Roar Like a Lion (Book Review)

I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, via JustRead Tours. Opinions expressed are my own.
  • Author: Levi Lusko and Tama Fortner
  • Illustrator: Catherine Pearson
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • On-Sale: As of Sept. 14, 2021
  • Synopsis: This 90-day children’s devotional by best-selling author Levi Lusko explores the theme of everyday courage, through a recurring “lion” metaphor.

This is my first blog tour with JustReads and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read and review Roar Like a Lion, by Levi Lusko. Lusko is a name I had frequently heard on K-LOVE, but I was unfamiliar with his work, prior to this reading. Having read Roar Like a Lion, I can say that the Lord really used his (and Fortner’s) writing to speak to me. I think it’s definitely a great work that can be useful for an audience spanning a variety of ages 🙂

Bet You Can’t Read Just One

I often begin mentally drafting my reviews before I actually finish reading, and the phrase that kept running through my head for this book was a variation on the Lay’s® slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one.” In this case, “Bet you can’t read just one.”

While I often make a point to intersperse nonfiction in with my fiction readings (since I gravitate much more strongly towards fiction), in this case, I found myself skipping the fiction to read just one (or three) more of the devotional sections.

The writing is truly engaging, for children and adults alike. Although the devotional is clearly geared towards kids (it’s not written as a “family” devotion), with emphasis on childhood experiences, the messages are just as applicable to adults.

The devotionals are at once fresh and relevant and timeless, bringing biblical truths to light by using examples that make sense, today. This certainly contextualizes the Scriptures for readers of all ages.

I didn’t read many devotionals as a child, but this is one that I would have enjoyed. My biggest concern is readers’ ability to limit themselves to just one devotion a day. In all seriousness, this is absolutely a book I’d recommend, even for adults who are willing to read with a childlike perspective.

Organization

Each devotional includes a charming illustration by Tama Fortner, a key Bible verse, several paragraphs of explanation/application and a prayer. The daily devotionals also feature one of two sidebars: “Get Ready to Roar” (signified by a roaring lion illustration) and “Did You Know?” (signified by a drawing of an elephant). The roar sidebars offer specific suggestions for application (such as ). The elephant sidebars, which I really enjoyed, included tidbits of science or history. I learned, for example, that a lion’s roar is 20 times louder than a lawnmower!

Also interspersed throughout the book is a hidden object challenge, featuring anchors, the subject of an object lesson.

Layout / Graphic Design

This book is absolutely gorgeous, one of the prettiest I have ever owned. To be honest, the book’s physical appearance strongly ignited my interest, from the time I received it in the mail.

The cover depicts a roaring lion with a majestic mane, surrounded by bright green foliage. Each page includes brightly-colored illustrations, with scenes from the Bible, history and anecdotes. From a closed-book vantage point, the edges of the pages are also brightly colored, because each page has a pretty, geometric pattern framing the content.

Overall, there is just so much color, making for an engaging and eye-catching reading experience.

Recommendation

Highly recommended for children (ages 7-14) and for those who are young at heart!

Why I Don’t Squish Bugs Anymore (Book Review)

  • Title: Why I Don’t Squish Bugs Anymore
  • Author: Kaden Olson
  • Illustrator: Laura Olson
  • On-Sale Now
  • Synopsis: This little book tells the story of a missionary who learns not to squash bugs!
  • Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Written for little children children, this seems to be the youngest book I’ve reviewed, in terms of audience. I requested the title after coming across it on Facebook, because the title and premise grabbed my attention.

The book explores the importance of taking care of God’s creatures— even tiny little bugs!

I think this is an important for Christians, in general— one that we so often overlook. After all, God told Adam and Eve to rule over Creation! And for little children, specifically, it is important to learn how to be good stewards (which does not include squashing innocent little bugs).

Scripture Connection

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Gen. 1:28

Message

The sweet little story teaches, not only that we should take care of tiny creatures, but also about God’s love. In this way, the message is pro-life, as well as one of responsible stewardship.

Story-Telling

Overall, language is very simple. One new vocabulary word is “cherish,” used to describe God’s feeling toward us and Creation.

Illustrations

Illustrations are by Laura Olson, so this is probably a husband-wife (or possibly sibling) duo. The graphics are colorful and sweet, including “bug-eyed” (in the truest sense of the word) insects and soothing color-choices.

Note

This is an LDS title by a Mormon missionary. I requested the title because of the book’s truthful message, although I’m not LDS. Illustrations depict a Mormon missionary in the traditional outfit.

The Least of These (Film Recommendation)

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Matt. 25:40
  • Released 2019
  • Stream online on PureFlix, Prime Video, or Apple TV
  • Starring: Sharman Joshua, Stephen Baldwin, and Manoj Mishra
  • Directed by Aneesh Daniels; Written by Andrew E. Matthews
  • Synopsis: The least of these is the true story of the life and martyrdom of missionary Graham Staines.
  • In the credits, the movie directs viewers to iForgive.com, a website dedicated to forgiveness!

I don’t do a lot of film recommendations, but I just watched a fantastic film on PureFlix and wanted to take a moment to mention it.

The Least of These: The Graham Staines Story is a beautiful testament to forgiveness, based on the martyrdom of an Australian missionary who ministered to lepers in India. Filmed on location in India, the movie focuses on the political issue of “forced conversions,” which were unlawful in the region. Forced conversions were a means of dishonest gain for missionaries and government officials were, rightfully, concerned about forced conversions serving as a gateway to imperialism.

Prior to watching the film, I had never heard of Graham Staines, but his story— and that of his widow— is truly moving!

This is an intense film, featuring a violent scene (martyrdom by burning), but also very powerful. Rated PG-13. I would classify it as appropriate (as a family viewing) for children ages 12 and up.

If you’re looking for a meaningful film to watch this weekend, I highly recommend The Least of These.

See Also