Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Review: Every Day with God (A VeggieTales Book)

**Contest is closed and we have a winner!! Stephy has been notified - please stay tuned for future contests and read the review below for information on how to get a copy of this wonderful devotional!**

About a year ago, I started a search for a bedtime devotional that I could read with my son. I looked through bookstores, I searched online, I asked other moms... what I found were some really cute, really engaging devotionals for children but nothing that really fit my son's personality.

So when the opportunity came up to review the Every Day with God: 365 Devos for Boys (or Girls) VeggieTales daily devotional book - I took the opportunity. Will has recently gotten a bit more interested in VeggieTales thanks to some music CD's and Spotify streaming music we've been listening to, so I thought that this might be a good way to engage him a bit more in the process.

Turned out it did.

The devotionals are short (only about a paragraph long), use simple language that kids can understand, and ask easy questions which is perfect for the 4-year-old who is trying to calm down at bedtime. Each one has a scripture presented in a translation that makes it easy for my kiddo to relate to it and a prayer starter that is a great segue into the nightly prayers that we were already doing together. There are illustrations on each page that repeat throughout the book of one of the VeggieTales characters, but they're cute and it gives my son something to look at besides words.

Another added bonus to the way the book is presented: the first letter of each devotional is larger than the rest, bold, and a different color from the rest of the text. Whenever I've read with my son, the first thing he does on the page is point out the letter and either identify it or ask what it is, repeat it, and then we make the sound together. As if the simple language and easy questions weren't enough, the simple format of the page makes it another great tool for engaging your preschooler in conversation.

Kids feel that they need to identify with things, and my kids have decided that one of the things that will define them is their gender. The first thing that Will ever said he wanted to be when he grew up was "a man", and so I was not surprised that he became very possessive of the devotional when I told him it was a "for boys" devotional. Having said that - do not be fooled by the title; if you decide to purchase or receive one of these as a gift or, oh, I don't know, win one in a blog giveaway and you have kids of multiple genders in your home - worry not. The devotionals themselves are as gender neutral as they can get; they have a key scripture, a discussion of how the scripture applies to and can be lived out in their lives, and a prayer starter. This could make it a great devotional for a family devotional time as well if your kids are all younger and not quite into the "well that's my thing and this is their thing" possessiveness phase yet. I cannot speak for the "for Girls" version of the devotional as I haven't seen it personally, but I would imagine it's quite similar in its format and delivery.

The best thing about this - or any devotional book really - is that it allows the parent to sit and pray and talk about God with your child. Very quickly my son wanted to have his devotional and prayer time by himself with whatever parent was putting him to bed and we had to separate out each kid's prayer and devotional time. It's brief, but even that 5-10 minutes with your child talking about God, praying, and spending 1-on-1 time together can have such an impact longer term.

Or... so I've been told. I mean, my kids are only 4 and 2, but I've heard that longer-term impact is achieved by early beginnings.

All of that to say - I definitely recommend this devotional if you've got little ones at home. The recommended ages from the publisher say ages 4-7, and I would agree. My son doesn't answer the questions very in-depth now when we read, but I can imagine that over the next couple of years as we go through and restart every year his answers will change, mature, and have different insights that are age appropriate. Definitely click on the links at the end of this post to check it out if you're looking for a simple, approachable, and engaging devotional for your family (that's also reasonably priced! $10 or less!).


You could enter to win your own copy!! Entry is VERY simple. All you have to do is...

1. Share this post on Twitter or Facebook and comment below that you did.
2. "Like" this post on Facebook or Twitter and comment below that you did.
3. Comment below with your favorite daily devotional or scripture or ritual that gets you through the daily grind. 

That's up to 3 entries per person to win your very own copy of this adorable devotional for your kiddo or a family with little ones as a gift. Go on and enter! Winner will receive a copy from FlyBy Promotions of EITHER devotional - "for Boys" or "for Girls" - you just have to let me know when I announce the winner.

UPDATE - DEADLINE EXTENDED!! Contest will be open until 12:00 AM on Wednesday, October 12 and winner will be announced no later than 12:00 AM on Friday, October 14 on my blog's Facebook page. I'll contact the winner as well. 

Links for your reference: 

Every Day with God: 365 Daily Devotionals for Boys

Every Day with God: 365 Daily Devotionals for Girls

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”