A simple, calm story written from a Christian perspective that may help assuage young children’s fears.

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QUINN'S PROMISE ROCK

NO MATTER WHERE, GOD IS ALWAYS THERE

A little owl who’s nervous about losing her way accompanies her father on a journey that helps her understand the nature of God.

While out hunting for dinner one night, Quinn confesses that she is nervous that she will be left behind or lost. Her father instructs her to fly with him to the top of a mountain, where he talks about how God is as immovable as a mountain. When a storm strikes, Quinn and her father seek refuge in a mountainside cave. Her father explains that God is also a safe place to seek shelter. Finally, he passes her a small pebble and tells her to keep it tucked in her feathers as a reminder that God is always with her. Soft watercolor illustrations rendered in a nighttime palette of blues and greens convey the fluffy owls’ adventure. The muted colors and blurred details of both the owls and the landscape invoke a feeling of quiet introspection. Written to help children with separation anxiety, as a closing note explains, this story explains that while God is both as great as a mountain and as strong as a cave, he is also with each person like a small pebble that may be carried in one’s hand. Bible verses included at the end further describe the personal nature of God.

A simple, calm story written from a Christian perspective that may help assuage young children’s fears. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7432-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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To introduce the literal version of the Bible story this is an acceptable choice, but since it lacks complexity and nuance,...

JONAH AND THE BIG FISH

A popular Sunday school story in board-book format.

The story of Jonah's disobedience and subsequent repentance while in the belly of a big fish (depicted as a whale) is retold in simple language: “Jonah found himself inside the belly of the fish. And that’s where he stayed for three days and three nights.” The illustrations feature round-faced, bearded, olive-skinned men dressed in robes like those used in a Bible school pageant. The most lively part of the story is the storm scene with flashing lightning, booming thunder, and waves battering the ship. In the original, the sailors cast lots to discover who has brought God's wrath to the ship, but here, Jonah calmly volunteers to be thrown overboard. Further, Jonah suffers no anguish while in the whale's belly but quickly turns to prayer. He is shown kneeling in a pristine white robe along with another fish, a bird, and a turtle. Thoms makes some awkwardly modern word choices. Jonah “hopped” on a ship, and the whale says “Blooeey” when it spits Jonah out. With none of the nuance of the original text, the complex tale of God's compassion and Jonah's faith is reduced to a didactic lesson of obedience.

To introduce the literal version of the Bible story this is an acceptable choice, but since it lacks complexity and nuance, one wonders whether the story shouldn’t be saved for an older audience that’s ready for it. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4549-1493-8

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A nice, basic introduction to language, Israel, and some of its vibrant highlights.

THE COLORS OF ISRAEL

Bold, bright photography illustrates this color-concept picture book set in Israel.

With a design reminiscent of Tana Hoban’s classic books, numerous scenes both rural and urban showcase some distinctly Israeli features represented through the color palette. The red of an Israeli mail van or double-decker train, the yellow of a bus-stop sign or tree blossoms, and the brown of freshly baked challah at market or a cow in the Golan Heights are some examples. The shades of gray are seen at the beach with pigeons on the sand or the public benches in Jerusalem, while black flags at the beach serve as warning signs. White is the color of the Shrine of the Book, and pink is clearly the color of postage stamps. The name of each color is printed in English, Hebrew, and transliteration, and there is an abundance of Hebrew captured in many of the crisp photographs. With sites including Akko, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Giv’atayim, among others, Raz offers a pleasing survey of the country’s geography.

A nice, basic introduction to language, Israel, and some of its vibrant highlights. (Picture book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-5539-9

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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