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)