Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Secret Garden Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to the Beloved Classic by Rachel Dodge

I am honored to be a part of the launch team for Rachel Dodge’s latest book, The Secret Garden Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to the Beloved Classic

I’ve only read two books by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. While I prefer A Little Princess, the insights Rachel brings out in her devotional make me fonder of the book and make me want to read the book alongside the devotional slowly. I’m a little over halfway through my first reading of The Secret Garden Devotional and it does not disappoint. 

Each chapter which corresponds to a chapter in the original book has a devotional, a personal application, and a prayer for today. The devotional grabs your attention, the personal application makes you think about your own walk with God, and then the prayer gives you words to let God know your heart and what he can do to help you. Rachel seamlessly blends quotes and phrases from The Secret Garden with scriptures and her own thoughts. The result is daily devotionals that the reader can’t help but want to put to use in their own lives. 

The illustrations are lovely and thoughtfully dispersed throughout the devotional. I love the ivy decorations that appear throughout as well. They are a gentle reminder of the garden. I like that Rachel uses different versions of the Bible for the scriptures she includes. 

The Secret Garden Devotional is perfect for fans of The Secret Garden specifically, children’s classics in general, or anyone looking for a thought provoking, insightful devotional. You can purchase The Secret Garden Devotional from Amazon, the publisher’s website, or Rachel’s website

Other Books by Rachel Dodge:

  • Praying with Jane: 31 Days through the Prayers of Jane Austen
  • The Anne of Green Gables Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion for Kindred Spirits
  • The Little Women Devotional: A Chapter-by-Chapter Companion to Louisa May Alcott’s Beloved Classic

(Review copy provided by author and publisher. Illustrated by Anastasia Nesterova. Barbour Publishing, 2022.)

Monday, December 12, 2022

Merry Christmas, Anne by Kallie George

It's Christmastime in Avonlea and Anne is feeling thankful for everything--her first Green Gables Christmas, a dress with puffed sleeves, and beaded slippers. She feels just like the fairy she's supposed to be at the school's Christmas concert. 

Thoughts: Kallie George and Geneviève Godbout are back with another delicious inspired by Anne of Green Gables picture book. This time it's Christmas and this book presents an Avonlea/Green Gables Christmas perfectly. I smiled all the way though the story. For those AOGG fans who have young daughters, these book are just right for introducing the youngest girls to Anne Shirley. The illustrations are soft colored and detailed. I love how Geneviève depicts my favorite characters. This book is not to missed! Find an activity sheet from the publisher here. (Search the page for Anne!) 

Themes: Christmas, Beloved Characters

Other Picture Books by Kallie George about Anne Shirley

Early Chapter Books by Kallie George about Anne Shirley

  • Anne Arrives 
  • Anne's Kindred Spirits 
  • Anne's School Days 
  • Anne's Tragical Tea Party 

(Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout. Tundra, 2021.)

Friday, December 2, 2022

Cold Turkey by Corey Rosen Schwartz & Kirsti Call

Turkey wakes up freezing on a wintery morning. He's one cold turkey. He bundles up and heads outside. All his other farm friends are cold, too, so Turkey shares his clothing with them one by one. Soon Turkey doesn't have any clothes. He's freezing again, but this time he's a cold turkey with a warm heart. 

Thoughts: What a fun book to add to my winter storytime. The text is brief, but impactful. I like the implied shivering as the animals talk. Cold Turkey has inspired me to seek out other winter farm animals books. The illustrations are colorful and I love all the animals' expressions. 

Themes: Winter, Farm Animals, Friendship

(Illustrated by Chad Otis. Little, Brown and Company, 2021.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Thanks for Nothing! by Ryan T. Higgins

Bruce is preparing a fall feast with his usual grumpy flair. The geese and mice are making messes. Add one moose and no food for a holiday no one will forget. 

Thoughts: Poor Bruce! I really do feel sorry for him. Those geese and mice are always into something. This will be a great book to add to a Thanksgiving storytime. 

Themes: Fall, Thanksgiving, Bruce

Find activity sheets from the publisher here

Don't miss the other Bruce Books! 

  • Mother Bruce
  • Hotel Bruce 
  • Be Quiet! 
  • Bruce's Big Move 
  • Santa Bruce 
  • 1 Grumpy Bruce 
  • Bruce's Big Fun Day
  • Bruce's Big Storm 
  • Peek-a-Bruce
  • Spring Stinks
  • The Bruce Swap 

 (Disney Hyperion, 2021.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Hey, Bruce! An Interactive Book by Ryan T. Higgins

Dear Reader, 

Do you remember when Rupert wanted to make a wordless book? You do? Well, if you recall, Bruce of Mother Bruce fame only made a brief cameo in Be Quiet! Rupert and his chatty pals Thistle and Nibbs are back and making another book. This one's going to be interactive and if the title is any indication, Bruce will be the star of the book. Get ready to laugh. 


Bridget (Librarian and Reviewer at What Is Bridget Reading?)

Thoughts: Hey, Bruce! is the epitome of an interactive book. The best part? You get to make grouchy, grumpy old Bruce do things he would never do. The mice are their usual outrageous selves. I can't wait to use this book in storytime. Interactive books are always fun, but an interactive book about Bruce will be an instant hit. The illustrations are colorful and detailed. I like the mixture of types of illustrations and the use of white space. The expressions on the characters' faces are especially well done. My favorite is Bruce in the pajamas the mice force on him. 

Find tons of Bruce activity sheets from the publisher here

Themes: Interactive Books, Bears, Forest, Grumpy Animals 

Checkout other books by Ryan T. Higgins: 
(Disney Hyperion, 2022.)

Friday, October 7, 2022

Ballet Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

World of Reading Level 1

Bruce will apparently do anything for his geese especially make multiple trips to town to get all the paraphernalia they need to do ballet. 

Thoughts: Too funny! I love the sad geese eyes and how much grumpy old Bruce loves his geese. The story reminded me of Let's Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems. I love forward to having another Bruce book to add to my repertoire. 

Find all sorts of Bruce activities and printables on the publisher's website here

Themes: Ballet, Dance, Bears, Grumpy Animals

Checkout other books by Ryan T. Higgins: 

(Disney Hyperion, 2022.)

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

What Is Bridget Reading? is 14 years old today! 

September 24, 2008 was a Wednesday. I was in my fourth semester of graduate school. This blog began with the booktalks I was writing during my Programming for Children and Young Adults course. 

Since then I've added reviews, reading projects (Harry Potter, Ramona, and Beatrix Potter), library program reflections, and Flannel Friday posts. I also became involved with the Cybils Awards for the first time in 2013. 2022 marks my fifth year serving as a category chair. 

I'm looking forward to blogging for many more years to come. And hoping as always that I can blog more regularly than sporadically in the future.

Older Blogiversary Posts for a Walk Down Memory Lane: