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I’M YOUR CHILD, GOD by Marian Wright Edelman


Prayers for Our Children

by Marian Wright Edelman & illustrated by Bryan Collier

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7868-0597-8
Publisher: Hyperion

The earnest and thoughtful Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, has cast a wide net: she offers prayers for both young children and teens, for special occasions, for “Struggle and Strength,” and a small selection of traditional prayers like the Prayer of St Francis and selected psalms. While the slant is definitely Christian, there is a real effort toward inclusiveness, and the special-occasion prayers include ones for Hanukkah and Passover. Most are brief. While it is impossible to avoid self-consciousness in a collection like this, the language tends to be strong and simple, and might give children a path into prayer that could be difficult to find on their own. A prayer for protection begs to be delivered from “goblins . . . under the bed” as well as bullies and guns and “the low expectations of others”; another says, “Dear God, / I am so afraid of the dark. / Please bring morning soon.” Teen cries for guidance and respect end in questions rather than answers. Collier’s (Visiting Langston, p. 186, etc.) brilliant collage-and-watercolor images are set with vertical bands of color on the children’s faces. He writes that they represent blessings falling upon them. They also provide a unity of vision and an otherworldly effect of rainbow shadows. This may have some difficulty finding its audience, but the strength of author and illustrator will help draw them in. (preface, introduction) (Nonfiction. 7-12)