Kids books for Easter gifts from Hearts & Minds – ORDER NOW on sale 20% OFF

Thanks to the many friends and customers who have inquired about our well-being and those who are hoping for the flourishing of our store. Not a few have said that they want us around long-term so they are trying to drum up mail order business for us during these hard times. We appreciate it. The financial woes of businesses and ministries you believe in are concerning, obviously, but the grief for so many losses is only deepening us. These are hard times, friends, and it is no small thing that many of you have wanted to send orders our way. We are grateful beyond words. We have been busy, Beth and I, working long hours to keep up with the opportunities to ship books out. We’re still at it and thank you for your support, your prayers, and — yep — your orders. Of course we cannot promise what things will be like in days to come, but for now, we are able to keep doing this work and for that we are grateful.

Here are some most kids books that if you order right away we can get out to you in time for Easter-basket giving. While supplies last, we must say. Sorry…

A few important housekeeping details: Unless you say otherwise we will send these Priority Mail which is cheaper than UPS and sometimes quicker. That costs about $7.00 or so, depending on what is ordered. We certainly can send packages “media mail” which is cheaper and slower, if you’d rather and aren’t in a hurry. (Noting that is appreciated, by the way, if it is the case.) The cheaper “media mail” method is usually our default for most orders (at least for those heading to nearer East coast destinations.) Since these are gift books for children that might be needed asap, we will send them them the faster way, unless you tell us otherwise. At least this week, that’s what we’ll do. Fair enough?

If we are sending these directly to a child at another address, please tell us what note to put in, if any. We’re usually happy to write back to you and ask, but let’s streamline this a bit: if you want a note enclosed, please write that in the order form so we know your wishes. It is an intimate thing, getting to write little notes to tuck in with care and we don’t take it lightly. Let us know if you want us to help in any way. If you don’t say, we’ll assume you don’t want us to say anything about who it is from.

(If you want to purchase an Easter card, we have those, too, at a variety of prices and messages. If you want, advise us, or call.)

As always, just click on the order tab found at the bottom of this BookNotes post to be taken to our secure order form page. If the books are going to you, we’ll enclose your credit card receipt (or invoice if you’d rather) in the package, per usual. If they are going to somebody else, we’ll email the receipt or invoice to you directly.

During these hard times, maybe even because of these hard times, we will all surely resonate with the sufferings of our Lord Jesus during this week oddly called Holy. I have again started my discipline of reading some of Fleming Rutledge’s wonderful The Undoing of Death: Sermons for Holy Week and Easter (Eerdmans; $24.00) which is a good companion. Not soon enough, we will shout, He Is Risen. Therefore, anticipating that: despite all, happy gift-giving and happy reading!

All books are offered at 20% off the regular retail price.

My Jesus Story Collection: 18 New Testament Bible Stories Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Zonderkidz) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39  This is a new edition of selected stories from the delightful Nobel Prize Winner’s bigger Children of God Storybook Bible. This one just includes stories from the life of Jesus, with the last few being on His death and resurrection. It is a standard size of a children’s upright picture book, a tad larger than 9 x 11 inches, and has about 40 full-color pages. As with the bigger Bible storybook from which these are drawn, every episode is done in a different art style, featuring artists from around the globe. What a brilliant idea this is. This is just wonderful. It includes a new foreword by the royal wedding preacher, Bishop Michael Curry. Very nicely done. Ages maybe 3 – 10, maybe.

Jesus and the Very Big Surprise: A True Story About Jesus, His Return, and How to Be Ready Randall Goodgame, illustrated by Catalina Echeveryi (The Good Book Company) $14.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $11.99  This is the latest in the brilliant gospel-centered “Tales That Tell the Truth” series. (We stock them all, by the way, including the directly seasonal The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross: The True Story of Why Jesus Died and Rose Again which we featured last year.) This new one is, of course, playful and artful and a bit funny and so clever as it recounts Jesus’ own parable about a Master who comes back to — surprise — serve his waiting servants. The story starts telling about the birth and life of Jesus and then does the “story within a story” thing of Jesus telling the parable (in Luke 12.) What a message of waiting well, and what a surprise that the Master clothes his own servants!  Who would do that?, the book asks. Jesus, that’s who! And it picks up again telling the story of Maundy Thursday, Jesus washing the feet of his friends, even dying for them. Yes, there is this promise of his return and we are called to wait for that great restoring coming. This author (who is author a song-writer, by the way) is an obviously insightful Bible teacher and a gifted storyteller. As always, Echeveryi’s art is whimsical without being silly. Like the other books in this series, the authors and artist are adept at what grown-ups call “Biblical theology”, which is to say the narrative context of the story drives us to theological insights about the unfolding drama of God’s redemption of the world in the person and work of Christ, the true Servant King. It’s very well done. It’s about 8 x 10, hardback, ages 4 – 8, I’d say. Love it.

