Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Unwrapping Wonder

As the scarlet, crimson, and gold drift downward, I find myself thinking about the leaf scars: those fingerprints left behind as the leaves, perhaps sacrificially, break their ties to the branches that have fed them all summer long. 

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And I’m reminded of the stories our spiritual scars tell, the pain that leads us to a Healer.

The intricacies and complexities that surround us in nature, the wonderment of dragonfly flight and the dance of the sand dollar, all testify to who the Creator is, if we but stop for a moment to see.

And like most of us, I find those moments easy to miss.  I was blessed by receiving, precisely on my 40th birthday, the book Unwrapping Wonder: a sweet reminder to stop and unwrap the spectacular little gifts that surround us all.


Heeding technology's cry to "get connected" can result in overloaded circuits of the mind. Frenetic connections can cause frazzled lives.

Step outside to cultivate a connection with creation and deepen your relationship with the Creator.

Unwrapping Wonder offers a delightful mix of natural history, human story, and God's glory. Each chapter "unwraps" one object of nature such as the barnacle, the honey bee, the tiniest seed. As readers peer within these gifts, they discover more of nature, God, and themselves.

This book is for individuals, families and groups who enjoy learning about creation and getting to know the Creator better through the wonders he has made, and those looking for hope in a hectic world. It will help restore the reader's soul.

Each chapter includes:

  • The Wonder Introduced - through anecdote, natural history, or life story.
  • The Wonder Unwrapped - minute hidden details revealed and explained in everyday terms.
  • The Wonder Applied - Practical, spiritual lessons for daily living.
  • Promise of Hope: Relevant Scripture to inspire hope.
  • "Wondercise": A short, hands-on nature activity designed to awaken heart, mind and soul to the wonder of creation and give praise to the Creator.

About the Author:

Carol O'Casey has spent years in the field - literally - from cataloging plants high in the mountains of Southern California to mucking through mud monitoring shorebirds on the coast of Washington state. She has taught science to college students and also to sixth graders. She and her husband, a pastor and Christian college professor, live in Oregon. They are the parents of three grown children. Carol's passion is expounding the wonders tucked in the cathedrals of God's wilds. She teaches "Wonder Workshops" and speaks at retreats. Learn more at

Physical Description: Paperback, 224 pages / 6”x9” 
ISBN: 9780981892986
Genre:  Nature Studies/ God & Creation/ Spiritual Growth 
To Purchase:;; Kindle; Nook; from the Publisher
List Price: Print version $17.99; Digital $9.99
Giveaway Link: (Ends October 30th)

What Mom Liked:

  • The gift.  Every time I pick up the book, I feel like I’m opening a gift.  It’s the cover; it’s the content; it’s one of God’s many gifts revealed.  Each chapter is substantial without being overwhelming; not a quick read, but one to savor, to get out and experience, and then set aside for the next celebratory moment.
  • The diversity.  In the writing: there is biology and history and literature and personal anecdotes and Bible and it’s all about God.  In the unwrapped gifts: they represent field and air and sea and mountains and desert (and you can find it all in Oregon).  In the use of the book: devotional, textbook, trigger of field trips and journeys and journaling and sharing of unwrapped gifts with others.
  • The author.  I love her self-description of “frustrated field biologist stuffed in the skin of a pastor’s wife.”  Even more, I love her current occupation as “wonderologist – one who studies the wonders of God.”  I’ve enjoyed the glimpses of her life that peek through the pages: she’s smart and real and sees God.
  • Family friendly.  The wondercises (nature activities) at the end of each chapter inspire me to get out and are perfect for tag-along 6yos to join in, and what 6yo doesn’t enjoy unwrapping gifts?  While the narrative isn’t at her level, science-loving Miss Esmé is easily enamored with the diagrams and biology facts included in the book.

I wasn’t looking forward to this decade of the 40s, but it’s hard to experience it as anything but a gift with this book in hand.  I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for inspiration to slow down and truly appreciate the little details of God’s abundant gifts.  And yes, the book would make a great gift – the gift that keeps on revealing new gifts…

Disclaimer:  Thanks to Cladach Publishing for organizing this blog tour and providing the book to us in exchange for an unbiased review.  All opinions are our own.

You can find the blog tour with other reviews (and giveaway) linked here:


Carol O'Casey said...

Dear Jane,

Thanks for your heartfelt review of Unwrapping Wonder. I pray that you and your sweet daughter will be doubly blessed as you unwrap those "spectaular little gifts that surround us" and draw near to the Creator. And a belated Happy Birthday!


Carol O'Casey