Book Reviews

Reviews by ArtisticallyShauna

Read ArtisticallyShauna's Blog

Ignite the Light

Feb 02, 2015


Ignite the Light - Empowering Children and Adults to be Their Absolute Best is a book written by Vicki Savini. Savini has been motivating both children and adults to be their absolute best for the past 20 years. Savini is a public school teacher, a parent, and a speaker who empowers individuals to believe in themselves and live their truth. On the back cover of Ignite the Light, it says that "this book will give you the tools to educate, enlighten, and empower our children to see that they are perfect just as they are."

My Review:
I tend to read non-fiction books at a slower pace than I read fiction books. It is not that I enjoy fiction books more than I enjoy non-fiction books. I just find while reading non-fiction books I really internalize and think about each part of the book. This was exactly the case while reading Ignite the Light, by Vicki Savini. I read Ignite the Light over a period of time because I really wanted to grasp the message that the author was wanting to share in her book.

I am both a parent as well as an educator, and I have worked with children in many different settings. I felt like Ignite the Light would be something that I would be able to relate to as well as be able to use as a tool when working with children. Upon finishing Ignite the Light I had a little bit of a mixed review. A part of me absolutely loved some of the beautiful passages in the book as well as Savini's life experiences she shares. Another part of me felt like there was a lot of repetition in the book amongst the different sections. I also felt the book didn't flow in a way that made the author's thoughts feel organized. Now, with that being said, I do feel like Vicki Savini offers a lot of valuable wisdom throughout her book.

Ignite the Light is broken into three parts:

Part 1:See the Light
Part 2: Ignite the Light - The 7 essentials
Part 3: Be the Light

I am fortunate to be a part of the most marvelous book club! One of my favorite parts of our book club is that throughout the discussion of our book each month, a lot of our book club members share their favorite quotes from the book. So, I thought that for this book review I would do the same thing. Believe me, I have many more parts of the book underlined that I enjoyed, and it was hard for me to choose just a few quotes to share with you today.

Without further ado, here are a few thoughts that really spoke to me while reading Ignite the Light:

On the very first page, the "Author's Note", Savini states, "I am on a journey of life just like you, and I feel truly honored that our paths have crossed." I absolutely love that statement and I can't tell you how many times I have told someone that I am so glad that our "paths have crossed" in this lifetime. I always learn something from everyone I meet, and there are so many people that I have met that have been absolute blessing in my life.
On page xvii of the introduction it says, "I love getting notes from high school seniors who remember my classroom not necessarily because of something academic that I taught, but because of how they felt there." I love, love, love this! This is absolutely how I have felt in my 9 years of teaching. I still keep in touch with some of my first 4th grade students I taught. Some are married, some have had their first child, some are finishing up college, etc. Just the fact that some of my students keep in touch with me and share their special life moments with me, it makes me feel like they truly felt important and loved while gracing me with their presence in my classroom. Honestly, as a teacher, we are the ones who are blessed on a daily basis from the sweet students that we teach.
Page 9 says, "If we truly want to teach our children effectively, we need to begin by touching their hearts before we even attempt to teach their minds." Isn't that such a powerful statement?
On page 45 Savini explains that, "Helping our children to see the light within means holding a mirror up to them and asking them to see, feel, and believe that they're important, whether the world acknowledges that or not." One of my daughters has had a difficult time with her self esteem this year. It has broken my heart to know that she doesn't see the kind, talented, and beautiful person that she is. As a mother, I want nothing more than for her to see the "bright light that shines within herself". I truly love my daughters with all of my heart.
One last paragraph that I wanted to share with you is on pg. 58 where Savini explains, "As a child, I learned that my self-esteem, self-image, and self-identity were all based on the thoughts and opinions of others." Savini then goes on to say that she "finally understood that what really mattered was how I felt about myself. To be able to look in the mirror and love the person staring back at you is so very important." She then talks about how once we are able to love ourselves, that it will be much easier to show our children how to love themselves. So very true and enlightening. How often have I tried to build my daughter's self esteem up, while at the same time I have had negative thoughts enter my mind that say I am not good enough for this, or I should be better at that? Too many times to be honest. I hope to take Savini's quote more to heart.

My Final Thoughts:
I too believe that we are all born with a brilliant light inside us. Hopefully within our lifetime we will discover what special individuals we all are. I know at times our children may feel like their light is dim and fading, while other times they may feel their light shining so brightly they could burst with joy. Ultimately, I hope that we will all see ourselves as our Lord and Savior sees us, the glorious individuals that we are.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment and opinion of the book.
This "Ignite the Light Book Review" first appeared on my blog, Artistically Shauna, on February 2, 2015.
Read on Blog Read more reviews

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World

May 25, 2014


How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World - A Modern Book of Hours to Soothe the Soul, is a book written by Sophia Stuart, the creator of Sophia lived a crazy life with no true relaxation. Soon Sophia found herself in front of a surgeon who told her that she had three tumors in her throat that needed to be removed, and that she needed to take at least a month of medical leave to recover. This is when Sophia's world seemed to come crashing down on her.

How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World gives us a little glimpse into Sophia's life, her journey, her struggle to get through her trial of heath issues, as well as tips on how to take care of ourselves better. Sophia also shares her beautiful photography of photographs taken during her day to day life as well as her travels abroad. The photographs are absolutely beautiful, calming, and relaxing.

Sophia's book, How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World, is broken up into three sections. The first section, "Morning" the reader is given ideas to inspire us for the day ahead. The second section, "Afternoons" we are given fun tips on how to enhance our lives and find more joy in our journeys. In the last section, "Evening" we are given ideas on how to exhale, unwind, and leave the day behind.