Maybe Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Gabriella Barouch (Compendium) $17.95 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.36  Although not Biblically oriented, this is a lush and lovely book that is evocative and inspiring. It is beautifully illustrated, with much spare space on the heavy-stock pages, and wonderfully drawn, full color and sometimes rich, incredibly lush pictures. It says on the front that it is “a story about the endless potential in all of us.” This is the author of the best-selling What Do You Do With an Idea and the companions, What Do You Do With a Problem and What Do You Do With a Chance. Optimistic to the point of being magical, I’m sure many will adore this moving book and it might lead them to visionary conversations with their young children. It’s a bit larger than 9 x 11 and truly lovely. The publisher says ages 4 to 8 but the sheer beauty of it makes it appealing to some older kids, too.

Clap Your Hands: A Celebration of Gospel Toyomi Igus, illustrated by Michele Wood (Zonderkiz) $16.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $13.59  We had this right on our counter during Black History Month and then in March because I just loved showing it off. It is a sequel to the colorful and award winning I See the Rhythm, which we adored, although this one, I think, is even better. If that one beautifully taught and showed the past history of gospel music this carries the story to today, with pages on Motown and funk and “holy hip hop.” Like many good non-fiction children’s books these days there is tons of information cleverly packed into these delightful pages. There are Christian symbols in the artwork (Michele Wood is a spectacular contemporary artist, by the way, with picture that are vivid and even evoke stained glass at times, sanctifying what some might call the mundane.) There is a timeline running along the bottom of the pages. There is a good foreword by CeCe Winans and a great Discography in the back, naming the songs that are cited or alluded to, from Ring Shout and field chants to the Fisk Jubilee Singers to Tommy Dorsey to Mahalia up to Sister Rosetta Tharp and Sam Cooke. There are contemporary gospel singers such as Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin up to Kirk Franklin, Cross Movement and Lecrae.  And that is only some of the artist in these fun pages. What book has the Soweto Gospel Choir, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, Andre Crouch, and Chance the Rapper?  Yes, I said Chance the Rapper.

There’s even discussion questions. If you don’t buy this as an Easter present for a child you know, buy it for yourself and then donate it to your church or public school library. It’s 9  x 11 and over 40 pages.

Child of Wonder Marty Haugen, illustrated by Stephen Nesser (GIA Publications) $16.95 OUR SALE PRICE = $13.56  I have mentioned this before, so allow us to give another tip of the hat to this gloriously attractive, warm, evocative book of wonder. Marty Haugen is an old folksinger who was one of the pioneers of early contemporary liturgical songs (maybe known by those who remember the St. Louis Jesuits, David Haas, or the Monks of Weston Priory or more recently, say, Bryan Sirchio. Marty is a member of the UCC but writes music often for the Lutherans.) This lovely children’s book shows childhood rituals from all over the world so although it was composed for the baptism of his godson, the lyrics “celebrate the sacredness of human life and delight in the lives of children.” It’s tender and touching, beautiful and nicely multicultural. Included in the volume is a free mp3 download of the song itself, although one hardly needs to know the song to appreciate the lyrical cadence of the words of the book and the wonderful pictures. Sweet, ecumenical, lovely.

Don’t Forget to Remember Ellie Holcomb, illustrated by Kayla Harren (B+H Kids) $12.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $10.39  We just loved this cool and hip young singer-songwriter’s first book Who Sang the First Song which was colorful and playful and pointing to the goodness of creation in memorable ways. This one has a fantastic cover, with children and animals — who doesn’t love polar bears and zebras?  This lyrical tale reminds children — and the parents reading it to them! — that it is hard to remember sometimes; we are prone to forget what is true. And the truest truths are (as the Bible says) are embedded in the creation itself. As the back cover says, “Ellie Holcomb celebrates creation’s reminders of God’s love, which surrounds us from sunrise to sunset, even on our most forgetful days.”

This is a lovely and fun book, sort of larger than usual board book with a sturdy, padded cover. The pictures are warm and rich, with butterflies and flowers and kids splashing in the rain with porpoises and pigs and hammocks under galaxies. If she is evoking a good world laden with God’s promises, this sure sings it beautifully!  It’s about 8 x 8; 24 pages, designed for little ones and preschoolers.

