Monday, March 24, 2008

Review: Psalms for Young Children

by Marie-Helene Delval, illustrated by Arno. Eerdmans, 2008. First published in France in 2003. The book of Psalms in the Bible is one of the poetry sections. Every human emotion and experience can be found expressed in these 149 songs written by King David and other ancient Hebrew poets. Psalms for Young Children is a collection of 40 paraphrased Psalms written in simple, direct language accessible to young children. Adults will enjoy it as well because it does not sugar coat or dismiss the genuine feelings we all share. Joy, sadness, fear, comfort, happiness, longing, regret, sorrow and contentment all are found in these brief expressions from a lifelong dialog with God.

Psalm 23: "God is my shepherd. He leads me in the right direction. And even if I have to walk in a dark place, I am not scared. I know nothing will hurt me if I walk with God!"

Psalm 88: "God, please listen to me. I am full of sadness, I am crying. I feel lonely and scared. Do you really love me? I'm calling you, God. Please comfort me!"

Psalm 108: "My heart is ready, God. I want to sing. I want to play music for you on the strings of a harp or on a beating drum. Your love is bigger than the earth and sky!"

The illustrations are bold and bright, ranging from vivid desert colors to cool nights full of stars. Children of every hue ride the backs of elephants, sail across calm seas, dance through city streets or calmly gaze at still waters. I bought this hardback for my five year old son Buddy's Easter basket and look forward to sharing its poetry for years to come.

The Nonfiction Monday round up is at Picture Book of the Day.

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