Baby steps for those on their Christian walk of faith.

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A GIFT FOR A LITTLE CHILD'S BAPTISM

A collection of prayers, some biblical and some original, for little ones.

Following through on its titular intent, prayers embody the nine characteristics (including love, faithfulness and gentleness) attributed to the Holy Ghost. Selections (The Lord's Prayer, “All Things Bright and Beautiful”) depict God’s loving relationship with His people and creation. Poems balance reverence for the Omniscient against the individual’s need for attention. “I’m wild as a tiger / I’m wild as a bear / I’m wilder than a wildebeest / and I don’t even care.” (Though the accompanying illustration suggests a gentler reality as the little girl nuzzles a tiger-striped cat.) Where appropriate, traditional formulations are rephrased (“Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” does not threaten death, for instance). Not all offerings demonstrate the poetic strength of the traditional text: “The Lord is my shepherd / I’m safe in his care / by pools deep and still / in green pastures so fair.” Cheerful symbolic images (butterflies, doves and sheep) grin against minimalist backgrounds. Cuddly, cherub-cheeked youngsters pray and play, each depicted with small, sweet smiles. Characters’ physical representation reveals a conventional European-American view, with fair, blond angels and white, bearded, white-robed Jesus holding the mostly Caucasian children’s hands.

Baby steps for those on their Christian walk of faith. (Picture book/religion. 1-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6251-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Trafalgar Square

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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The inferior book design and dense text do not serve this Bible verse well.

JESUS SAVES ME

From the Knowing My God series

An exegesis of John 10:14-16 for toddlers.

The biblical text, which begins “I am the good shepherd,” is meted out in short lines on the right-hand side of each double-page spread, written in type meant to look like a child’s handwriting. Below the Scripture on each spread there is a paragraph explaining what a shepherd does, how Jesus is a shepherd and that his followers are his “sheep.” On each facing page is a large photo illustrating the ideas in the text with images of sheep, shepherds and ethnically diverse children at play. The cover, as well as the first two and last two pages of the book, features amateurish cartoons of young children, likely composed on a computer, which jar startlingly against the photos. A note for grown-ups appears at the end describing how to share the book with children of different ages and encouraging parents to let the book grow “with your child.” This suggestion is helpful, since much of the text will likely go over the heads of typical board-book readers. Literal-minded toddlers may be confused by such assertions as, “You—and other people who believe in Jesus are His sheep!” 

The inferior book design and dense text do not serve this Bible verse well. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9854090-2-9

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Graham Blanchard

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Engaging material for little ones embarking on their relationships with God.

NOAH'S ARK

The Bible tale in board-book format.

The tale of Noah’s Ark may be the perfect story to tell little ones starting their journey with God or simply exploring the classics of Western literature. There’s cute animals, a giant boat, and spectacle to spare. This board book boils down the tale of Noah to its essence: Noah’s “a good man,” and he builds the ark, gathers the animals, and survives the flood. There’s no mention of the promise God made after the flood, which is curious (the Lord’s promise never to flood the world again may ease some fears), but the retelling otherwise hews to the familiar story. Size necessarily causes it to skimp on the animals, however; here, Noah saves elephants, giraffes, sheep, crocodiles, monkeys, and doves, two of each. The concurrently published In the Beginning uses similar tactics to tell the story of Creation. Both books feature minimalist artwork on uncluttered pages, thus emphasizing the objects and accompanying words. The illustrations are handsomely rendered with earthy tones and rounded, clean-edged figures. All human characters in each book are white. These well-constructed, small board books are best suited for the earliest of readers.  

Engaging material for little ones embarking on their relationships with God. (Board book. 1-2) 

Pub Date: April 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8249-1991-7

Page Count: 16

Publisher: WorthyKids/Ideals

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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