BEDTIME BLESSINGS by Marianne Richmond


Age Range: 3 - 6
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A gentle bedtime story written as a prayer lists many reasons to be thankful.

An attractive cover shows the pink-cheeked, white child curled up asleep on a crescent moon, with a cozy home in the background. The story opens with the same child in bed with, probably, an older sibling; the prayer begins: “Dear God.” Appealing double-page spreads in soft, dreamy watercolors show a succession of children of diverse skin tones and hair textures, with loving families, friends, pets, and green spaces for play. The loose illustration style uses a flattened perspective reminiscent of a child’s artwork, with equally childlike static depictions of the characters. This naïve style leads to confusion, as it’s not clear whether the child on the cover reappears throughout in inconsistent portrayals, with hair sometimes redder or curlier or skin tone darker, or whether these figures are all entirely different children. Family relationships are also difficult to define. One particularly puzzling illustration, which may be problematic for some readers, shows the child praying at night in her bed with an adult, possibly male figure also under the covers. The short, rhyming text is a bit singsong, with specific references to God in the repeated thank-you pattern. The words “thank you” and other key phrases are set in larger, purple type, with other phrases unnecessarily set in italics. Despite these small drawbacks, the overall tone is soothing and appreciative, with gratitude and caring for others a clear theme.

A sweet but inessential offering for families who desire a bedtime story with a Christian theme. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4926-4181-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016


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