Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Book Review: The Newest Books in the Good News for Little Hearts Series

About the Books:

Tori Comes Out of Her Shell, Gus Loses His Grip, and Henry Says Good-Bye are part of the Good News for Little Hearts series, bringing gospel help and Biblical counsel to families. Based on the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation's (CCEF) model of help and hope, each story focuses on an animal family's real-life issues, encouraging young readers toward a growing relationship with Jesus amid challenging circumstances. Each individual story guides parents toward meaningful conversations with their kids, based on what Scripture has to say about living by faith in everyday life.

Thoughts on Tori Comes Out of Her Shell:

Both of my daughters were eager to read Tori Comes Out of Her Shell. They enjoyed the colorful illustrations and spotting characters from other books in the Good News for Little Hearts series. My seven-year-old seemed to connect with Tori as they share a natural shyness. This book focuses specifically on moving and changing schools and I think it would be an excellent resource for helping a child deal with such a transition. Outside of such situation though, it offers a reassuring message to the shy child (or any child) that Jesus is a friend who will never leave them. 5 Stars!

Thoughts on Gus Loses His Grip:

My four-year-old enjoyed Gus Loses His Grip. I’m not sure if it was the love of candy, the naughty behavior, the colorful illustrations, or a combination of the three aspects, but this book was thoroughly entertaining for her.

Besides her enjoyment of this book, what I really appreciated about Gus Loses His Grip is its moral messages. There are the direct ones about it being wrong to steal and that we need help from Jesus when we struggle with temptation. But, there’s also an emphasis on honesty. Gus has a confessional conversation with his Papa, but then the Papa shares his own struggles and teaches that everyone, including grownups, needs help from Jesus. Being only four years old, I think my daughter was able to understand the moral messages of the story, but I’m not sure how deeply those messages sunk in. Fortunately, it’s a hardcover book and I expect it will hold up to her revisiting it over time.

Thoughts on Henry Says Good-Bye:

Henry Says Good-Bye addresses the sad situation of losing one’s beloved pet. As the story progresses, Henry goes through different emotional states and his father helps him process the grief. He learns to remember, to talk about his feelings, and to find comfort in his Heavenly Father who is presented as close to the brokenhearted and sensitive to one’s pain.

The illustrations in Henry Says Good-Bye are beautiful and the narrative held both of my daughters’ attention. They liked finding characters from other books in the Good News for Little Hearts series. My oldest daughter said her favorite part when Henry was recalling the time that Lila (his pet ladybug) escaped from his backpack during math. It’s a sweet taste of humor within the story of Henry’s sadness and it stood out to my daughter.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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