Even though I’ve moved (and joined a closer parish) I’ve continued to write book “reviews” for the St. William bulletin. Here are a few that have appeared in recent weeks.
God Gave Us You / written by Lisa Town Bergren; illustrated by Laura J. Bryant (Water Books Press, 2000)
Mama tucks in little cub for the night but little cub isn’t ready for sleep. She wants to hear about how she came from God. As she hears Mama tell her where she came from, she learns how very loved and special she is. Charming and whimsical illustrations show polar bear couple through the stages of pregnancy and preparations to bring a baby cub home to celebrate the miracle of family and children. For Pre-K—younger elementary.
Good Night Little One / written by Margaret Wise Brown (Parragon, 2012)
A beautiful bedtime book with bright but calming illustrations and quiet, rhyming and receptive text to lull your little one to close their eyes. The story, by the author of Goodnight Moon features various animals ending the day’s activities and settling to sleep. Silly sheep chew grass beneath the sky and baby pigs squeal beneath the sky. Eventually the story leads to a little child tucked into bed for the night. Beneath the surface is the impression of the majesty of the stars and all God’s creations.
Whatever You Grow Up to Be / written by Karen Kingsbury; illustrated by Valeria DeCampo (ZanderKids, 2014)
A tribute to babies and the hopes and dreams of parents. A wonderful book to give as a newborn gift. In this charming book with bright, contemporary illustrations, new parents imagine the life of their child from infancy to having children of their own. It is a celebration of joy of life and all the stages along with possible careers, “if that’s what you grow up to be.” Rhyming text will capture little ones while an underlying messages appeals to the adult reader: “At ten you drive your fire truck, and rescue folks when they get stuck.” Each spread includes a related NIV Bible verse.
A.K.A. Genius / written by Marilee Haynes (Pauline Teen, 2013)
A humorous and realistic novel for grades 6 and up. Gabe has just tested at genius level at St. Jude Middle School. This baffles him since he routinely gets B’s in his classes, can’t even open his locker, and is hopeless in any sport (to the disappointment of his father). These are not the least of his problems since his “second best friend,” Maya, now won’t speak to him AND the principal has created a special class: Greater Achieving Students (nicknamed G.A.S.) and he ends up as co-captain for an academic olympics—with Maya. How he comes to terms with what “genius” means for his life and learns to deal with the usual adolescent issues (like asking his sister’s best friend on a date) are funny as well as touching and a good model for learning self-acceptance.