Archive for Books

My Whole Self Before You – Book and Curriculum based on The Lord’s Prayer {Review}

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of these items in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

I was put in touch with Susan Bronner by a friend of my husband’s. He owns a book publishing company in town and her book My Whole Self Before You won his Moonbeam children’s book award. After we spoke & discussed various marketing and mommy blogger ideas, she put together a package of items relating to My Whole Self Before You. She sent a copy of:

When I first received it, I was under the impression that it was a Catholic children’s book, but its not. It’s the only book I’ve seen that could be used by Catholics and Protestant equally. Everyone says the Our Father; it’s just called different things. She also separates the Doxology from it and makes a note that its a difference between Catholics and Protestants. Really she is just rephrasing the prayer for easier understanding.

My Whole Self Before You was the original (I think) and its a picture book that rephrases The Lord’s Prayer / Our Father so that kids really understand the prayer they have memorized. It’s a lovely hardcover book with pictures of children and stained glass windows. At the end is a guide for prayer and devotion with 80 (!) discussion points.

The Picture Prayer Book version is the same book minus the prayer guide. The Prayer Guide Devotional is a spiral bound version of the discussion points only. If you only buy one, get the original. It has both pieces and therefore a longer useful life. If all your kids are older, the Prayer Guide/Devotional will probably be sufficient.

As a book, on its own, I’m kind of lukewarm about My Whole Self Before You. I’m not a fan of books with photographs or kid photos in them. Not sure why, but its a personal taste thing for me. But, she breaks down the ideas in the Our Father as a rhyme. And a well-done rhyme at that!

When I read it to my 6.5 year old after a hiatus, she said, “It sounds like a prayer.” When I explained that its the Our Father broken down into easy to understand words. I read her a verse or two and how it corresponded to the prayer and she all but ripped the book from my hands so she could read the whole thing. She had hit a point where it clicked, you know? So I would say that having the study guide for ages 8-12 (3rd-6th grade), is probably pretty spot on.   She gets it at 6, but not enough to do a full fledged study of it.


Where I really get excited about this book is the Study Guide. The study guide contains 80 2-page lessons that really go into depth as a bible study. The study guide comes shrink wrapped & 3-hole punched and is non-reproducible. It’s intended for grades 4-6 and digs deep into the bible as it relates to aspects of the Our Father. My daughter is several years too young for it, but I’m excited to use it when she is. You could get through it in a school year if you did 2 lessons a week. There are even extra activities on their website.

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The worksheets do not appear cumbersome to complete, but look like they would provide deeper understanding & relationship with God. As I said, I have not USED it yet, so I cannot tell you if there is anything contrary to Catholic (or any Protestant) teaching in it. There is an endorsement from the superintendent of our area Catholic schools and they are presenting it to the schools soon so take that as you will.

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Overall, My Whole Self Before You is a book suitable for both Catholic and Protestant families. While I’m not a huge fan of the picture book portion on its own, I think the Prayer Guide & Devotional as well as the study guide could be awesome tools for your older elementary student. I’m excited to share how we like it in a few years!

Jen S.

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Future Paleontologists — Dinosaur Fun {Poppins Book Nook}

Junior Paleontologists


This month’s theme for the Poppins Book Nook was When I Grow Up. Since my oldest wants to be a paleontologist, we picked dinosaurs for our focus this month.

usborne dinosaur books

Usborne Dinosaur Books

I bought two Usborne books from Marie & though she is no longer sponsoring these posts, I’d still like to give her a little shout out :). The first book I bought was See Inside the World of Dinosaurs. I absolutely adore the quality of these books. They are so well put together physically and the girls could spend hours peeking under all the flaps together. There are 8 different spreads covering the beginning of life in the ocean, early dinosaurs, giant dinosaurs, strange features, dino battles, extinction, and fossils. They are not Creationist (capital C) and are not young earth so if you have those prejudices, don’t buy this book. That being said, we loved it and its fun to see more than the standard dinosaurs we learned about in elementary school.


I also bought Usborne Preschool Activities Dinosaur Fun. This is a spiral hardcover with tabbed projects for different dinosaurs. The pages are a heavy cardstock and each project is an art project that is super simple and hands on. My artist daughter (6) and hand-on girl (3), loved it equally. We did 2 of the 11 projects. With a few of them, I wish they had provided a template to copy but c’est la vie.


We also bought The Great Dinosaur Search, a padded hardcover similar to 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea, but no one was interested in it. I already had a copy of Usborne Internet-Linked World Atlas of Dinosaurs and my youngest and I looked through that and I read pieces that seemed to interest her. It was a fun discussion!

