From Far Away, Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar, Annick Press, 2017.
For a number of years we have heard about the refugee crisis. Or, according to others, the immigrant crisis. We have seen the images of war torn areas that families are seeking refuge from. We have voiced outrage on social media when the most troubling images of children were brought to our attention.
But what about the children?
From Far Away provides such a perspective. Seven-year-old Saussan Askar writes a letter about leaving her war torn country and what life is like in her new country.
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls, Book One: The Beginning, M. J. Thomas, Worthy Kids, 2017.
Mike (M. J.) Thomas was looking for a book for his nine-year-old son to read that would teach the Bible in a fun way. Unable to find such a book, Thomas decided to write it.
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls is that book, while books. The first in this new series is, appropriately, The Beginning, a good book for children ages eight to ten.
Peter, 9, and his 10-year-old sister, Mary (who was adopted from China), along with their smart dog, Hank, are sent to stay with Great-Uncle Solomon while their parents travel to Africa. Fearful of spending more days bored than entertained, the children wander through the old house.
When a Wolf is Hungry, Christine Naumann-Villemin, Kris Di Giacomo (illustrations), Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2017.
Edmond Bigsnout is a hungry wolf. He leaves the forest and heads to the big city to find himself a “grain-fed, silky rabbit.” He enters an apartment complex and finds the name of Max Omatose, miniature rabbit. It seems perfect.
Maybe too perfect.
Each time Edmond attempts to “prepare” his meal, a neighbor in the apartment building has a need for Edmond’s tool – his chainsaw, his rope, even his big pot. Each time Edmond shares his item and rides his bicycle back to the forest to get something else.
Finally, mistaken as the new neighbor in the building, he is invited to the roof. There all the neighbors who borrowed things from him were there, having a cook-out for him, the new neighbor.
The Biggest Story ABC, Kevin DeYoung, Don Clark (illustrated),Crossway, 2017.
A few years ago Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina, patterned with illustrater Don Clark to bring the Bible to color in The Biggest Story. It is a telling of the Bible in one big story, From Adam and Eve to the Resurrection to the End of the Story.
The duo has come together again to release a new board book for children ages 1 to 3. The Biggest Story ABC connects to great, big story of the Bible with learning the letters. Each page introduces a new letter of the alphabet with engaging and whimsical illustrations from Clark. The Biblical narrative is retold as one continuous story, much like The Biggest Story.
Watch: Wide-Awake Faith in a World Fast Asleep, Rick James, NavPress, 2016.
It is rare for me to start a book and not finish it. I started, and did not finish, this book twice. I’ll explain in a bit.
Rick James, a former ad-agency art director, who has a long engagement in collegiate ministry, sets out wake up sleeping Christians. Using the Gethsemane scene in the gospels where Jesus goes off to pray, returning only to find his disciples asleep. Jesus’ advice to them was to stay awake, or alert.
Channel of Peace: Stranded in Gander on 9/11, Kevin Tuerff, River Grove Books, 2017.
September 11, 2001 is a day that very few will ever forget. 9/11 is one of those dates where you will never forget where you were. I was a student at Randolph-Macon College and was walking across campus after my early morning class. As I crossed the lawn in front of the library, I overheard other students talking about planes being flown into a building.
In the car, driving home, I turned NPR on to listen for details. Once home, my mom and I watched as the news replayed, over and over, the planes crashing into the World Trade Center. There are not enough words to capture the gut reaction that we felt as we watched what was happening in New York, Washington, D. C., and Pennsylvania.
The unthinkable had happened.
The Prayer Box, Jennifer Berry, Dog Ear Publishing, 2017.
Rosetta is a little girl who enjoys spending time with her mother. One day, her mother tells her about the little box that sits on her dresser. It is her prayer box.
Rosetta learns that prayer is a way of talking with God.
But, she is curious about what prayers her mother has put in her prayer box. Eventually, curiosity gets the best of her, and she peeks inside. She is surprised to find that none of the prayers in the box are for her.
Little Miss Liberty, Chris Robertson, Xist Publishing, 2017.
The Fourth of July holiday is upon us. Families and friends will gather for cookouts and fireworks. No doubt tourists will visit the sites of early America, including the Statue of Liberty, a gift given to the new nation from its ally France.
Little Miss Liberty, recently republished in paperback and digital format, chronicles the statue’s life, beginning with her “birth” in Paris. She grows incredibly fast, that her parents can only wrap her in a sheet.
Sleepless Nights and Kisses for Breakfast: Reflections on Fatherhood, Matteo Bussola, Penguin Group TarcherPerigee, 2017.
Fatherhood, I have learned in the past two years, is a true gift. Sure, there are moments when the whining and the fussing gets a little weary, but hey, we all whine and fuss, right? All of those moments are pushed to the shadows when your little girl climbs in your lap to give you a kiss. Or when she makes a joke and then laughs at herself.
Being a dad has been the best calling on my life.
And it’s one of those callings that you only realize how powerful it is until it happens. I remember church members telling me after it was announced that we were expecting, that my life would never be the same.
Daddy’s Girl is a new picture book from author Helen Foster James and illustrator Estelle Corke great for children ages 2-5. Jame’s rhymes make the story of a little girl preparing her tea party approachable for young ears. Corke’s illustrations make use of pink and yellow as the primary colors, ensuring that each page is bright and colorful.
As the little girl, whose accessorizing includes a crown, pearls, and a boa, has tea with her teddy bear and Daddy, she realizes she has more than enough to share with others. She invites other stuffed animals to the tea party. The story concludes with a father and daughter hug, as the daughter expresses, “I love that you are here.”