Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: Bailey's Cave Adventures

Let me introduce you to some new buddies of mine! First, there is Bailey, a bat that crashes into everything. See - I helped color him!
And there's Radar the dog, Millie the Millipede, Greta Glowworm, and Beatrice the fish, who is blind. While Mommy reads stories and Bible verses about them, I get to help them act the stories out...
We got to go "spelunking!" We made a cave out of blankets and chairs, and I got to use a flashlight in there, and everything!
And I practiced being blind, too. Just like Beatrice. But I bumped into everything like Bailey.
Then I got to eat millipede legs for lunch. OK, you gotta use your imagination a little, but we put shoes on those legs. You could use fruit like bananas and watermelon if you liked, but we used cheese, baked tofu, and olives.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Tate Publishing (August 5, 2008)
***Special thanks to Nina Meier for sending me a review copy.***


New author Nina Meier is an incredibly talented preschool Sunday school and VBS teacher, having 10 years’ experience in her own church doing just that. Ask anyone under the age of 5 about Miss Nina’s handmade green lizard bag that holds her lessons on love and respect for God’s creation, each other, and ourselves. With fresh, new ideas always at her fingertips, even at a moment’s notice, no child is ever bored in her class, and she is able to laugh and dance them through a Bible lesson effortlessly.

Nina has been enjoying a career in Medical Transcription for the past 15 years, having gone back to school when her 2 sons were both in college. Her husband is a talented wood craftsman and has, on many occasions, brought her VBS ideas to life. He also builds sets for church plays that are of professional quality.

Many of Nina’s lessons on missions come from firsthand experience on the field during short-term mission trips to West Virginia, the interior of Mexico, Moldova near Romania, the Gulf Coast, and an Indian reservation in Ontario, Canada.

With such multi-faceted talent, anything this new author puts her pen to is a guaranteed winner!

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $11.99
Paperback: 68 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (August 5, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1604628766
ISBN-13: 978-1604628760


Bailey’s Cave Adventures

Video/Puppet Show

Scene 1 – Day 1: Bailey comes flying and crashing into the room. When dust settles, you can see him more clearly.

Bailey: “Hi boys and girls, my name is Bailey, and I’m a brown bat. Bet you never saw a bat who was always flying into things! That’s because most bats have sonar. Let me explain what that word means. Bats can see with sound better than light. They send out a sound so high-pitched that human ears can’t hear it! The sound bounces off whatever is in front of them, and comes back to their ears. This happens really fast. That’s how they find food, and keep from flying into things.”

“Well, something went wrong when I was born, and my sonar has never worked! Anyway, it’s okay because my Mom and Dad gave me a seeing-eye dog, you know, the kind blind people use, and he helps me get around, and keeps me from falling, when he’s with me. Sometimes I try to go off on my own and, well, you can imagine. He’s my best friend! Would you like to meet my dog? (Yes!) OK. Here Radar, where are you boy?”

Out from under a curtain Bailey knocked down comes a large black Lab wearing a harness w/handle.

Radar: “I see you’re doing okay, no lumps or bumps? Well, climb on up and grab hold of my harness. I have a few things to tell these boys and girls here.”

Bailey climbs up on Radar’s head, to the harness, hangs onto the handle upside down with a sigh of relief, and falls asleep.

Radar turns to audience and says, “My job is to keep Bailey on the right path, and warn him of danger. Sometimes he listens, other times he goes off on his own without even seeing where he’s going. He has to learn to trust me completely. That’s like what the Holy Spirit does for you. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “ ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.’ ”

Bailey wakes up.

Bailey: “Radar, I almost forgot. While I was out flying”--Radar whispers to the audience, “And crashing”-- “I heard some kids talking about going spelunking, that’s cave exploring, and someone who does that is called a spelunker. Anyway, I was thinking I’d make a great spelunker, and I’ve never been very far into the cave, I could go all the way down to the dark zone! It would be a real adventure!” (Getting excited).

Radar: “Now hold on Bailey, that sounds pretty dangerous to me. I’d feel a lot better if you let me go with you.”

Bailey: “Sure, okay, that’d be fun, who’s going to carry the flashlight?” (Turns to audience). “Could you help us with flashlights boys and girls?” (Yes!) “Great, let’s get ready to go then!”

Mommy's Review

How I wish author Nina Meier was running VBS near my house when I was growing up! Reading through this book, I can just imagine the props and fun she must create!

I ran a little short on time when it came to implementing the many ideas I had while reading this book - so we condensed much of the Bailey adventures into one day - and Esmé had a blast! I've noticed that books with animals always rank highest for her, so this fit right up there. Plus, caves out of blankets are a huge novelty, especially when you equip a kid with a flashlight. We had to rebuild the cave the next day - it makes me wonder why I don't just leave it up all the time. Other than the eyesore it would become... :)

Back to the book. It is meant to be a VBS and Sunday School curriculum, and it's broken up into three parts:

  1. Bailey's Cave Adventures (which is the part we focused on - a great combination of nature lessons and spiritual applications and positive relationships);
  2. Beyond the Norm Bible Stories (stories outside of Noah, Joseph, and Baby Moses... - with suggested props and applications); and
  3. God's Special Plan (the Creation story, with lots of hands-on ideas for discovering God's world)
Now, if you're looking for a VBS kit with all the supplies included, this isn't it. But if you're on a budget, full of creativity, and looking for a fun theme, this is a great place to start! I like that the three sections are all packaged together. If you've got a one-hour program, you could just do the Bailey part (which includes a craft/coloring page and a snack idea), or if you've got a half-day program with lots of kids, you could set up centers that the kids rotate through.

And if you're a mom like me, looking for Bible-based activities for your 2-10yo kid(s), you'll find some ideas here. I felt a little inadequate looking at all the prop ideas - I didn't feel I could justify the time to put together all the props for each story for just one kid! But I'm setting this book aside for when Esmé's attention span is a little longer and we have a schoolhouse built! My hope is to have a Bible center somewhere in that schoolhouse - so we can set up the props for a story and leave them there - maybe a story a week... And who knows - maybe we can get some neighbor kids involved, too!

So, to sum all this up - I think the Bailey's Cave Adventures concept will be a hit with kids everywhere. Some great VBS ideas and skits in this book - but expect to use your creativity and some hard work to pull it together and get things set up!

Thanks, Nina, for sharing your talents and ideas with some of us not-so-creative ones!


M. C. Pearson said...

How adorable! Thanks for such a great review...and the pictures are just too cute.

Ticia said...

What an interesting book. I'll have to check it out.