Lesley (Dahlseng) Rieland

Children's Book Author and Christian Blogger


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Lesley’s Review of “Mother, Mother, I Want Another”

Mother Mother I Want AnotherFor the Joy of Literacy!

Author:  Maria Polushkin Robbins
Illustrator:  Jon Goodell
Publisher:  Dragonfly Books

As the bedtime ritual comes to a close, Mrs. Mouse gives her son a bedtime kiss. Everything has gone smoothly thus far, until Mrs. Mouse turns to leave the room. Baby mouse then begins to cry: “I want another, Mother!” Desperate to appease baby mouse’s cries, Mrs. Mouse runs to fetch Mrs. Duck who attempts to calm baby mouse with a very ducky lullaby. When this doesn’t work, they call on Mrs. Frog. After five mothers fail at consoling him, baby finally explains: “No more mothers! . . . I want another KISS!” Each mother kisses baby mouse goodbye. Then he is tucked cozy into bed and finally receives ANOTHER kiss from his mother.

Text Review: What a cleverly sweet twist! There is never a boring page. Each mother’s lullaby is a nice addition, interspersing well-written rhyme while giving our young readers insight into each animal’s characteristics. The ending creates every feeling that a great bedtime picture book should.

Illustration Review: I give it 5+ stars.

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Lesley’s Review of “A Lullaby for Little One”

A lullaby for little oneFor the Joy of Literacy!

Author:  Dawn Casey
Illustrator:  Charles Fuge
Publisher:  Nosy Crow

Dawn Casey and Charles Fuge join forces in this tale of father-child bonding.  It is evening and Big Daddy Rabbit invites his Little One along for some purely sweet frolicking – chasing each other though the woods, playing hide-and-seek, dancing and splashing.  They are joined throughout the story by an owl, a mouse, and a very friendly bear.  Each page-turn is a delight, filled with bright and beautiful color.  There is no shortage of character cuteness.   

The story rides a light-hearted high until it is interrupted by a sudden whimper.  As with most little ones, the excitement can quickly end when all energy is spent and bedtime calls.  “Are you all worn out from that hullaballo?” asks the father.  “Maybe it’s time for a lullaballoo.”  A rose and yellow watercolor sunset spreads atop the page as Big Rabbit carries his Little One away and their friends wave goodnight.  We are left with a sense of completion and comfort seeing these two furry creatures snuggle together for some sweet dreams, making it a wonderful bedtime book for us to settle into a snuggle with our own little ones. 

These illustrations are fantastic, and I believe a child of any age would enjoy looking through this book.  Fuge brings great expression and feeling to the story.  The text, also, has the potential for added dramatic expression, using words that may tickle the ears of young children – whooped and swooped, splashed and sploshed, and snuffled and snuggled.  The storyline is short and in a very simple rhyme, setting the ideal audience target to a younger crowd of around two to five years old. 

I post my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads as well.
If you found this recommendation helpful, I’d love to know!
Below are direct links that allow you to cast your “vote”.

Click “Yes” on this Amazon Link!
Click “Like” on this Goodreads Link!

Thank you!


To find other book reviews by Lesley, simply Click Here.


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The Desires of Your Heart

Jesus Loves Pizza!Many great memories can happen around a meal.  One of my favorites began while making pizza.  Feeling especially ambitious, I had made everything from scratch.  My two daughters loved patting the puffy dough as it swelled and I had to scold them several times for constantly stealing nibbles from the batch.  The smell of sauce filled the kitchen, and the cheese . . . well, I guess I didn’t make the cheese, nor the pepperoni.  Nonetheless, the three of us proudly gathered around our table and constructed this work of art as a team.

We began enjoying the fruits of our labor after saying a prayer of thanks.  Soon after, a question was asked about whether God hears us when we thank Him.  In turn, this led to a discussion about “Jesus in our hearts.”  Then came the best comment yet.  My younger daughter, Katelyn, exclaimed: “Jesus must sure love pizza!”  “Why do you think that?” I asked.  “Cuz I always want pizza!” she said with gusto.

It was such a sweet association for her age.  She assumed that if Jesus was in her heart, then she must want the things that He wants.  What a revelation!  We are meant to grow in resemblance to Jesus if we have earnestly accepted Him.  The Church is predestined to the purpose of conforming “to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29).  There is something about that word “conforming”, however, that is not instantaneous.  I don’t doubt that Jesus appreciates pizza, but we can’t always count on our desires being His desires, nor that our will is always His will.  There’s still a whole lot of “us” to work through.

Romans 12:2 instructs, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  I wonder how often I’ve mistaken my will for His will.  I remember as a new Christian, I stumbled upon Psalm 37:4 which states, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  At the time, I assumed that as long as my desire wasn’t blatantly immoral, then God would want to offer it to me.  This was my perception of a good father.

I was overlooking at least two very important aspects of this concept.  First, I assumed that my desires weren’t tainted.  Scripture tells us otherwise. Even as “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17), we have a lot of shedding of the old self to go through.  Among the many Scriptural references, Titus 2:11-12 indicates that we still need to be taught to abstain from worldly desires and 2 Peter 2:10,18 very clearly reminds us that our own fleshly desires are corrupt.  My second misconception of God as a good father is that this requires Him to be both earthly-minded as well as my quick-fixer-upper.  I had obviously glossed over a certain fruit of the Spirit called “patience” (otherwise translated, “long-suffering”) and forgotten about Isaiah 55:9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Accepting Christ offers righteousness in terms of right-standing with God. However, this does not automatically perpetuate right-desires. So what can I learn from Psalm 37’s promise to give me the desires of my heart? I can pray that God first implants His desires within my heart, which He will in turn fulfill. And since His will is what is good, pleasing, and perfect, can I really hope for something better? Ultimately, the greatest desire He wants to place in our heart is for Him. If we delight in Him, as Psalm 37:4 presented, then He Himself will be our desire . . . and what could be more valuable than to hear Him promise to offer Himself to us?

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
– Luke 11:13


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