Irene's Picture Book Reviews

Who Do You Think You Are?
Finding Your True Identity in Christ
By Mark Driscoll

Do you know who you are? Very few of us do, and Driscoll’s book will show us how we can know who we are without seeking too hard.

Driscoll believes that we have a condition of forgetting who we are in Christ and we fill that void with everything else but. This leads us to ask Who am I? This question can be far-reaching and most of us search and search and still can’t find the answer to our question. Most of us are unaware of the source of our identity.

If we are Christians and we really live our faith, we will know that we are made in the image of God. So, our identity is in Him who created us, but not in all the other things that we believe will give our live meaning and identity. This is a meaning that can’t be quenched by anyone or any hardship.

One way to construct your identity in Jesus is through scripture. Another way is by being a saint. A saint is an average person who loves Jesus who is remorseful, powerful, and humble. Normal people could be saints. All we have to do is to love God and walk in His ways in the world.

We live in an ever increasing world where everyone seems to act as if they are more important and what they are dong is more significant than anyone else. Technology has only made things worse. We all participate in our culture of rudeness too. If we live a Christian life seeped in the love of God, that won’t be the case any longer.

Everyone also longs to be loved. We are usually only loved by a handful of people in our life. Jesus loves us totally and completely. This is the bedrock of our faith if we truly live our faith. So, we don’t have to look for love in all the wrong places. All we have to do is turn to God, and we will be loved at all times.

So, finding our identity is easy if we turn to God and make Him he center of our live. Not only will our life be happy and peaceful, but we will truly know who we are. Thank you so much Mark Driscoll for writing such a wonderful book! I will be reading and rereading it often!

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

It may be difficult for us to accept ourselves just as we are.

There are so many ways for you to criticize yourself. You are never perfect. You are never slim enough. You are never smart enough. You are never quick enough. You are never obliging enough. And so on.

You are too shy. You are too quiet. You are too outgoing. You are too aggressive. You talk too much. You don’t talk enough. You just can’t get things together fast enough.

We have all heard comments like this about ourselves. But do we have to believe them?

It is important that regardless of what others say about you, you think you are okay, just as you are this very moment. That is where self-assertion comes in.

So, today, practise loving yourself just as you are. What a blessing that will be for you!


         Coloring Outside Autism’s Lines: 
         50+ Activities, Adventures, and
         Celebrations for Families with Children With Autism
         By: Susan Walton
         Parents and kids 7 to 14
         4 stars
         Reviewed By: Irene S. Roth 
         Synopsis: Having an autistic child may mean that parents
         have to do things differently and to change their lives.
         However, it doesn’t mean that parents are stuck at home
         without any way to go out into the world and enjoy different
         This is a wonderful book about how parents can effectively
         deal with the perplexities of raising an autistic child and even
         going on outings of al sorts. The activities in this book will
         bring new hope for families living with autism. It seems that
         trips and life is an uphill battle when parents have a child
         with autism. After reading this book, that need not be the
         case. Susan Walton’s book includes 50 carefully selected
         outings and activities that kids with autism can enjoy.     
         Overall Thoughts: I absolutely love this book. Not only is it
         hopeful, but the author encourages the reader to create times
         and activities that autistic children can enjoy. The diagnosis
         of autism will not be as devastating after you read this book.
         I urge all parents with autistic children to read it.
         For more appealing products for kids, visit Irene’s inspiring
         books and products at  and

To purchase this wonderful book, double click on the following link:

     Sam and Gram and the First Day of School
       By: Dianne Blomberg, Ph.D.
       Illustrated by: George Ulrich
       Magination Press, 2009.

