Who Made the Morning? by Jan Godfrey and Honor Ayres tells the tale of Little Brown Bird, who wakes up one day and asks "Who made this beautiful morning?" The flowers say nothing, but lean further toward the sun. The cow just bellows, "Moo! WHO?!" Little Brown Bird's feathered friends say, "Don't know, don't care." An anxious rabbit won't answer at all. The breeze, however, whispers "God, the maker of all the world, made this beautiful morning."
Little Brown Bird is thrilled to have an answer, but now she wants to know who God is and where he lives. When the breeze doesn't reply, Little Brown Bird decides to fly until she discovers the answers. Going further than she's ever flown before, she ends up in the snowy mountains. There she encounters an eagle, who frightens her with his bright, sharp eyes. "Help me!" cries Little Brown Bird, hoping someone will hear. Suddenly, the eagle flies off. Little Brown Bird finds shelter in the cleft of a rock. She dreams God is holding her "ever so gently in his hands."
The next morning, she flies back home. "And then," the author writes, "Little Brown Bird understood something wonderful, something so wonderful that she knew she would never forget it." When Little Brown Bird returns to her tree, her bird friends ask if she accomplished her mission. Little Brown Bird says yes, "God was with me in all the places I went and he looked after me. God the maker of all the world is with me all the time, wherever I go." She proclaims that God is stronger than the wind, brighter than the sun, and greater than the eagle. Then she sings a song of thanks.
What I Like: The basic storyline of this book is cute and the illustrations are colorful and playful. This really could have been a beautiful story, with quite a bit of depth.
What I Dislike: This book just doesn't do it for me - or my 2 1/2 year old. The text is a bit clumsy, and the frequent use of the word "went" quickly becomes annoying. (For example, the text reads: "So Little Brown Bird went to ask the flowers..." "So Little Bird asked the flowers..." is much less clunky. This may seem an overly-picky critique, but when the same phrase pops up every few pages, it really becomes distracting.) We are never quite sure why Little Bird suddenly knows all the answers about God. Her dream helps, of course, but doesn't seem strong enough to warrant the bird's sudden understanding of the nature of things.
Overall Rating: Good.
Age Appeal: The publisher does not have a recommendation, but I'd say 2 - 6.
Publishing Info: New Day Publishing, 2008; ISBN: 0979824702; hard back, $9.99.
Special Info: To read other reviews of books by Honor Ayres, please click here.