Book Review: Ketzel the Cat Who Composed

“Ah, Ketzel, I see that music stirs your soul” he said. “And that is a wonderful thing.”

In this charming picture book for children, a young and passionate composer and piano player meets a lonely but lively street kitten- and together they are able to do something inspirational! Ketzel is a Yiddish word that means “kitten”. The cutest thing about this story is that it was a true story. Ketzel was a real kitten who composed!

The story is easy to read for young readers, and great for a read-aloud book in the classroom or to read as a family. The day I received the book, my younger siblings already requested to have it read as a bedtime story. They quite enjoyed it. My preschool sister’s evaluation of the book was: “I like this book, it’s very, very, very funny”.

The illustrations are delightful, by one of my favorite illustrators Amy June Bates. While reading the book, the mood of the illustrations and the characters reminded me a little of the animation 101 Dalmatians that I used to watch when I was a young child. The story is dynamic and takes readers through the ups and downs of the life of Ketzel and his owner, and builds up to the final conclusion, a triumphant happy ending! Yet I appreciated that the book kept a realistic tone and showed that sometimes even when you work hard, things don’t turn out the way you want them at first, and you may have disappointments in the process. In addition, although Ketzel and his owner were successful in the end, it was not a Hollywood type of triumph where they strike it rich. They continue their life as usual but always have the joy of looking back on their success! 

Pros: This is a great story for children and families who are musicians and have a passion for music, as well as for those who love animals. It is a fairly new release and it would make a lovely gift. 

Cons: I wish the author would have mentioned in the book that Ketzel means kitten, although I suppose it is quite obvious, though it would have been a nice learning opportunity for children, and it is not mentioned anywhere in the book. I’m glad there was an author’s note at the end of the book to explain details behind the story and what happened to Ketzel and the composer afterward (hint: the composer became a Rabbi) so as a parent you may not want to read to children that rabbi’s believe in some kind of meditation/concentration. So you can skip that part or the author’s note altogether.

This book was kindly given to me to provide an honest review 

Coffee Cake Days Book Review

Hello Thursday! 

Let me introduce to you a new book/short story. It is “Coffee Cake Days” by Amanda Tero my friend and fellow blogger.  Banner 01

In this dynamic short story, a young lady named Meg finds out how to balance her spiritual walk with the reality of the demands of daily life. Reading it, there were many instances where I could relate to the frustrations the character was facing and the reactions she was tempted to display when things don’t always go as you plan them in your mind. Amanda did a good job of portraying the interactions and relationships between siblings in the story, especially when it comes to dealing with younger siblings.

Readers will also easily relate the interruptions that regularly happen on a day to day basis in family life.

After reading the story, readers may ask themselves questions such as: how do you relate to your family? how do you react when things don’t go your way?, what do you consider your priorities? There are many Scripture references that weave into the story nicely showing how Meg, the character learns the most important lesson in her spiritual life. The story is a quick and easy read, enjoyable for ages 13- up.

Oh but don’t take my word for it! You can find the book over at Amanda’s website. Drop by and check it out, and share with your friends.

About the Author of Coffee Cake Days: Amanda Amanda Tero is a homeschool graduate whose desire is to provide God-honoring reading material. Her current projects include short stories and novels-in-progressWhen she was a young teenager, Amanda was obsessed with writing. However, the Lord helped her to realize that she was writing for her personal pleasures and purposes – not His.

For several years, she put away “pleasure writing” and wrote mainly Biblical articles for several years (which she still continues). She found the time of writing silence beneficial in gleaning from God’s Word and strengthening the focus of why she writes. Since 2013, the Lord directed her to begin writing fiction again. Her desire is to glorify and exalt God in all of her writing. She desires to challenge girls to focus on their relationship with God and grow in Him and His Word. If something she has written draws an individual into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, it is worth it!






The Fun part of History- Learning about Patriotism from Children’s Books!

“It doesn’t take a giant to defeat one…” 

It’s hard to find wholesome and quality picture books for children on the market. There are monster books, silly books, abstract & ugly books, and a lot of in-between books. That’s why when I find a good book I get really excited! The Town that Fooled the British by Lisa Papp is one really neat book I want to share with you.

