The unnamed girl narrates the story, noting their sadness at their grandma’s death and searching for answers by reading the...

HEAVEN

GOD'S PROMISE FOR ME

A little girl and her younger brother learn to accept their grandmother’s death in this rhyming story that explains the concepts of God, Jesus and Heaven in simplified terms for younger children.

The unnamed girl narrates the story, noting their sadness at their grandma’s death and searching for answers by reading the Bible to her brother. She reads from the Book of John, paraphrasing the familiar text that promises that “there are many mansions in my Father’s house.” The realistic setting of the two children in the boy’s bedroom segues into an interpretation of Heaven as a magical, fanciful place filled with smiling children and dancing animals. The sweet, sometimes sing-song verse describes Heaven as a place where no one is old or sick and where children can safely swim with sharks or fly with eagles. Bryant’s cheerful watercolor illustrations imagine Heaven as a sort of pleasant amusement park with Jesus as the headmaster and where children ride on the backs of flying sheep and climb trees with pigs and frogs. The final pages present a conservative Christian philosophy of confession and acceptance of Jesus as one’s personal savior, with the concluding pages offering a prayer for children and the relevant verses from the Book of John. Additional materials include an explanatory letter to parents and other adults, questions for adults to use with children, Bible verse references incorporated into the text and an “RSVP to Jesus” for use by the child reader.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-310-71601-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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

Low-key and gentle; a book to be thankful for.

THANKFUL

Spinelli lists many things for which people are thankful.

The pictures tell a pleasing counterpoint to this deceptively simple rhyme. It begins “The waitress is thankful for comfortable shoes. / The local reporter, for interesting news.” The pictures show a little girl playing waitress to her brother, who playacts the reporter. The news gets interesting when the girl trips over the (omnipresent) cat. As the poem continues, the Caucasian children and their parents embody all the different roles and occupations it mentions. The poet is thankful for rhyme and the artist, for light and color, although the girl dancer is not particularly pleased with her brother’s painterly rendition of her visual art. The cozy hotel for the traveler is a tent for the siblings in the backyard, and the grateful chef is their father in the kitchen. Even the pastor (the only character mentioned who is not a family member) is grateful, as he is presented with a posy from the girl, for “God’s loving word.” The line is squiggly and energetic, with pastel color and figures that float over white space or have whole rooms or gardens to roam in. Both children, grateful for morning stories, appear in a double-page spread surrounded by books and stuffed toys as their mother reads to them—an image that begs to be a poster.

Low-key and gentle; a book to be thankful for. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-310-00088-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more