The gift of language becomes relevant and real in this original tale.

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WHEN GOD GAVE US WORDS

When God gives language to people, the angels strongly object, convinced “people will not know what to do with words.”

Angels believe words belong exclusively to them, but God hopes people will use words to “make something beautiful.” God fills sacks with words (including “long, difficult words,” “silly words,” and hard-to-spell words) and sends the angels to “put words into the mouths of all the people.” When angels complain some words are too difficult to understand or spell, God creates dictionaries and spelling lists. People begin using words, combining them into sentences. However, as people turn words into lies, curses, and gossip, God worries the angels may have been right. Then God hears people using words to create songs, poetry, jokes, prayers, and stories that even the angels love. Conveyed in a tone reminiscent of the Genesis Creation story, Sasso’s intangible ideas take root in Zoells' delicate pencil lines and soft watercolors rendered with artful naiveté. God appears as the sun, luminous in red, orange, yellow, and blue concentric circles, while angels are represented as smaller, multicolored, spiky orbs. After God’s gift of words, light and energy infuse the previously dull landscape with colorful scenes of people of many races laughing, singing, telling stories, dancing, and praying.

The gift of language becomes relevant and real in this original tale. (Picture book. 3-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-947888-01-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flyaway Books

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture...

WHEN I PRAY FOR YOU

Turner adds another title to his picture-book series that highlights the miracles in the mundane (When God Made Light, 2018, etc.).

In the vein of children’s-bookshelf stalwart Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Turner’s rhyming text includes both prayers and life advice for a growing child, beginning with infancy and moving on to adolescence. At times the rhyme and meter are strained, muddling meaning and making the tempo feel occasionally awkward when read aloud. Overall, though, the book executes its mission, presenting Christian theological truths within the rhythmic inspirational text. For this third series installment Turner’s text is paired with a new illustrator, whose bright illustrations of wide-eyed children have great shelf appeal. While David Catrow’s previous illustrations in the series featured effervescent black protagonists, the child in Barnes’ illustrations appears white, though she occupies an otherwise diverse world. While illustrated as a prayer from a mother for her daughter, the text itself is gender neutral.

Though it will never usurp Dr. Seuss, it will still find a home where Christian families of faith seek inspirational picture books. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-52565058-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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