Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Review - The Word Of Promise New Testament (Audiobook)

Hear the Bible Come Alive in Dramatic Audio Theater™!

This multi-voiced, scripted dramatization of the New King James Version (NKJV) features a star-studded cast of actors, an original music score, and incredible feature film quality sound effects. This world-class production creates a dramatic audio theater experience that makes you feel like you’re really there with Jesus and His disciples. Listen in your car, on your MP3 player, or with your family or small group to gain a new perspective of the Bible.

The Word of Promise® New Testament Audio Bible is a 20-CD set and includes a bonus “Behind-the-Scenes” DVD.
Cast Includes:
  • Jim Caviezel (The Passion of The Christ, Déjà vu) - Jesus 
  • Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland's Opus, The Goodbye Girl) - Quotes from Moses 
  • Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, What Women Want) - Mary Magdalene 
  • Golden Globe winner Stacy Keach (Prison Break, Hemingway) - Paul 
  • Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Louis Gossett, Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman, Roots) - John 
  • Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim, Father of the Bride) - Mary, Mother of Jesus 
  • And many others 
My Review
This is my first experience listening to a Bible audiobook. I am so impressed with the quality and production values of the Word of Promise New Testament!

The voice actors include well known names like Jim Caviezel, Michael York, Richard Dreyfuss, Marissa Tomei, Stacy Keach, Louis Gossett Jr., John Heard, and more. Their readings are beautifully done, with much emotion.

The production also features sound effects (i.e. the sounds of a marketplace, a storm, a door closing) and music. The music by Stefano Mainetti is a subtle and powerful addition to the audiobook.

The varied voices, sound effects, and music give this production a more theatrical feel than a standard audiobook. I found myself absorbed in listening as I worked, and often realized that many chapters had gone by.

The Bible translation is NKJV (New King James Version). I grew up with the KJV translation. I am not familiar with all the nuances of difference between the NKJV and the KJV, but this Bible translation really read beautifully, with familiar language.

I enjoy reading the Bible, but there is something really unique about experiencing the Bible in audio format. I have already recommended this audiobook highly to my mother. I intend to keep this Word of Promise New Testament by my bedside to listen to when I need comfort or encouragement. I truly cannot recommend it highly enough.

I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review - Doodletopia: Cartoons by Christopher Hart

Book Synopsis
An interactive doodle book from a best-selling art instruction author and cartoon master that pairs illustrating insights with drawing, designing, and coloring activities for aspiring artists.

Welcome to Doodletopia! Your first stop in this paradise of creativity? The world of cartoons. Your tour guide Christopher Hart is ready to introduce you to the interactive, artistic possibilities of creating your own exciting, hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters, gags, and more.

Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. For the first time ever, you can pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and draw, doodle, or color right on the same page as the author.

From finishing cartoon faces to selecting costumes to completing wacky cartoon scenes, the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Open up and start doodling!

My Review
As a little girl, I loved to draw and doodle.  I still will randomly doodle on the edge of a page.  When I read about Doodletopia Cartoons:  Draw, Design and Color Your Own Super Fun Cartoon Creations by Christopher Hart, I was very eager to read and try this book.

Doodletopia Cartoons is a nice sized book - 8.5" x 11".  It contains the following:

Warm Up
Fill in the Silhouette
Draw the Other Half
Select Different Expressions
Choose and Design the Animals
Dress Up Your Cartoons
Finish the Funny Couples
Write in Cartoon Calligraphy
Draw Ridiculous Inventions
Complete the Cartoons

The introduction teaches the principles of the eye line and the center line, in order to place features evenly on cartoon faces.  I found this very helpful!

Then the book shows some simple cartoon characters, with a step by step drawing (including both pictures and text) and a blank page for you to use.  For instance, a penguin is pictured.  You can either draw the penguin exactly as seen or you can use the blank pages for your own creative inspiration - i.e. your own penguin design.    

The next section of the book is Fill in the Silhouette.  This was one of my favorite parts of the book!   You have a finished sketch, and then a silhouette that you can use to copy the picture or create your own drawing.  The silhouette includes feature perspective lines to make the drawing easier.

Draw the Other Half is exactly what it sounds like -- you see a finished picture, and then find a half finished illustration that you can complete.

Select Different Expressions teaches you how to be creative drawing cartoon character expressions.  (This was fun!)

One of my other favorite chapters was Choose and Design the Animals.  You see two finished animals, i.e. a dog or a ferret, and then have the outline to draw these animals yourself.  The dog, by the way, looks like a dachshund or dachshund - beagle mix (super cute!).

Dress Up Your Cartoons sparks creativity for costume design for your cartoon creations.  I loved drawing clothes as a little girl, so this was great fun!

Finish the Funny Couples features a finished cartoon character alongside an outline -- you can fill in the outline with your own character!

Write in Cartoon Calligraphy lets you learn how to make your own cartoon fonts.   This was fun for me, as lettering is another of my natural doodles.

Draw Ridiculous Inventions focuses on silly machines you can create in cartoon format.

Complete the Cartoons encourages creative thinking by including one finished picture (small) on a page -- and you can fill in the rest of the story with your doodles!

This is such a very fun book!   You can use pencils for traditional sketching or colored pencils.  (I think crayons or markers could also be used, although I have not tested markers to see if they color through the pages).

Very highly recommended for anyone who likes to doodle!
I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review - Girls Slimline Bible NLT

This adorable edition of God’s Word for girls features the easy-to-understand New Living Translation text with a soft-fur, bright-neon LOVE design and silver glittery lining. The BOLD FAITH design on the back cover encourages girls to live out their faith in ways that bring God glory.

This hardcover deluxe edition also features purple page edges, neon orange ribbon marker, special presentation page, 8 pages of full-color maps, and a 53-page dictionary/concordance to help locate passages on various topics.

The New Living Translation text is excellent for young readers because it is so clear and they can understand what they are reading! When they can read and understand God’s Word, God can work in their hearts!

My Review
The Girls Slimline Bible NLT is a wonderful edition of the Bible for young girls, tweens, preteens, and teens.  The design is very appealing, with a velvety cover with LOVE in big neon pink letters against a blue background.  The book is piped with silver.  

As you open the Bible, you will see hot pink endpapers with a presentation page and Bible verse:  "Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God's presence" (Ephesians 3:12).

This is a reference edition Bible in the New Living Translation.  This translation is very accessible for young people, easy to read, easy to understand.

This is a red letter edition, with the words of Christ in red.  

Special features include a dictionary and concordance (with verses that correspond with dictionary entries).  This is an exceptional feature for young readers studying the Bible!

There is a listing of Great Chapters of the Bible, Great Verses of the Bible to Memorize (includes both verse and page number), 365 Day Reading Plan (this is a wonderful feature!), and several maps.  

The Girls Slimline Bible (NLT) would be a wonderful gift, sure to be read and treasured for years. 

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.