Holder has created a breathtaking interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer, using the traditional wording from the 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. Her artistic interpretation is anything but traditional, however, as she illustrates the text in dusky pastels without showing any people, using only animals, birds, and insects, complemented by flowers, plants, and a few buildings and artifacts. Printed on buff-colored paper with an antique look, the left-hand pages feature one phrase of the prayer with a large initial capital in gold, while the right-hand pages employ a full-page illustration with an arched top and intricately detailed surrounding borders. The illustration for “Give us this day our daily bread,” for example, shows two birds pecking at bread crumbs, with a mouse hoping for a share. Corresponding borders show minuscule cats and dogs looking for food on deserted streets, with grapes and wheat incorporated into the design. Two concluding pages of author’s notes explain the choice of flora and fauna and relevant biblical references in the illustrations. There are surprisingly few recent editions of the Lord’s Prayer in illustrated format; this offering presents a new view of ancient words for all ages. (Religion. 4+)

Pub Date: April 11, 2004

ISBN: 1-932425-03-9

Page Count: 28

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2004

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A tender, honest, and beautifully written story about family, faith, and friendship.


Louisa Emerson copes with the sadness and stress of her alcoholic dad, remarried mom, new stepdad, and a move to the suburbs.

Fifth grader Lou loves her small apartment in San Francisco; her mom; her 15-year-old sister, Casey; her BFF, Beth; sad books; and, despite the pain and uncertainty he causes, her usually drunk dad. Lou’s life is being uprooted, however, because Mom is marrying oversolicitous Steve, a man from church who proposed after only three dates. Since Steve lives in his large childhood home in Pacifica—and Lou’s family is barely getting by financially in the city—they are moving in with Steve, and only Mom and Steve seem happy about that. On her 11th birthday, Lou anonymously receives a guitar that she believes is from her dad. After the Emerson girls move, Lou befriends Marcus and Shannon, a charming couple with three young kids who live on Steve’s block. They quickly become the sisters’ trusted adults, and Marcus gives Lou guitar lessons. In her middle-grade debut, noted YA author Zarr writes exactly the sort of kid Lou herself favors: one that thoughtfully tackles tough issues like substance abuse, parental abandonment, the difficulties of change, and blended families. The story also features church and Christian themes in a refreshingly positive and affirming way. Lou’s family is White; supporting characters include Chinese American Beth and Filipino American Marcus.

A tender, honest, and beautifully written story about family, faith, and friendship. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-304492-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2021

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The true meaning of the holiday season shines here.


Kids teach a valuable lesson about community spirit.

A city block is ablaze with red and green lights for Christmas; one house glows blue and white for Hanukkah. This is where Isaac, a Jewish boy, lives, across the street from best friend Teresa, excitedly preparing for Christmas. They love lighting up their homes in holiday colors. After an antisemitic bigot smashes a window in Isaac’s house, Isaac relights the menorah the next night, knowing if his family doesn’t, it means hiding their Jewishness, which doesn’t “feel right.” Artistic Teresa supports Isaac by drawing a menorah, inscribed to her friend, and placing the picture in her window. What occurs subsequently is a remarkable demonstration of community solidarity for Isaac and his family from everyone, including the media. Galvanized into defiant action against hate, thousands of townspeople display menorahs in windows in residences and public buildings. This quiet, uplifting tale is inspired by an incident that occurred in Billings, Montana, in 1993. Readers will feel heartened at children’s power to influence others to stand up for justice and defeat vile prejudice. The colorful illustrations, rendered digitally with brushes of the artist’s devising, resemble scratch art. Isaac and Teresa are White, and there is some racial diversity among the townspeople; one child is depicted in a wheelchair. An author’s note provides information about the actual event.

The true meaning of the holiday season shines here. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64614-087-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Levine Querido

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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