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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Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SHOW GOOD MANNERS?

From the How Do Dinosaurs…? series

A guide to better behavior—at home, on the playground, in class, and in the library.

Serving as a sort of overview for the series’ 12 previous exercises in behavior modeling, this latest outing opens with a set of badly behaving dinos, identified in an endpaper key and also inconspicuously in situ. Per series formula, these are paired to leading questions like “Does she spit out her broccoli onto the floor? / Does he shout ‘I hate meat loaf!’ while slamming the door?” (Choruses of “NO!” from young audiences are welcome.) Midway through, the tone changes (“No, dinosaurs don’t”), and good examples follow to the tune of positive declarative sentences: “They wipe up the tables and vacuum the floors. / They share all the books and they never slam doors,” etc. Teague’s customary, humongous prehistoric crew, all depicted in exact detail and with wildly flashy coloration, fill both their spreads and their human-scale scenes as their human parents—no same-sex couples but some are racially mixed, and in one the man’s the cook—join a similarly diverse set of sibs and other children in either disapprobation or approving smiles. All in all, it’s a well-tested mix of oblique and prescriptive approaches to proper behavior as well as a lighthearted way to play up the use of “please,” “thank you,” and even “I’ll help when you’re hurt.”

Formulaic but not stale…even if it does mine previous topical material rather than expand it. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-36334-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Precious—but timely and comforting all the same.

WHILE WE CAN'T HUG

From the Hedgehog and Tortoise Story series

The two creatures who fulfilled each other’s yearning for physical contact in The Hug (2019) find alternative ways to connect in a time of social distancing.

Blushing and smiling and looking every bit as sweet as they did in their original meet-cute, Hedgehog and Tortoise respond to Owl’s reassurance that “there are lots of ways to show someone you love them” by standing on opposing pages and sending signals, letters, dances, air kisses, and songs across the gutter. Demonstrating their mutual love and friendship, they regard each other fondly across the gap through sun and storm, finally gesturing air hugs beneath a rainbow of colors and stars. “They could not touch. / They could not hug. // But they both knew / that they were loved.” In line with the minimalist narrative and illustrations there is no mention of the enforced separation’s cause nor, aside from the titular conjunction, any hint of its possible duration. Still, its core affirmation is delivered in a simple, direct, unmistakable way, and if the thematic connection with the previous outing seems made to order for a marketing opportunity, it does address a widespread emotional need in young (and maybe not so young) audiences. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.8-by-19.6-inch double-page spreads viewed at 78% of actual size.)

Precious—but timely and comforting all the same. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-5713-6558-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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