The Secret of Indigo Moon, by G.P. Taylor

My Thoughts:
Parents, if your kids are reluctant readers you want this book. If your kids aren’t reluctant readers you still want this book! As a teacher I can tell you that this is something most of my students would love. G.P. Taylor is an excellent storyteller. Eric Morrissey Ganger and the Dopple Twins are interesting and compelling characters that display an intriguing mix of mischief, mayhem, responsibility and fear — just like real kids.

The Secret of Indigo Moon (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles) is one of the highest quality graphic novels I have ever seen.  From the full-color hardback cover to the heavy weight, thread-bound pages, it is evident that a great deal of care went into this book.  The graphic presentation is a mixture of print, black-ink line drawings, and full color graphic panels and was created and designed through the collaboration of Daniel Boultwood, Luke Daab, and Tony Lee.  This book was made to be read, and re-read, then read again.

From the Book Cover:
Erik Morissey Ganger, famed explorer and detective (well, in his dreams), and his mischief-making sidekicks, twins Sadie and Saskia Dopple, didn’t go looking for a secret tunnel beneath the school. They never intended to make the acquaintance of a shifty private eye with a nose for trouble. It wasn’t part of the plan to come face to face with an old enemy, one with an agenda of his own that could destroy them all. And unraveling the “secret of indigo moon” was the farthest thing from their minds.

At Isambard Dunstan’s School for Wayward Children, these things just seem to happen.

In The Secret of Indigo Moon (The Dopple Ganger Chronicles), confirmed troublemakers Erik, Sadie, and Saskia plunge headlong into a new and perilous mystery, one that challenges everything they thought they knew about their lives, themselves, and whom it’s safe to trust.

The Book Trailer:

Author Bio:
A motorcyclist and former rock band roadie turned Anglican minister, Graham Peter (G. P.) Taylor has been hailed as “hotter than Potter” and “the new C. S. Lewis” in the United Kingdom. His first novel, Shadowmancer, reached #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in 2004 and has been translated into 48 languages. His other novels include Wormwood (another New York Times best seller which was nominated for a Quill Book Award), The Shadowmancer Returns: The Curse of Salamander Street, Tersias the Oracle, and Mariah Mundi. Taylor currently resides in North Yorkshire with his wife and three children.

G.P. Taylor’s Message to Teachers & Parents:

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers . 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.”

Inspirational Zingers Jumble

I love words and The Word. That makes Inspirational Zingers Jumble perfect for me. It is a puzzle book that keeps me focused in and on the Word.  Each puzzle links to a Bible scripture or principle. Each puzzle also contains a word to unscramble, a mystery word to identify, and a clue or two to help me when I’m stumped. It is an engaging way to meditate.

There are six different kinds of jumbles in the book:  standard Jumbles, where one just finds the scrambled words and then uses clues from them to discover the mystery word; and Double Jumbles — with two mystery words; Mystery Person Jumbles; Word Search Jumbles; Super Jumbles; and Criss-Cross Jumbles.  There are literally hundreds of puzzles to keep me puzzling for days on end.

Inspiration Zingers Jumble is a product of Tyndale House Publishers and was created by Christopher Hudson with the help of Megan Chrans. The book contains 200 puzzles and their answers.   I received this book free from Tyndale Press. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: 1-2 Chronicles

About the Book:

The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message for each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word. This volume includes the entire NLT text of 1 and 2 Chronicles.

About the Author:
Mark Boda, Professor of Old Testament, B.Th. Ambrose University College received his Masters of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. Boda writes prolifically on on various topics related to the Old Testament and Christian Theology. Boda also enjoys mentoring students and teaches the Old Testament enthusiastically emphasizing its relevance in the world today.

My Thoughts:
This book arrived at my door in a remarkably timely manner and I used it as reference material for my Thursday Night Bible Study class. In fact, I got so comfortable thinking of it as reference material, I almost forgot to blog about it.

First off, this is not a book for the casual Sunday scholar. I struggled a bit with the structure, presentation and language of this text. I found that it often assumed knowledge I didn’t already have. However, I came to appreciate the book more and more as I stuck with studying it. If you are serious about enhancing your Bible study, Tyndale’s Cornerstone Biblical Commentary can certainly help you do so.

I very much appreciated the explanations and insights pinned to the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words. I also liked the wealth of history that one doesn’t get from simply reading scripture. Chronicles1 and 2 are no longer a boring list of endless ancestors to me, and I better understand why these two books are included in the cannon.

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. 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.”

Ryken’s Bible Handbook

A Guide to Reading and Studying  the Bible,
by Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, & James Wilhoit

The book blurb:

This book gives students of the Bible a quick overview of every book in the Bible. Leland Ryken’s distinctive trait is a literary approach to the Bible–understanding the Bible as literature. The three authors help shed light on understanding the Bible as the inspired Word of God and as literature by looking at the Bible’s different literary genres: poetry, narrative, wisdom literature, story, parables, and more.

The Authors:

Leland Ryken is a professor of literature at Wheaton College and has written several literary books as well as participating in the translation of the English Standard Version of the Bible.

Philip Ryken, Leland’s son, is the senior pastor at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA.

James Wilhoit is a professor of Christian education at Wheaton College as well as both author and coauthor of a number of books on Christian spirituality.

