Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Review: Giving Gal and the Christmas Cookie Extravaganza by Stephanie L. Jones


Genre: Children's 3-9
Published: August 12, 2022
Pages: 36

When Giving Gal hosts her annual Christmas Cookie Extravaganza, she is excited for her new friend, Tianna, to join in on the fun. Initially, the day doesn’t go as planned. But Giving Gal persists in giving encouragement, showing kindness, and making sure her friend feels included.

This beautifully illustrated, heartfelt story reminds us of the power of our strengths and how, when we come together, magical moments happen.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

I've got to start by saying that this book portrays a much better way to make a whole bunch of cookies than how I did it. A group of friends getting together to spread out the work. Genius! Unfortunately for the characters in this book, one friend, Tianna, doesn't have a job because she just doesn't think she's good enough to do any of the main cookie making jobs like rolling dough into balls or frosting cookies. Giving Gal encourages her through everything, telling her that lumpy dough balls would still taste delicious and things like that to let her know that it's the effort that really counts. But they finally find the perfect job for her, helping her feel confident that she's able to contribute in a meaningful way. 

I'm sad to report that the illustrations were all chopped up in pieces on my device, but what I could see was colorful and fun. And the added seek and find would probably have amused even me if I could have done them. The way the illustrations came through in the ARC on my phone just wasn't conducive to that though. I probably wouldn't want to read this book to my kids too terribly often, but once a year around Christmas might not be awful. Overall I give it 3.9 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Hi! I’m Stephanie

I love giving. I gave a gift every day for over 500 days and it changed my life. During my giving journey I received the Cisco Humanitarian Award and volunteered 100+ hours in one year. Check out my book, The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life.

I love speaking. I got the bug in college when I spoke at local churches, sharing experiences from a Honduran mission trip. At 25, as Indiana Director of Victim of Services, I spoke at conferences, on television, and radio. I haven't shut up since. See my speaking page for details.

I love writing. My writing career started as a grant writer for the Indiana State Police, bringing in over $37 million dollars. I learned written words have power and can change lives. I blogged about my 500 days of giving, which led to my first book, The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life.

I love aiming and shooting. In 2000, I showed up at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to become a State Trooper. After thirteen weeks of grueling training, I was devastated when I failed firearms. I had no plan B, but God had a plan and three years later, I would marry a fellow recruit.

I love those in law enforcement. I was raised by a police officer and learned to respect these people. I became an officer in 2007, graduating as president and top of my academy class. Remember I failed firearms in 2000? Well, in 2007, I qualified as a distinguished expert! I’m also a police wife. My unique experiences put me in a position to be an advocate for police officers, and their families.

I Dream, Discover, and Do! I not only love dreaming, but I love taking action, making my dreams a reality and helping others to do the same. I’ve traveled to 46 states, attended Oprah’s Oscar show in LA, auditioned for my own TLC show in NYC, and the list goes on.

I want to help you live your Dream, Discover your gifts, and Do amazing things.

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