Snow Day Activities!

In West Michigan, most of the schools are closed today. That means that there are kids at home with parents who are pulling out their hair and wondering what to do. Fear not.

Baker Bookworms Storytime starts at 10:30 AM.

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And this afternoon at 2 PM, we’re showing Zootopia on the big screen!

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And if you need another reason to visit us, we’ve got all of our kids’ activity books at 20% off, today only!

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5 Question Interview with Crystal Bowman!

crystalbowman4I recently sat down (digitally, that is) with Crystal Bowman to talk about her books. Crystal is the author of over 100 books, many of which have been bestsellers and award-winners. She’s a delightful lady who loves sharing her gift with others.

Here’s what we we talked about.


Crystal, what would you like parents/grandparents to know about your most recent book?

jy654I want parents/grandparents to know that my most recent book (as well as all of my books), is in line with the teachings in the Bible. Though authors have creative license to make their devotionals or Bible stories kid-friendly and fun to read, I want the spiritual take-away to always be true to Scripture.

What’s something that you’re passionate about?

Teaching children that God loves them very much and that every child is uniquely created by God for His purpose. I am passionate about writing books for children because I want to reach them while they are still teachable.

What makes a great children’s book great?

The content has to be great as well as the writing. You can have good writing with bland content, and you can have good content with not-so-great writing. A great children’s book needs both.

What’s your favorite children’s book?

on-the-night-you-were-bornI have so many, it’s hard to narrow it down to one. I love On the Night You Were Born, by Nancy Tillman. It’s so deeply emotional yet sweet. It captures everything that young parents are experiencing and feeling when they bring a child into the world. Great writing and great content!

What’s something about writing that has surprised you?

How hard it is. Even though it is one of my deepest passions–it’s hard. The more I write the harder it gets because I keep learning more and more, and there are so many dimensions and elements that have to exist in a good children’s book in order to be a book that people will want to buy. I also feel that every book I write has to be better than or equal to the previous one. Since I have written over 100 books, the bar keeps getting higher.


We’ll check back in with Crystal from time to time since she’ll definitely have more new books to talk about!

VeggieTales Winter Apparel Search & Find

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As a parent of small children, I know the frustrations of kids’ winter apparel.

Kids are so excited to go outside and play that they’ll often start the winter gear process themselves, and always in the wrong order. So you end up having to remove coats and boots to get the snowpants on. Once the snowpants are you, you have to struggle to get their boots on and in such a way that snow won’t find its way in (but it will anyway). Once the boots are on, they put on their coats and hats, and the search for gloves begins. They have the left one in their hands, but the right one could be anywhere in the house. Your child is sweating profusely by the time you finally find the right glove tucked into their stuffed animal bin where it was pretending to be a miniature sleeping bag for their smallest stuffed bunny. You return triumphantly, place the glove onto the child’s hand, and they tell you that they need to go potty.

This is parenthood in wintertime.

But what if the search for winter gear wasn’t a stressful chore, but a fun activity? Thanks to this downloadable VeggieTales activity sheet, maybe it can be. Click here to download.

So when your child comes in out of the cold, serve up some hot cocoa and this search and find sheet!

Mid-Week Review | Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel Was Born

Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward: How the Pretzel Was Born by Anna Egan Smucker; Illustrated by Amanda Hall
ISBN: 9780802854209

Synopsis: The Bishop is going to visit Brother Giovanni’s sanctuary, but the children won’t learn their prayers. He must find a way to help them, but all he knows how to do is bake. Will his gift be enough?

Review: “He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.’” Matthew 13:33

Brother Giovanni knows dough, but how can that help when the Bishop is scheduled to visit his sanctuary and the children won’t learn their prayers? In Anna Egan Smucker’s delightful look into the story of how the pretzel was born, we learn that when we put our gifts into God’s hands, he adds yeast to our dough and grows our efforts beyond what is humanly possible.

The crisp storytelling is enhanced by illustrator Amanda Hall’s pictures, drawn in the style of the period from which this tale originates. Readers will eat up Brother Giovanni’s Little Reward!

Age Recommendation: 4-8

Quality Rating (1 is low, 5 is high): 5