Though bland and requiring a bit of interpretation, this board book has a message that church school teachers and parents...

READ REVIEW

I CAN PRAISE GOD

From the Frolic series

An idealized explanation of what prayer looks like for the youngest parishioners.

A multicultural array of toddlers illustrate the many ways to praise God. Six of the children are white, while six are varying shades of brown. All have the same round heads and bright pink cheeks. The intended message is clear: whether by singing or raising hands in supplication and joy, in a group or alone, praising God is good. The actual message is rather confusing, with some paradoxical contrasts. “I can praise God with my eyes open wide” is accompanied by a bug-eyed girl with her arms flailing. The opposite page presents a much more attractive picture of a boy with “eyes squeezed shut.” The text above the girl banging on a drum reads, “I can praise God LOUD.” That positive message seems to be contradicted by the next illustration of a boy who seems to be shushing her, accompanied by text that reads, “I can praise God quiet—Shhhhh….” A spread reprising nine of the children ends with the word “Alleluia” but does not explain its meaning. A quote from Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” concludes the lesson.

Though bland and requiring a bit of interpretation, this board book has a message that church school teachers and parents looking for faith-based resources will appreciate. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5064-2190-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sparkhouse

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A pleasant-enough introduction to feelings and how those feelings emerge.

GOD MADE FEELINGS

From the Frolic series

Little readers learn about their feelings.

Feelings can influence behavior in unusual ways, and this board book shows little ones the cause-and-effect relationship feelings and actions may have. The faith-based nature of the board book positions God as the source of feelings, but the book’s larger interest lies in behavioral causes. For example, “When Jo feels happy, he jumps and leaps!” or “When Ava feels sad, she sometimes cries.” The animals are depicted in close-up on verso so readers can clearly see their expressions, and then medium shots of their actions are presented on the facing page. This technique emphasizes the importance of decoding facial expressions when determining a person’s feelings. The animals that exhibit feelings are suitably round and cuddly, colored in a soft, pastel palette. The final two pages contain resources for parents to help them talk to their children about feelings and faith.

A pleasant-enough introduction to feelings and how those feelings emerge. (Board book. 2-3)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5064-1782-0

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sparkhouse

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A solid board book for little ones starting to develop the concept of God.

GOD LOVES YOU!

From the Frolic series

Little ones learn about God’s love.

An Asian baby smiles winningly on the cover, beckoning readers. The Lord loves all his children unconditionally, and this board book helps little readers begin to grasp that concept. On the first page, the text begins, “God loves you when you’re…” while opposite a two-toothed little black girl beams out at readers. Each subsequent turn of the page reveals a different baby making different faces. There’s a “happy” face, a “grumpy” face, a “silly” face, and more. The babies presented are of multiple races, though pale-skinned babies predominate on the inner pages. One-word text describes the emotions displayed on each face, and the final page provides a mirror as little readers are told, “God loves you and I do too!” The photographs are brightly lit and set against white backgrounds, emphasizing the different faces. The message is broken down simply enough to be easily understood by little ones beginning their relationships with God, and this lesson of love is an essential building block.

A solid board book for little ones starting to develop the concept of God. (Board book. 1-2)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5064-2184-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sparkhouse

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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