Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Carole P. Roman: Captain No Beard stories #grow4christ #bookreview



About the Book:


There is a storm brewing on the Flying Dragon, and it’s not about the weather. When the crew finds themselves parched and not enough juice to go around, blame falls on Matie the goat, Hallie’s friend. Divided, they square off, ready for a fight and Captain No Beard must teach his crew that not only is bullying wrong, they must learn to value and respect each and every member of the crew. Watch the crew of the Flying Dragon learn an important lesson about being a true friend.





About the Book:


After a fierce battle with a storm, the crew goes in search of treasure. Alexander, that is, Captain No Beard uses a map to locate it on the ominous sounding Snake Island. Bravely they dig until they find the best treasure ever!






About the Book:


The crew of the Flying Dragon are sailing again. This time, new crewmember, Pepper Parrot is having a hard time keeping up with the drills. Captain No Beard and his mates join together to help Pepper achieve her goals with patience and tolerance.






About the Book:


Captain No Beard and the crew of the Flying Dragon welcome a new crew member, when Cabin Girl Cayla joins the ship. Responsible for his little sister, Captain No Beard is not very happy because he finds his newest charge a distraction. When faced with danger, the captain must find a way to escape. While learning valuable lessons about strangers, the crew realized not to judge somebody because they are young or small. Strength comes in all sizes!





About the Book:


When the wind stops blowing, Captain No Beard and his crew, including First Mate Hallie, Linus the Lion, Fribbet the Frog, Mongo the Monkey and Polly the Parrot, are stuck on a desert island. Maroon with nothing to do, they begin to play and enjoy themselves. However, Captain No Beard has other ideas, bossing his crew around and making playtime cheerless for everyone. Soon, Captain No Beard decides he has had enough and storms off. When his ship is attacked by a giant squid, he realizes he needs his crew more than ever. Captain No Beard and his crew show young readers that’s it’s important to cooperate and share your belongings. The crew teaches us that if you want to have friends, then you must be a friend too.



You can find out purchasing information at Carole P. Roman.

About the Author:

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born. It has followed with four more books to the series. Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.  She has just finished the first of six books in a groundbreaking new nonfiction series about culture around the world. “If You Were Me and Lived in…” combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us.

Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.



My Opinion:


I was recently sent 5 Captain No Beard books in the mail, and having read another one before I was excited to see what these had between the covers.  You may read my review of another Captain No Beard book at this post, like the other one the books encourage children to use their imagination.  Captain No Beard sails on his pirate ship with his First Mate, Hallie and in some even his new Crew Mate, sister Cayla are aboard along with his other mates – Fribbet, Linus and more.  Each book while entertaining also has a lesson built in some of which are divulged in the titles such as patience – with the new crew member, Pepper Parrot, who must figure out her left from her right in order to follow commands aboard the ship.  Another is sharing when the crew gets stuck on a desert island play time becomes stressful and not at all fun as the Captain wants to do everything first, so a lesson in sharing is quickly given to a Captain who doesn’t really want to share.  There are lessons on teamwork, getting along, tolerance of those who may be different in looks, thoughts or beliefs, even if you still disagree and more!  That is what I like about the books – they include a moral lesson, and these are not Christian so anyone can use them and Christian parents can include their own lessons on morality and how it all goes back to the Bible in how we relate to others.


The illustrations are colorful and keep even the youngest child’s attention as the book is read and they are fairly short reads which is great for young ones, nap or bedtime stories or just as anytime read when a child needs attention and a quiet book.  My 7 almost 8 year old son really enjoys these books since Captain No Beard, AKA Alexander, is the one in charge and leads his crew on high seas adventures all with using the imagination of a young mind – making pictures of stormy seas, attacking pirate dogs, and more will leave young ones knowing they too, can make up their own imaginative stories to keep them occupied both indoors and out and that is one thing that most children lack today.  The books are available in both paperback and e-book format which is great for those who have bookshelf space (mine are filled to the gills) or prefer an e-book copy so that they can easily take children’s books on the road with them.




(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


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If You Were Me and Lived In….India….Turkey by Carole P. Roman #grow4christ #review

About the Book:

Number four in a series of world culture, If You Were Me and Lived in… Turkey, explores cultural differences through a child’s understanding. A respectful and lively treatment of the subtle differences of the people from different parts of the globe we share. Join Carole P.Roman as she travels to learn out the people, culture, and customs of the people Turkey.