The Chickens Build a Wall Jean-Francois Dumont (Eerdmans) $9.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $7.99  Okay, this is to funny to be true, but it is. This was first published in France and as the editors at Eerdmans Books for Young Readers are wont to do, they picked it up and released the edition in English. The story is about a group of chickens who are scared of the outsider (who is hedgehog, by the way) and frantically work to build a wall around their farmyard to keep him out. They think it has worked until they realize he’s been sleeping all winter in the barn and, awakening from hibernation, is now among them, one of their own community, after all. After Donald Trump promised to have Mexico pay for his wall, this book became sort of symbolic of that approach and we sold a bunch in hardback to those wanting to have conversations with kids about who is in and who is out and the role of fear and walls and differences. Now it’s out in paperback, just in time for the next round of wall-building chatter. As in real life, these chicken’s realize that “everything hasn’t gone quite according to plan…” Yep. 8 x 10; paperback; 32 fun-filled, prophetic pages.

Never Too Little! and The Best Thing to Do! and The Man Who Would Not Be Quiet! each by Steph Williams (The Good Book Company) $4.99 each  OUR SALE PRICE = $3.99 each These three little books (in what the author is calling the “Little Me Big God” series, sold individually) are clever and energetic, each using sparse text and zesty drawings to retell a gospel story. The first is obviously about that time when some boys and girls (“just like you”) came to see Jesus. But someone said “You’re too little. Jesus can’t talk to you.” The book asks on the back cover, “Were they right? No! Discover why Jesus said that you’re never too little to be God’s friend.” The one called The Best Thing to Do is powerful, again, brief and fun, colorful and clever — it is about the Mary & Martha story from Luke 10. The Man Who Would Not Be Quiet! is, as you might guess, the story of Bartimaeus who was born blind. (“Bartimaeus was sad. He could not see. His eyes did not work. But he could hear…”) As it says on the back, “Discover who Bartimaeus heard coming along the road, and how listening to him changed Bartimaeus’s life for ever!”

There is a note for adults on the back page of each of these three short books explaining the gospel message in each. Did you notice the exclamation points behind each book title? They are all a bit edgy and that captures some of the authors insistence that these stories matter. I’m guessing these are good for toddlers, maybe ages 2 or 3 to  4 or 5; the stories are simple but the art is eccentric and interesting.

God Takes Care of Me: Psalm 23 Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Cee Biscoe (Tyndale Kids) $7.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $6.39 This is a slightly larger size than a typical little board book, but it is a board book, with thick sturdy pages for very young readres. The artwork is soft and the telling gentle as Dandi Mackall is known for. It is a paraphrase of the 23rd Psalm and might be useful this season as even children know something is scary with this dangerous pandemic. The Psalm is retold in words that rhyme; as the back cover puts it, it is “both playful and tender, showing your child that God is their Good Shepherd who will take care of them wherever they go.” Or, in this case (I say seriously) “wherever they don’t go.”  It is 7.9  x 7.9; 16 pages.

Everyone Belongs United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, illustrated by Kristin Sorra (Loyola Press) $8.95 OUR SALE PRICE = $7.16  Who knew that the USCC Bishops have written kids books? This is a beautiful, instructional children’s version of their “Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love” pastoral letter against racism. It is a letter all of us should take under advisement ourselves, discerning how these spiritual leaders are right to speak well into our sinful situation. This colorful paperback invites readers into a nice story of a multi-racial soccer team and the children’s coach; two of the boys who are teammates are good friends from school; one, Sam, an Anglo boy, the other a boy from Africa, named Ray Ikanga. After soccer practice they learn that the African family has moved into the neighborhood, allow the two families to be even more friendly. It’s all good as they share relationships and recipes. Eventually, something very ugly happens (“Go Home” is spray painted on the Ikanga’s garage door) and the overt act of racism has to be dealt with, in the neighborhood, in school and in church. Here we see what a group of kids as they are guided by wise adults can do, how they learn about respect and hospitality and the theology of dignity found in Catholic social teaching (although they never call it that, actually.) As things are made right there is confession and renewal and a priest helps with a house blessing and prayer. This is a story which is useful for teaching much about our world.

The USCC has lesson plans for using it for grades k – 5 at their website; I’d suggest this is useful for readers ages 7 or 8 to even 11 or 13. We are thankful for this simple witness to God’s inclusive love for all and our call to care for others from other cultures or backgrounds. 8.5 x 10.8; paperback.

Love Does for Kids Bob Goff & Lindsey Goff Viducich, illustrated by Michael Lauritano (Tommy Nelson) $16.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $13.59  I hope you know that we really like Bob Goff and always are showing off his Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World and the follow up, Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People, not to mention his Live in Grace, Walk in Love, a year-long hardback daily devotional that came out this past fall. (And, yes, we are taking pre-orders for his mid-June 2020 release Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do (Nelson; $26.99.) Hooray!

