A rousing rendition of the familiar tale.



The story of Jonah and God’s command to him to warn the misbehaving people of Ninevah is retold in a rhyming narrative that brings out the reluctant prophet’s continual noncompliance.

In an introductory illustration depicting a biblical community of contentious men, Jonah looks on and disagrees with God’s request to warn them of impending consequences. “ ‘Preach,’ said Jonah. / ‘That’s not fun— / Ragging, nagging everyone.’ ” Jonah decides to run away, claiming that no one will appreciate his moralizing. He boards a ship headed in the opposite direction from Ninevah, but God’s wrath stirs a huge storm that only subsides after Jonah realizes he must leave. He allows the sailors to throw him overboard and is promptly swallowed by a huge fish. Forced to rethink his original decision, he agrees to comply with God’s command, yet after the deed is done and the repentant Ninevites have changed their wicked ways, he fumes that God decided to forgive them rather than punish them. Jonah must accept God’s rationale after he loses his own comfort under the cooling shade of a tree. The rhyming verse ably encapsulates each of Jonah’s negative and contemptuous reactions, which are followed by the refrain, “Oh no, Jonah,” meant to be shouted aloud by listeners or readers. Acrylics on textured canvas of robed and bearded men with long hooked noses and a variety of complexions create a rather stereotypical illusion of the ancient world.

A rousing rendition of the familiar tale. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-5139-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in.


Rhyming text and colorful multicultural illustrations reassure young readers of God’s omnipresence and still small voice.

“Where in the world is God’s voice found?” Perhaps in ocean waves, bird song, or mountain vistas, suggest the couplet rhymes. Even when readers might be faced with difficult emotions and distractions of all kinds, the text reassures them that God is still there and still speaking, if only one pauses to listen. His voice can be found in nature, in starlight, in the love of family and friends, in dreams, and “through His Word.” Admirably, the bright illustrations, reminiscent of mid-20th-century Disney artist Mary Blair’s stylings, depict children and families with a diverse array of skin tones and ages. There is also a refreshing mix of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Yet, despite the appealing illustrations, the rhymes and scansion are often forced (“your feelings, they matter, / even if they’re all mixed up like / pancake batter”), which detracts from the overall message. Contrived couplets notwithstanding, this title will likely find an audience among Christian households seeking reassuring bedtime reads.

Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-65385-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support.


The annual harvest from farm to table is explored with a religious perspective, focusing on Christian harvest traditions and the Jewish celebration of Sukkot.

Crisp color photography highlights children in scenes of farming and the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. The book features several instructive points about the variety of produce available, the harvest concept and sharing. Finally, it covers two different yet corresponding religious ways to observe the harvest and thank God. Church-based harvest festivals are illustrated by the decorating of a church with various breads, wheat stalks and baskets of food. Sukkot is shown with the building and decorating of a Sukkah and how this symbol of a shelter or hut relates to the ancient Jewish celebration. An informative and eye-catching design on glossy paper offers a large, multicolored print, the majority of text blocks in black against soft pale backgrounds, with key words in bold blue; these are repeated in a vocabulary border at the bottom of each page. The text is largely framed in questions, encouraging personal response and discussion. The simplicity and functionality of the book’s premise is enhanced with an addendum of teaching suggestions for specific pages and more detailed background information about the concepts presented.

This will serve well in both religious and nonreligious settings for fall curriculum support. (websites, index) (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-237-54373-0

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Evans/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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