An extra-large trim size, a vibrant palette and Bryan’s glorious cut-paper collage illustrations add up to a marvelous interpretation of three traditional African-American spirituals: “This Little Light of Mine,” “Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” Intriguing endpapers show larger-than-life hands set against flowing stripes of color, with scissors and cut-paper shapes hinting at the arresting artistic style within. Children in silhouette are the main design element for the first two songs, with the final song illustrated with remarkable images of huge hands holding up different elements of the world. The volume’s large size and brilliant colors make this a natural choice for a rousing sing-along with a group, and the musical notation for the songs is included. Incorporated into these final spreads with the music are concluding illustrations for every song, each focusing on a shining source of light. (Nonfiction. 3-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2007

ISBN: 0-689-84732-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2006

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Saccharine and cloying, though darling and diverse illustrations lend some charm.


Children are encouraged to follow their hearts and chase their dreams in a new picture book from the morning-TV host.

“Hello, little dreamer!” offers an encouraging invitation to young readers, going on to inquire, “What is your FAVORITE thing to do?” Rhyming couplets in direct address proceed to speculate and offer possibilities. Whatever “you” enjoy doing may be the seed of a dream meant just for you from God. A little curiosity and a dash of prayer are all it takes to make your dreams come true. The soft-edged and undeniably cute illustrations include an admirably diverse array of dot-eyed children engaged in a variety of activities: bicycling (with helmets), running over grassy fields with balloons, splashing in puddles. At times the text skates close to the prosperity gospel: “NEVER let people tell you / your dreams can’t come true. / Just keep doing those things / that God wants you to do.” They need only follow these interests to find fulfillment, a rather trite and unrealistic message. It’s delivered in an at-times forced rhyme—an unfortunate but typical characteristic of the genre. “This was God's plan. / This was what He designed / Because right from the start / He had you on His mind!” Readers might find themselves praying for prose by the time they get through it. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-20-inch double-page spreads viewed at 25% of actual size.)

Saccharine and cloying, though darling and diverse illustrations lend some charm. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0926-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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Twenty-six short, Christian prayers from around the world arranged into thematic sections focus on morning, mealtime graces, nighttime and blessings. Brooks selected the poems and provides short comments on each section and an introductory page that includes the Lord’s Prayer in English and Chinese. The choices are short and appealing, including some that are humorous, as well as many that are touchingly simple and heartfelt. Many reflect diverse cultures, including Israel, India, several Asian and African countries and groups as well as Native Americans. Gomez reflects the global focus in striking illustrations incorporating multiethnic children and elements from cultures appropriate to each poem. She uses vibrant colors, lots of swirling motion and patterns in costumes and blankets that add greatly to the volume’s appeal. Her cover design incorporates feathered angel wings, Asian fabric patterns and the dove of peace against a subtle blue background showing the continents of the world. (Nonfiction. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8028-5285-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2006

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