You can purchase a copy on Amazon.



About the Book:

Let’s travel to India! Land of bright colors and delicious spices, If You Were Me and Lived in…India, takes young readers on a road trip to learn about this interesting place. Children will learn how to say mommy and daddy, what type of currency is used, games that youngsters play and a lot of interesting facts about the beautiful land of India. If You Were Me and Lived in…India adds this ethnically diverse country to the growing, award winning series that is out to cover the entire globe, teaching children about culture and customs all over the world. The ForeWord Review, Clarion Review gave “If You Were Me and Lived in…Kenya” a coveted five star ranking. The first book in the series, If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico” received the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Nonfiction 2012.

You can purchase a copy on Amazon.


This is the video for the book If You Were Me and Lived In….Mexico but I wanted to share so you can see a bit in action.

My Opinion:

If you’ve read my reviews before you’ll know that I’ve read other of Carole P. Roman’s books before like Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life or the If You Were Me and Lived in series and they all have a great educational value or at least to show children how other children use their imagination.  The If You Were Me series introduces children to other cultures and far away places in an age appropriate way and without bombarding them with a lot of facts that they won’t remember.  Each book starts with showing the child a globe and where that place is located, in this review it’s Turkey and India, so you’ll get to see the continent and then where within that continent the country is located – great for a geography lesson!  Some smalls facts are discussed like how India is the second most populated country in the world or how Turkey has the second largest city in the world called Istanbul.

A little boy and girl walk you through the book introducing area names – names that are relevant to the culture there – such as Raj or Sema (I’ll let you guess which is the boys and which is the girls and which is from India and which is from Turkey).  There will be other fun facts such as spots to stop and visit, what you would call your mom and dad, what the money is called, the various foods found in the country as well as what children do in their free time, what they call a school and maybe even on the country’s major holidays.  There is a lot of information even for the short book but as I said above it’s given in a way that children can remember the facts instead of just in one ear and out the other.

Not only do children learn facts about other countries some basic language is also given, no worries there is a pronunciation guide given at the back of the book (the only problem with it being at the back is having to flip to it as one reads) however I solve that by looking over the pronunciation guide before reading the book to my children so I’ll know any unusual or unfamiliar words before I start.  The illustrations are cute and lively and will keep children’s attention and may even spark some conversation as to the way a person is dressed like in India and the women in headcoverings.  Of course, reading the books may also spark a whole unit study on that country – especially for homeschoolers who enjoy unit studies – there are enough books in the series to keep going for weeks, of course studying a whole country could take months or more – depending on the age of your student(s).  These are great books and I enjoy know they are on my shelves, alongside my educational resource books.

(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life by Carole P. Roman #grow4christ #review

About the Book:

Captain No Beard and his pirate ship The Flying Dragon set sail for a voyage of the imagination with his fearless crew of four: First Mate Hallie, Mongo the Monkey, Linus the loudmouthed lion, and Fribbet the floppy frog. Normally a young boy named Alexander, his cousin Hallie, and three stuffed animals, once they board his bed their world is transformed into a magical vessel sailing the seven seas on dangerous and exciting adventures!


You can purchase a copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and on Create Space e-store.



My Opinion:


I’ve had the pleasure of reading other of Carole P. Roman’s books to my children through being a part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, and so when I had the change to read Captain No Beard through Bostick Communications I knew I had to check it out!  One thing a lot of children don’t exercise is their ability to create through their imagination and I think that is what I liked so much about this cute 40 page children’s book.  While I don’t like to make pirates sound like a good thing, children will pretend and the young boy Alexander and his cousin Hallie pretend to be pirates – but they aren’t bad.  My son loved the colorful illustrations and when I asked him who the mermaid was at the end he answered and I knew he was paying attention!


It was a fun, quick read while we waited during a recent medical appointment and it kept his interest and mine during the entire story, even I wanted to know what was going on because there is no clue given that these two children are indeed using their imagination. My son laughed when I gave my best pirate voice when shouting “shiver me timbers” or “sail ho’ ” while reading – of course he is still young enough to enjoy my silly antics when reading a loud to him.  The book has won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Best of 2012 Kirkus Reviews – and once you read it with your child you’ll see why.  Letting a child explore the world through imagination can go a long way in how they understand the real world and even maybe create a love of learning that they seek out on their own.



