Author Karma Wilson and illustrator Amy June Bates team up again for Let's Make a Joyful Noise, a lively picture book celebrating Psalm 100.
Like the duo's Give Thanks to the Lord and I Will Rejoice, this book focuses on a single line of scripture, making it vivid and fun for children. In this case, the scripture is "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands," and Wilson's rephrasing, "Let's make a joyful noise to the Lord!" repeats frequently throughout the text. First, she extols all the many things that already make a joyful noise to the Lord: birds who sing, church bells ringing, a guitar, a choir, people clapping, feet tapping, a piano, angels singing, etc., stopping after every two page spread to encourage children to imitate those sounds, then shout: "Let's make a joyful noise to the Lord!"
The noise is fun, but then everyone stops and quietly prays. The book ends:
"We ask God to guide us and be there inside us.
And I thank the Lord for this great, noisy day.
And my prayer is a joyful noise to the Lord.
A very joyful noise to the Lord.
What I Like: I love the whole concept of this book, which is to take a single Bible verse and make it memorable and real for children. Let's Make a Joyful Noise does this especially well, and children will delight not only in shouting out the title several times, but imitating the noises mentioned in the book.
Bates' illustrations are, as usual, sketchy and warm. She begins by showing a young boy (with a bike with training wheels) going to church with his mom and dad and baby sister. He is earnest and joyful as he hears and contributes to all the noises of the day.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 4 - 8, but toddlers will like this, too.
Publishing Info: Zonderkidz, 2008; ISBN: 0825455367; hard back, $14.99.
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Special Info: Check out author Karma Wilson's friendly website and blog. You can also see some of illustrator Amy June Bates' work at her website.