Review by Ashley Koulak of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine:
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Identifying my kids’ motivational gifts is the parenting tool I never knew I needed! With four different kids come four vastly different personalities.
Why would my parenting style really speak to one of my kids but frustrate another? Anna’s Friends Parent’s Tote Bundle not only taught me how to recognize my kids’ spiritual gifts but also taught them to as well.
Throughout the series, you will get to know all about Anna and her friends, who represent each of the Spiritual Gifts found in Romans 12:6-8. These Spiritual Gifts include exhortation, facilitation, giving, mercy, prophecy, service, and teaching.
The bundle comes with a Parent’s Guide, eight chapter books, two color and activity books with some crayons, pencils, and bookmarks. Everything fit nicely into the canvas zip tote bag, in case we took our studies with us.
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Janice: Anna’s Friends is an amazing series of books. At first glance it seemed interesting and then Yvonne Williams description really whet my appetite. The real delight came when I began to read the first book…My twin 8-year olds were mesmerized…They LOVED IT! They could not get enough…they totally related to the characters and were doing a lot of thought processing to see how they were similar or dissimilar to the characters.
I was also amazed at how much these books drew ME in. They really got me thinking and wanting more. Our reading time increased because we all wanted more.
We have since read the entire series of books and have enjoyed them so much…we are bugging the author for the next one…Please Yvonne. I have recommended these books to tons of families with confidence that they will enjoy and grow.
Thank you Yvonne for a lovely, REAL, series for an often overlooked age and topic.
Tammie: “Kendyl and I have loved it – The Assignment! We are reading it together, laughing and learning. The book prompted Kendyl to ask me what her gift was. I said, ‘Let’s keep reading and find out.’ It also prompted Kendyl to think about her friends and classmates and their gifts.
What’s great is that this age group can relate so well to the author’s purpose. It comes shining through clearly. I didn’t tell Kendyl the theme of the book…she figured it out on her own which is important for this age audience.
Parent: Anna’s Friends Save the Animal Shelter: “My daughter has never laughed so hard when reading a book, especially when Hiro was emceeing the animal beauty pageant. She cried a little bit too. She said, ‘Mom, I love Furry Fred. He looks so big and furry. That’s a good name for him.’ Great writing, great story! Inspiring our kids to care is much needed.”
Paola: “I really enjoyed reading The Assignment with my children. It got my children and I thinking about our own God given gifts and how we want to explore them further. We were so into the story that we could feel the emotion coming from the book. We felt Anna’s excitement as well as her sorrow at times. It is a great book which I will recommend to anyone! You even made my eyes water a few times.”
Amelia-8 years old: “I love the Anna’s Friends books. I really like Anna and Maria.”
Gail: “My daughter is just like Maria in The Hayride. She’s always giving her things away. She gave her stuffed bunny to a little girl once.”
Cindy: “We have thoroughly enjoyed The Hayride! My daughter likes reading how kids respond to other kids through the stories. She told me she likes Maria because she stands up for other kids. What a great series!”
Mike: “Hiro rocks! He’s a cute kid with a fun and happy spirit. Reminds me of how I used to tease my friends with rubber critters. My son does the same thing!” Hiro Plays Tiny Tim.
Janice: “My daughter reads as much as Sarah does and she has the same problem getting outdoors to play. She asked, ‘Mom. I’m just like Sarah! Do you think I have the gift of teaching?’ She’s really enjoying, Sarah Learns a Lesson.”
Rebekah: “Oh, my gosh! Little Jesse, in Jesse Can’t Say No, reminds me of my nephew. He’s always jumping in to help and many times makes matters worse, lol! Now we know why. He’s a servant. You developed his character so true to form.”
Doug: “My son and I felt like we were right there with Cayden and Mrs. Jules all the way to the end of the book. This is one of our favorites in the Anna’s Friends series. Doug, Jr. laughed so hard some times, he got me to laughing too. He loves Spike the spider and that Mrs. Jules never wears shoes.”
Elizabeth: “This is a tool (the Anna’s Friends series) that I as a parent, as well as my children, have thoroughly enjoyed. It became the book that my three girls requested to read every night.
Early in the study, they would each be so excited to see if the next character was the one they could closely relate to. Then, when they had the exciting moment of figuring out their gift, I found myself being equally as excited.
They enjoyed the questions at the end of the chapters in Book #1 that helped them figure out if they were like Maria, Anna, Jesse, Hiro, and so forth. My youngest two daughters, ages 4 and 6, would squeal with excitement, “That’s me! I do that!” Interesting enough, not only did this book series help build confidence in each child regarding their gifts and how best to use them, but it helped build confidence in their “weaker” areas.
For example, my middle daughter, age 6, who has the gift of Mercy, realized that daydreaming is common for others who possess the gift of mercy, as well as the hesitation to jump in and make new friends. She is less self-conscience about these things now because she sees it as part of God’s design in her and others. It has encouraged her not to shy away from those areas, but to embrace them and grow.
I definitely would not limit this series to a young age group because even my pre-teen, age 12, would request that we take a break and read it. In fact, she grew tired of waiting for us, and read on through the series herself!
Again, thank you for sharing. I find myself recommending this series any time I am talking with another mom about books for their families. In fact, I have been loaning mine out already as we finish each book! Anna’s Friends is a good, solid study is enjoyable for the whole family.”
Angela: I opened the manuscript and began reading a few pages and was immediately “sucked” into the story. I don’t have the words. This is a God thing. I have never seen anything like this for children. The coloring books are amazing! What a creative way to help develop children’s cognitive skills through quizzes and puzzles while they color!
Lorin age 5: “I go to preschool. It is great! I like the part about Anne and friends “Jesus” and making friends.” (Anna’s Friends Go to Preschool)
Rebekah: “This is a great book (Anna’s Friends Go to Preschool) to simply challenge you and your family to understand personal gifting’s. My preschooler, loves to read Anna and friends. The first night he did not want me to stop reading it. He wanted to learn more about his new friends! This book is fun and engaging for preschooler-first grade as well as the whole family! He shouted out, That’s like me. I am a good teacher!”
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