividly.

So what are some kid life challenges that readers will discover here? Here are some of the topics:

  • Even kids can be leaders
  • God loves us and speaks to us
  • School days that are tough
  • What to do when you don’t know how to proceed
  • Fears
  • How God sees us
  • And one of my own cherished phrases: “But God…”
  • and more!

I particularly loved how Lusko wove the story of Jesus and Jairus and the woman who touched Jesus’s robe so she could be healed, into an illustration of how we might feel when we are interrupted…and how Jesus dealt with the same thing. Or about our habits, and Jesus’s habits! Or, how seemingly impossible situations were worked out by our “But God…” God. Over and over, devotionals are presented that will help kids know that God loves them and holds them close, and is so ready to lead and guide them always.

I had many favorite passages in this book. But I wanted to show you one of my top faves:

God never will leave us. And He will NEVER break His promises.

That’s an exceptional word for all of us, whether we’re kids or adults!

And…some Roar Like a Lion freebies from the publisher!

This devotional is so wonderful. But sometimes, we as parents might not know how to approach spiritual discussions with our kiddos. Here are some free resources for you from the publisher; a “Parent Discussion Guide,” and a guide to “Four Rhythms to Setting the Pace in Your Home.” Both of these are free downloads that you can save and print from the links below.

1. Parent Discussion Guide

Teaching kids about the Bible can be hard. Taking concepts like heaven, and hope, and loss, and faith, and boiling them down into digestible bite sizes for kids is challenging!

This guide is built as a tool to accompany the book, and to help your family discuss Roar Like a Lion together. Each day you’ll find a few questions that will help you dig deeper into what your child is discovering.

My prayer is that Roar Like a Lion will ignite your child’s heart and imagination to know and love Jesus! And that is my prayer for you, too.

Download Parent Discussion Guide

2. Four Rhythms to Setting The Pace of Your Home.

Your calendar is chaotic, your days loud, and your seasons busy. I see you. I feel that.

Maybe you feel like the madness of life is clouding the calling on your home. Like you just can’t pinpoint the priorities. Maybe you’ve found yourself wondering…

  • Is “balance” even possible?
  • Is parenting ever not chaotic?
  • Will I always feel overbooked, under-rested, and too busy?

The truth is, there is a God-ordained rhythm that He wants us to set out our lives to. There is a built-in beat. There is a cadence. There is an ebb and flow to how He wants our lives to go.

Find the encouragement you need to set a sustainable pace in this free download.

Where to purchase Roar Like a Lion

Just click on the Buy Link below!

Buy Links

Best of all, I have a copy of Roar Like a Lion to give away!

One FINCHNWREN reader will receive a copy of Roar Like a Lion! To enter, simply click on the pink “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools page where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. US only. Giveaway closes on 9/29/21. Best wishes!

Enter here!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing this product/product information for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

Win a Crayola Craft Pack in the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop (CLOSED)

**Congrats to Bryan V., the giveaway winner!**

Hi everyone!

It’s time for another fun craft giveaway! I’m joining with lots of fun bloggers in the “Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop,” hosted by Blogger Talk Media. I’m giving away something fun for your kids to use to create, now that the school year is finally winding down!

The FINCHNWREN blog is giving away a Crayola Craft Pack! One winner will receive all these goodies:

  • Crayola Paint Your Own Artist Creation (includes a canvas imprinted with a hedgehog, paintbrush, and 4-pack of washable paints)
  • Two Creative Kids Super Blast Art sets (each includes 2 spray pens and two stencils; remember to use smocks and cover your painting surfaces, as paint may stain)
  • Crayola Marker & Paint Pad (8″ x 10″ size, 25 pages suitable for markers and paint)
  • Three 1-ounce packs of Crayola Model Magic (my favorite soft, squishy modeling material) in red, yellow, and blue
  • Two-pack of mini lined journals with colorful covers (Mom may want these!)

How to enter to win:

Simply click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools Entry Form, where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on May 18, 2021. One winner will be selected to win. Best wishes!

Enter here!

And now, how to enter the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop!

You’ll definitely want to visit the linkup page for the Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop, where you’ll find tons of cool blogs giving away neat prizes. Over 50 bloggers will be giving away a cool variety of prizes. To get there, just click on the blue InLinkz button below (the one with the frog on it). That will take you to the linkup page, where you’ll be able to enter to win!