My Thoughts:

Ryken’s Bible Handbook is an excellent pre-reading resource for Bible study. It is also an excellent during-reading reference and study outline; AND an excellent after-reading point-by-point review.

The Ryken’s and James Wilhoit have created a consummate reference book in a usable size. The book opens with an over-view of the Bible as a whole. What is it? Why should we study it? How do we know it is true? Then the book goes on the explain the Bible in detail, providing an overview of each book that includes maps, charts, graphs, time lines, and illustrations, as well as key doctrines, key verses, unifying themes, historic detail, and different quotes and perspectives from well known Bible scholars and teachers.

I will not be keeping this book on my reference shelf. It will be right here on top of the desk with my Bible and daily study resources. I am blessed to have this book in my library.

Disclosure of Material Connection:

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. 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.”

A Great Video & A Great Giveaway

The Press Release:
Join the Creator of VeggieTales on a Zany Adventure to Discover What’s In the Bible

Jellyfish Labs, Tyndale Kids to Release Volumes One and Two of New Series, Spring 2010

CAROL STREAM, IL, February 2010—From the man who made vegetables talk (and sing, dance,
and tell Bible stories), comes an engaging new series that walks kids through the entire Bible.
What’s In the Bible? springs from Phil Vischer’s passion to reverse the trend of biblical illiteracy in
the church. Unlike previous efforts to retell Bible stories, this 13-part DVD series explains the
Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—in a format that is humorous and entertaining for children
and adults alike.

In the Beginning and Let My People Go, the first two volumes of What’s In the Bible?, will release
in March 2010 from Jellyfish Labs and Tyndale Kids. In the Beginning introduces Buck Denver and
his friends as they share how the first 11 chapters of Genesis set up the rest of the Bible—and all
of life. Kids will learn the simple, yet challenging lesson that things go well when we listen to God,
and go very badly when we don’t.

In Let My People Go, Buck Denver and friends introduce kids to Abraham and how God used
him to start a great nation called Israel. Through the stories of Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses,
children will learn that they can always count on God and trust his promises. The entertaining
cast of characters explains what’s in the Bible, how it’s organized, who wrote it, and what it’s
all about. Vischer does it all in an engaging format, using a mix of animation, puppets, live
action, and music.

Each DVD includes two 25 to 30-minute episodes that each answer a different question about
the Bible, such as:

  • Where did the Bible come from?
  • How did we get it?
  • Who wrote it?
  • How do we know we can trust it?
  • How do all the different books come together to tell one key story?

What’s In the Bible? continues the work Phil Vischer started 10 years ago with VeggieTales. While that series taught kids
important values and Bible stories, What’s In the Bible? provides an overview of all the books of the Bible, what they mean,
and how they affect our lives. Parents and children’s ministry leaders will appreciate how What’s In the Bible? lays the
foundation for deeper biblical understanding in children, ages four to 84.

The Trailer:

The Author Bio:

Phil Vischer

In 1990, 24-year-old computer animator Phil Vischer sat down to create a group of characters that could teach Christian values to kids in a delightfully weird way. Hence, a tomato named Bob and a cucumber named Larry were born. VeggieTales would go on to revolutionize Christian filmmaking, selling more than 50 million videos and placing Phil’s faith-filled stories in one in every three American households with young children. Phil is highly respected by key leaders across the Christian landscape, from Joel Osteen to James Dobson. His company, Jellyfish Labs, provides faith-based daily programming via the Internet at jellytelly.com. The characters from the What’s in the Bible? series are featured, but the content is not specifically from the DVDs. Phil continues to pursue innovative ways to integrate faith and storytelling through Jellyfish Labs. He chose the name Jellyfish as a reminder to remain pliable to God’s plans and not his own. Phil lives with his wife, Lisa, and their three kids in Illinois.

My Thoughts:

I was am a Veggie Tales fan so I expected, “What’s in The Bible”, to entertain and educate me, but I was blown away by the depth of the material presented in the songs, puppet skits and moments with Phil.  Kids — and hopefully their parents, too — will learn about early church history, who wrote the Bible, how they wrote it, how many books are in the Bible and how they came to be, plus much, much more.  The vocabulary presented is not dumbed down, but it is explained very carefully.  I especially like the way Phil presents every side of controversial subjects, like how many days did it take to make the world, and doesn’t tell his audience which one he expects them to believe.

The songs on the video are wonderfully informative and funny.  The characters are earnest and quirky.  Like Veggie Tales there is a good bit of silliness, but there is also a good bit of solid, Biblical learning.  I very much enjoyed this video and highly recommend that parents get them (there are 13 in the series) and watch them with their children.

The Giveaway:

Tyndale House Publishers have presented me with two video vouchers.  That means that two winners will receive a “Free Product Award Certificate” for either In the Beginning or Let My People Go. These certificates may be redeemed at your local Christian Book Store.  If you don’t live near a Christian Book seller, the certificates may be redeemed by mailing them to Tynsdale directly.  This giveaway is open to everybody.  To enter leave a comment on this blog post telling me you are interested in receiving a video certificate.  Two winners will be chosen by the random number generator this coming Friday at noon Pacific time.

This blog is an Official Stop On The What's In The Bible Blog Tour.

There are 5 coloring pages available from Tyndale to use with these videos. Please EMAIL me if you are interested in receiving them.

Disclosure:

I received a preview DVD free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program. 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.”