The Berenstain Bears Bedtime Devotional

An excellent nightly devotional to do with your kiddos.Who doesn’t know (and love) the Berenstain Bears? Many of us have grown up with them and appreciate the feel-good atmosphere in the stories. So many books hold so many good lessons and visual examples of ways to live in light of God’s love.

I realize that when presented with options from publishers to review, I often choose the latest Berenstain Bear book (see Love One Another and Easter Blessing, for examples). And I believe that is because of their quality and goodness.

This devotional is geared toward children in perhaps the 4-8 age range. Each of the 90 devotionals starts out with a Bible verse. Then there is a little lesson with an example from the lives of the Berenstain Bears. It sometimes includes a [possibly rhetorical] question toward the children.

That is usually (not always) followed by a “Carry on Cub” paragraph which challenges the child to think more on a certain topic before they close their eyes — for example, how they can show God they are thankful for His love, how they can be helpful to their parents in the morning, etc.

At the end of each night’s devotional is a short prayer. Each is catchy and rhymes so it captures children’s attentions and can perhaps be used later that night when tucking them in.

This is a solid book. It’s a nice size and has a quality ribbon to keep your place. My husband and I are looking forward to using it in our nightly family Bible times when our children get older. For now, we are mostly just reading out of various Bible board books. 🙂


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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First Bible Stories for Boys

Packed with 42 accurate stories from the Bible, this is a great daily book to read with your kiddos.

Every once in a while, our local grocery store in Quito, Ecuador (SuperMaxi) would carry books in English. Surprisingly, I have several great books we bought there over the years! I snagged this one a couple years ago — it was too advanced for my son but I wanted to have it for later years. Fast forward..

For the last few months, we’ve worked through it, one story at a time, during our nightly family Bible times. Each story is written on only one page and is accompanied with one picture on the adjoining page. It’s not specifically designed to be read “one a day,” but it worked well for that.

First Bible Stories for Boys touched on more stories than most kids’ Bible story books tend to. I appreciated that.

But they weren’t all written very well. Admittedly, our almost-three-year-old was probably still a little young for some of the stories, but even if our children were older, the stories weren’t always clearly articulated. My husband and I had to explain a lot or reword some of the stories (always matching the Bible, of course).

It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read in this genre, but I wasn’t thrilled by it. I will say it’s likely we use it again in later years just for variety, so that’s a positive note. Since we bought it on another continent than we live now and I’ve never seen it anywhere since, I did a little Amazon search and see that you can find it, but I’d recommend just buying it used from places like Thriftbooks.

My Mother’s Quilts: Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith {by Ramona Richards}

My Mother's Quilts, a lovely and light devotional I really enjoyed. The author shares histories of quilts with a lovely writing style and wraps it into a relative life lesson. Great idea for a conversation starter in a group setting or reading individually.My Mother’s Quilts has to be the most unique devotional book I’ve seen. The author has clearly worked very hard at maintaining the history and legacy of much of their family’s past. This must be a very special keepsake for her own family, but it is also a lovely book for others to read.

Each “day” (although it doesn’t have to be read daily) tells a short story — all are well-written, some are funny, many are sincerely memorable and they all center around a specific quilt. We learn the histories of the quilts and the precious details surrounding them.

I wouldn’t plan on using this book for a Bible study or anything very deep. The stories would perhaps make good introductions or conversation starters before other lessons or classes and certainly would be a great thing to read individually to prepare one’s mind for quiet time with God. Every devotion includes a Bible verse and then ties the “theme” of the particular quilt’s story into a life lesson of sorts. It then ends with a “prayer starter,” which relates to the theme as well.

Just the other day, about something else, my mother said to me, “You’ll like it because you’re old-fashioned.” That made me smile, because it’s true! So, I really enjoyed this book because of that part of my personality. I liked hearing the old stories of when life was simpler and I have always had a dream to learn how to quilt!

The book itself is a great compact size, hardback and with its ribbon bookmark, you can easily find where you left off.