Enjoy! –Wren

“Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis” – A JustRead Blog & Giveaway (CLOSED)

Finding Uncle Newton JustRead Blog Tour Welcome to the Blog Tour for Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis by Douglas P. Cornelius, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Finding Uncle NewtonTitle: Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis Author: Douglas P. Cornelius Publisher: Gatekeeper Press Release Date: March 15, 2021 Genre: Middle Grade/Teen Historical Fiction (age 13-17)

She is outgoing, but orphaned. He is introverted, but a world-renowned scientist. Would moving in with Uncle Isaac Newton work? When his head was always in a book or the Bible? Teen-aged Catherine Barton tries desperately to connect, so seeks a match for her energy in the London coffeehouses. That women were not welcome there in the late 1690’s would not stop her, and she does find promising boyfriend John. Meanwhile, Uncle Isaac, as new Warden of the Mint, has his own challenges—nabbing counterfeiters, including the notorious, William Chaloner. He enlists Catherine to spy at the coffeehouse, and she welcomes the bond—all until boyfriend John gets implicated in a counterfeiting scheme. Then a case of smallpox, a pandemic scourge that had killed millions just decades earlier, sends her off to dreaded isolation in the countryside. And Uncle Isaac’s battle to nab the devious Chaloner turns into a challenging chess match. Will famous scientist Newton be embarrassed by a scofflaw from the street? Will Catherine ever find her true connection? Based on actual historical events and people. Author is a prior recipient of Moonbeam and Illumination Awards for books for faith-driven teens.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound


Douglas Cornelius

Illumination and Moonbeam award-winning author Douglas P. Cornelius hails from the Twin Cities, MN. He began writing after careers at Target, Ameriprise, and 3M. A Cornell University graduate, his hope is to reveal the lives of impactful Christian figures through story, rather than biography. Doug has been married for 45 years and has two children, three grandchildren, cat Selah, and new puppy Scout.



(1) winner will receive a print copy of Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis, winner’s choice of another book by the author, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Finding Uncle Newton JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight May 4, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 11, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

My review

Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis provides middle-grade and teen readers with a glimpse into the life of scientist Sir Isaac Newton. Set in England in the late 1600s and peopled with actual historical figures, this book tells the story of what might have happened when his orphaned niece, Catherine Barton, came to live with him after “aging” out of the orphanage she lived in (at age 16!). Imagine a vibrant, extroverted teen moving into her uncle’s home; her uncle who had a brilliant scientific mind, a vigorous Christian faith, and…a temper.

While her Uncle Isaac had already published his masterwork Principia Mathematica when Catherine came to live with him, both his scientific and faith explorations were far from over. The monarchy had faced immense difficulties with England’s economy, and these difficulties were exacerbated by large counterfeiting operations, when bogus coins were struck and used as legal tender. To help solve this crisis, Newton was appointed Warden of the Mint and tasked with finding and arresting the counterfeiters.

In Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis, young readers will meet a number of actual people who lived in Newton’s time and interacted with the scientist and, perhaps, his niece, such as:

  • Edmund (sometimes spelled Edmond) Halley
  • Captain William Phips
  • Counterfeiter William Chalmoner
  • Newgate prisoner Cecilia Labree
  • Colonial poet Anne Bradstreet
  • and more

In addition, author Douglas Cornelius also includes excerpts from actual letters in this book (although their 17th-century language has been updated for today’s readers).

Sir Isaac Newton is one of my favorite scientists of all time. His exceptional scientific discoveries still affect us and inform our understanding of astronomy and science today. Many people might be surprised to learn that he investigated the Bible and the realm of faith just as intensely. Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis is an engaging story about Newton and his niece Catherine, who deeply desires to be loved and valued. Newton’s pursuit of England’s counterfeiters while serving as Warden of the Mint provides a wonderful, and true, spy story. I so enjoyed the way Cornelius wove the actual letters and statements of counterfeiter Chalmoner into this tale (proving yet again that people really haven’t changed much over the years). Readers will gain a wonderful insight not only into Newton’s faith, and into his ideas and discoveries as well.

Finding Uncle Newton and his Nemesis is a fantastic read for teens, and also, I’d believe, for late elementary-aged students. This book could be enjoyed either as a reader or a family read-aloud.

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

National Geographic Kids Book Giveaway (ends 4/8/21)

Who doesn’t love the amazing books that National Geographic Kids provides?

They have a stellar line of books that will make perfect basket fillers this Easter.

