An unusual take on a familiar story, with an enormous and likable character and a few gaps.

READ REVIEW

OG'S ARK

Combining a character from Numbers and Deuteronomy with the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, the Marks and Peluso introduce the giant Og.

First shown in the arms of a smiling, doughy woman with her back against a tree trunk and her head in the leaves, Og is a big baby, so large he breaks his cradle and every bed after that as he grows. Years of sleepless nights make him grumpy to his fellow humans, but animals seek the safety of his warm mass. Because the animals trust Og, Noah tells Og about the impending flood and enlists his help gathering the animals. The vivid palette in greens, golds, and browns is warm, and the rounded shapes bring a look of juvenile innocence to all of the characters. Bible stories are complicated, and this comforting aesthetic stands in contrast to the devastation and implied death that sensitive youngsters will surely ask about, especially after seeing a close-up of Og’s tear-stained face when he discovers he cannot fit in the ark (although Og has previously said he is so tall he cannot drown). Noah invites Og to ride on top of the ark and later the giant is rewarded, presumably by God, with a giant-sized bed—which Og finds perfectly comfortable once his animal friends join him.

An unusual take on a familiar story, with an enormous and likable character and a few gaps. (authors’ note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-6149-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious...

THE BERENSTAIN BEARS MOTHER'S DAY BLESSINGS

From the Berenstain Bears series

The Berenstains’ son adds a Mother’s Day entry to the series, continuing the adventures of the Bear family with a religious focus.

Brother, Sister, and Honey want to do something special for Mama for Mother’s Day, and Papa helps them think of just the thing—brunch at the Bear Country Inn after church—and they can invite Grizzly Gran, too. On the ride to church, Mama points out all the ways other families are celebrating their own mothers even though these community helpers are working on the holiday: Officer Marguerite’s children bring her flowers as she directs traffic, and Mrs. Ben’s children are pitching in with farm chores. Indeed, the trip to church is eye-opening for the cubs, who never realized that some of their neighbors even had children. During the church service, Preacher Brown thanks God for the gift of mothers and quotes the Bible: “Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches.” While the illustrations are the same as ever (the smiling bears haven’t aged a bit!), the series seems to have moved away from addressing a variety of families.

This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious services, contrary to its apparent message that being together is all that matters. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-310-74869-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The lofty symbolism of this allegorical tale may be above the comprehension level of literal-minded children.

GOOD GOOD FATHER

This Christian allegory presents a little bear who asks an all-powerful lion king for his help in solving the problems of other bear cubs.

Tucker is a cub who likes to help others, but his young friends have all sorts of deep-seated troubles, ranging from illness to hunger to aggression. So Tucker sets off on a journey to see the king, who lives in a hilltop castle “where the door was always open.” The bear cub wants to take along a “perfect gift” for the king to elicit his help, and in familiar fashion, he meets animals along the way who give him additional information about the king and items to take along as presents. Tucker takes all these items to the lion, who explains that as king he can fulfill these roles because he is a good father. The king returns to the town with Tucker, magically solving everyone’s problems with unexplained help and lots of love. Tucker concludes that the king is a “Good Good Father,” and Tucker’s seeking his help was the perfect gift. God is not mentioned in the text, and younger children will need an adult’s assistance in understanding the symbolic meaning of the lion and his multifaceted powers. Pleasant though unnuanced watercolor-and-pencil illustrations of appealing animal characters add some spunk to the story.

The lofty symbolism of this allegorical tale may be above the comprehension level of literal-minded children. (authors’ note) (Picture book/religion. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7180-8695-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more