I hadn’t heard of Ramona Richards before, but apparently she has several books out there — both fiction and non-fiction. Her writing style was something I enjoyed, so I’ll be on the lookout for another of hers.


I received this book free from the publisher through the Worthy Publishing First Look book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Jesus Today Devotions for Kids {by Sarah Young}

Jesus Today Devotions for Kids (a book review)Though I’m well aware of their existence, this is my first Sarah Young book to actually own and read. Adapted from one of her devotional books for adults, Jesus Today Devotions for Kids is a great addition to any family’s library.

In each of the 150 devotionals, there is a a word from Jesus (literally — it’s written as if He wrote it) and Bible verses that support it. The verses are all written out, but I always prefer to read Scripture directly out of my Bible so when we work through this book with our children, we’ll have both.

The back of the book has an organized index of Scripture used throughout the book. This is a great reference tool if you’re looking for a devotional based on a specific topic or Bible verse. The days are only numbered and not dated, so it’s not a devotional which requires you to read it chronologically; each day is a stand-alone.

From a Christian perspective, there’s not really anything more important in parenting as teaching your children to be in the Word every day — teaching and also exemplifying. This is a great book to help a parent do just that. Each day is short, so discussion afterwards can be as long as works for the family. If you’re looking for something like this, I definitely recommend this well-written children’s devotional.


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

40 Days of Decrease {by Alicia Britt Chole}

40 Days of Decrease (a book review)Coming from a denominational background that might mention Lent but doesn’t greatly focus on it, I’ve not participated in the season much. So this was a pleasantly new area of Christian living for me to dive into and learn more about. Not only is 40 Days of Decrease a devotional for the Lent season, it educates the reader on Lent itself via a small, informative section each day.

Additionally, each day includes:

  • a short devotional on a particular aspect of Jesus’ life
  • a reflection that prompts the reader to deeper thought and questions
  • unique suggestions for fasts (for example, isolation, criticism, comparison, denial, sound, etc.)
  • a quote for prayerful inspiration
  • a Bible passage meant to read, reflect and journal on

I really like how each day begins with Jesus — real-life examples of situations He went through or ways He lived that are examples for us today. Living in a culture where “increase” and “more” are the common themes to how success is defined, it is refreshing to be encouraged to “decrease” and let “less” become our focus. Alicia Britt Chole uses this book to reawaken Lent as a time for decreasing self and elevating Jesus.

“Jesus lived a truly uncluttered life and died a focused, eternally fruitful death. How I long to follow His example.”
— Alicia Britt Chole

This is definitely a devotional I’ll consider re-reading in future years. It is well-written and well-researched, which gives it a recommendable quality.


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Waiting Here For You: An Advent Journey of Hope {by Louie Giglio}

Waiting Here For You (a book review)

If you’re looking for a devotional that will help calm your soul in the midst of busy Decembers,

if you’ve lost your focus or desire to sharpen your focus on what (who) really matters,

if you’re wading through some darkness and need a hand to lead you back to God’s Word,

this is the advent devotional for you.

Louie Giglio has a gift of generating peace to the reader throughout this book. Beginning on November 26 and ending on Christmas Eve, each day opens with a Bible passage, then continues with a related reflection, a meditation and closes with a prayer. The meditation section is usually a typed out song or hymn, which I particularly enjoyed. We become so accustomed to singing certain lyrics we forget to let the actual words penetrate our soul when they are perfectly able to do so.

This devotional is not intended to dig deep into the Word but rather give you a special daily moment with God during the typically very busy weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is entirely doable for anyone with any schedule.

“Advent is simply a season of expectant waiting and preparation. Most often, the arrival of an event or a person is made all the more sweet by our anticipation. How could waiting and expectation change your Christmas season?”

Giglio sends us on a journey toward Hope with reminders of why we wait, for whom we wait and what good comes to those who wait. I’m quite sure I’ll be pulling out this little book next year, too!


I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with theFederal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.