Sunday, April 17, 2016

Special Birthday Giveaway On May 16, 2016 - Cottonmouth and the End

I am often invited to participate in book reviews and blog tours when new books are released. Many, if not most of these are wonderful books which families will certainly enjoy and which I am honored, delighted and happy to share with you all.

A year ago I was invited to participate in one such book review/blog tour and shared with you how these books were unlike anything I've ever read. The artwork in them is nothing short of amazing and the way it is used is unexpected and unique; really draws you into the story. The story itself is engaging, emotional and one which leaves you (or at least me) not sure what will happen next and hardly able to wait to read and discover what does happens next. These books are amazing for these reasons, but even more so because of the message which is woven throughout the story.

What are the books? The Cottonmouth Series from C.S. Fritz. Please allow me to share these books with you. Today I'll give an overview of the three and then and let you know about a giveaway for Cottonmouth and the End. Trust me, this set of three books is one where you will absolutely want to read all three.

Cottonmouth and the River
Cottonmouth and the Great Gift
Cottonmouth and the End
Author/Illustrator - C.S. Fritz
Publisher - David C. Cook
Ages - 8-12

Favorite Features of Cottonmouth and the River -

  • Artwork is nothing short of amazing!
  • I really love the unique way illustrations and words are used in this book to create suspense, tell the story without words and truly pull you into the adventure.
  • The story captivates you right away, leaving you wondering what it is really all about and not able to stop reading until you reach the end . . . only to find it is a true, "cliff-hanger"!
  • Of course, this means you have to read the next book!
  • The message in this story is clear and powerful - God loves us, Jesus wants us to have real life; one which amazes us! Our choices made His sacrifice necessary, but one which He freely offered, because He loves us and was able to do what we can not do . . . "fix things".
David C. Cook says; "Tug loves taking Freddie on wild adventures—trips to the moon, building castles, or catching fireflies with Freddie riding on his wide furry back. When Freddie finds a mysterious egg, Tug makes him promise never to eat it. But Freddie is about to discover broken promises come at a great price. This is the rare children’s story—both bold and tender and brimming with moments of great risk, adventure, and heart. Combining the artistic wonder of Where the Wild Things Are with the timeless storytelling of The Polar Express, this story will capture both the imagination and the intelligence of children and their parents as it sheds light on the power of sin, sacrifice, and redemption."

I was moved by this story, and very thankful to be able to read all three books together! I can not wait to read it to my grandsons; I know they will find it exciting, even scary at moments, but the message will come through loud and clear. Freddie Cottonmouth is a ten year old boy who is alone, but he discovers not only is he not as alone as he thinks and feels, but he is loved. This is not a 'love' which is just spoken, but one which is shown by the greatest sacrifice. A life-changing sacrifice. A purpose-giving sacrifice. Freddie's life is changed and those who read these books - or have them read to them - will be challenged to experience this love and have their lives changed as well!

Favorite Features of Cottonmouth and the Great Gift -

  • Continues the story, the adventure of Cottonmouth! This, in itself, is really fully enough reason to read this book! But, there are more reasons . . . 
  • I love how the imagery of Cottonmouth and the Great Gift is so clear. I found some of the imagery in Cottonmouth and the River to be clear, but some of it was not. This book is much easier to make the connections between the story and the Story - or as I like to call it, the events of Jesus and His sacrifice for us!
  • I love how in this book Tug promises Freddie he will not be alone, even though he has to go away. Then Tug sends "Someone" who will guide, comfort and teach - and give Freddie power! Yes, very clear imagery!
  • I love the discussion about the "pebble" and how it is Freddie's time to grow!
  • This book was challenging - Freddie goes on a voyage, journey, adventure to do as Tug asked him and learns in doing so, his "story" is being written! He also learns about listening to Yellowthroat - his "gift" 
  • Once again, the artwork is nothing short of amazing!
  • And, once again, I really love the unique way illustrations and words are used in this book to create suspense, tell the story without words and truly pull you into the adventure.
  • As with the first story, Cottonmouth and the Great Gift captivates you right away leaving you wondering what will happen next and not able to stop reading until you reach the end . . . only to find once again, it is not the end! It is a another true, "cliff-hanger"; even more so than in the first book!
  • Of course, this means you have to read the next book! In fact, right now you might as well plan on getting all three books, because you will absolutely want to read them all - you'll have to read them all because you'll find yourself wanting to know what happens next!
David C. Cook says; "After Frederick Cottonmouth is given a special mission, he must leave his home for the first time and experience the journey of a lifetime. C.S Fritz invites you to travel with Frederick and his unlikely new sidekick as they embark on a grand adventure with new lands and new characters."

