A visually pleasing collection with appeal for those families who wish to introduce a universal approach to religious...




This collection of short prayers from different religions around the world is presented with intricate illustrations showing related settings and people.

Over her extensive career, author/illustrator Demi has profiled many individual religious leaders in well-received biographies for children. With this collection, she introduces groups of short, often well-known prayers representative of many of the world’s major religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Single prayers are included from Taoism, Shintoism, the Lakota people, and the Luba people of central Africa. The illustration for each prayer includes a group of representative humans, such as Buddhist monks and children praying at a Buddhist temple or a group of Jews praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Demi’s highly detailed illustrations with signature touches of gold are intriguing and well-researched, including people of many ethnicities and ages. An introduction from the author details her inclusive view of the common threads that underlie all these different religious traditions as well as her goal of fostering “tolerance and respect” through the combination of her choice of prayers and visual interpretations. Two concluding pages give specific notes on the prayers and on related illustrations.

A visually pleasing collection with appeal for those families who wish to introduce a universal approach to religious education, suitable for the religion section in larger libraries. (Picture book/religion. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-937786-69-4

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Wisdom Tales

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Jesus pops up.

“It had been three days since Jesus died on a cross, and his friends were sad.” So Traini (The Life of Martin Luther, 2017) opens his ingenuously retold version of the first Easter. Beginning with two unnamed women clambering down a rocky hill to the graveyard, each of the seven tableaux features human figures with oversized eyes, light brown skin, and solemn or awed expressions posing in a sparsely decorated setting. The women hurry off at the behest of the angel lounging casually in a tomb bedecked with large crystals and fossil seashells to inform the “other disciples” of what’s happened. Along the way the women meet Jesus himself (“Greetings, my friends!”), who goes on to urge disciples “hiding inside a locked room” to touch his discreetly wounded hands. He later shares breakfast (“fish, of course!”) with Peter and others, then ascends from a mountaintop to heaven. Though the 3-D art and the flashes of irreverence set this sketchy rendition of the story apart from more conventional versions, the significance of the event never really comes clear…nor can it match for depth of feeling the stately likes of Jan Pienkowski’s Easter (1983). In the final scene Pentecostal flames appear over the heads of the disciples, leaving them endowed with the gift of tongues and eager to spread the “good news about Jesus!”

Skip. (Pop-up picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5064-3340-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Sparkhouse

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

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The more engaging musical version is available separately through iTunes and other distributors. You won’t hear the typos.


Purposeful and saccharine-sweet, these poems on religious and secular topics take on new life on the accompanying CD.

Wharnsby, a musician, has an appealing folk style, but the poetry on the page sounds forced and often trite. To interest young children in diversity, he writes such lines as “People are a lot like candy! / There’re [sic] all so different and dandy.” Describing “Piles of Smiles” that have been hidden away, he laments: “Someone misplaced the key, / causing global tragedy.” The poems range from the personal “I had a Chirpy Chick,” in which the narrator focuses on love for a pet and love for her grandmother, to a didactic poem entitled “The Mosque.” Typographical mistakes abound, with the use of “their” for “they’re” in the poem “Prayer” and in the example above, among others. Vibrantly colored flowers and plants, echoed in the handsome prayer rugs that illustrate “Prayer,” curl their way around multiracial children and adults. Most adult women wear hijab, as do some girls. With more and more Muslim families in North American communities, there is certainly a need for books of this type. Unfortunately, as with much other religious poetry collections for children, the message takes precedence over the words.

The more engaging musical version is available separately through iTunes and other distributors. You won’t hear the typos. (Poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-86037-444-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Kube Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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