A unique offering for a family read-aloud. (Poetry. 4-6)

WHEN DADDY PRAYS

Fourteen graceful poems portray a small boy’s relationship with his prayerful father.

Whether the narrator is at bat for his team, coming home from school, helping to weed a garden, or being tucked in at night, he “hears” his father praying. Each poem in a different cadence fits the mood of the experience. The title poem is almost a lullaby: “When Daddy prays / my fear of darkness disappears / and angels tiptoe down the hall. / I hear them through the door and wall. / They whisper in a velvet husssshhh / that floats me off to sleep / when Daddy prays.” Several of the poems seem to be from an adult perspective rather than a small boy’s. Finding his Daddy in prayer, he kneels beside him knowing what to say: “Our Father, whose heart is heaven . . . ” The first poem entitled “A Father’s Prayer” reads, in part, “May my children see / beyond my muscles / to your strength. / May they find across my broad shoulders / the imprint of your wings.” Bold, strong pictures match the poetry and anchor the writing in an everyday world. Daddy is a tall, muscular man, at times overpowering the pictures and projecting a protective feeling very much in keeping with the poetry. Predominant colors of deep browns and yellows depict an African-American family in a warm home atmosphere. Close-ups of father and son contrast with outdoor scenes and give liveliness to the pages. The jacket is striking and depicts the small boy dressed in his Daddy’s clothes, looking in a mirror in which the image of his father looks out, dressed in the same clothes as the child.

A unique offering for a family read-aloud. (Poetry. 4-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8028-5152-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2002

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Younger audiences may be mostly interested in the bonking and stinky parts, but the rudiments are at least in place for...

LIFT-THE-FLAP BIBLE STORIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Ten tales from the Old and New Testaments, with plot points and lessons hidden beneath large, shaped flaps.

Higgins depicts Jesus as a bit larger than those around him but otherwise draws him and the rest of the cast—including angels—with similar-looking round heads, wide-open eyes, slightly crooked beards (on the men), and dark brown or olive skin. Cycling arbitrarily among various tenses, the abbreviated, sanitized, and informally retold episodes begin in “a garden” with the tree, most of Adam and Eve, and the “tricky serpent” who “will trick them” initially hidden beneath die-cut flaps. Lifting the largest reveals the disobedient first couple sporting flashy animal-skin togs and text that promises that “God had a plan to save people from sin.” After Noah boards the “crowded, noisy, and stinky” ark, Moses leads the escape from plague-ridden Egypt (“Frogs and locusts! Yucky sores and flies!”), and “David bonks Goliath.” God’s promise eventually bears fruit with the birth and select miracles of Jesus. In the climactic scene, three distant crosses hide beneath a flap that depicts Jerusalem, while behind a tomb in the foreground an angel literally fizzes with fireworks. Beneath a bush readers see Mary (Magdalen) weeping until the risen Jesus (beneath another bush) gives her a hug: “Go tell the disciples that I am alive!”

Younger audiences may be mostly interested in the bonking and stinky parts, but the rudiments are at least in place for homiletic discussion. (Novelty/religion. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5064-4684-4

Page Count: 16

Publisher: Beaming Books

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in.

GOD SPEAKS IN WHISPERS

Rhyming text and colorful multicultural illustrations reassure young readers of God’s omnipresence and still small voice.

“Where in the world is God’s voice found?” Perhaps in ocean waves, bird song, or mountain vistas, suggest the couplet rhymes. Even when readers might be faced with difficult emotions and distractions of all kinds, the text reassures them that God is still there and still speaking, if only one pauses to listen. His voice can be found in nature, in starlight, in the love of family and friends, in dreams, and “through His Word.” Admirably, the bright illustrations, reminiscent of mid-20th-century Disney artist Mary Blair’s stylings, depict children and families with a diverse array of skin tones and ages. There is also a refreshing mix of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Yet, despite the appealing illustrations, the rhymes and scansion are often forced (“your feelings, they matter, / even if they’re all mixed up like / pancake batter”), which detracts from the overall message. Contrived couplets notwithstanding, this title will likely find an audience among Christian households seeking reassuring bedtime reads.

Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-65385-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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