I know I’ve talked about this kids version of Love Does before and yet I still can’t say enough about it.  Here is what I wrote in a BookNotes list last Christmastime: The hand-sized hardback is comprised of great stories from our best-selling, exceptionally popular book by Bob Goff called Love Does, re-told by his elementary school teacher daughter in a style a kid can enjoy. Yep, these are the best capers and Christ-like adventures and goofy escapades from Goff’s first book, written for children ages 6 – 10 or any elementary grade. What fun! What a great gift for a boy or girl.

Here is what the publisher has written to explain more about it:

In the same way that Love Does has struck a deep chord with adults, kids will experience God in new and thrilling ways and see that living out our faith certainly isn’t boring! With this book, children will laugh, dream, and be inspired to make a difference for God, and they’ll learn to:

    • take ownership of their mistakes and forgive others for their mistakes.
    • never give up–no matter how scared they are.
    • put their faith into action by spending time with–and acting more like–Jesus.

Kids everywhere will love Bob and Lindsey’s stories about how love does. With childlike faith, enthusiasm, and great whimsy, young hearts will feel instantly connected to a love that acts as much as it feels. Children will walk away with a sense of wonder at how great God is and will feel empowered to do things that will make a tangible difference in the world.

As a little boy with a big personality and even bigger dreams, Bob Goff had lots of questions, and they didn’t go away when he grew up. It wasn’t until he learned just how big and wild and wonderful God is that he began to find answers. Once Bob learned about the deep goodness of God, he began to learn about the great power God gives His kids when they live a life full of love for others.

Bob and Lindsey invite kids to get to know God better and to see the world as a place designed to be changed as we put our faith in action.

As It Is in Heaven: A Collection of Prayers for All Ages illustrated by Eric Puybaret (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39  Okay, this is a beautiful book, and would make a remarkable gift that would be cherished by some. It is quite ecumenical, which is to say that some of the prayers are specifically Roman Catholic while others are more generally accepted in the broader body of Christ. The prayers are in large, attractive font, accompanied by a full color and often allusive painting on the facing page. They are clearly meant to compliment each other, making this an enchanting volume to use — to behold.

Here is how the publisher describes it:

Eric Puybaret’s atmospheric paintings illuminate classic Christian prayers, drawn from over two thousand years of faith. Selections include the Apostles’ Creed, the Magnificat, and the Lord’s Prayer, as well as prayers from St. Francis, St. Augustine, and St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Each contemplative pairing of text and art invites readers to find new meaning in familiar words.

Perhaps, if you are an aficionado of children’s books you will know this artist for his celebrated work in the fabulous Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau and the arrestingly unusual Suite for Human Nature among others (including an Alice in Wonderland edition. You get the picture of this guy, eh?)

Here in As It Is In Heaven: A Collection of Prayers for All Ages the French illustrator is creative and alluring without being too odd; some of the art is worth pondering even without the accompanying prayer. (See, for instance, the beautiful one almost Buddhist one of a raft  that creatively matches “The Song of Simeon” or the Pilgrim’s Progress-type art for the “Prayer of Abandonment” of Charles de Foucauld. And what is the allusive red color in the gentle scene with the “Prayer of Saint Francis”? I’m still wondering about that.  At first a bit surprising, it only takes a moment to see the significance of the person in the painting accompanying the Apostle Creed who sitting so casually atop a large, colorful, multi-storied, sturdy house. Indeed. You should get this gifty book for somebody.  

Quiet Moments Tom Wright (Monarch Press) $9.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $7.99  Yes, yes, it’s that N.T. Wright, famous Biblical scholar and historian of first century Jewish and early Christian thought. This is a little hardback gift book of free verse poems he wrote years ago, not for kids, but illustrated with lovely full color photographs of mostly nature scenes, waterfalls, leaves, flames, sky, and the like. We might be the only place around that has some of these lovely gift items and we list it here — we only have a few left, actually — as it might work for a teen or young adult who likes her theology in poetic terms. It’s pretty great, actually, inspiring meditations to “help the reader explore the world around them and the presence of God.” I think these simple reflections could help bring comfort and perhaps calm to an anxious heart. Be still and know? Maybe this will help…


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Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the Dallastown bookstore is closed to in-store traffic until further notice. As best we can with no employees working, we (owners Beth & Byron Borger) are doing our best to serve our on-line/mail order customers. Thanks for your patience as we strive to stand with you in these difficult days.