Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: Catie’s Secret

Last spring, Miss Esmé had the opportunity to watch her painted ladies, six caterpillars in all, make their way to adulthood.  We got them as rice-sized grub-looking things, not exactly ranking high on the cuteness scale.  But they grew.  And grew.  And grew.  One didn’t quite make it; we lost it in pupa stage.  Another was crippled and lived its shortened adult life in the confines of our little butterfly jungle, surrounded by strawberries and Gatorade. 

Four butterflies made their way tentatively, then triumphantly out of her hands into the big wild world.  And while we were sad to see them go, we knew that’s where they were meant to be; what they had been created for.

Redeemed - Framed NecklaceMiss Esmé has a favorite necklace which says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”  When she wears it, she likes to share the verse with others, anyone she meets on the playground, in the grocery store line.  And it’s a favorite message of mine, too.

I love having these reminders – the necklace, every butterfly we see – that we can’t judge the value of something – someone – by what we see right now.  That God has a plan – a beautiful plan – beyond anything we can see.

And that’s where Catie’s Secret comes in.


Catie Caterpillar looks different from any bug Herbie and Bella have ever seen. When Herbie makes fun of Catie, Mayor Benny shows him why he should not judge anyone by how they look. In the end, Catie reveals a secret and the bunnies learn the joy of forgiveness.

Catie's Secret is the second book in Laura Allen Nonemaker's children's series, God's Secret Garden Adventures. Like the previous book, Benny's Angel, Catie's Secret invites young readers to join an exciting adventure while it teaches a valuable lesson.

About the Author

Laura began writing as a child in Bermuda when a favorite teacher had one of her essays published in a local newspaper. She is a contributing writer for Kentucky Monthly Magazine and her first children's book, Benny's Angel, was published in 2011. She is on the planning team for Artful Missions, which produces juried art shows and donates most of the proceeds to ministries that help women and children escape human trafficking. When Laura is not dreaming up her next God's Garden adventure, she enjoys spending time with her large family.

Connect with Laura at:

Format:  32 pages, paperback 
Genre: Religious children’s fiction picture book
Publisher:  Tate Publishing
List Price:  $10.99
To Buy:  

Mom’s Review

As I mentioned when we reviewed the first book in the God’s Secret Garden Adventures Series, Benny’s Angel, 6yo Esmé loves books where animals can *really* talk, especially cute little garden animals.  Given her recent experiences with butterflies, I wasn’t surprised that this book fit her area of interest quite well!

This is a fun read-aloud, since the various animal characters lend themselves to different pitches and accents, especially Catie Caterpillar’s “Chomp – gulp!”  The bright illustrations also help keep a child’s interest.

What I enjoyed most were the educational opportunities of the book.  There are questions at the end to lead a child into understanding how God has hidden special secrets inside his creation – and we shouldn’t tease others based on outward appearance.  There are also a few butterfly facts and a link to more.

This book has a fairly straightforward message – without Count Slime and some of the intense theological discussions Benny’s Angel triggered at our house, and thus probably a better fit for a younger audience than the first book.  Overall, nice book to add to our library.
Disclosure:  Thanks to Litfuse Publicity, author, and publisher for coordinating providing the review copy of this book.  I received it for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”