SARAH LAUGHS

The beautiful and gentle Sarah married Abraham and joined him on his nomadic life where they led families through the desert, teaching a monotheistic faith in “a God who demanded kindness and good deeds.” In Canaan, Abraham became a wealthy man, while the couple built a happy life together welcoming guests into their tent to share in their food and company. Even so, the absence of a child “smothered the laughter” in Sarah’s heart. Selflessly, she encouraged her husband to father a child (Ishmael) with the servant Hagar in order to realize God’s promise of an abundance of offspring. The author/illustrator team continues their Old Testament series with this midrash-inspired interpretation of the older Sarah’s late entrance to parenthood with the joyful birth of her own son, Isaac. Mellifluous full-page spreads in tones of green and blue pastel/crayon media depict the lyrically told story of this Jewish matriarch who believed her childbearing years had passed. An accessible rendition of the ancient biblical text for young religiously oriented listeners. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8225-7216-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2008

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HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

Nelson uses the old spiritual—offered here, astonishingly, in its first singleton, illustrated edition, though it’s available in many collections—as a springboard to celebrate family togetherness. Each line of a four-verse version of the lyric captions an intimate scene of an African-American lad, three sibs (one, lighter-skinned, perhaps adopted) and two parents in various combinations, posing together in both city (San Francisco) and country settings, sharing “the moon and the stars,” “the wind and the clouds,” “the oceans and the seas,” and so on. Sandwiched between views of, more or less, the whole world, Nelson alternates finished paintings in his characteristic strong, bold style with authentically childlike crayon drawings done with his left hand—demonstrating a superb ability to evoke both grand and naïve effects. Moving, reverent, spiritual indeed. (musical arrangement to close) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 978-0-8037-2850-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005

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This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious...

THE BERENSTAIN BEARS MOTHER'S DAY BLESSINGS

From the Berenstain Bears series

The Berenstains’ son adds a Mother’s Day entry to the series, continuing the adventures of the Bear family with a religious focus.

Brother, Sister, and Honey want to do something special for Mama for Mother’s Day, and Papa helps them think of just the thing—brunch at the Bear Country Inn after church—and they can invite Grizzly Gran, too. On the ride to church, Mama points out all the ways other families are celebrating their own mothers even though these community helpers are working on the holiday: Officer Marguerite’s children bring her flowers as she directs traffic, and Mrs. Ben’s children are pitching in with farm chores. Indeed, the trip to church is eye-opening for the cubs, who never realized that some of their neighbors even had children. During the church service, Preacher Brown thanks God for the gift of mothers and quotes the Bible: “Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches.” While the illustrations are the same as ever (the smiling bears haven’t aged a bit!), the series seems to have moved away from addressing a variety of families.

This Mother’s Day tale is rather limited in its audience to those who can afford fancy brunch after their own religious services, contrary to its apparent message that being together is all that matters. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-310-74869-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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