One of my favorite parts of the book were the lists in the back of the book that give you ideas on how to make yourself your own "Kindness Kit", movies, music, and book suggestions to help you while recovering from an illness or to simply help let life slow down for a while.

At the very beginning of the book the author says, "During the Middle Ages women of noble birth would have a book of hours, a devotional object that gave them room to pause, to take a moment, to become spiritually refreshed." While pondering this idea the author thought that "perhaps a modern book of hours was needed: some beautiful images and a few carefully chosen words to inspire and soothe a troubled soul."

I also like how the author said, "Please take time to look after yourself. Find the gloriousness in your everyday life. Relish the delightful sparks of inspirational magic. You are important. You matter." Sophia then encourages us to not wait until we get sick like she did to start taking care of ourselves.

Overall I enjoyed this book and I thought that it was unique in its contents and structure. I appreciated the thoughtful ways that the author shared with us on how to better take care of ourselves.

My only thing I would like to have seen a little more of in How to Stay Sane in a Crazy World would have been more of Sophia's writing, a little more substance to balance the gorgeous photography. The author has such a wonderful writing voice that I would have loved to have heard more of it. With that said, I do think that this book is a sweet book, full of positive affirmation, encouraging thoughts, and wonderful tips.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment and opinion of the book.

Read on Blog Read more reviews

Chris P. Bacon

Mar 24, 2014


Chris P. Bacon is a story about an inspiring little pig called, Chris P. Bacon, and his caring adopted father, a veterinarian named Len Lucero. Chris P. Bacon was born without the use of his back legs. This adorable pig became a You Tube and Talk Show sensation when his dad, Len Lucero, posted a video on You Tube of Chris using a handmade cart made out of toys to help him get around.

My family was absolutely thrilled to receive a copy of Chris P. Bacon - My Life So Far..., written by Len Lucero and Kristina Tracy, in the mail from Hay House Publishing to review. We had already watched several videos of Chris on You Tube here and we couldn't wait to read the story behind this cute little pig. All of the opinions expressed in this review are my own thoughts.

Chris P. Bacon - My Life So Far... is a wonderful book that should be added to your home or school library. At the beginning of the book you find out that when Chris was just a little piglet he was taken into a veterinarian office. Dr. Len, the veterinarian at the clinic, decided to take Chris home to be a part of his forever family. Immediately we loved this part of the story. From our experience with adopting rescue pets and making the commitment to have them a part of our forever family, we have so much respect for Dr. Len who made Chris a permanent part of his family.

In Chris P. Bacon - My Life So Far..., the book shares Chris's first experience with using a cart, made from toy parts, to help him get around.  It talks about how Chris became a huge inspiration with children and adults and how he traveled all over the United States doing interviews and sharing his story.

The illustrations in the book by Penny Weber are so adorable and colorful. The back of the book also contains real photographs of Chris P. Bacon which were so much fun to look at.

I highly recommend this book for parents, children, librarians, school teachers, etc. Chris P. Bacon is such an inspiring story that both children and adults can relate to. It teaches you that no matter what obstacles in life come your direction, you can achieve anything, sometimes on your own, and sometimes with the help of others.

Read on Blog Read more reviews

Good-bye Bumps!

Mar 13, 2014


Good-bye, Bumps! ~Talking to What's Bugging You, is an excellent book written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and his daughter Saje Dyer. Saje tells a wonderful story of her childhood where she was able to overcome a physical condition by changing her attitude and not allowing her physical problem to have power over her. This book is wonderfully illustrated by Stacey Heler Bodnick with adorable and cheerful illustrations.

I love the message in the story that helps children understand that sometimes things that bother them about themselves can be changed while other times they need to embrace their uniqueness. Even though we may not be able to change a situation, we have the power and choice on how to let our limitations and challenges affect us. I love the saying, "I choose to be happy!" Sometimes that can be a very difficult thing, but I think that it is important to teach our children to think positively about themselves and to know that they are each special and unique individuals. As adults, we would be smart to have the same thought process. My daughters and I love the quote in our family "We are daughters of God, who loves us, and we love him" (you could easily substitute the word daughters for sons). God made each of us unique and we need to embrace our uniqueness.

In the back of the book Dr. Wayne and Saje Dayer have written a letter to parents. I love the part where they say "Yes, there are some things that none of us can change or make go away, but taking the focus off of "it" really does make a difference".

I made this printable poster for you to go along with the quote. Simply click on the picture and click on "save as" to save a copy for yourself. Please remember that this poster is for personal or classroom use only. Thanks!

After reading Good-bye, Bumps!, with my children, we were able to have a wonderful discussion. I love it when we find books like this one, where the story is engaging, the message is powerful, the pictures are lovely, and you can have great dialogues with your kids. I asked my daughters what they thought of this book and they gave it two thumbs up. I would give it two thumbs up as well with a 5 out of 5 star rating!

Here are a few more children's book titles written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer that I can't wait to check out and read with my daughters:
Incredible You! 10 ways to let your Greatness shine through.
Unstoppable Me! 10 Ways to soar Through Life
It's Not What You've Got! Lessons for Kids on M0ney and Abundance
No Excuses! How What You Say Can Get In Your Way
I am - Why Two Little Words Mean So Much

Thanks for stopping by and don't to check out more of my Children's Book Reviews.

You can also find more great books on my "Children's Books and Activities" Pinterest board.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment and opinion of the book.

This "Good-bye, Bumps! Talking to What's Bugging You Book Review" first appeared on my blog, Learn and Grow Designs, on March 13, 2014.

Read on Blog Read more reviews

Search By Blogger

Top Reviewers

timlarison  58 Reviews
alpha_andy_omega  56 Reviews
hhreviewer2  52 Reviews
BookLover  52 Reviews
ginadrellack  51 Reviews