Review of Cozy, Snowy Cuddles Touch and Feel

Cozy, Snowy Cuddles Touch and Feel is a short (10 page) board book for preschoolers. It follows the adventure of animals in the North Pole, including polar bears, seals, and moose.

The main attraction of this book is obviously its interactive elements. The cover has shiny sparkles that look and shine like snow that cover the book title and the snowy scene. Then, on each page of the book, you can touch and feel a small part of five different animals, from the leathery skin of a narwhal to the soft fur of a husky dog, to the smooth fur of a seal, to the smoother skin of a moose, to the fluffy coat of a polar bear. I’ve never touched any of those animals in real life, but they feel just about what I’d expect them to.

The illustrations are cute and evoke a nice, sweet, cuddly feel. Each scene shows a little polar bear walking and meeting different animal parents and babies as they prepare for the cold night. It makes for a great bedtime book in the winter months, as the weather outside grows cold and the mood gets warm and snuggly inside. The rhymes are simple enough for a young toddler to understand and also for a preschooler to start to practice reading.

If there’s one gripe I have about the book, it’s that it doesn’t really have much of a story line. The text on each page is pretty repetitive and generic, and seems to have little to do with the illustrations. It would have been nice, for example, to learn more about each animals as the little polar bear goes to say good night to them. Instead, there’s just a generic quatrain about curling up, cuddles, huddles, stars, and snow.

As with many books like this, there isn’t really a “story” per se, but the illustrations and words do paint a calm, peaceful picture of God’s creation. It’s a nice book for the holidays as everyone in the house starts getting in the mood of winter and snow.

Review of Through My Father’s Eyes

Like many Americans, Billy Graham’s ministry had a big impact on my life, without me even really knowing it. When my mother came over as an immigrant in the 1950’s, she was away from the church she knew all her life, and watched Billy Graham crusades. During the 1970s and 1980s, whenever a crusade came on TV, we’d watch it as a family. While Billy Graham did have his detractors, it’s those detractors that usually come off looking petty or foolish when you look at this man’s character, his approach to ministry, and his teaching.

Through My Father’s Eyes is a book my Franklin Graham about his father, Billy Graham. It’s written as a series of vignettes, some of which read like historical accounts, some of which read like journal entries, some of which read like devotionals. They’re loosely organized by different broad topics, such as stories about Billy Graham’s years on TV, letters that were written to him, his approach to preaching, his approach to prayer, his approach to writing, and so on.

The first word that comes to mind when I describe this book is that it’s honest and transparent. Franklin Graham doesn’t mince words when he talks about “sensitive” subjects, such as his own struggles growing up, infighting that occurred in the BGEA, and very poignant accounts of his mother’s passing. He shares a lot of “insider” stories of his roles with the BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse, but all in the context of how his father dealt with similar situations. Finally, he spends a lot of time talking about his father’s history, in the later years as a fellow worker in the ministry to whom his father would give advice and support, and in the earlier years as a historian. I was mesmerized when reading accounts of, say, Billy Graham’s early years on network television in the Hour of Decision, or his meetings with presidents, including the infamous Richard Nixon meetings.

This is not necessarily the sort of book you read cover-to-cover–as much as the author tried to organize the vignettes, it doesn’t really read like a cohesive narrative. But I found that when I pick it up and read a random story (which range anywhere from one paragraph to a few pages), what I read is invariably fascinating and gives insight not into just Billy Graham’s approach and philosophy, but Franklin’s as well.

I do like that the book isn’t merely a “tribute” or “hero worship”, but an earnest effort to capture the life of Billy Graham in a way that’s informative, encouraging, and replete with references to scripture. It’s a must-read for anyone whose life has been touched by Bille Graham, or who aspires to be in a ministry.

Review of Night Night Sleepytown

Night Night Sleeptown is the latest in a series of board books for toddlers by Amy Parker and Virginia Allen that includes such titles as Night Night Jungle, Night Night Train, Night Night Farm, Night Night Daddy, Night Night Mommy, Night Night Bible Stories, Night Night Blessings.

Each of these books follows a similar formula–the narrator goes around saying “Night Night” to different characters, in the case of this book to people in the eponymous town of “Sleepytown”, where the mayor of the town, a bear, brings you somewhat randomly around to different parts and people of the town–a farm, a school, a postman, a firefighter, a doctor’s office, a construction site, to tell you what they do and then to say “Night Night” and “Thank you for what you do”.

