Friday, January 22, 2016

The Plans I Have For You Devotional and Journal {Review and Giveaway}

We had the opportunity to review a new kids' devotional and journal set from Zondervan called The Plans I Have For You written by Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

I wanted my daughter to start having her own personal devotion time in addition to our family Bible time that we have every day prior to starting school. When I was growing up, this was not a part of my life, but I know how important it is to have time alone with the Lord and I figured, at almost 9 years old, she was old enough to start making it a habit. I admit, it is taking time to figure out the best time of day for her to read her devotional, but we are going to persevere. I thought this would be a great devotional to help her get into that routine.

Here is a little information about each of the 2 books in the set:

The devotional is an illustrated 90-day devotional written by bestselling children's book author Amy Parker and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, teaching and inspiring kids to dream about their future, to focus on faith, love, and joy, and recognize that God has a plan and purpose for each and every one of us.  

Hardcover; 160 pages
Age Range: 8-12 years

The journal prompts creative thinking and exploration of the talents and personalities that make us special, and then helps explore how God may use our unique traits to spread love and joy and make the world a better place. 

Stationery; 208 pages 
Age Range: 11-14 years 

Let's take a look inside the devotional.

There are 6 sections or "sectors" as they are called in the book. 
  1. I've Got Big Plans for YOU!
  2. I've Given YOU a Purpose
  3. I Don't Do Things Small
  4. There's Nothing YOU Can't Do!
  5. Find That ONE Thing
  6. What I Created YOU to Do
The pages are bright and colorful, and along with the various fonts it is quite eye-catching. The reader will spend time reading a short Bible passage, usually 1 or 2 verses long. Then the devotional shares some insight in a way that a child/preteen can understand. 

The child can then use the journal to record their thoughts and insights.

The journal's illustrations and fonts are in shades of blue and white throughout the book. There is room for the child to write and occasionally for them to draw pictures. Each day's devotion in the devotional has a corresponding journal entry. 

I like the way the devotional talks to the child to encourage them on their walk with the Lord. Though Tabitha was in the right age-range to be able to use the devotional, she was a little young for the recommended age-range for the journal. However, even though there are times she struggles with what she should be writing, she appears to be enjoying it and getting something out of it. Here, let me share what she has to say about the journal and devotional.

Tabitha: I like that it doesn't have to be specific writing and you can write whatever you feel like. And that we can draw pictures in it too, because I like drawing. And the devotional is a lot of fun. I love learning about God and how he is always with me. And a lot of other Bible stories, like one was Moses, one was how God had plans for Moses.  There are 6 sectors for you to learn about all the plans, and you're not too small, and God's given you a purpose. 

There are a couple of things I wanted to mention. As I stated above, Tabitha was a little young for the journal. The age ranges of the two books do sort of overlap, as the devotional is for children ages 8-12 and the journal is for children 11-14. To me, this seems a bit weird, because the older children can understand the journal better, but they have become a bit old for the actual devotional. And on the flip-side the younger children can read the devotional, but aren't quite ready for the journal. Younger children will most probably need more direction in filling out the journal.

The other thing I wanted to note is that it was difficult at times to tell which pages in the journal were supposed to go with the specific pages in the devotional. In the devotional itself, you can tell where a new day's devotion is supposed to start because the title is in a larger, bolder font.  I think it would have been easier to follow the journal if each new entry was labeled as being a new day, or if it had the same title as the corresponding devotion.

Even though we had a couple of concerns, we still recommend The Plans I Have For You devotional and journal. It is a great way for a child to have a time to focus on God and how He is working in their life.

About author Amy Parker:
Amy Parker has sold more than thirty books for children, teens, and adults.  She has also collaborated with authors ranging from New York Times bestsellers to her very own son.  Two of these collaborations are recipients of Christian retailing's Best Awards, and she has also won three Mom's Choice Awards.  But Amy's greatest reward is being a wife to Daniel and a mom to their amazing sons, Michael and Ethan. 

About illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton:
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter.  Her passion for children's books began when she came across The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats as a child in the 1960s.  Growing up in a musical family who love to sing, Vanessa's illustrations are as fun and whimsical as a beautiful melody.  Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, NC with her husband of 20 years, their daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes. 



Now for some great news. I have been given the opportunity to offer a giveaway for 1 lucky person to win The Plans I Have For You Devotional and Journal Set.

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. 
There are only 2 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. 
Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs January 22nd through January 29th 2016.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

 By entering the giveaway, you understand and agree that your contact information will be shared with the sponsor.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”


  1. I love the sweet and eye-catching illustrations in the devotional. Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. It looks very kid friendly and I think they would enjoy it!

  3. It looks like my kids would love it!

  4. I love the illustrations in this set!


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