Monday, October 27, 2008

Review of "An LDS Girl's Guide to Real Beauty"

Finally, a fun and age-appropriate book for young girls (perhaps ages 8-13) that discusses beauty, hygiene, exercise, modesty and self-esteem! First off I have to say that this book is absolutely precious - the illustrations are very feminine and fun. My 8-year-old daughter is going to love this book (I am saving it for her for Christmas so mum's the word).

In the introduction the author, Leslie Cheret, says that she was inspired to write this book after spending time working with girls in primary and young women and seeing that so many of them have poor self-perception. I recently heard a study that young girls start deciding that they are fat and ugly somewhere around age 11. It is easy to understand this because of the media they are exposed to and sometimes, sadly, because of their own mothers who unwittingly share feelings of not being good enough, smart enough or thin enough.

I love chapter two that is entitled Self Confidence and Wonder Woman because it discusses spiritual power and having the holy ghost with you - two things that make a girl or a woman truly beautiful.

Chapter three gives away a wonderful beauty secret - SERVICE! What would this world be like if it was filled with women who had the spirit with them and were constantly seeking ways to serve?

I think that my favorite chapter in the book is chapter five which is called Modest is Hottest. Shopping for girls these days can be a pretty tough job, even for the very young ones, because the stores offer short shorts, tight shirts, and well, you get the picture. I love the reminders in here that boys like girls who dress modestly (at least the kind of boys that we all hope our daughters will be dating).

An LDS Girls Guide to Real Beauty is an excellent supplement for the Faith in God Program for Girls. I can't wait to go through this book with my daughter and have a fun way to discuss some of the topics found in it. My daughter loves to read and so I don't doubt that she will have fun reading this book, but I think that other girls who may not like reading as much will be equally enthusiastic to read it because it discusses topics that they are curious about.

*Available at Deseret Book

Review of "Short Talks for Kid's"

This is a wonderful resource to have on hand when your young primary-age child has been assigned to give a talk in primary. I think I will also be pulling it out for Family Home Evening.

Each chapter is filled with a few one-page talks that discuss principles of the gospel (i.e. forgiveness; Jesus Christ, our Savior; prophets; Heavenly Father's Plan, etc...). They are written in plain and simple language that a young child can understand and feel comfortable speaking. Depending on the child, she may also be able to memorize one of these short talks.

Visual aids can easily be added with the help of the Gospel Art Kit or homemade pictures! At the bottom of each talk is a recommended picture to use from the Gospel Art Kit.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

God Made Us to Laugh Article

Last week, Jerry Johnston of the Deseret News and Mormon Times wrote an article about Diana Mahony's book God Made Us to Laugh. It was a great article that highlighted the unique aspects of her book. As emeritus BYU–Hawaii professor Diana Mahony, Ph.D., explains how our sense of humor is the fingerprint of our personality—an indicator of our values, our character, and our worldview. Mahony also shares how the good humor of LDS General Authorities past and present is a cultural treasure that actually teaches doctrine. The reader will also learn what “loud laughter” and “light-mindedness” really mean, and why there will be laugher in the hereafter.

To read the Mormon Times article, click on the following link:

Review of "Games and Activites for LDS Girls"

Title: Games and Activities for LDS Girls
Author: Jenna Mitchell
Publisher: Leatherwood Press
Genre: Non-fiction
Year Published: 2008
Number of Pages: 64
Binding: Paperback
ISBN 10: n/a
ISBN 13: 978-1-59992-084-9
Price: $12.95

Games and Activities for LDS Girls by Jenna Mitchell and Illustrated
by Rebecca Miller is one book that can be judged by its cover. With
bright funky colors and cute pictures, this is a book whose packaging
definitely sells. Moms and daughters alike will pick the book up
because of its fun look. If they take the time to really look inside,
they will continue holding it because of the content.

The beauty of this book is that the activities can be used by a wide
range of ages and most can be played over and over again without
losing their charm. This is a collection that contains party games,
word searches and other similar activities, and it even includes
several recipes. Because there is such a wide variety of activities
and games included, this book could be used in many situations.

Girls and their mothers will love party games like "Name That Toe",
"Modesty Shots", and "3-hour Slumber Party". Giggles and good clean
fun are sure to ensue. For quieter occasions, the mazes and word games
are a great way to fill some time. Many of these activities can even
be used for a fun-filled family night.

Even though the target audience for this book is young Latter-day
Saint girls and their mothers, most of the activities in this book can
be enjoyed by girls of all faiths. One concern that this book brings
up is that no part of this book may be reproduced or copied without
permission. This makes it difficult for a parent who would like to use
the word games and such as part of a party or family activity. It
would be nice to see this changed to allow families to copy pages to
use solely for such uses.

This book is a great resource for any mother who is looking for ways
to allow her daughters to have a good time and laugh with their
friends in an age appropriate, mom-approved way.

Review of "It's Never Too Late"

Title: It's Never Too Late, Simple Acts to Enhance Your Life
Author: Britney Rule
Publisher: Leatherwood Press
Genre: Non-fiction
Year Published: 2008
Number of Pages: n/a
Binding: Paperback
ISBN 10: n/a
ISBN 13: 978-1-59992-091-7
Price: $14.95

Reviewed by Jaymie Reynolds

In the weeks leading up to the new year, countless people will berate
themselves for falling short of the lofty goals they set one year
earlier. At the same time, those who have chosen not to set
resolutions for themselves, will either try to ignore the nagging
voice that is urging them to seek some self-improvement or sit back
and congratulate themselves on their "never try/ never fail"
philosophy. The remaining population who fall somewhere in the middle
will waffle back and forth between the two. Then, come January first,
the whole process will begin again.

In It's Never Too Late, Simple Acts to Enhance Your Life, by Britney
Rule, readers, young and old alike, will find some of the basic tools
that will allow them to step off the roller coaster of yearly
resolutions and make simple improvements daily. With over 150
solutions to individual weaknesses, this book reminds us that small
steps can lead to great improvement. While this book is geared toward
members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, anyone who
is seeking to improve their life and draw closer to God can benefit
from the wisdom that is contained here.

This is a small book and a simple read. Each page has a basic
principle listed. Underneath that, there is a brief explanation that
makes it easy to apply on an individual basis. Because the explanation
is brief, readers can easily apply these things regardless of where
they are currently in their own lives. Also included with each
principle of improvement is a quote or a scripture that underscores
the thoughts that are presented.

Britney Rule does a great job of simplifying self-improvement. Each
thought offered can be used as the basis for forming new habits and
changing who we are. It is really simple for the reader to pick one
page and focus on it each day for three weeks until it becomes habit.
This book can also be used as a tool to choose a gospel topic of
study. The reader can research scriptures and quotes by spiritual
leaders on any of the given topics. The study of the topics in this
book can be quite versatile and can be as brief or as in depth as the
reader chooses.This book is presented in a straightforward and
thoughtful manner. I would not change anything about it. I would
recommend it to anyone who is seeking to become a better person.