I love the concept of the “Night Night” books; it’s sometimes hard to find appropriate books for bedtime reading, as a lot of books for toddlers can be too exciting and have the unintended effect of getting the kids riled up. In the case of these books, the rhymes are soothing and the pictures are beautiful and detailed, but are of more tranquil scenes. The concept is clearly modeled after books like “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site”.

For earlier books like “Night Night Jungle” and “Night Night Farm”, it make a lot of sense. In each of these books, night is setting in and you visit different animals as they get ready for bed. In Night Night Sleepytown, though, it seems like the author may be trying to do too much at once. On the one hand, the book is taking you through a day in the town, jumping around from a farm and sunrise, to a school, to a scene of firefighters at a bubble factory, to a construction site with a digger. On the other hand, at each point you’re somewhat incongruously saying “Night Night”. I found the name of the town a bit incongruous too–I sort of expected to go around the town as different people were getting ready for bed.

Having said this, the detailed illustrations of bears, pigs, cats, raccoons, mice, and other creatures in this little town are certainly engaging, and toddlers will likely not mind the lack of a more logical or cohesive storyline. When I read it to my toddler, I find myself focused a little less on the story and a little more on each picture as we identify little details together.

For nighttime books, I’ve found that books like God is Watching Over You or Together are much stronger than this one with their tighter narratives. But if your child is already a fan of the Night Night series, this is certainly one that they’ll appreciate.



Review of Little Book of Thanks

Back in the 1990s, Precious Moments were all the rage. It seemed like you couldn’t get through a graduation, birthday, or anniversary without seeing at least one Enesco figurine of the wide-eyed children. The Precious Moments characters made their way into greeting cards, posters, needlepoint, and even their own theme park.

It’s now almost 30 years later. Precious Moments certainly doesn’t enjoy the popularity that it once did. But interestingly, the children who loved Precious Moments when they were young have grown up and are now having families of their own–and are looking to share the things they loved with their own kids.

There have been a number of Precious Moments themed books, some of which we’ve reviewed already. The latest one is the Precious Moments Little Book of Thanks. It’s a small hardcover book perfect for little ones’ hands that is filled with poems, each titled “Thank you, God, for…” followed by things little ones can be thankful for, such as wonderful sounds, songs, colors, playtime, all kinds of weather, special days, and so on. Each page, of course, is filled with colorful illustrations of the Precious Moments children doing all kinds of activities that mirror the poetry. There’s also a Bible verse on each page.

The illustrations are beautiful as always, and of course are the star of the book. The poetry, I’m not so sure about. The poems are nice in the sense that they rhyme, but too many of them seem just thrown together. While the titles all start with “Thank you, God”, the poems aren’t prayers as the title would have you think, but just general poetry about the subject. I later realized that this is because there’s already a book called Precious Moments Little Book of Prayers, which I feel is a much stronger offering. Here, often, the rhymes seem a little too singsongy and contrived. I can’t shake the feeling that the writing was forced just to fill up space between the illustrations.

So I’d buy the book with that in mind. Don’t expect too much from the poetry, but the illustrations and Bible verses do make this worth a purchase, especially for avid Precious Moments fans young and old.

Review of Candy Apple Blessings

Candy Apple Blessings is a board book suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. The cover is a bright and colorful picture of a cartoon dog, cat, and mouse under an apple tree, with foil accents that make the red apples and the gold edges of the fall leaves glimmer. If I were to judge a book by its cover, this cover is certainly one of the most eye-catching ones I’ve seen.

There isn’t really much of a story per se, but more so little vignettes as you follow the cat, dog, mouse, and other friends like bunnies turtles, pigs, and raccoons through different fall activities, from eating candy apples, to going to school, to decorating the home for autumn, to going on hay rides, to jumping in the leaves, going to the pumpkin patch, and going through a corn maze. The last page is one where they buy corn dogs from a food stand, and where the book says they thank God for their treats, and for fall blessings.

The pictures on the hard board stock are just as colorful as the cover, with lots of details that you can use to engage your young ones as you read to them. The illustration style is unique, almost like collage drawings. The pages are nice and thick and will withstand multiple readings.