The book starts right into the action, so little children will not get bored with a long-winded introduction before the action starts. This is especially useful if you’re reading to impatient little boys (or tomboy girls). The tale is actually based on a true event in American history that not very many people know about. In fact, I doubt this event is even recorded in most history textbooks. I love coming across seemingly minor historical events, but which can be so interesting! They make for great books! So now if you get this book, both you and the young ones you read it to will learn something new! I guarantee adults will enjoy it just as much as young children (take my word for it 🙂 ).

One thing I really love about this book are the illustrations. They are so expressive, professional and detailed! It adds a dimension of high quality to this story- an aspect that’s very important to me when I look for children’s books. Now that you heard how neat this book is, I hope you’ll go out & check it out!

“We’ll not fail, Miss…I promise you that.” 

This is such a beautiful story. I love it, and I could probably say it’s one of my favorite children’s picture books. Another inspiring tale of the sacrifices many Americans have made in the hard times of the Revolutionary War. The characters seem so real, you can connect with them, their determination, fears and real life situations. The illustrations, done by the same artist who did The Town that Fooled the British, are just as beautiful as in the aforementioned book, if not more so!

This is a fictional story, but as you read it, you will discover it goes along the lines of other true stories you heard about in relation to the Revolutionary war. As you can see, both these books go so well together, complementing each other with two different characters- a boy and a girl, both of whom do something patriotic and brave in behalf of their country. One part of the tale Scarlet Stockings Spy nearly brought tears to my eyes, and I would sit and just absorb the detail of the beautiful pictures. I feel that this story also draws parallels to the circumstances that our modern-day military families face.

Both of these books are in a series of picture books called Tales of Young Americans. There’s a little kid in all of us that enjoys a good story with good pictures no matter how old we are. Wouldn’t you agree?

Do you have any favorite picture books either from your childhood or ones you recently discovered?




NOTE: Sleeping Bear Press sent me complimentary review copies of these books in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wings Like A Dove – A Review


NOTE: P&R Publishing sent me a complimentary review copy of this book
in exchange for my honest opinion.

Risk. Betrayal. Integrity. Faith.

A royal princess growing up in the middle of difficult, changing times that would shape the history of Christianity. There are two sides- two faiths. Her heart is put to the test- which side will she choose?

Many of us are familiar with the lives of heroes of the Reformation like Luther, John Calvin, John Knox.  But there were female heroes during the Reformation too- heroes who had roles just as important as the men, and who stood up just as courageously. One of them was Jeanne De’Albret, a princess/queen in Navarre, France in 1528.

I have researched about Jeanne De’Albret’s life before I read the book Wings Like a Dove, and I wanted to learn more, and see a “novel” style perspective. So I requested this book to review.

The book chronicles Jeanne’s life from a young girl to adulthood, through little adventures and significant moments in her life by adding fictionalized details to make it like a story.

The relationships royals had with one another during that time period was interesting. It was like a pendulum relationship, sometimes surprisingly warm and loving, just like a regular family, but most often cold and official- almost like strangers.

As the tale goes along, it climaxes to where Jeanne must make a choice between the new Reformation or remaining with the Catholic religion. The readers are briefly introduced to John Calvin and the Huguenots (as the protestants were called), and they are mentioned a few times throughout the book. I wish the author would have mentioned more about Jeanne’s interaction with the Reformers in the story and her contribution to the Reformation, because she had an important role. The epilogue contained a few more details about her life.

As most of my readers know, I believe that “you are what you read“, so basically I think believers should be very “conservative” in their criteria for choosing the kind of books to read. In light of this, I will mention what I disagreed with in the story. There are some parts in the book with romance, husband-wife relationship between queen Jeanne and her husband, which were added in the tale by the author. It would have been better if those were left out altogether. I would like to repeat again, as I said before, that I do not promote books containing these subjects/elements in them. So I hope this review was helpful to you all!