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The Flowering Cross by Beth Ryan Illustrated by Renee Graef

March 10, 2010

I recently joined a book review program called Book Sneeze put on by Thomas Nelson.  I get to go on their site, choose a book that interests me and they send it to me for free.  All I have to do is write an honest review, blog about it and post my review on a retail website.  I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the book arrived.

This book is a nicely illustrated, hard cover children’s book.   It’s the story of a little girl’s persistence and kindness changing the hard heart of a grumpy neighborhood man.  Through showing him love and kindness she introduces him to God’s love.  In return, the man allows the girl to pick some of his prettiest flowers to take to church to put on the flowering cross. The message of this book for children is that God can use them to impact the lives of adults as well as help adults come to know Jesus.

This book would be great for children 6 and older.  My 7 year old daughter liked it a lot.  It is a bit long for a children’s book.  I don’t believe my 5 year old would have sat and listened the whole time.  The illustrations are very colorful and cheery and may keep the attention of a younger child.  An extra, aside from the story: throughout the book are “Faith Imprints”.  These contain a verse and a prompt to share with a child a truth about Jesus.  These are optional when reading the story.  If your intent is to read a quick story before bed, I would recommend skipping these, but if the intent is to have an opportunity to share more about Jesus with your child, I would say allow at least 30 minutes to go through the book.  Another extra: at the end of the book is a tutorial on how to make your own flowering cross.

This is a perfect book as the Easter season approaches.  The author does a great job encouraging us to show love and kindness to those who may seem harsh or unlovable.  And that change may not happen overnight, but through loving persistence.  It’s a heartwarming story that reminds us God can change the hardest of  hearts and bring them to Himself.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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