Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ishtar's Odyssey by Arnold Ytreeide

A new Advent family devotional from the author of Jotham's Journey! Fourth in a set of Advent adventure books for families, Ishtar's Odyssey follows the ten-year-old son of a Persian wise man as their caravan follows a star across the desert. Ishtar would just as soon stay in the comfort of the palace, but slowly he learns that there's much to see, do, and learn in this world that can't be experienced in school. He eventually meets Jotham, Bartholomew, and Tabitha as he follows his father and uncles in their search for a newborn king.

Arnold Ytreeide's family advent devotionals have become a much-loved Christmas tradition, enjoyed by multiple generations. With over 100,000 in print they include Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, and Tabitha's Travels.

9780825443930 | $15.99 | Paperback | Kregel Publications
Also available on Amazon and other online locations

I received this book courtesy of Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review.

About the Author:
Arnold Ytreeide is a former youth pastor, police officer and television producer who now spends his days writing books and teaching film at a Christian university. He grew up in the Seattle area, and now resides near Boise, Idaho. He loves travel, scuba diving, filmmaking, and reading. Arnold is married to Elsie, and has two grown and married children and four granddaughters.

My Thoughts:
I am so excited about sharing this book with the kids this year. We usually try to do something for advent, but end up fizzling along the way. This book is so interesting, I am sure hoping that won't happen this year. Mostly, because even if I fizzle with the busyness of the season, they will be so eager to read the next part of the story they won't let me forget. I think it is going to be great for our family devotions time.

The story takes place in the Middle East. Ishtar, the main character, is a young boy who lives in a Persian palace. In spite of having a life of luxury, he doesn't have many friends to play with and spends quite of bit of his time learning or listening when his father entertains.  One night during his astronomy lesson, he discovers a new "star" - the star! And in doing so, he also joins the amazing adventure of following that star across the country to a strange new place. At first he really isn't too excited about leaving the pomp and comfort of his home, but some awesome adventures await him. His journey is action packed - many dangers await in the desert. 

The story is read in increments, one day at a time beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. There is a guide in the book so you know exactly what to read and when. Each part of the story ends with a climax and makes you long for more. Included in this book are tips and ideas for making advent more memorable. There is a link you can go to that includes maps that add to the learning experience. The book also includes foods you can cook, or prepare as a snack while you read this with your children. This book will help children learn by using most of the five senses. And will make for a very memorable family escapade. I can guarantee you and your family will be learning something new!

Advent is such an important time. Looking forward to the birth of Christ and keeping our hearts in the right place amidst all the hustle and bustle is not always easy to do. This author also has other awesome adventures available for future advents. Don't miss this fun way to share the true meaning of Christmas with your children.

Do you have any fun advent traditions?
I would love to hear about them.

Don't forget to leave a comment of something you are thankful for - to be entered into our Fun Fall Giveaway! And stop by my friend Rachel's blog Reader's Cozy Corner, to leave a comment for extra entriesDetails on the giveaway here.

I am thankful I get to share this book with the kids this year at Christmas time. I am thankful Jesus was willing to come to earth to be our Saviour!


  1. I enjoy seeing Advent calendars in the homes of family and friends. Each Advent calendar is different, some are homemade, some are store bought. But, they all have a wonderful message. I am thankful for ways to show God how much we love Him. :-)

    1. Me too! And I am always looking for something fun to do with the kids this time of year.
      So often we forget to show God we love Him. But I think He is always happy to hear that we do whether in word or deed.
      Thanks for stopping in!

  2. I'm thankful for stuffing, one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes!
    bethanyhb at ou dot edu


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