Overall, this is a nice book to buy if you’re celebrating fall traditions with your child and would like a book to reinforce these traditions and some of the sheer joy of the season. While the book is a Christian book, there’s really no mention of God until the last page. Normally, I don’t mind this–some Christian books go the other extreme and can be too “preachy” or heavy handed in their message. But in this case, how they brought God into the book seemed a bit tacked on, as if it were a bit of an afterthought. I would have liked to have a message of God’s love and the beauty of his creation woven into the story a bit more, although it does take tremendous skills to do that without sounding contrived. Overall, a very good book, especially as you prepare to do Fall activities with your child.

Review of The Call by Os Guinness

I first heard of Os Guinness when I saw him speak at Socrates in the City in 2012 about his book “A Free People’s Suicide”. In it, he spoke of the “Golden Triangle of Freedom” in speaking of the American founders’ vision of a free society. Freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, and faith requires freedom. It was one of those truths that seemed fairly obvious on the surface, but as you started to think about how society has grown so far away from concepts like faith and virtue, you start to realize how radical his commentary is.

Os Guinness wrote “The Call” in 1998 and was immediately considered a classic; it’s recently been updated with several additional chapters and a thought-provoking study guide after each chapter to help you reflect on the chapters.

This book couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m in the middle of a career transition, plus being a new parent, plus going through a mid-life crisis. So I’ve been asking the questions we all ask with increased urgency: “what’s the purpose of my life?”, “what was I put here on Earth to do?”, and “how can my life be meaningful?”

The Call doesn’t answer those questions for you–to paraphrase Billy Crystal in City Slickers, that’s an answer everyone need to come up with themselves. On the other hand, the book does provide valuable context in which you can ask those questions.

As a Christian apologist, Guinness doesn’t mince words in laying out what the word “Calling” means. Early in the book, Guinness lays out his definition of calling: “Calling is the truth that God call us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service”.

He goes on to discuss two common “distortions”. The first is one he calls the “Catholic distortion”, that your “Calling” can only be fulfilled by doing sacred or “holy work”. The second is one he calls the “Protestant distortion”, discussing how in our society today, words like “calling” and “vocation” (derived from the Greek word “voice” or “call”) have taken on generic and watered-down meanings–you refer to something you do well or something you enjoy doing. His argument is that whatever place God has put you, and whatever talents God has given you, that can be the basis of a highly meaningful calling.

Each chapter further unfolds the concept of “calling”. Do we fear God enough to hear and acknowledge the call? How can we distinguish the voice from other voices? How can we achieve the full potential we were created to be? How do we dedicate our lives to answering the call? Are we frustrated with a church that seems to have lost its heart? How do we live an examined life? Do you view and use your talents as something for yourself, or for something greater? Do you feel jealous of others with a similar calling? Does money cloud your understanding of calling? Do you long to rise above a mediocre and tedious life? Is your faith just something you see in private or is it salt and light to others?

I won’t lie–this book is dense and not the easiest of reads. Because of the range of topics it covers, it’s not exactly the kind of book you can pick up an read in one sitting. If you’ve ever heard Os Guinness talk in person, the language of the writing mirrors his speaking style–imagine a distinguished, upscale British voice pontificating on deep matters. It takes some getting used to, especially for those of us Americans that have been grown accustomed to taking information in 140-characters at a time.

But on the other hand, you will hardly find a better assemblage of insights, stories, and teachings relevant to the question of “What is my calling in life”. Funny thing is, as I read it there were no parts that really jumped out at me as “a-ha! That’s the secret”. It all seemed more or less like…common sense. But like Ezra reading the Torah after decades of exile, it all seemed refreshingly new too, as if all the misconceptions and deceptions that the world has used to obfuscate the original meaning of “Call” is methodically swept away.

Like I said, this book won’t answer your questions about what your call is. But if you can make it through it (and I’d suggest doing it one chapter at a time, perhaps spread a few days apart), you’ll have an excellent foundation and background to start really thinking about the question.

Review of Go to Sleep, Sheep!

Any parent of a toddler knows that bedtime is one of the first places where a child learns a lot of skills–how to negotiate, how to think quickly on your feet, how to compose fiction. As a grown-up, we sometimes forget what it’s like to be a kid. How can anyone sleep when there’s so much of the world to explore, so much fun to be had, so many things to see and do?

