Christian Children's Lit

Really Woolly Bedtime Prayers by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

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Okay, total honesty? This is probably my favorite of Luke’s prayer books. It has everything—Scripture verses, rhyming devotional, ends with a prayer. Boom. Complete package. Oh wait. There’s more! Stinkin’ cute animal characters all throughout the pages. Can your heart take this much ooey-gooey sweetness?

There is a theme to every page and all three components (verse, devotion, prayer) match the topic. Some of the gratefulness themes include thanking God for. . . listening, loving, watching, rescuing, singing, teaching, showing, blessing, encouraging, understanding, shining, befriending, choosing, promising, and planning. It’s a great storybook for bedtime, because these wholesome words encourage your little one to dwell on all of God’s blessings as his/her last thoughts of the day. The main character is a sheep. Some people count sheep to go to sleep, but what about counting your blessings?

Bedtime Prayers (My First Book of Prayers) by The Clever Factory

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This is a short and sweet board book that was gifted to me at my baby shower. (Gee, I feel like I am always writing that origin of ownership. We were truly blessed with a lot of books!) Anyway, it is part of series which is themed for prayers a child might use throughout the day: Bedtime Prayers, Friendship Prayers, Thank You Prayers, and Mealtime Prayers. This one covers —you guessed it— a prayer to say at bedtime. It begins with a sweet little rabbit character getting ready, brushing his teeth. Then, his parents read a storybook, kneel for prayers, and tuck their child in. The last page shows the rabbit child, snuggling his stuffed toy in a dark room with a big, old smile on his face. Ahhh, doesn’t that just leave you with warm and fuzzy contentment?

It’s a super short story, word-wise. Each page only has two lines, but they do rhyme. So that’s fun! My favorite thing about the book is the art. I love the color palette, the character designs, and the consistency of the scenes. I just love these little gems that fell into our lap! Our baby boy is growing to appreciate them, too!

Jesus Loves Me! (My First Book of Prayers) by Lisa M. Gardiner

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This board book is a part of series, My First Book of Prayers. I don’t believe there’s any specific order you must read them in. Jesus Loves Me was gifted to me at my baby shower by my mother-in-law. This one focuses on traditional, old-fashioned hymns most Christians grow up singing. Each page is a different hymn, written out, word-for-word. The songs include: All Things Bright and Beautiful, Jesus Loves Me, Michael Row the Boat, and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.

There is comfort found in these familiar words and verses. The tune, just like any nursery song, can easily get stuck in your head for days. The accompanying illustrations, also done by Lisa Gardiner, match the style perfectly. Two thumbs up!

God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren

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This is one of those baby books that get me all teared up and emotional. I don’t think that’s an unusual reaction either. As a mom (or dad) reads this story to their child they can’t help but relive their own journey to parenthood. You can’t help but be touched with the sweet, and very familiar, scenario of a child asking where she came from. Mama Bear goes over all the stage: from wanting, celebrating, waiting, preparing, growing, delivering, etc. After each step in the journey, Little Cub asks questions and Mama explains, ending with the consoling phrase, “Because God gave us you”. The repeated phrase wraps the reader in loving comfort and wonder.

Each time I read this book, I find something new I like. Writing this review had me going back through admiring the illustrations. Laura J. Bryant does a beautiful job. I especially like the variety of arctic animals portrayed.

This book does a marvelous job of expressing a parent’s gratitude for the gift of having their child. I love sharing this story with my precious baby. All the warm and fuzzy feelings!

Bible Tales Children's Book Bundle by Sarah Conner

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These Bible Tales come from a set of six board books that focus on Bible stories and parables about animals. As you would expect. . . they are stinkin’ cute! These stories are bite-size versions of the actual Biblical chapters, so they are perfect to introduce your tiny tot to. They aren’t really told from the perspective of the animal like I assumed, but the titled animal is the star and focal point.

The author, Sara Conner, is also the illustrator of the series. Bold colors, kid-friendly style, and overall simple design enhances the books. Bravo!

Which Bible story was your favorite as a child? I have always loved animals, so I guess you could say these struck a chord with my inner child.

The set includes: The Camel’s Tale, The Lion’s Tale, The Whale’s Tale, The Zebra’s Tale, The Donkey’s Tale, and The Lamb’s Tale.

The Bible App for Kids Storybook Bible by Youversion

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In my last book review, I talked a lot about Christianity and the practice of praying. Then I invited members of different faith communities to tell me about their favorite picture books that portray their own traditions and practices. Well, this review runs along the same thread. It is a Bible which was gifted to my son before he was even born by a close family friend. It was designed for children, so obviously it’s super kid-friendly with bright illustrations and simplified Bible stories. Based on the title, I knew there must be an app that can be used along with it. True enough, and it has a great modern, sleek look just like the illustrations in the book. The app plays like a game with the opening shot like a scene out of Candy Crush. You go level by level, and the narrator can read the Bible story to your child. There are hidden items on the level, too, your little reader can investigate.

My Luke will have a ton-o-fun with this faith tool. The Bible, whatever translation you prefer, is daunting and complicated. I’m excited to jump into this right along with my son!

Peek-a-Book, I See Who? by Steve Elkins

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Today’s book is Peek-A-Boo, I See Who? written by Steve Elkins and illustrated by Rod Hefferan. I’ve been focusing on well-known, obviously popular picture books in these reviews, so I’m taking a different stride in today’s post. This adorable board book with fold-out pages also comes with a CD, so if you can scrounge up a player...bonus? (The author also produced the music to accompany the story.) It was quite a steal from Mardel for only $5! Each page has sweetly rhyming prose on the left-hand side which give clues to the “guess who” question on the right. The child lifts the flap to see which Bible character is the featured answer. The final page and poem-riddle leads the reader to ask who is a loved blessing & heaven-sent miracle. **drumroll** YOU!! That’s why this makes a great book for parents to read to their child; it reminds me of books by Marianne Richmond (which you KNOW I adore!)

What hidden gems have you found in book bins, garage sales, or on the clearance rack?