Friday, December 10, 2010

TOS Review: Apologia Press - Good Morning, God

In my opinion, a good children's book has the following: Lots of repetition, a simple story line and detailed, engaging illustrations.  Good Morning, God, written by Davis Carman, contains all three of these, and so much more!

Good Morning, God - $14.00 from Apologia - is a very simple, sweet story told from the point of view of the little boy in the book.  It goes through a whole week in his life using the same pattern for each day.
"Good morning, God.  Today is (Sunday, Monday, etc.).  I wake up with lots of energy.  I worship God with my family and with all of my (being, heart, etc.).  Mom and Dad teach me when I'm sitting, when I'm standing, and especially when I'm (at church, running, etc.)."
The pictures of the activity where mom and dad teach the little boy are definitely worth 1,000 words!  For instance, "Mom and Dad teach me when I'm...climbing." shows the little boy climbing on the counter, reaching up for the cookie jar.  Obviously the lesson he learns from that incident are more than just about climbing.

The story goes on to describe an activity in his day.  Our favorite was:
"In the school room, I color a picture."
The school room in this story is just the family's living room, which both I and my children loved.  It's not often you find a book in which the family is obviously homeschooling, without the story specifically mentioning it.  All the illustrations - by Alice Ratterree -  are phenomenal.  Beautiful, detailed, calm and engaging.  We often spent each reading with more time looking and and talking about the pictures than in reading through the story.

Each day then ends with,
"At bedtime, I pray to God.  I say, "(variety of prayers each day)"   Good night, (Sunday, Monday, etc.).  Good night, God.
The repetition of the story is great for little ones.  My five year old, who is just learning to read, feels like she can follow along with the story and "read" some of the parts out loud herself.

The book doesn't end with the story though.  At the end are a week's worth of discussion questions and activities.  They could be used to turn this simple, lovely book into a week-long Bible curriculum.

What we did was read through the book once each day, then use the discussion questions and activities at the back of the book to extend our reading into some though-provoking discussion and family time.   We had to skip one activity (Take a bike ride) because it's been freezing and either raining or snowing almost constantly since we received the book!  But the kids really enjoyed the discussion times and activities (especially the family game night, which we need to do more often).   The ideas we discussed carried through to the following weeks and came up again and again.  I've been asked by my two youngest (5 and 7 years old) to read the book again, many times.  You can take a peek inside for yourself, with the sample chapter offered on Apologia's website.

Overall, this was a fantastic addition to both our home library and to our homeschool curriculum.  I also discovered that Apologia offers a companion Coloring Book ($4.00) for this book, which would be a great addition to using the book.

Apologia offers lots of other products as well.  We use their science curriculum (creation-based) and we love it!  I'm really impressed with everything I've seen from them, and this new book is no exception.  Want to see what other crew members thought about the book?  Check out their reviews.

Disclaimer: As a member of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received a complimentary copy of Good Morning, God from Apologia Press in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased review. No other compensation was received.

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