THE LION BOOK OF TWO-MINUTE PARABLES

This brightly illustrated collection of 10 parables from the New Testament is intended as a first introduction to the stories for children in preschool and the early-elementary years.

Each parable is introduced with one or two sentences putting Jesus in the setting and often pointing to the embedded lesson. Several of the most well-known parables, including the story of the Prodigal Son, are included, but one of the most famous, that of the Good Samaritan, is not, perhaps because of its inherent violence. The parables are briefly recounted in contemporary language with short sentences and lots of dialogue, with additional short lines of dialogue and humorous sound effects integrated within the illustrations on each page. The moral or lesson of the parables is not spelled out, only implied. Charming watercolor-and-ink illustrations are the book’s greatest strength, with a wide variety of characters and costumes adding additional interest. An author’s note would have been helpful, as some of the parables are alternatively titled in terms more accessible to young children, and there are no Biblical text references.          As a starting point for understanding the stories Jesus used to teach his followers, this collection is best used with young children in conjunction with an adult’s additional interpretation of their meaning. (Picture book/religion. 3-7)

 

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6201-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Trafalgar Square

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in.

GOD SPEAKS IN WHISPERS

Rhyming text and colorful multicultural illustrations reassure young readers of God’s omnipresence and still small voice.

“Where in the world is God’s voice found?” Perhaps in ocean waves, bird song, or mountain vistas, suggest the couplet rhymes. Even when readers might be faced with difficult emotions and distractions of all kinds, the text reassures them that God is still there and still speaking, if only one pauses to listen. His voice can be found in nature, in starlight, in the love of family and friends, in dreams, and “through His Word.” Admirably, the bright illustrations, reminiscent of mid-20th-century Disney artist Mary Blair’s stylings, depict children and families with a diverse array of skin tones and ages. There is also a refreshing mix of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Yet, despite the appealing illustrations, the rhymes and scansion are often forced (“your feelings, they matter, / even if they’re all mixed up like / pancake batter”), which detracts from the overall message. Contrived couplets notwithstanding, this title will likely find an audience among Christian households seeking reassuring bedtime reads.

Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-65385-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support.

CELEBRATING HARVEST

The annual harvest from farm to table is explored with a religious perspective, focusing on Christian harvest traditions and the Jewish celebration of Sukkot.

Crisp color photography highlights children in scenes of farming and the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. The book features several instructive points about the variety of produce available, the harvest concept and sharing. Finally, it covers two different yet corresponding religious ways to observe the harvest and thank God. Church-based harvest festivals are illustrated by the decorating of a church with various breads, wheat stalks and baskets of food. Sukkot is shown with the building and decorating of a Sukkah and how this symbol of a shelter or hut relates to the ancient Jewish celebration. An informative and eye-catching design on glossy paper offers a large, multicolored print, the majority of text blocks in black against soft pale backgrounds, with key words in bold blue; these are repeated in a vocabulary border at the bottom of each page. The text is largely framed in questions, encouraging personal response and discussion. The simplicity and functionality of the book’s premise is enhanced with an addendum of teaching suggestions for specific pages and more detailed background information about the concepts presented.

This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support. (websites, index) (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-237-54373-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Evans/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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