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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

iPad v. New LDS Children's Book—My 3yo Makes the Ultimate Choice (With a Giveaway!)

(Image from Deseret Book)

I don't review picture books very often, but I Believe in Jesus Too by Mark S. Nielsen kept catching my eye.  The last time I hit Deseret Book, I almost bought it.  When I saw it in DB's latest catalog, I circled it, planning to request it from the publisher.  But, then, a miracle occurred—out of the blue, I got an email from the author asking if I would be willing to review it.  I was, of course, thrilled with his request.  Even better, Mark happens to live very close to me and was able to deliver the book in person.  He's a nice man, it's a lovely book and, really, I couldn't be more excited to gush about it all to you.  

The book begins with these lines:  "Latter-day Saint children everywhere in the world believe in Jesus Christ.  I believe in Jesus too."  It then goes on to describe things that LDS kids do to show their devotion to their Savior.  Through the text as well as soft, gorgeous illustrations (by the incredibly talented Craig Stapley), readers can see children in 19 different countries doing things like attending church, saying their prayers and reading the scriptures.  The words and pictures work together to make an important point—no matter what culture, country, or background LDS people come from, they are united by their faith in Christ.  

Admittedly, I'm not the best judge of picture books.  My kids, however, are experts.  All of them (well, okay the 13-year-old didn't show a lot of interest) loved thumbing through I Believe in Jesus Too.  My 3-year-old listened with wide eyes as I read it to her and kept gazing at the pictures saying, "Look at all the people!"  Not surprisingly, she—being bi-racial—loved the illustrations of little girls in Africa.  "That's me!" she kept saying.  My 7-year-old's favorite part was the map that sprawls across the front and back covers, showing where each of the kids in the book lives.  And, if you need any more evidence of what a wonderful book this is, let me just say that when (in the middle of Sacrament Meeting, mind you), I offered my little girl a choice between coloring on the iPad and reading I Believe in Jesus Too for the second time, she chose the latter.  If that's not a ringing endorsement, I'm not sure what is!

If you're LDS, or know someone who is, definitely consider purchasing this one (you can find it in-stores or online at Deseret Book as well as online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble).  The book is sturdy, of great quality, and would make an excellent gift for a baptism, a birthday, or some other special occasion.  It's a nice everyday book, too, one that I will be toting to church to entertain my own kids as well as the unruly energetic 5-year-olds I teach in Primary.  Yes, I really did enjoy the book that much.  You will, too.   

Now for the exciting part ... if you want to enter to win your own copy of I Believe in Jesus Too, simply make a comment on this post.  Easy cheesy, right?  If you'd like to earn more entries, you can do one or all of the following:

Become a Follower of Bloggin' 'bout Books (+1)
Like Bloggin' 'bout Books on Facebook (+1)
Like Mark S. Nielsen on Facebook (+1)
Blog about, Tweet about or mention this giveaway on Facebook/other social media (+1)
*Initial comment on this post = 1 entry

Simple.  Just let me know in the Comments section how many entries you earned.  The giveaway will end at midnight on June 12 and is open internationally.  In addition, the author will autograph and/or personalize the book for the winner, if they would like.  Good luck!  

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't really think of anything)

Grade:  A

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  G

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of I Believe In Jesus Too from the generous Mark S. Nielsen.  Thank you! 


  1. I've been circling it in my DB catalog too! ;)

    I've been a follower for a while. Love this blog. So helpful!

  2. I want this book for my boys! I follow your blog and like your FB page. And I tweeted about the giveaway. Plus I luuuuurrve you!

  3. I'm kind of blown away that your 3 yr old choose a book over your ipad!! Must be a really good book.

  4. I'm glad you took time to review a picture book. This sounds like a book my kids would LOVE.

  5. And I like Mark on FB too. :-)

  6. I have been looking for some good books for church. I also liked your FB page and Mark's FB page. And, I just became a follower. I guess that gives me 4 entries. Thanks!

  7. Sounds like a great book. I'd love to enter to win! I follow your blog, so a total of 2 entries for me. Thanks!

  8. Sounds good. Count me in!

  9. I'd love this book for my kiddos! (3 entries, I liked you and Mark on FB)

  10. Sounds like a great book! I guess there's four entries for me... I followed you on twitter, and I liked Bloggin 'bout Books and Mark Nielsen on facebook. Thanks!

  11. Susan...what a wonderful review! I am so glad my book won the battle against the ipad! Wohoooo! I just wanted to tell Susan thanks and also thank everyone for checking out my author page! When you get the book, let me know what you think and what your children think!!! What a wonderful Blog Susan..thanks again!

  12. This book is amazing!!! :)

  13. I was going to buy this book and than noticed I had a few too many items in my cart (: So I would love to win a copy!

  14. I follow your blog and have since Day 1 (:

  15. I am now a fan of Marks page on facebook!

  16. This book looks adorable!

  17. I think that I earned 2 entries.

  18. I'm commenting Susan! I like books, and picture books, but I still can't wrap my head around amaze me!

  19. I would love to see a book like this become an iPad app for my children!


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