BLESS US ALL

A CHILD'S YEARBOOK OF BLESSINGS

Rylant pairs a series of indoor and outdoor scenes, each framed in a border of patchwork squares and painted with bright, opaque, broadly brushed colors, with a rhymed month-by-month catalog of blessings that will challenge even the hardiest sweet tooth, e.g., for June: “Bless the flowers,/bless the bees,/bless the birds/above the trees,/Bless the bunnies,/kitties too,/Bless each day,/all warm and blue.” The pictures are more sanguine and less sentimental; not only are the naively drawn human and animal figures naturally and expressively posed, but the book’s overall visual unity is maintained, despite a changing color scheme from spread to spread. Very young children will find soothing rhythms in both pictures and text, but this is more of an artistic achievement than a literary one. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-689-82370-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1998

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JESUS LOVES ME!

The words to this traditional children’s hymn serve as the text for a pleasant interpretation focusing on a family of three bears: a father, mother and child. The storyline begins with the father bear reading a children’s Bible with the little bear and continues throughout the family’s day as they garden, fish, bake and decorate Easter eggs. On several spreads the bears are shown hiking and singing the words of the song together, indicated by speech balloons. The general theme of love and caring for others is always apparent even on those pages where the words of the song aren’t directly related to the bears’ activities. Warnes provides engaging illustrations of the smiling bear family, with expressive faces and charming details such as a fiddle and a fishing hat for the father and a stuffed bunny for the child instead of a teddy bear. This reassuring version of a beloved Sunday-School standard provides an introductory context to the song for very young children, who will enjoy the cozy world of this anthropomorphic bear family. Music and guitar chords are included. (Picture book. 1-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-4169-0065-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2006

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UNDER THE RAMADAN MOON

This book for the very young adds to the growing number of books on Islamic fasts and feasts, but in its simplicity it doesn’t supply very much in the way of information. The text starts off rhythmically: “We wait for the moon / we watch for the moon / we watch for the Ramadan moon,” but make little sense when it states “We fast by day / under the moon…” and becomes downright pedestrian as “We speak kind words / and stop bad habits / under the moon.” The pastels lend a special softness and serenity, glowing with intensity when it is really night and the moon is shown in its different phases throughout the lunar month of Ramadan, and the people depicted show some of the diversity of the American Muslim community. Most young readers, however, won’t understand that the people in the book are living through a month of fasting each day, and even the author’s note doesn’t provide adults with enough details to expand upon the text. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8075-8304-3

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2008

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