Artistry and poetry preaching effectively to a particular sort of choir

LOVE MADE

A STORY OF GOD’S OVERFLOWING, CREATIVE HEART

Spoken-word artist Aragon brings her poetry to the picture-book page in her debut.

Love is a powerful creative force. Flowing from the tripartite God of love, its generative ability creates light, sky, plants, and animals of all kinds, culminating in humanity, the crown of creation. Human beings then, as image bearers of the Creator, with their own capacity for both love and creation, bring forth a child through the intimacy of husband and wife. This is a tale of two genesis stories, a poetic retelling of the biblical Genesis as well as the genesis of a family, all centered on love. Though the rhythm of the text is lovely, the implication of sexual intimacy in marriage as the exclusive means of creating a family unfortunately limits the audience to only heteronormative couples and nonadoptive parents. The colorful and bold illustrations are visually striking, depicting an appropriately brown-skinned Adam and Eve and a contemporary black family as the focal points of the dual creation narrative. A lovely celebration of the power of love and its role in the traditional nuclear family, though a bit on the exclusive side.

Artistry and poetry preaching effectively to a particular sort of choir . (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7436-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Younger audiences may be mostly interested in the bonking and stinky parts, but the rudiments are at least in place for...

LIFT-THE-FLAP BIBLE STORIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Ten tales from the Old and New Testaments, with plot points and lessons hidden beneath large, shaped flaps.

Higgins depicts Jesus as a bit larger than those around him but otherwise draws him and the rest of the cast—including angels—with similar-looking round heads, wide-open eyes, slightly crooked beards (on the men), and dark brown or olive skin. Cycling arbitrarily among various tenses, the abbreviated, sanitized, and informally retold episodes begin in “a garden” with the tree, most of Adam and Eve, and the “tricky serpent” who “will trick them” initially hidden beneath die-cut flaps. Lifting the largest reveals the disobedient first couple sporting flashy animal-skin togs and text that promises that “God had a plan to save people from sin.” After Noah boards the “crowded, noisy, and stinky” ark, Moses leads the escape from plague-ridden Egypt (“Frogs and locusts! Yucky sores and flies!”), and “David bonks Goliath.” God’s promise eventually bears fruit with the birth and select miracles of Jesus. In the climactic scene, three distant crosses hide beneath a flap that depicts Jerusalem, while behind a tomb in the foreground an angel literally fizzes with fireworks. Beneath a bush readers see Mary (Magdalen) weeping until the risen Jesus (beneath another bush) gives her a hug: “Go tell the disciples that I am alive!”

Younger audiences may be mostly interested in the bonking and stinky parts, but the rudiments are at least in place for homiletic discussion. (Novelty/religion. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5064-4684-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Beaming Books

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Saccharine and cloying, though darling and diverse illustrations lend some charm.

HELLO, LITTLE DREAMER

Children are encouraged to follow their hearts and chase their dreams in a new picture book from the morning-TV host.

“Hello, little dreamer!” offers an encouraging invitation to young readers, going on to inquire, “What is your FAVORITE thing to do?” Rhyming couplets in direct address proceed to speculate and offer possibilities. Whatever “you” enjoy doing may be the seed of a dream meant just for you from God. A little curiosity and a dash of prayer are all it takes to make your dreams come true. The soft-edged and undeniably cute illustrations include an admirably diverse array of dot-eyed children engaged in a variety of activities: bicycling (with helmets), running over grassy fields with balloons, splashing in puddles. At times the text skates close to the prosperity gospel: “NEVER let people tell you / your dreams can’t come true. / Just keep doing those things / that God wants you to do.” They need only follow these interests to find fulfillment, a rather trite and unrealistic message. It’s delivered in an at-times forced rhyme—an unfortunate but typical characteristic of the genre. “This was God's plan. / This was what He designed / Because right from the start / He had you on His mind!” Readers might find themselves praying for prose by the time they get through it. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 25% of actual size.)

Saccharine and cloying, though darling and diverse illustrations lend some charm. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0926-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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