Saturday, October 27, 2018

Welcome in Fall with a Good Book: A Heart's Journey Home: The Adventures of Eli Benjamin Bear Vol. I by Hal Price (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

I first learned about A Heart's Journey Home: The Adventures of Eli Benjamin Bear Vol. I by Hal Price back in September, right after it was released (Sept. 3rd).  When I read the back story on how the story came about, I reached out to the publisher to get my hands on a couple of the book, so that I could share it with my girls at bedtime.  Even though my girls are reading on their own now, I still make a point to snuggle in bed with them each night to read them a couple of stories before we say our good nights.  And, I am always looking for a good book to share with them.  I have found now that they are getting older chapter books, or books where we can stop and pick up the next night are really fun to read.  The girls get excited for them, as they know it will take a few days to read through the whole, and gives us something to talk about during the day and leading up to bedtime.  They like to share what they think will happen next, as well as share their favorite parts of the story thus far.  So, I knew they would both love the A Heart's Journey Home: The Adventures of Eli Benjamin Bear Vol. I by Hal Price, which is written in a chapter format of just a couple pages each.  In addition to being written in short chapters, the text of this book is also rhyming, which makes this perfect for even young reader to enjoy and understand the story.

Before I share more of my thoughts on this book, I wanted to share the back story and more about the book...

More about this book:

"“I am on a mission to save the tradition of family bedtime stories,” says author Hal Price. A five-time international bestselling author and former marketing executive for corporations like The Coca-Cola Company, Price changed his life’s direction after his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer.
During her decline, Price discovered she still remembered the stories she read to him at night as a small child. He bought her a teddy bear so she wasn’t alone, dug out his childhood books in the attic, and read her the stories she had read to him so long ago.
“This made me realize,” said Price, “that the time spent reading, telling, and sharing stories were memories that will live inside you and the ones you share your tales and adventures with forever.
Each two to five-page chapter is a rhyming story unto itself and yet carries forward Eli’s tale. The map inside the book guides readers along Eli’s journey. A series of perfect bedtime stories, a goal of the author is to restore this precious time of parent and child bonding over stories they will remember all their lives.
A percentage of the proceeds from this book benefits the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation that empowers families dealing with pediatric cancer by providing financial, educational, and emotional support.
About the story...
Eli Benjamin Bear was born pre-maturely with a heart challenge that could only be fixed in a Human Hospital for Kids. When Eli gets sent far away from his parents, he finds himself smack-dab in the middle of serious adventures. With love and new friends, he discovers the secrets of a Heroic Heart. With his mother’s loving lullaby in his heart, his father’s Bear Essentials Code to Live By, and a caring nurse’s lessons, Eli begins to repair his heart from the inside out and the outside in.
Eli’s story becomes a race against time when he must beat a pending blizzard to find his way home before hibernation puts him into a long winter’s sleep. He shares his heart along the way, saving a rascally raccoon and a honeybee in need. And then only with their help in turn can he succeed in his quest."
Usually I don't cry at books I share with my girls, but I found myself tearing up at parts of this book, partly knowing the back story I shared above about how the author shared this story with him mom who was declining with her health, but also because it truly was a sweet story.  I also found myself wanting to read this all in one night, as I was eager to see how the story turned out. My girls were the same way. They kept telling me to go on as the chapters for only a few pages each. But, I wanted to truly enjoy this special reading time with them, and made a point to only do 5-7 chapters a night.  It took a few days to read through this book, and by the end, we found ourselves wanting to read it again. It was that good!  Don't worry I will not spoil the ending.  But, I will say that I have been raving about this book since we finished it, to family and friends.  And, the girls have already read it a couple times on their own.  Just last night we started this book again, and can't wait for tomorrow night to come so that we can continue the story.  This is going to be one of those books we will cherish for years to come.
About the author...

Hal Price is a five-time international bestselling author, the father of three purpose-driven children, a grandfather, and a volunteer for the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. His goal is to bring back the 30-minute family story hour.
“I am on a mission to save the tradition of family bedtime stories,” said Price. “Children absorb so much from this simple practice that benefits the rest of their lives. It’s a special one-to-one sharing with a parent or grandparent that makes them feel safe and loved.”
Price and his faithful teddy bear Eli Benjamin Bear have been visiting local children in hospitals and reading Eli’s stories. Price believes that the healing power of story can calm a child’s fear of being hospitalized, or other complicated childhood problems.

About the illustrator...

Michael Bayouth has a resume covering graphic design, storyboarding, sketching, filmmaking and writing for major studios like Disney, Stan Lee, HBO, and other in Hollywood, Michael’s talents cross into all areas of the creative.

Schooled at the Art Center College of Design, bringing Eli Bear to life has been a joy. Michael has done a handful of children’s books over the years: Several personalized children’s books called, Me-Books and two children’s’ books, How The Stars Came To Be and There’s A Zebra In My Hospital Room.

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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