Enter here for the chance to win a beautiful set of Easter themed books from National Geographic Kids.

NG Kids Baby Animal Sticker Activity Book (ages 4-8) With 1,000 stickers and fantastic graphics and text, these high quality, superfun sticker books are a great way for kids to learn about animals and the natural world. The Baby Animals sticker book is chock-full of the cutest creatures on the planet: pandas, piglets, wolf cubs, ponies, polar bears, elephants, bunnies, kittens, puppies, and many more. With a fun, brightly colored design and loaded with animal facts and games–such as mazes, counting, matching and more–this book is sure to provide endless entertainment.
National Geographic Pre-Reader: Ducks (ages 2-5) – From fuzzy ducklings to graceful birds, waddle your way into this adorable early reader, all about ducks! Perfect for beginning and young readers, National Geographic Pre-readers include simple, expert-vetted text and large, engaging photos on every page. A vocabulary tree at the beginning of the book introduces kids to key words in concept groups, helping kids make connections between words. Plus, a wrap-up activity gives kids a chance to use what they’ve learned, while expanding their understanding of the world.
Cutest Animals on the Planet(ages 8-12) – NEW SERIES ALERT! Meet the world’s most adorable animals and learn fun stuff about them in this aww-some first book in a brand-new series from National Geographic Kids.Whether you like mammals, aquatic creatures, insects, birds, amphibians, or reptiles, this browsable book contains kids’ favorite animals that would ALL be contenders for the grand prize in a cute competition. Big photos pair with upbeat descriptions that highlight each critter’s crazy cool skills and unique behaviors. This adorable book showcases popular animals such as hedgehogs and pandas as well as unusual species such as tapirs, kakapos, and pangolins. Special features include a head-to-head cute-off, sure to keep readers amused and informed. Perfect for curious tweens, animal lovers, and future veterinarians alike.
Treasury of Bible Stories by Donna Jo Napoli, illus. by Christina Balit (ages 8-12)
A worthy cultural treasury with appeal to both the faithful and irreligious.” — Kirkus
Noah’s Ark, Moses, David and Goliath, the ten plagues, Daniel and the lions’ den, Jonah and the giant fish, and many more of the Bible’s most powerful stories — 27 in all — are compellingly retold in this beautifully illustrated treasury. Readers will be fascinated by the ancient people and events they encounter, surprised by some of the lesser known accounts revealed, and inspired by the lessons these tales impart. Stories cover important ground beyond religion, such as culture, history, and geography, and they touch on issues that remain relevant today–faith, loyalty, kindness, violence, generosity, greed, jealousy, and more. These accessible, readible stories give kids a rich picture of biblical times, which encourages them to think about our role in the world and to learn more.
Napoli’s magical storytelling is sure to ignite children’s imaginations. Along with Balit’s stunning art, this is a book kids will want to explore again and again–a classic that families can read aloud together.
5,000 Awesome Facts About Everything(ages 8-12) This book is literally busting its covers with fascinating, fun-tastic facts on super, sensational topics that kids love. Who knew that there were so many sweet things to learn about chocolate or that a dozen delicious details about peanut butter would show up on a page with a few splotches of jelly to whet our appetites? Keep turning and a terrifyingly toothy shark tells you all about himself, while other spreads lay out tons of tips on toys and games, mysteries of history, robots and reptiles, sports and spies and wacky words. A visual feast of colorful photographs surrounded by swirling, tipping, expanding, and climbing bits of information in a high-energy design, this book will satisfy both the casual browser and the truly fact obsessed.
Celebrate Easter(ages 6-9) – The joyous celebration of Easter is seen through a global perspective in this National Geographic volume featuring over 25 vibrant photographs. Witness the holiest day on the Christian calendar as it is celebrated throughout the world: from the famous Easter Egg Roll at the White House to the traditional bonfires throughout Europe, to colorful customs, to the universally popular dying of eggshells worldwide. The first-person narrative leads young readers through the origins and traditions of this springtime festival of rebirth and hope. Reverend George Handzo gives parents and teachers a historical and cultural background in his informative note.
Napoli’s magical storytelling is sure to ignite children’s imaginations. Along with Balit’s stunning art, this is a book kids will want to explore again and again–a classic that families can read aloud together.

Giveaway sponsored by: National Geographic

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Co-Hosted by: Deliciously Savvy & Versatileer,

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for spsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.