Sparkly Green Earrings {Review & Giveaway}

by Elizabeth

I can’t remember how I first stumbled across Melanie Shankle’s blog Big Mama, but I know it was years ago and I quickly became a fan of her down-home writing style. She blogs about everything from shopping and road trips to fashion styles to the joys and trials of raising her daughter, Caroline. Now she’s written a book about motherhood, and it has her characteristic take on life.

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn isn’t a book of advice filled with how-to lists to ensure you’re giving your children all the author feels they need from life. It doesn’t have steps to follow and it isn’t full of smug stories about how the author only feeds her children broccoli and kale for snacks. Instead, this is a book cram-jammed with humor, life, and Mexican food–as in the pseudo-kind served by Taco Bell. It’s a look at motherhood in the trenches–catching throw-up in your hands, agonizing through hours of ballet and soccer practice, letting your child choose her own clothes for school, dealing with the carpool lane at the local school and the reality that not all teachers are stellar educators. As with most of us, Melanie had motherhood all figured out–before her child was born. But she’s discovered that even though the reality is messier and heart-breaking and even frightening, it is at the same time so much better than she could have imagined before Caroline arrived.

Sparkly Green Earrings is a memoir of a segment of Melanie’s life, from the time she and her husband Perry began to consider having a child to now, when Caroline is 8 years old and in elementary school and Melanie is in the throes of clothing debates, summertime road trips, and deciding when to get ears pierced. It’s an account of a difficult and complicated miscarriage, of toilet-training a toddler who has to be trained in order to advance at preschool, of the heartbreak of sending her off to kindergarten, of the joys of watching her daughter develop her own personality and way of looking at things.

Along the way, we see Melanie leaning on God during hard times, and looking to Scripture for comfort. We see tender moments, the high parts of motherhood. We learn why Melanie is called “Big Mama”–it’s from when Caroline was learning to use the potty like a Big Girl and decided “big” was the highest compliment, and began calling her mother “Big Mama.” (I love this story. It reminds me of when my oldest went through the stage we refer to as the “Inappropriate Compliment” stage. Oh those are some happy memories. I still blush when I think about it.) And we see Melanie’s fierce love for her daughter shining through. Sparkly Green Earrings offers a light-hearted take on mothering that is an enjoyable read, like swapping stories with your good friend over coffee.

I’m thrilled to announce one of you can win your own copy (U.S. shipping addresses only).  Use the Rafflecopter form to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Email Author    |    Website About Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes who loves being part of the team at 5 Minutes for Books. She's lived in 7 countries and is currently in Oregon, where she spends most of her time with Iraqi refugees. She has 3 teens.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gretchen February 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I’d read this and pass it along to my mommy friends!


2 chelsea February 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Id keep it, I need a good book ;)


3 Leanne Hill February 17, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Im a bookworm so Id keep it for myself


4 beth cole February 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm

I’d pass it on to my southern friend. We stick together in Northern California!


5 Garrett February 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

I’d pass it on to a friend of mine at work


6 Liz V. February 18, 2013 at 10:22 am

My friend who copes marvelously with two and now has taken on the challenge of substitute teaching. In my view, her days will require a large reserve of humor.


7 anne February 18, 2013 at 10:46 am

I would give it to my daughter-in-law who would enjoy it.


8 Ruth Hill February 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

I would keep this book for me.


9 Sarah at 32Flavors February 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Oh, I’d keep it. I love the Big Mama blog for many reasons, but one of which is that we both have a fourth grade girl. That’s a scary place to be.


10 Amy Cottrell February 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm

I can’t wait to read her book!


11 Karen February 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I would read it myself first, then give it to my friend Patty.


12 Holly F February 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I want to read it myself and would probably pass it on to a friend when I’m done


13 laura p February 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm

I have heard all good things about this book! Cant wait to read it.


14 Gay H. February 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I would keep it for myself! But after I read it, I’d share with my daughters.


15 Nicole February 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I would keep it!


16 Sherrie February 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm

I’d keep it, because I’ve been seeing this all over the place. But, I know I would give it to my friend who has two lovely daughters since I don’t have any girls :)


17 coley r February 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm

id love to read it first then pass it along to a couple of my mommy friends


18 Shari February 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm

First I’d give it to myself, and then I’d pass it on to my mom, and then to my sister-in-law! :)


19 Kim S February 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I’ll read it first, then my friends at work, then my sister when I get to see her this summer.


20 maria February 18, 2013 at 8:53 pm

ME! (Okay, and then I have plenty of friends to share with :) )


21 rita February 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I love memoirs and so does my daughter-in-law!
If i win we will pass it around.


22 Jenny February 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I would read it and then pass it on to my mom.


23 Sarah February 19, 2013 at 12:17 am

I would probably keep it for myself, but I would share it with my friends after I was finished with it.


24 Annee Clark February 19, 2013 at 5:52 am

I’d share it with ladies at church


25 Chuck February 19, 2013 at 10:48 am

My wife would enjoy this I’m sure.


26 Melissa Mc February 19, 2013 at 4:41 pm

This is one I would keep for myself…but hopefully keep it in a continuing loop loaning it out to other moms!!


27 April February 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

This would be a gift for myself! Then I would loan it to my MIL!!


28 Van February 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I’d pass on to my girlfriend to read.


29 Darlene Ysaguirre February 20, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Me of course i always love a good read


30 Jeanna February 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I would keep it for myself!


31 jessica February 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm

myself and then I would pass it along.


32 Mona Evanochko February 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Both my Daughters would have to share … like when they were little… and with me!
The oldest has 2 daughters … 5 and 2 … and the youngest has on daughter on the way, SOON!


33 Tressa February 24, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Myself! Ha :) But then I’d pass it around to as many friends as I could!


34 Carly February 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I would read it first, then share with some ladies at church!


35 Marysa February 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I’d love to read this, and pass it on to a friend.
Marysa {at} marysa {dot} com


36 Kristen February 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I would keep it or myself but would share with as many girlfriends as possible!


37 Jackie McG February 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I want to read this book! Next up would definitely be my mom though.


38 Lori D. February 25, 2013 at 11:05 am

I’ll read this one for myself.


39 Chelsea February 25, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I can’t wait to read this book! I’m trying to win a copy, otherwise I will probably have to wait for my birthday to come around. Thanks for the opportunity!


40 MonaG February 27, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I’d keep it. I enjoy books/movies/TV about children.
Thanks :)


41 Angela E. February 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

Can’t wait to read this one.


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