BEFORE WE EAT

A THANK YOU PRAYER

A Jewish family sits down to eat. “Bread and butter on my plate. / I’m so hungry, I can’t wait. // But before I take a bite, / I say some words / that feel just right.” The unidentified narrator (a yarmulke-topped little boy or a curly-headed little girl, both early-elementary age in Iwai’s illustrations) briefly describes the hamotzi blessing, thanking God for “[g]ood food, a home, a family.” The full blessing appears on the last page in both transliterated Hebrew and a loosely translated English. This well-meaning book falls short. The two kids are too old for babies—presumably this format’s target audience—to identify with. Children in observant families will have heard hamotzi from their earliest days; an explanation is better suited to preschool children, who are full of whys, than babies and toddlers, but this vehicle is too young for them. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7613-3954-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey.

BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME

A cheery child gives thanks to God.

“When I see a rainbow / High up in the sky / I say a little prayer of thanks, / And here’s the reason why: // Because God loves me!” This board book’s focus is the comforting notion that God loves all his children, and no matter what, he will always look out for them. The text follows an ABCB rhyme scheme, breaking after every stanza to repeat the phrase “Because God loves me!” The small, light-skinned child has spiky brown hair and wears a dress; both the child and a chubby accompanying dog are appealingly illustrated with a bright, simple color palette and scratchy lines that appear to have been made with colored pencil. God is the only name given for the deity, implying a primarily Christian audience. The book’s message is clear, and its construction is sturdy, suiting this well to parents who are beginning to have conversations with their little readers regarding their beliefs.

A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-237-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2016

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Adult readers wishing to familiarize children with some of the Christian Bible stories will find greater satisfaction...

MY FIRST BIBLE STORIES

Nine stories taken from both the Old Testament and the New Testament are introduced to the youngest readers in this board book.

A child-friendly cover depicts Noah and his ark in bright, cartoony artwork and sets the tone for the greatly simplified stories presented inside. Creation is told in three lines that feel more like an introduction to the concept of God than a Bible story. Brown-haired, olive-skinned Adam and Eve stand behind a bush surrounded by incongruous flora and fauna that include an elephant, a monkey, what looks like an Easter bunny, a palm tree, an apple tree, and daisies. Other Old Testament stories included are Noah’s Ark, Moses, and David and Goliath. These tales have been simplified to the point of near meaninglessness. The life of Jesus is told from his birth, moving on to his message of love and the multiplication of the loaves and fish, and ending with his resurrection and ascension. Children old enough to be told these stories are also capable of understanding more than this book presents. If they cannot, one wonders if perhaps they are too young for the stories.

Adult readers wishing to familiarize children with some of the Christian Bible stories will find greater satisfaction looking elsewhere. (Board book/religion. 2-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-222-6

Page Count: 38

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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