BECAUSE NOTHING LOOKS LIKE GOD

According to the authors’ note to parents and teachers, the Kushners address the often unspoken questions of young children who hear about God in church. This multicultural, nondenominational, and non-sectarian attempt poses three questions: “Where is God?,” “What does God look like?,” and “How does God make things happen?” There are various answers to these questions, ranging from images such as God “is in the first ripening tomato, and in cookies just fresh from the oven,” to the ideas that God is “wherever we let God in.” In answer to what God looks like, the authors write, “God looks like nothing,” but there are many things people cannot see and yet they know they are there. The premise being that God is in every aspect of life and that God makes things happen through people’s acts of caring about each other and their community. There is no mention of prayer, houses of worship, or any of the traditional forms of religious life. Majewski’s illustrations are bright and sunny, depicting families of color, the young, the old, in the US, and in a few world communities. The picture-book format is appropriate to the very young child, but the text, although simple, may have concepts more easily understood by older children. Parents who believe that God is within all aspects of the spiritual and temporal world may find this book helpful as a discussion starter, but it’s not much more than that. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-58023-092-X

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Jewish Lights

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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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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