Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Review: Sometimes I Am Afraid by Robin McCall and Joye Smith

Sometimes I Am Afraid

Written by Robin McCall and Joye Smith

Illustrated by Bill and Robin McCall

Woman’s Missionary Union, 2014

I was delighted to receive a copy of Sometimes I Am Afraid. Thank you, Joye Smith, Robin McCall, and Woman’s Missionary Union!

If ever there was a perfect time for reading Sometimes I Am Afraid, our current times are it! Though preschoolers may not be aware of the world situation or the political stresses of the world and nation, they can certainly feel the anxiety and fears of the adults and older family members around them. Preschoolers do know about the pandemic and they know life has changed, activities are limited, and if they go out, masks are required. Sometimes I Am Afraid is just what we need to share with the preschoolers in our lives. Truth be told, I also need to read it to myself, since adults are not exempt from fear.

Using examples of universal childhood fears, this story is told in an easy to read manner accompanied by colorful, soothing illustrations. A child encounters something scary (dog, doctor, storm), and then remembers how to deal with the fear-inducing incident, both with a suggestion of how to think about the scary event and how to recall what the Bible says and how God will care for us in scary times. Each situation is reinforced with an appropriate Bible thought. The overall feel of Sometimes I Am Afraid is one of encouragement, combined with gentle reminders to pray and trust God to be right beside us no matter what is happening.

If your child struggles with fearful situations, this lovely picture book is just what the doctor ordered!

Read more about Sometimes I Am Afraid at https://www.wmustore.com/sometimes-i-am-afraid.


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Book Review: One Little Child by Joye Smith

One Little Child

Written by Joye Smith

Illustrated by Gayle West

Woman’s Missionary Union, SBC; 2019

I was delighted to receive a copy of One Little Child. Thank you, Joye Smith and Woman’s Missionary Union!

Written by Joye Smith, preschool consultant and Preschool Resource Team Leader for Woman’s Missionary Union, this lovely picture book shares ways even the smallest child can help others around the world. Gayle West filled the pages with wonderful full-spread illustrations featuring preschoolers, families, and people in need of some of the most basic necessities. I love the combination of text and illustrations that share the stories and inspire readers to get involved in helping others.

Clothing, housing, food, access to medical care, clean drinking water, and protection from weather are just a few of the needs and situations preschoolers read about in One Little Child. While the subject matter is serious, the delicate handling of tough issues provides hope and strategies for young readers to care, pray, and help in their own way. This book is well-written using words and emotions perfect for the preschool audience and their families.

Back Cover Blurb:

Through images of children from around the world, One Little Child encourages preschoolers’ care for others and teaches that they have a place in helping others as part of God’s plan.

Read more about One Little Child at https://www.wmustore.com/one-little-child.


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Don’t Be a Stuffed Shirt (and a Giveaway)

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Do you love giving back or helping someone less fortunate?

I just opened my copy of Missions Mosaic which features my article giving directions and suggestions for an outreach project using stuffed shirts. I was so happy to see this article in print. I loved being able to take some of the photos included in the magazine. So DON’T be a stuffed shirt, give one instead!

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I have one copy of the October issue of Missions Mosaic that I will give to one reader. To enter the drawing:

1. Comment below. Tell me one way you have helped someone else. I’ll put all names in a hat. Drawing closes Sunday, October 6, at 4:00 (PST).

2. I’d love it if you would follow my blog or my Facebook author page, but that is not required.

3. If you do indeed stuff a shirt, snap a photo before you give it away and share it with us!

***Drawing limited to US residents.

Missions Mosaic is a monthly magazine featuring articles about faith, missions, missionaries, and ideas for believers to use to get to know and help those in their communities. Visit Woman’s Missionary Union  for information on how to subscribe to Missions Mosaic.

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Writing for Preschoolers: It All Began When My Babies Were -Preschoolers #ThrowbackThursday

When did I begin writing for preschoolers? WAY back when.

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I’m so glad my honey took this photo. This was my first trip to Birmingham, Alabama, to attend a writer’s conference and begin writing curriculum and products for Mission Friends (preschool missions education materials).

Chelsie was three, Taylor was five, and I had dark hair (and hair, period). Judging by how old they are now, I’ve been writing for Woman’s Missionary Union for about 28 years. Time flies when preschoolers are having fun and this writer is loving every minute of the journey.

What a blessing it is to remember this opportunity from the Lord! I so love preschoolers. You know, that age is one of the funnest ever! (I know, I know. There are other ages that are also super fun. Okay, you caught me. I adore them all.)

Sweet babies, fantastic supporting husband, and dreams for endless learning activities. Now my babies have given me five grands, with three going to school this fall and only two still at home.

Enjoy those moments, mama and daddy! Those babies are gonna grow up too fast and before you know it, you’ll have a lap full of your own grands.

How about sharing a Throwback Thursday moment of your own?


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The Stack (Paper): Throwback Thursday

Originally blogged on 12-9-2015, this post gives you a glimpse into the life of a writer. Sheer amounts of paper, paper clips, organization, unfinished housework, and crazy messy office.

Meet the completed project.

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And . . .

I miss my huge office! Writing in an RV is challenging, inventive, exciting, and sometimes inspiring. Oh, desk in the storage unit, I’d love to be able to snap my fingers and pop you back and forth to the RV – as needed.

The completed manuscript with sources, sketches, and documents ; Rather, I should say 1/2 of the completed project

(Read below from 12-9-2015)

This is what I’ve been up to. Instead of blogging.

There is not much time left in my days (weeks, months) after planning, writing, editing, printing, sourcing, compiling, emailing, packaging, and mailing this baby.

Oh, yes. This is my baby. The first half of a 12-month activity book for preschoolers and missions has been delivered (emailed and mailed) to my faithful preschool resource team at Woman’s Missionary Union.

The completed manuscript package and its twin – the emergency copy that can be mailed if the PO loses the original

Now they get to do their huge part.

And I will continue on with the above steps for the second half of the book.

The writing life is grand.   

A glimpse of the chaos that is my office, including desk, side table, and floor


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Ask for Help, And It Will Be Given

Great flyers from WMU and my friends in the Preschool Resources Department

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Ask (for help) and it will be given.

This weekend I will be presenting two breakout sessions about writing at a retreat. I’m very excited to attend and enjoy the retreat, as the past couple of years my schedule has not allowed me to go.

Besides sharing with women, I was invited to bring my books. Isn’t that nice? Of course I’d love to bring my books.

The problem was that I didn’t have any up-to-date flyers or informational handouts.

What does Angie do? She contacts the professionals (and her good friends) at Woman’s Missionary Union.

I asked and boy, did I receive.

We back-and-forthed messages for quite a few days. And because there was a tiny break in their schedule of deadlines, my friends were able to put together several lovely pieces for me to use.

The flyers and posters look so lovely and colorful, I just had to share . . . though it is odd and a bit disconcerting to see so many me-faces staring back!

Thank you, Clay, Teri, Robin, and Joye! You ROCK! You also made me look good. We can never underestimate the value in that now, can we?