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

WHERE'S GOD

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

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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