A Little Bit of Faith is the first in a new series called The Precious Girls Club. Written by Cindy Kenney, this book is a great stepping stone between picture books and chapter books. It offers short chapters and at least one full-color illustration for every 2-3 pages. Based on the original Precious Moments, the illustrations feature a slightly more modern, "tweeny" version of cuteness.
The story centers on Katie Bennett, a young girl who recently moved to a new state with her family. She struggles with feeling out of place. How can she survive math class and find a way to make new friends? With the help of her mom, her cool aunt, and her guardian angel named Faith, Katie learns to step outside her comfort zone. At their encouragement she starts a Precious Girls Club complete with regular meetings and fun charm bracelets that emphasize the special traits God gave each individual girl. But will anyone come? Will she finally make friends? Or will the kids just make fun of her and her "imaginary" guardian angel?
Throughout the story Katie learns what virtues make precious girls: they are loving, kind, caring, loyal, helpful and responsible. The value the Golden Rule. Most of all, they do their very best with the gifts God has given them.
Readers who enjoy this book are invited to visit the website: www.PreciousGirlsClub.com. There girls can gather tools for starting their own Precious Girls Club at home. They can also have fun with games and interactive activities based on the book's characters or shop the "Precious Girls Store," which is filled with everything from charms, bracelets, plush toys and snow globes (like the one where Faith lives). The site also includes a "parent's section" where moms and dads can manage their daughters' accounts, send them messages, find party planning tools, conversation cards and much more.
What I Like: My daughter loves the pictures. At five years old, she's just learning to read and isn't ready for chapter books yet. This book, however, is bridging the gap for her. The characters are really sweet. I like that the story deals with real issues girls face -- the desire to blend with the crowd; that in-between spot between being a kid and a teen; worrying about their appearance and what others think of them -- while pointing them toward God and godly adult figures. Too often tween books have kids solving all the problems on their own. I really like the positive parental influence in this book. And, of course, the website is fantastic.
What I Dislike: I'm a bit uncomfortable with the guardian angel aspect. I wish Katie spent more time praying to God, asking for His help rather than talking with Faith and seeking her guidance. It feels almost like the character bypasses our direct relationship with God and places undue importance on angels.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: 6-12
Publisher Info: This book is available as paperback or hardback, but from different publishers. Both are 72 pages long.
Dalmatian Press, 2008; ISBN: 1403751234; Paperback; $4.99.
Precious Moments Inc., 2009; ISBN: 9780981715919; Hardback; $9.95.
Special Info: Read the entire first chapter here. In the bottom half of the page you'll find a "Book Sneak Peak." Click on that then "Download." Book 2 of this series, Operation Kindness, is set for an October 2009 release date. See our reviews of other books by this author.