A nice addition to seasonal bookshelves that will find extra use in church-school programs.

S IS FOR SNOWMAN

GOD'S WINTERTIME ALPHABET

Wargin’s latest completes her four-season abecedarian series and relates the wonders of winter to God’s goodness. 

First and foremost, this is a celebration of winter-related activities, indoor and out: making snow angels, feeding the birds, baking cookies, sipping hot chocolate, ice skating and sledding. At the same time, the natural wonders of wintertime are brought to the fore: “God cast the Frost sparkling white on the land, / a beautiful blanket spread right from his hand.” From counting blessings on the squares of a warm quilt to seeing God’s love in the light spilling from house windows into the darkness beyond, many of Wargin’s rhyming couplets stress God’s goodness and people’s responsibility to spread that goodness through acts of caring—doing chores and sharing anything from mittens to soup. While Jesus is not specifically mentioned, decorating a tree and exchanging gifts are some of the wintertime activities. Johnson’s softly colored illustrations are vital to filling in details that just cannot be expressed in rhyming couplets, and they add a few activities that aren’t mentioned in the text; the north wind page features skiing, for instance.

A nice addition to seasonal bookshelves that will find extra use in church-school programs. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-310-71661-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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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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Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations.

GOD GAVE US EASTER

From the God Gave Us You series

Bergren and Bryant attempt to explain Easter to young children in a gentle, nonthreatening manner, with partial success.

When Little Cub questions her father about Easter, Papa Bear explains the religious significance of the holiday in various symbolic ways to his cub. He uses familiar things from their world, such as an egg and a fallen tree, to draw parallels with aspects of the Christian story. Papa Bear discusses his close relationships with Jesus and God, encouraging Little Cub to communicate with God on her own. The theme focuses on the renewal of life and the positive aspects of loving God and Jesus. Easter is presented as a celebration of eternal life, but the story skirts the issue of the crucifixion entirely. Some adults will find this an inadequate or even dishonest approach to the Easter story, but others will appreciate the calm and soothing text as a way to begin to understand a difficult subject. Bryant’s charming watercolor illustrations of the polar bear family, their cozy home and snowy forest scenes add to the overall mellow effect.

Fans of this popular series will find this a rewarding addition to family Easter celebrations. (Religion/picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-73072-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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