This engaging, inclusive book will be a welcome addition to shelves in Christian homes or church libraries.

MY BREAKFAST WITH JESUS

WORSHIPPING GOD AROUND THE WORLD

Breakfast traditions from all around the Christian world.

Readers begin their journey in this book with the Bible story of Jesus’ preparing breakfast for his disciples as an act of love and caring. Fast-forward thousands of years to the present day, and readers discover how Christians eat their breakfasts in locations all over the globe and even in spaceships above it. These breakfasts are portrayed as a way to celebrate faith together and to praise Jesus. Within each double-page snapshot, detailed cartoons present both characters and inset drawings of the foods they are about to eat. Alongside each inset is a factual gloss about that particular breakfast, including how the food is made and the cultural meaning of each meal. A Ghanaian girl breakfasts on hausa koko (a millet porridge); a Russian boy eats syrniki (cottage-cheese pancakes); a Chinese congregation worshiping in secret enjoys noodles and dumplings. Diverse cultures are represented, with visits to each of the continents, including a research station in Antarctica. Some breakfasts are enjoyed within families; others are shared among friends; and some are prepared to give to those in need. The common thread throughout is the joy all take in their breakfasts, just as Jesus and the disciples took joy in theirs.

This engaging, inclusive book will be a welcome addition to shelves in Christian homes or church libraries. (Informational picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7369-7712-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harvest House

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A full-hearted valentine.

THIS IS A SCHOOL

A soaring panegyric to elementary school as a communal place to learn and grow.

“This is a kid,” Schu begins. “This is a kid in a class. This is a class in a hall….” If that class—possibly second graders, though they could be a year to either side of that—numbers only about a dozen in Jamison’s bright paintings, it makes up for that in diversity, with shiny faces of variously brown or olive complexion well outnumbering paler ones; one child using a wheelchair; and at least two who appear to be Asian. (The adult staff is likewise racially diverse.) The children are individualized in the art, but the author’s narrative is addressed more to an older set of readers as it runs almost entirely to collective nouns and abstract concepts: “We share. We help. / This is a community, growing.” Younger audiences will zero in on the pictures, which depict easily recognizable scenes of both individual and collective learning and play, with adults and classmates always on hand to help out or join in. Signs of conflict are unrealistically absent, but an occasional downcast look does add a bit of nuance to the general air of eager positivity on display. A sad face at an apartment window with a comment that “[s]ometimes something happens, and we can’t all be together” can be interpreted as an oblique reference to pandemic closings, but the central message here is that school is a physical space, not a virtual one, where learning and community happen. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A full-hearted valentine. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0458-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking.

I'M NOT SCARED, YOU'RE SCARED

Unlikely friends Bear and Rabbit face fears together.

The anthropomorphic creatures set out on an adventure. Graphic-based illustrations give the book a Pixar movie feel, with a variety of page layouts that keep the story moving. Large blocks of black text are heavy on dialogue patterns as timid Bear and bold Rabbit encounter obstacles. Bear fears every one of them, from the stream to the mountain. He’ll do anything to avoid the objects of terror: taking a bus, a train, and even a helicopter. As Rabbit asks Bear if he’s frightened, Bear repeatedly responds, “I’m not scared, you’re scared!” and children will delight in the call-and-response opportunities. Adults may tire of the refrain, but attempts to keep everyone entertained are evident in asides about Bear's inability to brush food from his teeth (he’s too afraid to look at himself in the mirror) and Rabbit's superstrong ears (which do come in handy later). When Rabbit finds herself in danger after Bear defects on the adventure, Bear retraces the trip. Along the way, he notes that the stream wasn't as deep, nor the mountain as high, as he thought when he was scared. While picture-book shelves may not be screaming for another comedically sweet bear story, especially one that treads such familiar territory, many readers will appreciate this tale of overcoming fears. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Energetic and earnest but not groundbreaking. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35237-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Flamingo Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

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