ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME

An African-American spiritual provides the inspiration for this exuberant lyrical lullaby. Day begins and a small boy wakes with the sun, which tells him to play. Outside, the blue sky tells him to race. The wind tells him to soar up high, where a bird tells him to sing and a cloud tells him to drift. A tree tells him to take its fruit and a bug tells him to jump to the ground where the grass tells him to rest and the dusk tells him to sleep and the moon finally tells him to dream. From sunrise to sunset, the rhyming, repetitive refrain reminds young readers that angels are indeed watching over them. Glorious illustrations rendered in watercolor, ink, collage and colored pencil reveal nature holistically embracing the boy while a multicultural heavenly host of whimsical winged babies, boys, girls, birds, elephants, lions, cats, dogs and donkeys encircle and protect. Aerial views of the earth globally teeming with life and surrounded by blissful bands of cavorting angels provide cosmic comfort. Utterly angelic. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 27, 2007

ISBN: 0-689-86252-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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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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As gentle and unassuming as Oliver, this story thoroughly charms.

OLIVER'S TREE

It’s no fun for anyone when someone is left out!

Baby elephant Oliver has two very good friends: Lulu, an owlet, and Charlie, a bunny. Playing outside is something they love to do, but the happy trio runs into trouble while trying to climb trees, because Oliver just can’t manage due to his bulk. Warm, appealing watercolors defined with pen and ink and containing just the right amount of detail show the three friends as they patiently search for a tree that is perfect for all of them. Simple text describes their trial and error, as they find trees that are too small, too weak or too tall. “It’s hopeless!” wails Oliver. “Elephants just don’t belong in trees!” When Oliver, exhausted by their efforts, succumbs to sleep, Lulu and Charlie hatch a plan to solve the problem by using their own unique talents. Will they succeed and provide Oliver with a happy surprise? No doubt! Suffused with warmth and gentle humor, this deceptively simple story demonstrates the power of friendship, the importance of working together and problem-solving, while simultaneously introducing basic concepts (high/low, tall/short) in a pleasing, organic way. Young children will root for the three friends, enjoy the mild suspense and delight in the very satisfying ending.

As gentle and unassuming as Oliver, this story thoroughly charms. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: March 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25700-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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