I love Cottonmouth and the Great GiftI love how it shows more of who Freddie is and more about Tug! I love how it introduced and described Yellowthroat - the Great Gift and how the imagery is so clear in this book and leaves me wanting to grow, get to know the Comforter and Teacher Jesus gave me and rejoicing to be reminded how my story is being written yet, too!

Exciting, encouraging and educational; yes, Cottonmouth and the Great Gift can actually teach us about Jesus' love, how He did not leave us "comfortless", but gave us a most amazing, Great Gift in the Holy Spirit who truly does comfort, teach and guide us - and give us power!

Favorite Features of Cottonmouth and the End -

  • All the things I loved about the first two Cottonmouth books, I love even more in Cottonmouth and the End!
  • Strong messages - how easy it is to be deceived and distracted by the darkness and how important it is for us to stay focused on the job and message Jesus has given to us! And, how the price can be high when we indulge our selfishness and choose to follow "darkness".
  • I love the message of how Jesus' work on the cross "finished" loneliness, sadness and fear and gives us courage, because we know this world and Satan does not really have the power - Jesus does and He overcame the world!
  • I LOVE how when King Tug sends Freddie and Pox on their journey, He tells them they are not alone, because He will always be with them and He loves them more than they will ever know. 
David C. Cook says; "Join Frederick Cottonmouth as he steps out of our world and into another in order to complete his mission. In this dramatic conclusion to young Freddie's story, he will face great challenges and conflicts. How will Freddie react when he comes face-to-face with true darkness? Parents and their children will savor this creative story which has the artistic sense of Where the Wild Things Are, the heart of Narnia, and the redemptive themes of sacrifice and friendship."

I really loved this final edition of the Cottonmouth stories - especially when King Tug says, "I've been wanting to give these to you all along. You, Fredrick Cottonmouth, have a very special job to do. Like Pox, and many others, you are to spread my love like little kernels, planting them in the hearts of lonely children everywhere. Will you help me?" Without a doubt, this is a message I want my grandsons to hear, believe and take to heart; God has a very special job for them to do! 

Cottonmouth and the End will absolutely capture the attention and imagination and heart of the children, teens, and adults who hear and read it. It is a solid series, one you will want to read to your grandchildren/children, because not only is it an excellent story, but it is a gift. A gift which will give you the opportunity to have many important conversations with your grandchildren/children.

I'm so happy for the opportunity to giveaway one copy of Cottonmouth and the End (USA only)! If you are over the age of 18, live in the USA, and would like to be in the drawing for this book - which will be on May 16, 2016, please comment below to tell me about a "special job" God may have for you to do . . . clearly being grandma to my three sweet grandsons is a very special job, but I also am thrilled to be part of the Legacy Coalition and am looking forward to being able to help grandparents pass on faith to their grandchildren!

In addition, if you have followed in Google Friend Connect, followed by liking on facebook with the tab in the "Find us on Facebook" box ON THE BLOG, or at this link (not just liking the post) and/or have followed grandma's cookie jar by email, you will receive one entry for each of these which you have done. Plus, if you "share" this post, you'll receive another entry (please let me know if you share). This will help me be able to draw names from among people who would like to win Cottonmouth and the End and it gives you several ways to enter the giveaway! Please keep in mind, you will receive just one entry for each way you enter for each post - this means, for example, if you tweet each day about a particular giveaway, while I appreciate it, you will only receive one entry for the first tweet. Thank you for reading grandma's cookie jar and for sharing it with the people you know!   

1 comment:

  1. my special job has been raising my daughter with autism after abandoning my career. Best job I ever had is being her mom.
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