F IS FOR FIREFLIES

GOD'S SUMMERTIME ALPHABET

Wargin continues her series of seasonal alphabet books (K Is for Kite: God's Springtime Alphabet, 2010, etc.) with this exploration of summertime delights interwoven with a religious message. Each page includes the traditional format (“B is for boat”) in large type along with two or four rhyming lines in smaller type and a relevant illustration. God is included in the text in simple, relevant ways (“God calms the seas”), and there is no mention of Jesus, so the book could be used by a wider audience than just Christian readers. The rhyming text reinforces concepts of kind and cooperative behavior as well as presenting God as a powerful and loving force in the natural world. The references to God in the text are not preachy, and not every page mentions God, so the religious content flows naturally within the story. Bronson's vibrant, jazzy illustrations in ripe-fruit shades are filled with sunny skies, imaginative flowers and flowing lines that suggest the lively nature of happy summer days. The pictorial story follows a family and its spotted dog as they take part in traditional summer activities, but the illustrator makes this ode to summertime soar. Her paintings are filled with motion and bright colors, with children who look like they must be laughing and having a great time enjoying the outdoors. A sunny celebration. (Picture book/religion. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-310-71663-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey.

BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME

A cheery child gives thanks to God.

“When I see a rainbow / High up in the sky / I say a little prayer of thanks, / And here’s the reason why: // Because God loves me!” This board book’s focus is the comforting notion that God loves all his children, and no matter what, he will always look out for them. The text follows an ABCB rhyme scheme, breaking after every stanza to repeat the phrase “Because God loves me!” The small, light-skinned child has spiky brown hair and wears a dress; both the child and a chubby accompanying dog are appealingly illustrated with a bright, simple color palette and scratchy lines that appear to have been made with colored pencil. God is the only name given for the deity, implying a primarily Christian audience. The book’s message is clear, and its construction is sturdy, suiting this well to parents who are beginning to have conversations with their little readers regarding their beliefs.

A sweet, colorful start for a Christian spiritual journey. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-58925-237-0

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2016

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In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable

PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE

A mouse searches for and finally finds her missing Seder plate.

Pippa is an industrious house-cleaning mouse. And no wonder—Passover is starting this very evening. Dusting and sweeping finished, she turns her attention to setting the table as a pot of chicken stew bubbles away on the stovetop. But there is one very important object that is missing: the “special Seder plate.” Frantically, the mouse searches through boxes and cupboards and finally ventures into the yard. First she encounters a very large cat and asks if it has seen the plate. “No,” answers the cat and points her to a snake, who sends her to an owl, who directs her to Golda Fish, prettily swimming in the water. Success! Kirkfield’s little tale is written in rhyming couplets with much repetition of “QUIVER! QUAVER! SHIVER! SHAKE!” for emphasis with each interaction with a predator, so readers will be mightily puzzled when the formerly frightful critters join Pippa at the holiday table. Weber’s gouache, crayon, and collage illustrations are sweetly pretty. The final illustration features a Seder plate with transliterated Hebrew and an English translation of the components. Readers familiar with the holiday may find this mildly enjoyable, but others will likely want and need more information.

In the end too much is left unanswered, making this book pleasant but only passable . (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4162-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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