A breezy text kept afloat by the buoyant illustrations—if only Mrs. Noah had been invited along for the ride as well.

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GOODNIGHT, ARK

Noah packs up an ark full of critters and heads out to sea in a gale in this rollicking, rhymed version of the Old Testament story.

The short text comprises one quatrain per page, with just a few words per line. The verses describe different animals and the sounds of the thunderstorm, with lots of onomatopoeia (“Crash! Boom! Rumble!”) and evocative language detailing the animal antics (“Thump, stomp, slither, / up they scurry”). The frightened animals pile into Noah’s bed two by two as the storm increases in intensity, with an action-filled climax involving a listing ship, a broken bed and a pair of stinky skunks. Noah calms all the creatures with soothing lullabies, and peace prevails as the animals bed down at last. Chapman’s appealing illustrations make the most of the humorously crowded conditions on the ark, with expressive elephants, slithering snakes and leaping tigers. Noah’s wife is nowhere to be seen in this interpretation, an unfortunate omission when all the other inhabitants of the ark are shown in pairs. There is no real religious content in the story beyond the basic premise, making this more of a humorous introduction to rather than a retelling of the Bible story.

A breezy text kept afloat by the buoyant illustrations—if only Mrs. Noah had been invited along for the ride as well. (Picture book/religion. 2-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-310-73784-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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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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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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