Go to Sleep, Sheep! was clearly written by a parent who’s been through this. It’s the story of a mother lamb who tries to get her four little kids to go to the barn to sleep. They go through all the delay tactics we all know: “We’re not tired” “I’m still hungry” “Just one more story” “I’m thirsty’. Finally, they say their good night prayers, the littlest lamb tells her mom she loves her, and they sleep under the stars. It’s a story that will resonate with little ones because it’s their story–and it may even help them do a little self-refection as they read the story from the mother sheep’s perspective and pull for the mother to get her sheep to bed.

The book itself is a board book that’s uniquely shaped like a barn. The pages are thick and durable and will be able to withstand multiple readings. The illustrations are cute—not so much in the “funny cute” way, but more so in the “pretty cute” way. Each of the baby sheep has distinguishing characteristic–one has a blue bow, one has a red scarf, one has glasses–so you can make up your own little stories about each one. As with all great children’s books, there are plenty of details in the pictures such as other barnyard animals that you can use to engage your child and teach new words.

I’m rating it 4 of 5 stars. It’s a great book that helps reinforce the bedtime routine in a fun and playful way. It is simple, so it’s probably best suited to be read to children from 1-3, although given its simplicity it’s also a great one to bring out for toddlers who are learning to read (each page ends with “Go to Sleep, Sheep!” which is fun to read and say).

Getting Rid of the Bugs in Your Soul: Thoughts on Search Me, O God

In my old apartment, I had great success growing basil plants. I had purchased a few small plants at the Montclair Historical Society’s annual herb sale. By the time it came for me to move out of my apartment, those little plants had grown. They then filled four giant flower pots, producing beautiful, gigantic leaves. I’d used them for all kinds of dishes. Seasoning for homemade spaghetti sauce, chicken and basil, you name it. I had so much basil that I even started putting basil in things that probably would have been a bit better off without basil.

Sadly, when I moved out of the apartment, I had to figure out what to take and what not to. The big flower pots of basil were the first to go. (I had not yet grasped the concept of making and freezing pesto).

When I moved into my new apartment, one of the first orders of business was to get basil plants again. So I went to a nursery and bought two little basil plants again. While I was at it, I decided to start my own little indoor herb garden. At one point, I even had my own “Scarborough Fair” (parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme).

It started out well enough. I did make myself some very good pesto, and mixed it up a bit. One night I had it with rigatoni, the next with fettucine. It was, to put it mildly, quite yummy.

A few days ago, I got ready to make another big batch of pesto. But I noticed something. There were big blotches on the leaves. I had a mint plant which had almost completely died, because the leaves were brown. It seemed that this had spread to the basil. I was a bit confused, because I water them just right, and they get the right sunlight.

Needless to say, no pesto for me. I picked off the offending leaves and threw them away. What was left was a lonely stalk with a few leaves left.

I looked carefully at one of the leaves, and noticed a tiny brown speck underneath one of the leaves. It was the size of a piece of dust. I used my finger to nudge it, and it moved. It was a pretty revolting experience.

I went onto Google, and searched for ‘brown blotches basil bug’. What I found was more information that I could possibly have wanted to know about a little thing called a “spider mite”.

A spider mite, it seems, is a tiny little bug that sucks the juices out of leaves. It’s very common in indoor plants, and it’s very hard to spot, because it does its dirty business on the underside of leaves. Gone untreated, the mites suck and suck and suck until the leaves are completely brown and unusable. Yes, spider mites suck.

To find them, one Web site said to put a white piece of paper under the plant and shake the plant. I tried that and surely enough, I got a result worse than a bad Head and Shoulders commercial. Dozens of little mites fell onto the paper, creeping and crawling around. Some were just the size of pinheads. Others were green, having gorged themselves on basil juice.

I collected all my plants, and proceeded to the kitchen sink. I doused each plant in water. It was strangely satisfying to imagine the tiny little screams of all those spider mites. Afterwards, I made a mixture of my own insecticide from household soap. I sprayed each leaf, above and below. The Web site said to do this every four days.

After spraying, I examined the plants a bit more. There were still stragglers—left on the plant, they would multiply and multiply. I even saw one little spider mite hiding inside the crevices of two leaves. I got the bottle and gave him a nice jolt of soapy water.

I thought about it, as I am wont to do. In terms of our spiritual lives, sin works kind of the same way as these little spider mites.

