Thoughtfully selected and prettily illustrated verses for religious households.



From morning to night, poems celebrate the everyday joys and wonders to be found in life.

The rising sun, doggy kisses, a parent’s hug, fireflies, butterflies, friends and family, and nighttime dreams are a few of the things given thanks for and highlighted in the poems and blessings collected in this anthology, which combines poems old and new and from several religions and cultures. While God is not addressed or spoken of in every poem, most do show some appreciation of God and/or God’s creation, ask for God’s help or blessings, or acknowledge God’s gifts to humankind. Several have overt social messages (the power of goodness, seeing God in those you meet), some use striking imagery (rain “parachuting from the sky,” snow as “confetti from an angel’s party”), and many use pleasing rhymes and rhythms that will resonate with child readers (“Tuck your covers / snug and tight. / Tuck the good / into the night”). Artwork sets the tone for each poem, sometimes suggesting a theme or setting and other times illustrating the verse itself, whether as a whole or a small piece: Two poems, one mentioning “sandals on my feet,” the other “head to foot” are bookended by eight pairs of feet of diverse skin tones and shod in various sandal styles. A spread with poems talking about being kind and hurting no living thing is filled with realistic-looking life-size bugs of all types.

Thoughtfully selected and prettily illustrated verses for religious households. (index of poets) (Picture book/poetry/religion. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5519-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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The true meaning of the holiday season shines here.


Kids teach a valuable lesson about community spirit.

A city block is ablaze with red and green lights for Christmas; one house glows blue and white for Hanukkah. This is where Isaac, a Jewish boy, lives, across the street from best friend Teresa, excitedly preparing for Christmas. They love lighting up their homes in holiday colors. After an antisemitic bigot smashes a window in Isaac’s house, Isaac relights the menorah the next night, knowing if his family doesn’t, it means hiding their Jewishness, which doesn’t “feel right.” Artistic Teresa supports Isaac by drawing a menorah, inscribed to her friend, and placing the picture in her window. What occurs subsequently is a remarkable demonstration of community solidarity for Isaac and his family from everyone, including the media. Galvanized into defiant action against hate, thousands of townspeople display menorahs in windows in residences and public buildings. This quiet, uplifting tale is inspired by an incident that occurred in Billings, Montana, in 1993. Readers will feel heartened at children’s power to influence others to stand up for justice and defeat vile prejudice. The colorful illustrations, rendered digitally with brushes of the artist’s devising, resemble scratch art. Isaac and Teresa are White, and there is some racial diversity among the townspeople; one child is depicted in a wheelchair. An author’s note provides information about the actual event.

The true meaning of the holiday season shines here. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64614-087-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Levine Querido

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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A small but mighty collection sure to remind readers that love, again, can prevail over all if given the chance.


In this collection, poet Giovanni seeks to remind black children especially that they are loved.

Giovanni carries the weight of the love that has sustained generations and united communities to her poems with amazing, succinct elegance. Standouts include “I Am a Mirror,” opposite which Bryan centers a real inset mirror against a colorful background of vibrant shapes amid natural landscapes. “I reflect the strengths / Of my people / And for that alone / I am loved,” concludes Giovanni’s ode to black ancestry and intergenerational resilience. “No Heaven” takes another heartwarming approach sure to incite genuine embraces among readers. “How can there be / No Heaven / When tears comfort / When dreams caress / When you smile / at me.” Recalling her earlier collection Hip Hop Speaks to Children (2008, illustrated by Kristen Balouch), Giovanni ends with the playful and reflective “Do the Rosa Parks,” a rhythmic and moving song about the power of sitting down to stand up. Outkast vibes run through it, though some readers may wish for an instructional cue. Throughout, Bryan’s bright tempera and watercolor paintings offer readers harmonious forms and flowing lines, smiling black children and adults arranged as if in tropically colored stained-glass windows. The two masters together deliver another powerful addition to their separate, award-winning catalogs.

A small but mighty collection sure to remind readers that love, again, can prevail over all if given the chance. (Picture book/poetry. 4-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0492-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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