FIRST GRACES

Companion volume to the favorite First Prayers, this, while equally enchanting in format, has, perhaps, less wide an appeal. The use of grace before meals is today much less general than formerly. But for those to whom the idea has acceptance, this selection of twenty prayers of thanksgiving is excellent. One could wish that at least one Jewish grace had been included, but perhaps that is laboring the point when the number is limited- and the probable market primarily Protestant.

Pub Date: June 15, 1955

ISBN: 0394844092

Page Count: 47

Publisher: Oxford

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1955

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An unremarkable but effective way to inculcate familiarity with standard Christmas iconography

BABY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS

New babies don’t know much about Christmas. This simple board book aims to correct that situation.

The cover art of a smiling white snowman against a bright red background sporting a green-and-red stocking hat, scarf, and gloves invites readers in. Simple stock images, often of toys, one per page, highlight additional objects often associated with secular aspects of the holiday. Each item is shown in its most generic form, embossed and glossy against high-contrast backgrounds. Thankfully, not all the pictures are green and red. The first pages—of a snowflake and ornament—have blue and yellow backgrounds. The next two pictures, of a polar bear and penguin, are odd choices since they really have nothing to do with the holiday. A Christmas tree, angel, present, stocking, reindeer, and “santa” (the last printed in lowercase as if a generic) are more closely associated with the celebration. The angel is a knitted brown doll with a white handkerchief dress. The reindeer is a stuffed animal. Each object is clearly labeled, and an exclamation or question (“Look at her sparkly halo!”) in a smaller font extends the conversation. The final spread reprises all the images except the snowman.

An unremarkable but effective way to inculcate familiarity with standard Christmas iconography . (Board book. 6 mos.-2)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4654-6867-3

Page Count: 14

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Through intricate paintings and a cohesive text, this Christian tale becomes fully fleshed out.

THE THIEF WHO STOLE HEAVEN

A thief finds mercy from Jesus during the crucifixion in this retelling of a Gospel story.

In Arroyo’s picture book, Dismas, an abandoned child, is raised to be a thief. Despite his kind heart, he is instructed by his master that “mercy is a great weakness.” As Dismas grows to adulthood, he becomes a feared bandit, quick to kill. One night, Dismas encounters a group of travelers: a couple with a child, whom the thief recognizes as divine. Dismas spares the family, asking the child to remember him and show him mercy one day. Years pass, and Dismas continues his wicked ways until he is finally caught. As he hangs on a cross next to an innocent preacher, Dismas recognizes the man as the divine child he met long ago. Because of his faith, the thief is forgiven and welcomed into heaven. The tale’s violent content, from Dismas’ master’s killing a kitten to the bandit’s committing his own murders, is handled discreetly in the author’s straightforward text and delicately in Gallegos’ beautiful paintings. But this material makes the work better suited for older independent readers and upper level Sunday school classes. The detailed illustrations nod to European Renaissance art depictions of Bible stories, featuring White, dark-haired characters throughout. Arroyo offers an insightful endnote about the various traditional versions of Dismas’ journey, beginning with the Gospel of Luke but including the writings of St. Augustine and others.

Through intricate paintings and a cohesive text, this Christian tale becomes fully fleshed out.

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64413-238-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sophia Institute Press

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2021

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