Psalm 1 talks about the type of person we should all aspire to be. A man who “walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers”. A man whose “delight is in the law of the Lord.” The Psalm goes on to say that such a man is like a tree, planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in its season. His leaf doesn’t wither. In all he does, he prospers.

The wicked, the psalmist goes on, are like chaff. Dead, dried out leaves.

Sin is one of those things that you can’t always tell is infesting you. But little sins add up. And pretty soon, you find yourself far away from that ideal of a green tree. Your leaves and your fruit are infested. The life is sucked out of them, and they dry out and die. You’re really not good for anything anymore. Your work for the kingdom becomes completely unproductive, your relationships turn sour very easily, and you find yourself more and more inundated with stress, and guilt, and anger, and despair. No, you really never do equate those things with “sin”, because there’s not an obvious cause-and-effect relationship between the two.

But sin is very often exactly what causes those negative things. Because sin separates us from God. When sin latches on to our souls, like so many of those little spider mites, they just suck the life out of us. They make it so we can’t be productive.

What’s the solution then? Same as for my basil plants.

The first thing is to admit it. I could have gone for weeks and months just watering my plants and ignoring the little brown blotches. But eventually, the complete plant would have been destroyed. No, I had to shake it in front of a white piece of paper and see what drops out. The same is true of your soul. Anyone who claims to be without sin, so the good book goes, is only fooling himself. There are sins of omission and sins of commissions. Left inside you, they fester, and suck the life out of you.

Second, douse yourself in the kitchen sink. Baptism is the way to clear yourself of the spider mites of your soul. But even more important than the physical act of baptism is that pledge—the pledge of a good conscience. The pledge that says you’re not going back.

Third, keep shaking out your leaves to make sure the spider mites don’t return. They will try. They will attack your most vulnerable leaves, and hide deep where they think no one will find them. For my basil plants, every few days, I’d shake them out on top of white paper. And sure enough, mites would fall out. But as the weeks went by, the number of mites got to be less and less as I kept shaking and spraying.

Don’t let even one spider mite live. The moment you are tempted to sin, tell yourself—I don’t want to get to the point again where my leaves are brown and blotchy and unusable for anything.

Sure enough, after a while, new leaves sprouted, and they were rich and green and thick. I have a little bit of time yet before I can start harvesting them, but the day will come when I’ll again be able to enjoy pesto and spaghetti sauce and all kinds of good stuff.

I wish the same were true of my mint plant. I had a lot of plans for that mint plant. When it was new, the leaves smelled so nice. I figured I’d use them in cooking, making jelly, or whatever else it is that they use mint for. But that didn’t happen. Eventually, I had to take the plant, dirt and all, and throw it into the garbage. Because it just wasn’t useful anymore. The leaves were completely brown, and the underside of the leaves were covered with spider mites.

I hope that never happens to my basil plants. Basil can be used for so many things. So can you and I.
Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.

I praise Thee, Lord,
For cleansing me from sin;
Fulfill Thy Word,
And make me pure within.
Fill me with fire
Where once I burned with shame;
Grant my desire
To magnify Thy Name.

Lord, take my life,
And make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart
With Thy great love divine.
Take all my will,
My passion, self and pride;
I now surrender, Lord
In me abide.

O Holy Spirit,
Revival comes from Thee;
Send a revival,
Start the work in me.
Thy Word declares
Thou wilt supply our need;
For blessings now,
O Lord, I humbly plead.

Shining the Light: Thoughts on Brighten the Corner Where You Are

Next, I’d like to share a moving story.

No, it’s not a particularly touching story. It’s a story about my recent move…from New Jersey to New York…

I recently moved into a new apartment. Now, it’s been a few years since I’ve moved, so I’d forgotten what the procedure is with regards to electric and gas. But since the electricity was working, I didn’t think too much about it. Until a few days later.

That’s when I came home, and switched on the light. Nothing. I flicked the switch a few more times. Still nothing. Then, a very unpleasant realization came upon me. They’d shut off all the gas and electricity.

I frantically groped my way through the pitch-black room, still filled with moving boxes from my move. Boxes went crashing left and right. I grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket and pressed a button. The light went on for ten seconds and then went out. I pressed the button again. The light went on again. I felt like a lame, modern day version of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Match Girl.

Finally, using the light of the cell phone, I found my way to the closet, and got out the yellow pages. I flipped to the white pages and found the power company. I called the emergency number. Of course, by this time, the battery on my cell phone was almost finished.

