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SUNDAY IS FOR GOD by Michael McGowan Kirkus Star


by Michael McGowan and illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 26th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-84188-0
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

“Weekdays are for school. Saturday’s for having fun. But Sunday is the Lord’s day.” So begins one African-American boy’s slice-of-life description of this particular Sunday, which unfolds in a comforting, ritualized pattern. There’s breakfast, getting into church clothes and the service itself, complete with fidgeting and woolgathering before the final hymn. Then Sunday dinner and finally, as the sun begins to set, an opportunity to play. McGowan’s straightforward text ably captures both the wonder and the boredom—often simultaneous—of church devotions in a way young readers will recognize. Johnson and Fancher use their trademark style of acrylics painted over collaged paper to great effect here, rendering their scenes on scraps of Bible verses and hymnal pages—with the occasional baseball or crayon box peeking through to remind readers of the narrator’s divided attentions; one spread depicts the narrator dunking his hand into the blue aisle carpet–cum–imaginary river. The sunny palette makes the most of the mostly black and brown skins of the congregation and of the girls’ and ladies’ Sunday best dresses and hats. Simple and joyous. (Picture book. 4-8)