(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Robin Harper Simply Christmas CD review

About the album:

Teaming up with pianist Marvin Goldstein, talented vocalist Robin is celebrating the intimacy and simplicity of the holidays by putting a new twist on the Christmas standards we’ll all start whistling right after Thanksgiving, including “The Christmas Song,” “White Christmas,” “Santa Baby,” and “Silent Night.” Here’s a little sample: Robin Harper/Simply Christmas.

“This is the time of year when music helps us renew our faith as well as our sense of fun,” Robin said. “I wanted to combine the two by choosing songs close to our hearts, jazz them up a little and have a good time with them. And with just us – Marvin’s marvelous piano accompaniment and me – it’s like we’re in your living room, sharing an intimate holiday gathering with your family,” she said.

About Robin:

Robin has always loved to perform and has sung in church all her life, envisioning her future one day as a country singer. Growing up in California’s Orange County, she veered away from country at one point as a member of the DavElliott5, a jazz vocal ensemble. Then life happened.

A husband and family. Four kids. Robin’s love of music has never waned, however, and now her life has come full circle, back to music, with this first offering of musical holiday cheer.

My Opinion:

I had never heard of Robin Harper before having the chance to review this Christmas album, because I love everything Christmas!  This album wasn’t the same style that I’m used to listening to in regards to Christmas music, or even music in general – it has a more bluesy/jazz sound but Robin’s voice seems made for that sound so it wasn’t horrible, just not what I’m used to.  I popped the CD in and thought that my whole family would instantly enjoy it – but I was wrong, my husband said he had this image of Robin in a long gown with gloves singing in a ’40’s style jazz club.

However, I enjoyed it – my children prefer the more traditional would listen to it – so I secretly enjoy it in private.  I may even give more jazz a try if I can find some that goes with my beliefs, regardless I really enjoyed it.  There was a mix of some faster and some slow songs which was great as the children enjoyed the more upbeat songs whereas I liked the slower, enjoy the pace of the Christmas season – also picturing a romantic Christmas dinner for my husband and I.  It’s not an all Christian album and there are some secular Christmas songs on it but it was fun to listen to and I enjoyed it while out Christmas shopping one day as well.



**Disclaimer:  I received this CD from Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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Book Review: "Hey Kids, Want Some Chocolates?: My Family's Journey to Freedom" by Melitta Strandberg w/George E Pfautsch

About the book from Hey Kids Book:

There are few fictional stories that can match the true story of the Mohr family and their long quest for freedom which began in Romania as World War II was getting underway. Their journey from Romania to Weimar Germany would begin a perilous four years in the lives of the parents and their children, especially Melitta. She vanished into a Nazi institution on the day of her birth and would not be seen again by her family for six months. The miraculous circumstances of the reunion with her family would alone make a compelling story. But the dangerous adventures did not end. Their experiences in Weimar, which was also home to the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp, were among the worst that could occur to any family. Later, the family would be confronted with another decision between the time Patton’s Third Army liberated Buchenwald and Weimar and before the region would be turned over to the Soviet Union. Their efforts to catch the last train from Weimar to Augsburg, West Germany, are captivating.

My Opinion:

Short and succinct is the first thought that entered my head when I first began reading it but it is more than that.  It is a family’s tale of survival, hope, Faith and ultimately freedom from the terrors of Hitler’s regime.  While it wasn’t surprising that Melitta was taken from her mother’s arms what is surprising is her unexpected return six months later.  She and her family never know what atrocities were exacted upon the infant but authorities wanted to keep her so bad telling her parents she was dead.

Short on details but big on family history is what makes this story a great reminder of the things of the past, lest they be repeated again.  It doesn’t read like a classic but more of a journal of someone wanting to capture what is left of their history before it vanishes, but it still keeps the reader engaged throughout.  I read this in just under two hours which is great for an older child who is studying about World War II or for a busy adult.

As we enter a time period where the Holocaust, Hitler and Nazi’s are being omitted from the history books and people are denying the Holocaust ever happened, this book will give a new look on a sad and horrible time in history, and one that can’t be denied.  If you’d like to buy your own copy you can visit Hey Kids Book to order a signed copy for $9.00 plus shipping or Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and Author House.

**I was provided a copy of this book through Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review,no other compensation was given.

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"Ask Me About Mary Kay: The true story behind the bumper sticker on the pink Cadillac" by Jackie Brown (review)


This book is different from others I usually read, but I’m glad I grabbed at the chance to review it because it really was a great book.  That said, I don’t wear make-up but I do remember my Grandma’s using Mary Kay make-up.  I remember hearing about the infamous pink Caddy and how you could get rick quick through the marketing schemes.

