Deb’s Dozen: An angel teardrop, a creature fashioned from snow—blessed by Jesus himself.
Seldom have I seen a book as beautiful as Christmas in Idaho by Ray Downing. The presentation, the artwork, the paper, and the cover are stunning. In addition, the book comes with a CD containing a reading of the story by Eric Conger and the beautiful art animated as well. You will want to keep a copy of this story to read every Christmas—be you a child or a child at heart.
You see, Idaho got his name from a burlap sack Molly and Josh used as his vest when they fashioned him from snow. Little did they know the last handful of snow they patted upon his chest contained an angel’s tear. That tear caused Idaho to live and think and want to learn, especially about Christmas.
The pages that follow Idaho’s realization he was alive tell a wonderful tale. He endeavors to learn why Christmas holds such an honored place in their household. Idaho learns the story of Christmas. He meets the woodland creatures and finds a robin that perished in the cold. Sad, Idaho tears off a piece of burlap to wrap it in and carries the robin with him. One of the things he learns tells him when spring arrives, snow melts and he will disappear. So he sets out to find out as much about this world as he can before that time comes.
You will definitely want to get his book and read Idaho’s story. I am sure you will find amazement and sadness and joy within. I cannot recommend this book more highly—I wish I could award more than five stars.
Digital artist Ray Downing, Emmy winner and creator of “The Real Face of Jesus” for the History Channel, in this book, through his interests in art, science, and religion created an emotionally charged and lavishly illustrated Christmas story—a journey of discovery which questions our understanding of time and explores the possibility of immortality.
Ray graciously gave me a copy of Christmas in Idaho, but did not require me to write a review. To purchase, go to https://www.christmasinidaho.com/shop.
Deb’s Dozen: Sister and brother, aloft in a runaway balloon. What will they do?
Mark Wainwright wrote a delightful middle-grade story about Jenny, thirteen, and her brother, Cole, nine, and according to Jenny, a rotten brat. Jenny and Cole fought like typical brother and sister, but when Cole tossed away a piece of jewelry precious to Jenny, she had had it!
Flying in a hot air balloon? What fun! The kids felt excited and stood in the basket of the balloon while their parents and Mr. Weber finished up on the preparations for launch. Cole, showing off, accidentally hit the lever that turned the burner on. The balloon filled with more and more air and started to lift off. Jenny and Cole, terrified, watched in horror as the balloon tore loose from the moorings and went higher and higher, quickly lifting out of the reach of their parents. They flew alone in a runaway balloon!
I loved how Mr. Wainwright wrote Jenny and Cole. At times, I wanted to send both of them to a time-out corner. Jenny was so mad at Cole and rehearsed how bad he’d been. Cole was just plain scared. You’ll enjoy getting to know the children and reading about their very scary adventure.
A great story to read aloud or for older kids to read on their own. Five stars.
Mark Wainwright traveled to over thirty countries and had adventures of his own. He homeschooled through the Abeka Academy when his parents were missionaries in Papua New Guinea. No electricity in the village meant he watched his school videos on a solar-powered TV. Now he uses the adventures he had as fodder for the stories he writes. Trapped in a Hot Air Balloon came out of a flight at age twelve at a balloon festival. Mark and Kari (his wife) have two children. Megan, 6th grade, and Tyler, 5th grade.
The author gave me a copy of Trapped in a Runaway Balloon, but he did not require me to write a favorable review
Deb’s Dozen: Old diaries lead to discoveries, love, history and romance.
Sloane Kelley, abandoned at birth, desperately wants to belong and to be loved. When an unwanted contribution to her museum reveals a nineteenth century diary, she embarks on a journey that leads to history and romance. The diaries intrigue her and cause her to step outside her comfort zone and become involved in the lives of Garrett and Lauren Anderson.
Garrett Anderson, well-organized and pragmatic, just wants to get his aging grandmother out of her house and into a home where she will be cared for. His sister, Lauren, on the other hand, wants to keep her grandmother in the beautiful but rundown ancient house. History and romance interest one but not the other. When Garrett brings in real estate agent Kimberly Walsh, the tension between them heats up–will she destroy their close relationship?
The diary brings the three together as they search for more journals written by Annabelle those many years before. Twists and turns, starts and stops hinder and help their discoveries of history and romance. All three learn to know themselves better and to treasure the memories of the past. Will Sloane find her history and her mother? Will Garrett realize life encompasses more than logic? Will Lauren realize her grandmother needs more care than she can give? I had a great time finding out. Four stars.
About the Author
Amanda Wen lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband and three children. Roots of Wood and Stone is her debut novel and the first in the Sedgwick County Chronicles, which promise more history and romance.
Kregel Publications gave me a copy of this book but writing a review was not a requirement. And as an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission from any sales resulting from this review.