MY FIRST PRAYERS

Fifteen short prayers for younger children appear in this collection, accompanied by illustrations of children from many different cultures and ethnic groups. The prayers are primarily Christian—the author is an English vicar—with the inclusion of a Cherokee prayer that refers to the Great Spirit and a brief prayer from India that does not mention God. Others are from England, the United States, European nations, East Africa and South Africa. Fournier’s attractive illustrations are well integrated into the text, with some joyful scenes of children playing outdoors in different locations. Sharp-eyed children will notice that the illustration for the beloved German prayer “Fourteen Angels” (from Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel) has not 14 but 15 angels guarding the little blond girl asleep in her bed. Though there are many collections of prayers for children, this one’s strengths are the brevity of the prayers and the varied ethnicity of the children in the cheerful illustrations. A list of acknowledgements gives some greater specificity to the prayers’ origins. (Picture book/religion. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-84507-535-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2009

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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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IT’S HARD TO HURRY WHEN YOU’RE A SNAIL

A shy snail sets off on a mysterious journey in this story that concludes with the surprise appearance of Noah and his Ark. The snail meets several kind animals along the way and is in danger of being eaten as a snack by a number of others. All the other creatures hurry off on their own important journeys, leaving the snail to continue his ultra-slow progress, voicing the titular refrain after each encounter. Eventually he slides up the ramp to the Ark, where he is welcomed by Noah, who has been waiting for a second snail to complete his last pair of animals. Noah assures the snail that God cares for all creatures, even the tiny and the slow. Though Taylor depicts the snail in a tiny size in some illustrations and overlarge format in others, the simple and serviceable text and illustrations and the repeated refrain make this a suitable if not essential choice for preschoolers already familiar with the basic premise of this Bible story. A poster of Noah and the animals is included. (Religion/picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6150-7

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Lion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2009

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