While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review: Salem the Safety Seal by Otto Scamfer

I won this in a giveaway from LibraryThing. The author was giving them away in exchange for a review.

About the book:
Have fun and learn about water safety as you join Salem the Safety Seal in his bright and colorful underwater world. He and his friend Sierra will take you on an adventurous tale about the importance of wearing a life jacket when you're near the water. Children young and old will delight in this story. Enjoy!

My Review:
This was a really cute book. The illustrations were very bright and colorful, which I think keeps children's attention very well. I also liked how the book was "split" into two different stories. There are the captions that create a poem, for younger children (toddlers) and then the story is written for older children. I think this book would be a good book that can "grow" with your child.

The story itself has a really good message and it's presented in a way that children can actually pick up on the message. I've read books with my niece in the past and when you ask her what the book was about she had completely missed the "moral". I do not think that will be a problem with this book. While the story is good the message isn't hidden. It's pretty straight forward.

The writing is whimsical and I think it can really hold a child's attention.

Review: Tea With Hezbollah by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

About the Book:
Is it really possible to love one’s enemies?

That’s the question that sparked a fascinating and, at times, terrifying journey into the heart of the Middle East during the summer of 2008. It was a trip that began in Egypt, passed beneath the steel and glass high rises of Saudi Arabia, then wound through the bullet- pocked alleyways of Beirut and dusty streets of Damascus, before ending at the cradle of the world’s three major religions: Jerusalem.

Tea with Hezbollah combines nail-biting narrative with the texture of rich historical background, as readers join novelist Ted Dekker and his co-author and Middle East expert, Carl Medearis, on a hair-raising journey. They are with them in every rocky cab ride, late-night border crossing, and back-room conversation as they sit down one-on-one with some of the most notorious leaders of the Arab world. These candid discussions with leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas, with muftis, sheikhs, and ayatollahs, with Osama bin Laden’s brothers, reveal these men to be real people with emotions, fears, and hopes of their own. Along the way, Dekker and Medearis discover surprising answers and even more surprising questions that they could not have anticipated—questions that lead straight to the heart of Middle Eastern conflict.

Through powerful narrative Tea With Hezbollah will draw the West into a completely fresh understanding of those we call our enemies and the teaching that dares us to love them. A must read for all who see the looming threat rising in the Middle East.

About the Authors:
Ted Dekker is the author of many nationally bestselling novels, including Bone Man’s Daughters, The Circle Trilogy, Thr3e, and House, which was coauthored by Frank Peretti. His unique style of storytelling has captured the attention of millions worldwide. Visit him at TedDekker.com.
Carl Medearis is the founder and president of International Initiatives, LLC, an organization that promotes cultural, educational, and commercial exchange between the East and the West. He is an advisor on Arab affairs to the members of the U.S. Congress and leaders in international business.

My Review:
The first thing that comes to mind when trying to explain this book is that we really are all the same. We all laugh, we all cry, we all live. It doesn't matter what religion you follow, what beliefs you hold, how you choose to live your life, on a fundamental level we really are all the same.

In this book Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis travel to the Middle East to sit and talk with people that our enemies of America. They talk to everyone, from the taxi drivers to the heads of "terrorist" organizations. During these talks they ask everyone the same basic questions and even though the answers are as different as the people answering them they really go to show how similar we all are.

The interviews are so basic but yet they really make you think. They show people who we perceive as enemies and animals in a way that shows they're human just like the rest of us.

The idea for the book is amazing, and I think it was written superbly. The authors take great care to not skew what was being said in the interviews, and thus they are not adding their beliefs to the answers. The interviewees words are left for the reader to interpret without any bias.

There were a few themes that reappear throughout the book. These themes show how similar we all are and give the reader a way to connect with people we may think we have nothing in common with.

To get more information about Tea With Hezbollah or to find where to purchase a copy please visit the WaterBrook Multnomah website.