“Within every ecosystem, each plant and animal is designed to serve a specific purpose in God's creation.” While this...



From the Nature of God series

From Lake Michigan’s dunes through transition forests to the boreal forests and wetlands in the region’s north, a television host introduces inhabitants of three Great Lakes ecosystems from an intelligent-design perspective.

“Within every ecosystem, each plant and animal is designed to serve a specific purpose in God's creation.” While this proposition is not accepted by the great majority of scientists, it is repeatedly put forth, through examples and Biblical quotations, in this appreciation of the Great Lakes’ natural world. Schriemer defines his terms, introduces "HOMES" as a mnemonic to remember the five lake names and provides a map showing Michigan at their heart. He then introduces each ecosystem, with examples of characteristic animals and a plant for each. Each creature has a page with an explanation of its name, a short description of its appearance and behavior, a “crazy cool fact” and several color photographs. The images are not large, and a few are difficult to see—as are the animals themselves—but most will give young readers a good idea of what to look for. A DVD (not seen) is packaged with books in this series, which also includes the less well-written Ocean Adventures, about habitats of Hawaii. There are no sources or index in either book.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-310-72142-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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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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The more engaging musical version is available separately through iTunes and other distributors. You won’t hear the typos.


Purposeful and saccharine-sweet, these poems on religious and secular topics take on new life on the accompanying CD.

Wharnsby, a musician, has an appealing folk style, but the poetry on the page sounds forced and often trite. To interest young children in diversity, he writes such lines as “People are a lot like candy! / There’re [sic] all so different and dandy.” Describing “Piles of Smiles” that have been hidden away, he laments: “Someone misplaced the key, / causing global tragedy.” The poems range from the personal “I had a Chirpy Chick,” in which the narrator focuses on love for a pet and love for her grandmother, to a didactic poem entitled “The Mosque.” Typographical mistakes abound, with the use of “their” for “they’re” in the poem “Prayer” and in the example above, among others. Vibrantly colored flowers and plants, echoed in the handsome prayer rugs that illustrate “Prayer,” curl their way around multiracial children and adults. Most adult women wear hijab, as do some girls. With more and more Muslim families in North American communities, there is certainly a need for books of this type. Unfortunately, as with much other religious poetry collections for children, the message takes precedence over the words.

The more engaging musical version is available separately through iTunes and other distributors. You won’t hear the typos. (Poetry. 5-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-86037-444-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Kube Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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