Adam’s Animals (review)

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Adam's Animals - fun facts about God's CreationAdam’s Animals – fun facts about God’s Creation by Kimberley Payne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kimberley Payne has packed a lot into her 90-page children’s activity book Adam’s Animals.

The book begins with a simple explanation—this is a book about animals we’ll find in the Bible—and an invitation to get acquainted with them, as Adam did when he named them.

To help give kids categories for these many creatures, Payne includes the simplest of animal classifications, naming five families of invertebrates and four of invertebrates. She has also devised a symbol for each to help kids recognize them. For example, the symbol for “Birds” is a bird emerging from an egg, for “Mammals” a milk-filled baby bottle.

Thirty-nine two-page animal entries follow. A typical entry contains, on the first page:
– The verse in the Bible where the animal is mentioned.
– A brief explanation of what the verse means or its historical or regional setting.
– A “Did you know?” section with six facts about the animal.

The entry’s second page displays:
– An additional Bible reference where the animal is mentioned again, if there is one.
– A picture to color.
– A word search puzzle.
These latter two would need to be printed if the book was a digital file.

The animals are presented alphabetically. Sometimes several animals from the same family appear in one entry (e.g. Lion, Cheetah and Leopard). Other entries are titled with the names of the animal in both sexes and when young and mature (e.g. Lamb, Ewe, Ram, Sheep).

Puzzle solutions end the book.

What a fun way to study animals! Though not a thorough or complete animal study, it would be a great supplement to an animal unit in a Christian school, home school or even Sunday School setting.

Janis Cox’s line drawing coloring pages are a great invitation to break out the crayons and get to work. The word search puzzles are sure to keep a kid busy for a few minutes at least, as they search for words that nail down the animal facts and trivia mentioned earlier in the entry.

Even parents and teachers are bound to come away from Adam’s Animals knowing more about our fascinating creature neighbors. I discovered, for example:

“Crickets hear through their front legs” p. 54.
“Owls have three eyelids: one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping eyes clean” – p. 58.
“Slugs have green blood” – p. 74.

I received Adam’s Animals as a gift from the author for the purpose of writing a review.

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Trees of the Book by Kimberley Payne, Illustrated by Esther Haug (review)

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About the book

Trees of the bookTrees of the Book is a colorful storybook / workbook designed to introduce seven- to nine-year-olds to trees of the Bible and more. Folksy title and heading font, as well as Esther Haug’s pencil crayon, water color wash illustrations give the book a look that says, “Welcome kids, this is for you.”

Within the book author Kimberley Payne explores seven common Bible trees, devoting a two-page spread to each. Features include a Bible story retold in first person by the tree, questions about the story, facts about the tree, an activity (like word search, maze, crossword puzzle), and more places one can read about that tree in the Bible. The book ends with a glossary explaining  unusual words, a list of Bible people and who they are, eleven more project suggestions, and solutions to the activities.

Payne’s clear, simple writing style is perfect for early elementary students. The book is detailed and long enough to provide real value, yet not so long it would drag on as a unit. The additional project suggestions take the study past science into ecology,  art, language arts, and studies of Bible characters. I love how the conclusion to the book reminds readers of another very special tree:

“And how can we forget the tree that was used to make the cross that Jesus was  crucified on? “Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others —one on each side and Jesus in the middle” (John 19:17)”Trees of the Book p. 20.

Trees of the Book would be a great resource for parents home-schooling their kids, teachers in Christian schools wishing to inject Bible knowledge into their study of plants and trees, or leaders and counselors in club or camp settings. Children could also use it independently.

Payne is hoping to publish more books in the Science and Faith Matters series in the months ahead.

I received Trees of the Book as a gift from the author for the purpose of writing a review.

About the author:

Kimberley PayneKimberley Payne is a motivational speaker and author. Kimberley has volunteered as a teacher in many children’s programs at her church, as a teacher’s aide for students’ reading in the classroom, and within the library at her children’s school. She works as an Elementary School Secretary for the Catholic School Board. She combines her teaching experience and her love of writing to create educational materials for children about family, fitness, science and faith.  www.kimberleypayne.com

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