A mostly effective translation of the popular parable.

READ REVIEW

DAVID AND THE LOST LAMB

Little David saves the day.

The biblical story of the shepherd in search of his lost sheep comes to life in this board book. Not to be confused with King David of the Old Testament, this young David proudly watches over his father’s flock each day. One morning a sheep in David’s flock wanders off, and David must chase off a hungry lion in order to save it. The story is originally told by Jesus in the Bible, but that framing device is removed here. In fact, nearly all religious allusion is absent save for the mention of a “nighttime prayer” at book’s end. Told in rhyming couplets, the story moves quickly and efficiently, though sometimes the text stretches the bounds of sense to achieve the rhyme: “Black, white, spotted, baa and bleat. / David loves the little sheep.” The illustrations employ a green, blue, and orange color palette and scratchy, thin lines that give them a busier feel than the round, cuddly, thick-lined figures little readers are accustomed to in board books. David’s father wears a kaffiyeh, and David has brown hair and pale brown skin.

A mostly effective translation of the popular parable. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8590-1

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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This kind and gentle introduction features endearing art and clunky rhymes.

BIBLE STORIES FOR LITTLE HEARTS

Five Bible stories are told in 10 short pages and illustrated in Magsamen’s characteristic faux appliqué style.

Each double-page spread is rendered on narrow board pages and depicts a new Bible story or parable. The top half of the spread shares a summary of the story told in forced rhyme hand-lettered in white. The bottom half presents a brightly-colored illustration of the story employing cartoon animals and humans with stitch-work borders. A heart in the bottom right or left corner is emblazoned with text that presents the key lesson of the story. “The Parable of the Lost Sheep,” for instance, shows a flock of white sheep with one black sheep in the middle. Written on the heart is the message: “This story reminds us that everyone is important.” Some artistic license is taken. The Creation story shows two children in modern dress, one with a beige complexion and brown pigtails and another with straight black hair and brown skin, enjoying the natural world. (“God made everything for you and me / because He loves us endlessly!”) In the Jonah story, a smiling man with a medium brown skin tone happily topples into the whale’s mouth. Noah’s Ark is populated by parent-child animal dyads rather than male and female pairings. The text repeatedly emphasizes God’s love for readers and employs male pronouns for God.

This kind and gentle introduction features endearing art and clunky rhymes. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-58942-9

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A playful, stealth introduction to a familiar tale.

CAN YOU HEAR A COO, COO?

Surprise, it’s a board book about Noah’s Ark, although readers might not immediately recognize the familiar story.

At first glance this cheerful board book seems to be about animal sounds. Pairs of doves, mice, snakes, geese, zebras, monkeys, and tigers move noisily across the pages, two by two. The animal sounds are repeated twice, along with the words they rhyme with, both rendered in uppercase letters. So the mice “SKITTER, SKITTER” and “TWITTER, TWITTER,” while the geese say, “GIGGLE, GAGGLE,” as their tails “WIGGLE, WAGGLE.” Finally, tying this all together, on the second-to-last page, a brown-skinned family in vaguely Middle Eastern dress appears, along with pairs of elephants, horses, sheep, butterflies, worms, and giraffes. Even on the final spread, as the animals troop into the ark, Noah is not named. A rather generic but positive message concludes this abbreviated Bible story: “They know that in STORMY WEATHER / friends like these should STAY TOGETHER!” That “stormy weather” is the only reference to the Flood, and there’s no mention of God. Caregivers who want to disguise their Bible stories may be pleased, while others will be forced to add further explanation on their own. Toddlers will just be happy to repeat the animal noises.

A playful, stealth introduction to a familiar tale. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-4443-8

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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