While children’s situations won’t always match those presented here, the author has provided a model for how to talk with...

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PRAYERS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Christian prayers in everyday language address the common fears, hopes, and worries of children.

As young children turn to their parents for help and solace, so too do many turn to God in times of trouble and in gratitude. But what language to use? Does praying help? Steinkühler’s collection addresses those questions by pairing concerns of children—fear of the dark, a grandparent’s death, moving, loneliness, sickness, jealousy—with passages from the Bible. When a lost pet is found, the prayer is like that of the prodigal son’s father. Sibling rivalry? Pray like Mary’s sister Martha or Joseph’s brothers. But the audience for this is difficult to pin down. Much of the language and issues are aimed at older children than those who are afraid of thunderstorms or desperately want a pet: “Wise King, Bright Light, / I ask for forgiveness.” And several are less prayers than one-sided conversations with God: “You’ll look the other way, won’t you? / When I do this one small thing?... / Even though I know it’s not right.” The vignette and full-page illustrations vary among biblical scenes and symbolism and more modern ones. The people’s faces are expressive though not especially diverse. A table of contents arranged by topic and a list of the referenced Bible verses in the back help readers address specific matters.

While children’s situations won’t always match those presented here, the author has provided a model for how to talk with God. (Picture book/religion. 5-10)

Pub Date: March 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5493-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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A well-intentioned book that does not successfully grapple with the complexity and challenge of its subject matter.

COURAGEOUS WORLD CHANGERS

50 TRUE STORIES OF DARING WOMEN OF GOD

Redmond introduces readers to Christian women from all over the world who made an impact on society.

Well-known political activists, athletes, missionaries, and many more are included along with various other strong and brave women who are less known, such as Ni Kwei-Tseng Soong and Christine Caine. Each of these 50 women has a dedicated spread, with a full-page illustration on recto and text on verso that provides readers with a brief history of her childhood. With this background, readers can understand how each woman has come to be celebrated. In each minibiography, the subject is quoted testifying to God’s presence and influence in her life. While a book dedicated to empowered Christian women is enlightening to read, it portrays all of these women uncomplicatedly as heroes. The view of missionary work it presents is outdated and biased, betraying a fundamental lack of cultural respect and appreciation, a point inadvertently driven home in the profile of Narcissa Whitman, a white woman who, as she wrote, worked for the “salvation” of “benighted [American] Indians.” Probably unsurprisingly, the entry on Pocahontas (depicted in a skimpy buckskin dress) does not acknowledge the traditional Powhatan counternarrative that she was kidnapped and raped rather than voluntarily converting to Christianity.

A well-intentioned book that does not successfully grapple with the complexity and challenge of its subject matter. (Collective biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7734-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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JESUS IS RISEN!

AN EASTER POP-UP BOOK

Jesus pops up.

“It had been three days since Jesus died on a cross, and his friends were sad.” So Traini (The Life of Martin Luther, 2017) opens his ingenuously retold version of the first Easter. Beginning with two unnamed women clambering down a rocky hill to the graveyard, each of the seven tableaux features human figures with oversized eyes, light brown skin, and solemn or awed expressions posing in a sparsely decorated setting. The women hurry off at the behest of the angel lounging casually in a tomb bedecked with large crystals and fossil seashells to inform the “other disciples” of what’s happened. Along the way the women meet Jesus himself (“Greetings, my friends!”), who goes on to urge disciples “hiding inside a locked room” to touch his discreetly wounded hands. He later shares breakfast (“fish, of course!”) with Peter and others, then ascends from a mountaintop to heaven. Though the 3-D art and the flashes of irreverence set this sketchy rendition of the story apart from more conventional versions, the significance of the event never really comes clear…nor can it match for depth of feeling the stately likes of Jan Pienkowski’s Easter (1983). In the final scene Pentecostal flames appear over the heads of the disciples, leaving them endowed with the gift of tongues and eager to spread the “good news about Jesus!”

Skip. (Pop-up picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5064-3340-0

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Sparkhouse

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

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