The Oct. 29 issue of Anabaptist World included several mini reviews of recent books. Some of them are children’s books.
Written for ages 9-12, Making Waves: Fifty Stories About Sharing Love and Changing the World (Herald) by Judy Clemens introduces readers to ordinary people who, because of their faith, make difficult choices to truly love those around them. In these three-page biographies, readers meet everyone from nurses in a newborn intensive care unit to gardeners, relief workers and app designers. These everyday heroes show kids that everyone, regardless of age, can follow Jesus’ command to love our enemies. Illustrated by David Leonard.
Using similes such as “God is like a gardener (patient and nurturing), wind (passionate and full of mystery)” and more straightforward statements (God is kind, God is happy when you tell the truth and sad when things are unfair), Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner invite readers of all ages to continue searching, wondering and learning about God in What Is God Like? (Convergent Books). This picture book, beautifully illustrated by Ying Hui Tan, features a diverse cast of characters including various skin colors and physical abilities modeling the wonder of God.
— Jennie Wintermote, resource library director for Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA
Nutaui’s Cap by Bob Bartel (Running the Goat Books) recounts the experiences of a 10-year-old Innu girl during protests against NATO low-level supersonic training flights. The author first heard the story in the 1980s while serving as program director for Mennonite Central Committee in Labrador, Canada. English with translations into two dialects of Innu-aimun.
Can You See Me? by Mikhala Lantz-Simmons and Mohammad Rasoulipour (Andrews McMeel Publishing) is the product of the author and artist meeting while studying peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. Enjoy sitting down with a young child to imagine the animal shapes suggested by constellations of triangles and short descriptive rhymes.
— Joe Springer, curator of the Mennonite Historical Library at Goshen College
Six-year-old Violet struggles with unanswered questions about death, loss and grief while trying to understand the absence of her younger sister, Rhoda, in The Red Pop Beads (Masthof) by Violet Dutcher. Years later, family members share precious memories of Rhoda’s life when the lost red pop beads are rediscovered. Based on the author’s experience as a child and illustrated by Maren Hange.
Most days are filled with ordinary predictable activities. Yet, moments of mindfulness draw attention to the little things in life that bring joy and awareness of all that is happening around us in Most Days (Tilbury House) by Michael Leannah. “This day’s ordinary minutes glimmer in my memory like stars in the night sky.” Characters are beautifully diverse.
— Louise Matthews, director of The Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center at Bluffton University