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To read additional reviews on these items or for pricing information, just click on any book cover. There's no obligation to buy. Please enjoy my personal comments below.

Bookends, by Liz Curtis Higgs (2000, Multnomah Publishers), paperback, 400 p.

Acclaimed speaker and author Liz Curtis Higgs brings her warm, comedic style into this new fiction book based in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Dr. Emily Getz has returned "home" to unearth the foundation of a lost building, but runs into trouble when she meets Jonas Fielding, a handsome man equipped with genuine charm, who is in charge of constructing a golf course on land Dr. Emily needs to access. Emily faces her feelings about her self-image and the tumult of awakening emotions, while also examining the true depth of her faith. I haven't read Christian romantic fiction in a long while, but Higgs made it worth it by delivering an intensely interesting, funny, and touching novel.

Organizing from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office, and Your Life, by Julie Morgenstern (1998, Owl Books), paperback, 262 p.

Currently reading this book. Check back to read my review.

Sink Reflections: FlyLady's BabyStep Guide to Overcoming CHAOS, by Marla Cilley (2002, FlyLady Press), paperback, 207 p.

"Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)?" This caption caught my attention, and I am currently reading this book. So far, I must it an enthusiastic "thumbs-up!" The premise is simple, but effective--start with a night-time routine of cleaning your kitchen sink. There's more, so check back to read the full review when I've finished reading this book. For more information, you can also visit the author's website.

I Am A Bunny, by Richard Scarry (1967, Golden Press), hardcover, ages infant to preschool.

OUT OF PRINT--but priceless! and will try to track down a copy for you, or let you know if it's been brought back in a reprint. I found my copy at a yard sale while looking for baby things for our first son, and we've worn it out after two children. It opens with "Hi. I'm Nicholas," and shows Nicholas the bunny romping through the seasons. Richard Scarry's illustrations add wonderful charm to this sweet tale. It's definitely a book worth tracking down.

The Classic Tale of the Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams (1991, Running Press Book Publishers), hardcover, ages 4-8.

I hope you've read this book--it's truly a treasure. When I first read it to our oldest son, I could hardly finish it without succumbing to tears. This is the classic version, a truly beautiful story about how a toy is loved and becomes "real."

The Velveteen Rabbit (board book version), by Margery Williams, illustrated by David Jorgensen (1990, Knopf), boardbook, infant to old.

This is the shortened, board book version of the classic tale of a velveteen rabbit transformed by the love of a young boy. We bought both versions for our family library; although this shortened version loses some of the heartstring-pull of the longer version, this one is ideal for little ones--the pages are stiff and the story is easy to sit through for shorter attention spans. A nice complement to the original version.

Benjamin's Box: A Resurrection Story, by Melody Carlson, illstrated by Jack Stockman (1997, Multnomah Publishers), hardback (40 pages), ages 4-8.

Our family bought this beautiful book last year for Easter and it's now an annual favorite. This fictional story about a Bible-times boy named Benjamin offers a unique perspective on the traditional story of Jesus Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. As he follows Jesus during the Passover week, Benjamin collects twelve tokens (or momentos) as reminders of Jesus and His teachings. Each page features a special moment in Jesus' life, and a corresponding momento. I found similar items in our local craft store and put them in plastic Easter eggs, which I arranged in an empty egg carton. As we read this book together, my children can hardly wait to open the egg for each page. I also used this book and egg set with our neighbor children. It's a wonderful way to teach the story of Jesus and the true meaning of Easter.

The Parable of the Lily, by Liz Curtis Higgs, illustrated by Nancy Munger (1997, Thomas Nelson), hardcover (32 pages), ages 4-8.

In this series, Liz Curtis Higgs and Nancy Munger team up their talents to create beautiful parable books perfect for the holidays. Like the other Parable books, this one tells a story revolving around the Farmer's family (the Farmer representing God, our loving Father). His daughter Maggie receives a box of dirt with a bulb hidden inside as a gift, but neglects it and eventually tosses it out. On Easter Sunday, she runs outside to pick spring flowers and discovers a beautiful lily--the gift her own father, the Farmer, gave her. Scripture verses appear throughout, telling the story of Jesus as God's gift to us--and ultimately, teaches a lesson about forgiveness. It's a beautiful book for Easter. Although I have personal concerns about the origin of this series by Thomas Nelson, I must admit there's nothing else like it on the market. This is an excellent book for the season.

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Kimn Swenson Gollnick

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Updated May 20, 2002

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