The book begins with the country in the grip of mourning over the assassination of John F. Kennedy and everyone looking for how to better themselves.  Author, Jackie Brown, grabbed at the chance and answered an add where she quickly became one of the top seller and recruiters for Mary Kay.  The true story of what happens when two women go up against each other and how faith can overcome even the most heartbreaking trials.

Like I said, this isn’t a book that I would normally read but I devoured this and finished all 384 pages in just 2 1/2 days!  The book kept me entertained, whether is was with happiness, sadness or grief over the loss of a friend this book had it all in being able to keep my attention.  You can purchase your own copy by visiting Strategic Book Group’s site and see for yourself what happens on the inside of a top grossing cosmetic company.

**I was provided a copy of this book from Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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"The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: Blue Ocean Bob Discovers His Purpose" by Brooks Olbrys

This book was something fun to read and with it’s bright and colorful illustrations by Aleksandra Beaucher my three enjoyed it.  With the rhyming as young Bob leaves his island life to find a sense of purpose with his friend, Xena, a hummingbird.  I’ve never heard of Bob Proctor but his teachings are what this book is inspired, but I’ve since learned he is a personal development coach as well as a best selling author.

This book sets to instill positive thinking in the children that read this or are read to, and the way it’s done it can be read by anyone.  While this isn’t a Christian book the book still has relevant points even if it seems as if Bob relies more on his own self than God, it still has value and can open up dialogue between parents and children.  My children really enjoyed the pictures and while my 4 year old didn’t really grasp the actual story line my 8 year old did and my 6 year old preferred the rhyming. 

If you’re looking for a fun book that children of all ages can enjoy then the Blue Ocean Bob book is one that will be enjoyable.  It’s hard cover with dust jacket will be an asesst to your bookshelf and can be purchased at Blue Ocean Bob for $13.59 and right now if you buy two books you can get free shipping for a limited time!  This would make a great present for a child who enjoys the ocean.

**I was provided a copy of this book from Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.

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"Kosher by Design: Teens and 20-somethings" by Susie Fishbein

If you are reading this on any other site other than Growing For Christ you are reading stolen material.


Too bad that won’t suffice for a review, as a non-kosher Christian I’ve always had this idea that my Jewish, Messianic and Hebraic Christian brothers and sisters must be missing out.  I’ve been proven wrong – these recipes in Susie Fishbein’s latest cook book are wonderful!  Kosher by Design has 100 easy to prepare recipes and if you have some of Susie’s other cook books then these recipes are also new!  She has symbols throughout the book for each recipe designating if they are vegetarian, nut-free, dairy-free or gluten-free, great for the family who has food sensitivities but still wants to keep Kosher.

The full color photographs of the food are awesome and really help in showing different ideas for serving them up.  Along with that she also gives ideas for various parties like a backyard bash, craft night and many more.  The recipes we tried (I didn’t try them all) were a big hit in my house such as:

  • Turkey Sliders (DF & NF)
  • Mexican Pizza Empanadas (DF & NF)
  • Mexican Chicken (DF & NF)
  • Blondies (DF & NF & V)

I’m looking forward to trying even more recipes out of this fun and lively cookbook.  I may even try a fish recipe or two such as the Pineapple-Maple Glazed Salmon or the Herbed Flounder Packages.  I’m not a fish or seafood person so for me to want to try these shows that the recipes are delicious sounding.  The book is divided into the following sections:

  • Getting Started
  • Healthy Eating Tips
  • Equipment
  • Special Diet Needs
  • Starters
  • Munchies
  • Soups and Salads
  • Poultry and Meat
  • Fish, Pasta, and Dairy
  • Side Dishes
  • Desserts
  • Parties
  • and the Index

This is a wonderful cook book, unlike others, the recipes are easy to follow and the ingredients for the most part are not expensive or hard to come by.  It’s just a fun cook book, and while I’m no longer a 20 something I thoroughly enjoyed using this cook book and preparing some delicious and healthy meals for my family out of it.  You can find it at ArtScroll and if you order now through ArtScroll you’ll save 10% and the cook book will only be $26.99.