After an eternity on hold, a woman answered. Sorry, she said, but due to some recent storms, all the workers were out repairing other things. She told me the earliest date that she could send someone out. It was three days away.

I grudgingly said okay. By this time, the battery indicator on my cell phone was just a sliver. I had this awful sinking feeling that I would be groping blindly for the rest of the night.

Then, a thought occurred to me. I had a little keychain flashlight packed in one of the moving boxes. So, I used what was left of my cell phone light to see so I could open the boxes and look into them, one after another. After searching through several boxes, I finally stumbled across my Sharper Image keychain flashlight. I gave a little cry of victory.

The keychain flashlight was good, but it had too small a beam to really see more than a foot in front of me. So I used that flashlight to open some more boxes. In one of the boxes, I found a big ol’ Eveready flashlight. Four D-Cells of power.

Once I found the Eveready flashlight, I could see more, including the mess I’d just made rummaging through the boxes. Using the Eveready flashlight, I managed to find the mother lode. A drawer full of candles and a gas lighter.

Pretty soon, the room was filled with the scent of apples, and vanilla, and pretty flowers. But more importantly, it was filled with light. I had candles set up around my bedroom, where I could do what I needed to do before calling it a night. As bedtime came, I blew out the candles, and went to sleep. The next morning, the sun came out.

There’s something you hear a lot, even among Christians. Sometimes especially among Christians:

I’m not good enough.

What can I do? I’m just one person.

What difference can one person make?

The funny thing is, I couldn’t have found the candles without the Eveready flashlight, the Eveready flashlight without the keychain flashlight, and the keychain flashlight without the teeny light of the cell phone.

Sometimes in church, we have the wrong concept. We think there are a handful of superstars. The ministers. Maybe the board members. And everyone else is just a bit player.

But the truth is, every single person in the body of Christ has talents given to them from God. Talents which no one else on this earth has. Perhaps all our lives, others have told us that we’re worthless. Or maybe we’ve told it to ourselves. We think we don’t look good, or we don’t talk good, or we don’t have the right education, or we don’t have the right job, and that makes us less valuable as a person.

That’s a lie.

Because this is the truth. You have worth, you are unique in God’s eyes, and you have a unique mission which God has prepared for you. Maybe the mission is to preach the gospel to the world. Or maybe it’s to help one little child get a drink of water. And perhaps, just perhaps that child will grow up and preach the gospel to the world.

In God’s eyes, whatever your mission, if you fufill it, he’ll be ready to welcome you and say “well done”

Remember the story of Naaman in the Bible? It was a little girl who told Naaman about Elisha. Remember the story of the bread and the fishes? It was a little boy who handed his lunch over to the disciples.

If you’re tempted to sell yourself short, remember what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14. You are the light of the world. People do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. The purpose of any light is to shine in the darkness. Even the tiniest light can pierce through the darkest darkness.


Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.


Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.


Review of God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers

God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers is another in a series of books by Hannah C. Hall. Other books have included God Bless My Friends, God Bless our Christmas, God Bless My School, and God Bless My Boo Boo.

The book contains ten “bedtime prayers” that span all kinds of different situations—a prayer asking for God to be with me, a prayer to help me show my love to others, a prayer to say sorry for not sharing, a prayer for protection when I’m scared, a prayer for healing when I’m sick, a prayer to thank God for good things, a prayer for peace, a prayer to help find a lost toy, a prayer to say thanks for fun times with Mom, and a prayer to tell God I love you before you go to sleep.

Each prayer is about four sentences long. I love that each includes a relevant bible verse at the end, which is great for older children just learning how to flip the Bible. For younger kids, the illustrations have a lot of little details that your little ones will love exploring.

As with those other titles, this one features illustrations of animals by Steve Whitlow. His drawing style is cute and playful without being saccharine. Each page has a different pair of animal parents and kids—giraffes, cats, hedgehogs, gorilla, squirrels, raccoons, wolves, bunnies, bears, and deer.

Overall, my daughter and I enjoyed the book. I’m a parent who tries to say a goodnight prayer every night with my daughter, and I welcomed this book in giving me ideas for things to pray for with her. The rhymes are pretty and natural, and the Bible verse helps remind me of some of the deep truths that I need to reinforce in myself so I can pass them on to her.