Dinosaur Activities

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Junior Paleontologist

Since my oldest wants to be a paleontologist, the first thing I did was dig out the Toob I bought her on clearance a few years ago. It had 7 Dino skulls in it and frankly they were ugly. She wanted them so badly I gave in. The next thing I did was go to Home Depot & buy 14 bags of play sand. I promised Dino digs for the month but we hadn’t refilled the sandbox yet. $40 later we had sand and bones for a fossil excavation :).

I also purchased this tub of dinosaurs from Toys R Us I had been eying for months that happened to be on sale for $16. Score! They have spent hours in the sandbox with dinosaurs this month. Best money spent EVER!

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Dinosaur Art

We did several art projects from the Dinosaur Fun book and it was not nearly as messy as I’d feared. They were super simple and way better than anything I saw on Pinterest! Worth getting your hands on in my opinion.

Dinosaur Garden Field Trip

The month still isn’t over yet and I’m hoping to get over to Dinosaur Gardens. We have to go over to that side of the state soon and while its about an hour out of the way, I’d like to try going there. I’ve never been but when my little bro was in elementary school, my mom chaperoned a field trip there (which is a miracle itself). She said it was pretty neat so it’s always been on my list. If we make it, you’ll see a field trip Friday post about it!


That’s all we did this month and the kids had a blast. Honestly the Dino dig was the best idea ever. They are always out there.


Poppins Book Nook

Check out posts from all Poppins Book Nook co-hosts about what children would like to be when they grow up and add your post to the linky below.

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015  Clip Art by Melon Headz

Check out more Poppins Book Nook posts from around the world by these lovely bloggers:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama




When I Grow Up Bundle Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a bundle of fun for the theme of When I Grow Up.  This bundle will include a copy of the storybookWhen I Grow Up by Mercer Mayer, one copy of Community Helpers Puzzles by Trend, and one copy of Community Helpers & Careers Pocket Flash Cards by Trend.

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s disclosures found here {}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow more Poppins Book Nook fun on Pinterest!


What do your kids want to be when they grow up?


Jen S.

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Mother Mary – A Marian Catechism {Book Review}

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Recently I received an invitation from Aquinas & More to review Mother Mary: God’s Gift to You. Mr. Rutherford felt so strongly about this unknown gem that he offered several review copies.

Mother Mary is a Marian catechism that follows the Parable of Willy Wheat. You might be able to do it without reading the Willy Wheat book, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It wouldn’t make much sense. I did purchase the Willy Wheat book after a quick read of Mother Mary and I don’t think the girls would have understood as well without it. You can purchase them individually in hardcover or paperback or as a hardcover set.

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The Mother Mary book came with a small pouch of wheat, a small rosary & a scapular to be used in the lessons. The book itself is a large hardcover divided into 4 chapters. We covered a chapter a week, on Sundays. The first chapter told about how Jesus lives within us and in order to be like like him, we need to change & grow. The second was about the Rosary. The last two are about Mary and how she intercedes for us (think Consecreation to Jesus through Mary for Kids). The illustrations were very colorful (think markers with hand-drawn pictures) and chapters were color-coded. The ONLY thing I disliked was the font; I detest comic sans. The typography book I read once was bad news for me :). I now analyze every font I see.

Mother Mary is intended for all ages and it truly was. Obviously my 1 year old doesn’t understand it, but I was amazed at how much my 3 year old got. She talks about Jesus being inside us every. single. day. The chapters were very simple, repetitive (good for young kids) and in easy to understand language. Each chapter had some questions and a place to draw something. Between the physical items, the questions & the pictures, every learning style was hit. Each chapter also included copious quotes from saints with a devotion to Mary.

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Overall, Mother Mary was very simple & well done, yet somehow quite profound. It didn’t take long to do and we didn’t do the drawing activities, but my 3 year old really got into it. My 6 year old is a little harder–very cerebral :). You never know how much she is turning things over until she mentions something months later. It was a good resource and we will be purposefully getting it out again in a year or two when The Little Man is old enough to understand it.

Jen S.


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Catholic Books for Tweens – 6 Year Blogoversary Giveaway



Finally, I am giving away a set of Catholic books for older elementary-tweens.   Both are from Pauline Press.  The first is Totally Catholic (a Catholic Catechism) and the second is When Parents Divorce or Separate.




To enter, please use the widget below.  Please note that a comment is mandatory and is open to US addresses only.


Good luck!

Jen S.

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Quilts of Love Book Box – 6 Year Blogoversary Giveaway



Need some good poolside reading?  I am offering a box full of lightly loved fiction from the Quilts of Love series to one lucky reader.  

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This prize includes the following books:

- Maybelle in Stitches  
- Scraps of Evidence   
- Tempest’s Course
- The Christmas Quilt
- Aloha Rose

I will probably add a few little special something’s to the box before I mail it, too :).

To enter, please use the widget below.  Please note that a comment is mandatory and is open to US addresses only.

Good luck!

Jen S.

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