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BOOK REVIEW: JOY VEE – Two Fabulous New Children’s Books

Photograph of Joy Vee's two new books, Left Out Sienna?, and Benaiah and The Kindness Tree.

I am very pleased to be able to recommend these two new books by Joy Vee. Joy has such a gift for writing stories that are engaging, relevant, and more than anything, full of truth and life. Her characters and their adventures draw you in, but it is the lessons that they learn, and the deep spiritual truths behind those lessons, that stay with you. And that is whether you are a child, or an adult reading these books with a child. The wisdom that Joy’s books carry is God-given and I believe has the power to be life transforming.

Left Out Sienna?

Image of front cover of 'Left out Sienna' featuring a colourful cartoon drawing of a child's hands writing in a journal

Left Out Sienna? is the Joy’s third book featuring Sienna and her family (following on from The Treasure Man, and Love From Sienna). Sienna is used to having great ideas and a group of friends to share them with. But when she finds those friends pulling back from her, lying to her and excluding her, she is forced to confront what it feels like to be left out. Along with the hurt she is feeling she also has to examine her own part in the breakdown of her relationships. With the help of her amazing Kid’s Church leader, her Mum, and words that God Himself wrote, Sienna begins to learn a very important lesson. One that applies to us all, whatever age we are.

Image of back cover of Left Out Sienna?

There is a scene in the book involving boxes, boots and doughnuts. I won’t spoil it for you by saying more, but it has stayed with me. If only we could learn alongside Sienna that what God says about us is far more important than worrying about what others think of us.

This is a timely book for a generation of children growing up under the bombardment of internet influencers telling them what to look like and how to behave to fit in. It is a balm for every one of us who has grown up knowing what it feels like to be rejected or sidelined. I loved this book so much. A simple story that carries profound and potentially life changing truth.

Benaiah and the Kindness Tree

Photo of the front cover of Benaiah and The Kindness Tree, featuring a colourful cartoon image of a young boy holding a leaf, with a tree behind him.

This little book for younger readers is just gorgeous in every way. From Lee Dixon’s stunning full colour illustrations to Joy’s beautifully told tale, it is just lovely. Benaiah discovers what he believes to be a very special tree, and comes to beleive that a leaf from the tree carried in his pocket has the ability to make him super kind at school. But is it the tree making him kind, or is there another reason why Benaiah finds it so easy to be both grateful and kind? And how can his friend Kaiyah-Rose learn kindness too?

Photo of inside pages of Benaiah and The Kindness Tree, with colourful illustrations and easy to read text.

Benaiah’s simply told story is designed to engender conversation about being kind, and how to make kindness a habit. It also points to the One who is ultimately kind, good and loving to show us how. As a parent I wish there had been more books around like this one when my children were small. As a grandparent I now have the joy of sharing this one with my grandson. He may be little, but little people can learn big truths; truths that can help them live life to the fullness and impact them to be the people God calls them to be.

For All the Family

Joy’s heart in writing her books isn’t just to produce well written Christian story books for children. Each book she produces is a resource – a means for helping families to talk through big issues and to seek God’s heart together. They can also be adapted for use in teaching Sunday school classes. At the end of Left Out Sienna are suggested questions to discuss relating to each chapter in the book.

With Benaiah and The Kindness Tree, Joy has gone one step further. On her website there is a whole page with downloadable pictures and resources for parents and educators. You can find that here

All of Joy Vee’s books are available on but can also be found on Joy’s website where you will find Left Out Sienna priced at £7 and Benaiah and The Kindness Tree priced at £7 for the smaller book, and £10 for a larger sized book. Both versions of Benaiah and The Kindness Tree come with a free Audiobook.

Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022, and her third novel The Bride’ will be published on 20th October 2023. She also has her first non-fiction book, an Advent Devotional called ‘Christ Illuminated‘, being published by Kevin Mayhew this autumn.

More information on Joy, and her books can be found here