Jesus Daily: 365 Interactive Devotions by Aaron Tabor

I was not familiar with the Jesus Daily Facebook page before receiving this book for review, although several of my friends "Like" it. I guess this devotional comes as an outreach of that page, but is good as a stand alone too. Jesus Daily's a dated devotional, starting on January 1 and working through the year. Each day includes a scripture, a brief selection expanding on it and an "interaction," a way to connect the day's lesson with an actual action. Some of the interactions suggest going to JesusDaily.com, but those can be adjusted if going to the website is not something you want to or can do. I think that's what makes this special. It asks you to go beyond reading to doing, whether it be through asking for a prayer request, donating, showing other how much you appreciate them. The devotionals themselves are brief and fairly basic. It's easy to read and understand. I'm planning on using it throughout 2015. Here's the...
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Thursday’s Tale: Please, Malese! by Amy MacDonald

Today's Tale is a retelling of a story from Haiti. The back of the book explains that in Haiti, the trickster is known as Malese, derived from the French "malice". Sometimes Malese is evil and sometimes he is mischievous, but above all, he enjoys taking advantage of people, including his friends who can't seem to catch on to his cunning ways. This story was adapted from the original, "The Magic Island", written in 1929 by W.B. Seabrook This book is just pure fun. The pictures are gorgeous, simply drawn but full of vibrant colors. Malese tricks his neighbors into giving him everything from shoes to rum for a cake. The end up throwing him in jail for a month, but of course Malese is pretty sly. By the end, not only is he out of jail, but his neighbors are fixing up his house for him—for free of course. At first I thought it's kind of a shame that Malese never learns...
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Thursday’s Tale: The Flying Witch by Jane Yolen

The Flying Witch is not a traditional Baba Yaga story, but it's still entertaining. The witch is after a tasty, plump child to eat, but the girl she finds is brave and clever. She has "two good feet, a fine sense of direction, two strong arms, and a clever mind." She finds a way to escape from the witch with - get this- her father's help. Dad is pretty smart himself, puts two and two together, and finds his daughter. I love that we have a strong female lead in the little girl and a dad who is not the stereotypical disinterested/absent fairy tale father. He cares and risks his safety to go after her. Yolen's Baba Yaga follows tradition. She flies using a mortar and pestle, is wrinkled and ugly and has an iron nose. The book doesn't talk down to its young audience, it explains and shows what the mortar and pestle look like instead of just letting her...
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