PREACHER CREATURE STRIKES ON SUNDAY

The creators of the Black Lagoon stories team up again for a new series called Tales from the Back Pew, focusing on introducing basic Christian concepts in a lighthearted (and often irreverent) way. A nine-year-old boy goes to church for the first time, one with a monster minister and mixed human-monster congregation. The young narrator offers humorous commentary on aspects of the traditional church service, recaps a few well-known Bible stories and offers a brief survey of his own ideas about God and heaven. He concludes that he likes church and wants to return with his friends. Lee’s loose, cartoon-style illustrations in watercolor and ink add considerable appeal, including plenty of speech balloons with pithy comments as well as spot illustrations of characters offering side comments within the short text. Some adults may be taken aback by some of the humor (the Bible is “full of stories about weird people”); most children will find it entirely appealing. Other titles in the series are Church Summer Cramp, Easter Egg Haunt and Mission Trip Impossible (ISBNs: 978-0-310-71592-4; 978-0-310-71591-7; 978-0-310-71590-0). (Picture book/religion. 5-9) 

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-310-71589-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2009

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HE'S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS

Nelson uses the old spiritual—offered here, astonishingly, in its first singleton, illustrated edition, though it’s available in many collections—as a springboard to celebrate family togetherness. Each line of a four-verse version of the lyric captions an intimate scene of an African-American lad, three sibs (one, lighter-skinned, perhaps adopted) and two parents in various combinations, posing together in both city (San Francisco) and country settings, sharing “the moon and the stars,” “the wind and the clouds,” “the oceans and the seas,” and so on. Sandwiched between views of, more or less, the whole world, Nelson alternates finished paintings in his characteristic strong, bold style with authentically childlike crayon drawings done with his left hand—demonstrating a superb ability to evoke both grand and naïve effects. Moving, reverent, spiritual indeed. (musical arrangement to close) (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 978-0-8037-2850-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005

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Fans of such characters as Big Nate and Stink will likely enjoy the silly humor and adventures in this series opener, while...

SQUIRRELED AWAY

From the Dead Sea Squirrels series

A humorous early chapter book featuring childish adventures, biblical concepts, and Christian life.

This outing is the first in the planned Dead Sea Squirrels series by the co-creator of Veggie Tales. As readers familiar with Veggie Tales might expect, there are elements of character-building and morality, Bible verses, and depictions of Christian life throughout this chapter book for elementary school children. Michael Gomez and his best friend, Justin, spend the summer with Michael’s archaeologist father at a dig on the shores of the Dead Sea, where Michael makes a “gross”—that is to say "cool”— discovery: two salt-withered, ancient squirrel bodies. The theme of the book—the commandment to honor thy father and mother—is illustrated by Michael’s disobedience to his father and his subsequent consequences and remorse. However, there is plenty of humor to tickle young readers, and the target audience will undoubtedly laugh out loud. Séguin-Magee’s many grayscale illustrations are appealingly cartoonish and funny. They depict presumably Latinx Dr. Gomez and Michael with brown skin, while Michael’s mother and Justin both present white. The book ends with a cliffhanger that will make readers happy sequel Boy Meets Squirrels publishes simultaneously.

Fans of such characters as Big Nate and Stink will likely enjoy the silly humor and adventures in this series opener, while many of their caregivers will appreciate the character-building lessons . (Fiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4964-3498-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Tyndale House

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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