Bowman, along with illustrator Stacey Lamb, have taken an old idea and made it fresh. In My ABC Prayers every two-page spread features a whimsical illustration, a letter, and a five sentence "prayer." Most of these prayers are words of thanks, and most do a great job of using topics young children can relate to. Some are unexpected, too. For example, I'm not surprised to see a prayer of thanks for all of creation, or for the rain or sun. But Bowman also includes things like doctors ("Thank you, God, for DOCTORS/Who help me when I'm sick,/Who give me special medicine/So I feel better quick."). Some prayers stray away from thanks, and offer instead basic truths. For example, "O is for ONE./There's just ONE God who loves me,/There's just ONE God who cares./There's just ONE God in heaven/Who listens to my prayers."
My ABC Bible is similarly designed. Each letter of the alphabet is identified with one thing in the Bible. For example, "A is for ANIMALS" from Noah's ark, and "B is for BETHLEHEM,/Where Jesus Christ was born./See him in the manger/So cozy and warm?" Also mentioned are Joseph's coat of many colors, Daniel, Elijah, Goliath, Hannah, Isaac, Lazarus, Mary, fisherman's nets, plagues, Esther, rainbow, and more. Each is explained only briefly. For example: "R is for the pretty RAINBOW/See it up above,/Shining brightly in the sky/Showing us God's love?" and is designed to be a spring board for more conversation or reading on the topics.
What I Like: The fun, lighthearted illustrations, the introduction to prayers of thanks, and the basic biblical concepts presented in this duo.
What I Dislike: In My ABC Bible, "X is for EXCITED" isn't ideal. On the other hand, it would be pretty tough to find a word beginning with the letter X that also fits into a book about the Bible...
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: Infant to kindergarten.
Publishing Info: Zonderkidz, 2001; ISBN: 0310701600; hard back, $9.99.