A pleasant but not essential introduction to the concept of integrating prayer into daily life.

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I CAN SAY A PRAYER

Preschoolers incorporate prayer into their daily activities in this collection of 12 short prayers.

Washing up, making music, sharing a meal and being kind to animals are some of the circumstances explored by a multiethnic group of cheerful children, who get along remarkably well without any grownups in sight. Most of the prayers rhyme, and most are written in first person, with a variety of children serving as narrators. Several of the prayers are based on familiar Bible verses, mostly from the Psalms and concluding with the Lord’s Prayer. The version of the Lord’s Prayer used here is that of the Church of England, which differs slightly but noticeably from the versions used in U.S. churches. Bold, cartoon-style illustrations provide a cheery complement to the text of prayers, with simplified shapes and appealing characters with disproportionately large heads and uniformly earnest expressions. The final spread shows Jesus teaching the Lord’s Prayer to the assembled preschool-aged characters shown throughout the book, which may need explaining from a historical standpoint.

A pleasant but not essential introduction to the concept of integrating prayer into daily life. (Picture book/religion. 2-5)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6233-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 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 slight but pleasant faith-based morning story

GOOD MORNING, WORLD!

Anthropomorphized animals follow typical morning routines including play and prayers.

A dog, goat, hedgehog, sheep, and dove greet each new activity cheerfully. Then, with eyes closed and paws, hooves, and wings folded, they thank God “for food to eat and friends who share.” After washing up in a river and then wiggling, stretching, and jumping in a meadow, they celebrate: “God has made today. Hooray! Good morning, God!” Pastel backgrounds are vaguely reminiscent of stereotypical images of the Holy Land, with sandstone-colored buildings and a domed tower. The rising sun becomes increasingly prominent, finally appearing as a yellow half circle on the final spread. Toddlers will soon chime in on the “Good morning” refrain. Designed as curriculum for Christian churches, the message is clear and consistent. The best thing about the book is the final message addressed to parents: a gentle assurance that “It’s not easy being a toddler—or the parent of a toddler,” along with advice on how to establish routines and the importance of making one-on-one time part of that routine almost make up for the unsubtle animal illustrations and slight and preachy storyline. Parents seeking such support might do better to sign up for the online newsletter advertised on the back of the book.

A slight but pleasant faith-based morning story . (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5064-1785-1

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Sparkhouse

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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