**I was provided a copy of this from Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was given.

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Battle-Ready Moms Raising Battle-Ready Kids by Reba Bowman

ISBN: 978-1615796717

Publisher: Xulon Press

Date of publish: Dec 29, 2009

Pages: 220

S.R.P.: $15.99

About the Book:

Today’s mother is in a war for the lives of her children. Tweens and teens face life’s toughest decisions as they are bombarded with input from the media and their peers. Their minds are spinning with the weight of relationships, fashion, sex, drugs and problems with their parents. And the Enemy wants them to fail. Standing in the trenches, desperate to raise children who make good choices and love God, moms are hard-pressed for an answer to their most urgent question: What can I do?

In Battle-Ready Moms Raising Battle-Ready Kids, Reba Bowman tackles this topic head-on, explaining how mothers must stand brave and strong, ready to serve as watchmen over their children’s lives and battle the forces that threaten to pull them away from the Lord. Outlining the reasons to fight, the tools to fight with, and the motivation to keep fighting, she helps parents focus on the individual needs of their children so they can face the enemy themselves.

With sections like “A Few Good Men: Building Character,” “Diversity Among the Troops: Your Unique Child,” and “Like an Arrow: Launching Your Young Adult,” Battle-Ready Moms Raising Battle-Ready Kids offers creative tips for communicating better, setting reasonable rules, and building character. Bowman says her ultimate goal is that in each stage of development, mothers will help their children learn how to demand more from themselves, elevating their moral standards in spite of the crowd. “We are not training our children to be good little boys and girls just for the sake of being good,” she says. “We want them to follow the commands of God and walk in a relationship with Him so they can reach the goals that God has set for them.”

About the Author:

Formerly a college coach and the Dean of Women at Tennessee Temple University, Bowman knows the plight of mothers all too well. She spent twelve years experiencing firsthand the struggles of college women before she realized God needed someone to talk to the parents-to help them build a loving, influential relationship with their children long before they reach young adulthood. Today she travels as a speaker through her ministry, Dare for More, based in Chattanooga, Tenn., and says it is indeed possible to raise children who love God and others with all their heart. But it won’t happen accidentally. Mothers must decide that they can make a difference.

My Opinion:

I enjoy reading books that may help me in raising my children for God and His Kingdom and when I saw this book I thought it sounded great.  We are in a battle for our children’s and our own souls and this is what the author, Reba Bowman, wants Christian moms to realize.  We cannot sit back and expect the public or private schools to do it, we cannot expect our Sunday Schools or AWANA programs to teach our children what they need to know.  As moms, we have a daunting task ahead of us and much time in prayer and Bible study is what is needed.

I didn’t realize when I requested this book that Reba Bowman is not a mother herself, she has a ‘daughter’ whom she ‘adopted’ when the girl came to college and they met each other – however she is not a mom in the sense that she carried, birthed and raised a child from infancy.  At first I was skeptical because of this, unless you’ve raised a child for 18 years you cannot know what it actually is to raise a child, but while I still think this I was impressed with this book.  I think that Reba Bowman after working with girls and their parents can emphatize with some of what it takes to raise godly children, however, I don’t agree with everything.

As a homeschooling parent I know that children cannot be “salt and light” at the tender ages of 4, 6, 8 and older – we parents MUST be the ones who teach our children a Biblical worldview because they will become caught up in the worldy ways that schools promote.  I don’t see anything unbiblical about keeping a hedge around our children and protecting their innocence until they can handle certain issues.  How can I expect my daughter to turn from the peer pressure of sex if she’s exposed to it daily at school as normal?  I can’t but at home I can teach her what God’s view of sex is, learn about purity and modesty and how to be a feminine female then when she is old enough (adult) she will be able to know what God says about issues.  A child doesn’t need to be exposed to opposing viewpoints at a young age to learn how to flee temptation.  We’re not secluded homeschoolers, my children are exposed to those children who attend private, public and charter schools by being involved in church, AWANA and other community programs but I’m there to guide them and teach them what God wants and what He says.

Overall, this is a good book, even if the author hasn’t raised children herself like I said above she does have a certain amount of empathy and some understanding what it takes to raise children for the Kingdom.  Like other books you’ll not agree with everything but you can take what is good and Biblical and learn from it and the rest put aside and weigh against Scripture and your convictions.  If you’re a mom wanting to learn more on raising your children for our Lord then I would suggest this book.  I read it fairly quickly as the chapters were engaging and it was a thought provoking book.

**I was provided a copy of this book through Bostick Communications in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.

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