A moving tale with energetic artwork and an easily grasped message for both children and adults.

A children’s picture book with a powerful message about why God created the world.

In the beginning of this moving story, God makes the Earth and all the animals upon it. Looking for creatures as creative, loving and playful as he is, God creates people. Their inquisitive joy prompts the deity to play a game of his own. In a touching twist, God chooses to play hide-and-seek within the people themselves: “I’ll hide inside where they can feel me.…[T]hey will look for me on the outside, and I’ll be inside all of them the whole time!” Then he discovers that people don’t always feel playful and loving. In a philosophical quandary, he ponders whether he should make people always be happy, but ultimately decides that they should “be free to create like me so they can be my friends, not my dolls.” Accordingly, the final page asks: “Where is God???” Roess, in simple, clear language, presents readers with a laughing, happy God, a generous being who’s approachable and warm. Anticipating the universal question children ask about God, Roess begins with the easy explanation that God has no form or shape, but wields tremendous creative powers. The bright, pastel colors of the accompanying illustrations draw the eye; the images of creatures with large eyes will no doubt captivate even very tiny children. The words, meanwhile, offer more than just rhythmic power to soothe and comfort. By combining engaging pictures with concise, fluidly plotted prose, Roess has crafted a winning book, sure to delight a broad audience of children, parents and teachers of any religion.

A moving tale with energetic artwork and an easily grasped message for both children and adults.

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615913315

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Tiny Teachings

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2014


Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity.

A collection of parental wishes for a child.

It starts out simply enough: two children run pell-mell across an open field, one holding a high-flying kite with the line “I wish you more ups than downs.” But on subsequent pages, some of the analogous concepts are confusing or ambiguous. The line “I wish you more tippy-toes than deep” accompanies a picture of a boy happily swimming in a pool. His feet are visible, but it's not clear whether he's floating in the deep end or standing in the shallow. Then there's a picture of a boy on a beach, his pockets bulging with driftwood and colorful shells, looking frustrated that his pockets won't hold the rest of his beachcombing treasures, which lie tantalizingly before him on the sand. The line reads: “I wish you more treasures than pockets.” Most children will feel the better wish would be that he had just the right amount of pockets for his treasures. Some of the wordplay, such as “more can than knot” and “more pause than fast-forward,” will tickle older readers with their accompanying, comical illustrations. The beautifully simple pictures are a sweet, kid- and parent-appealing blend of comic-strip style and fine art; the cast of children depicted is commendably multiethnic.

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-2699-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015


The Buehners retell the old familiar tale with a jump-roping, rhyme-spouting Goldilocks. When their porridge proves to be too hot to eat, the bear family goes for a stroll. Meanwhile, Goldilocks comes knocking to find a jump-roping friend. This Goldilocks does not simply test out the chairs: “Big chair, middle chair, little chair, too, / Somebody’s here to bounce on you!” And so continues the old favorite, interspersed with Goldilocks’s jump-rope verse. When she escapes through the bedroom window, none of the characters are sure what sort of creature they have just encountered. The Buehner’s homey illustrations perfectly capture the facial expressions of the characters, and lend a particular kind of mischief to Goldilocks. Readers may miss the message on the copyright page, but hidden within each picture are three creatures, instantly adding challenge and appeal. Cute, but there’s not quite enough new here to make it a must. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8037-2939-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007