A nice addition to seasonal bookshelves that will find extra use in church-school programs.

READ REVIEW

S IS FOR SNOWMAN

GOD'S WINTERTIME ALPHABET

Wargin’s latest completes her four-season abecedarian series and relates the wonders of winter to God’s goodness. 

First and foremost, this is a celebration of winter-related activities, indoor and out: making snow angels, feeding the birds, baking cookies, sipping hot chocolate, ice skating and sledding. At the same time, the natural wonders of wintertime are brought to the fore: “God cast the Frost sparkling white on the land, / a beautiful blanket spread right from his hand.” From counting blessings on the squares of a warm quilt to seeing God’s love in the light spilling from house windows into the darkness beyond, many of Wargin’s rhyming couplets stress God’s goodness and people’s responsibility to spread that goodness through acts of caring—doing chores and sharing anything from mittens to soup. While Jesus is not specifically mentioned, decorating a tree and exchanging gifts are some of the wintertime activities. Johnson’s softly colored illustrations are vital to filling in details that just cannot be expressed in rhyming couplets, and they add a few activities that aren’t mentioned in the text; the north wind page features skiing, for instance.

A nice addition to seasonal bookshelves that will find extra use in church-school programs. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-310-71661-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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