       Starting school for the first time can be very
       traumatic for children. This is a story devoted
       specifically for kids who are about to venture
       out to school for the first time. It shows how
       Grams can make it easier for kids to face that
       first day of school.
       Sam is used to spending his days with his
       grandmother while his parents are at work.
       However, now that he’s old enough to start
       school, he has to leave the warmth of his
       grandmother’s bosom. Despite her reassurances,
       he’s scared of this big, unfamiliar building as
       he approaches it. Once he gets into the building,
       however, things change for Sam. He makes friends,
       discovers many fun and exciting activities, and
       realizes that he’s not as scared and lonely as he
       thought he would be.
       The book can also be used as an educational tool
       for parents since it includes a special section
       that will help them prepare their children for
       the first day of school with enthusiasm and
       confidence. The illustrations are lively and
       bright. This book is a must read for parents,
       teachers, and the kids that are about to go to
       school for the very first time. 
       Reviewed by Irene S. Roth
       4 stars

           The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade
           Written by Lori Calabrese
           Illustrated by Chet Taylor
           Dragonfly Publishing, 2010
           Ages 3-8
           ISBN: 978-1936381050
           Lori Calabrese’s book is a wonderful and enchanting
           story about a little boy, Matt, who wants to win the
           upcoming Bug-A-Fair so that he could become the
           student of the year.  However, things don’t go
           according to plan for Matt as he gets a cold.
           The plot has a several hilarious twists and turns. The
           reader will be mesmerized and kept at the edge of his
           seat by the colourful illustrations and the message on
           each page. I recently read the book to a grade three
           class and they were absolutely tickled by the story.
           They wanted to make sure that they would stay bug-
           free in every sense of the term.
           I would recommend the book to boys and girls alike.
           Although girls and boys will find different aspects of
           the story funny, they both seem to really find the book
           very engaging and mesmerizing. Kudos also goes out
           to Chet Taylor for doing such a great job of illustrating
           this story.
           Reviewed by Irene S. Roth

              Donner the Western Dragon
              Written by: Suzanne Davis Marion
              Illustrated by: Marj Hales
              Booksurge Inc., 2009
              ISBN: 9781439252048
              There are quite a few children’s stories that
              focus on important problems that kids
              experience in every day life with moral lessons.
              Suzanne Marion’s wonderful and inspiring
              book falls into this category.
              Suzanne’s book is written as an old-fashioned,
              heroic fairy tale. It kind of reminded me of
              Grimm and Andersen a bit. The book is about
              Donner, a dragon. Dragons are supposed to be
              fierce, fire-breathing beasts. But Donner is
              nothing like that. Donner is peaceful, enjoying
              quiet meadows and butterfly-gazing. While
              most dragons his age use up their fire on a
              daily basis, Donner barely breathes a spark. His
              best friend is a sweet unicorn who has a similar
              temperament. They live in the mountains and
              enjoy the peace and tranquillity there.
              Donner is portrayed as a well-adjusted misfit.
              He doesn’t worry too much when other
              dragons laugh at him. Instead, Donner believes
              that they waste their time playing games.
              Donner seems to be very comfortable in his
              own skin. This is such a wonderful message for
              kids. Many kids feel so out of place with their
              friends and sadly sometimes in their families as
              well. Donner’s message will help them to face
              the sometimes harsh realities of their lives and
              The moral of the book is that we could all be
              different and a hero at the same time. Maybe
              we should all strive to be different so that we
              could become also be heros? I would recommend
              this book to any child who is struggling because
              (s)he feels a bit different. I recently read the
              book at my local library, and the kids
              were mesmerized by the message of the
              book. When I passed the book around the
              group, they were totally transported by
              the colourful illustrations.
              Kudos goes out to Marj Hales for doing such
              a wonderful job illustrating the story! She
              is a truly gifted artist. The dragons look very
              colourful and vibrant. Each page is colourful
              and uplifting. It will consistently transport
              young readers.
              Reviewed By Irene S. Roth
              Rating: 5 roses

Fancy Nancy: Ooh La La!  Its Beauty Day
Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser
Harper Collins Publishers, 2010

           This is a very colourful and enchanting book. I know
           that you will be transported to the world of beauty,
           makeup and relaxation by reading this book.
           This book is meant for a younger readership,
           although I think that tween girls will also enjoy it.  The
           book is about treating Mom to a home spa for her birthday.
           It is hilarious in its presentation. The reader will
           chuckle throughout the book. The cover of the book
           glistens as some of the illustrations on each page. The
           reader will feel transported right into the spa
           experience. I love the idea of treating Mom to a spa day.
           How great is that!
           Rating: 5 out of 5 roses.
           Reviewed by Irene S. Roth


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