Thursday, May 5, 2011

Psalms for Kidz: Psalm 148

The verse, "Let all heaven and earth praise the Lord" is consistently highlighted in Sherri Trudgian's book, Psalm 148. Just one in her series of Psalms for Kidz books, Psalm 148 features angels, animals and people praising God. Trudgian's rhyming text and Melanie Moreland's watercolor illustrations aim to make Psalm 148 understandable for young children.

The chorus, "Praise Him, Praise Him" is repeated on each page, as we see sun, moon, mountains, trees, birds, fish and mammals praising God in their natural habitats. For example, a sweet, brown-eyed cow looks at us from a page that reads, "Jersey cow knows/What to do./She gives us milk/Then she m-m-moos--/'Praise Him, Praise Him.'"

Trudgian includes a brief note to parents at the beginning of the book, and she includes the entire text of Psalm 148 at the back of the book.

What I Like: In the parent note, Trudgian states, "Children can praise God simply by doing what God created them to do." This is a welcome reminder in a busy age, where the temptation is to put formulas on how we do everything--even praise God.

I also like the repetition of the words, "Praise Him, Praise Him." This will catch young listeners' attention, and give them an opportunity to help "read" the book. I found the phrase going around in my head for the whole day!

What I Dislike: Although I admire the author's intentions, it took me the first couple of readings to figure out the reason behind various spellings of the word "praise." On the page featuring the sun, praise is written, "p-ray-se." On the page with pine trees and streams, praise is written, "P-R-A-I-S-E." The hummingbird page states, "Praise Him-m-m." On the bee page, we read, "Praiz-z-ze Him." Trudgian attempted to make the word "praise" correspond to the animal or natural object on each page. Bees buzz, hence the word "Praiz-z-ze," and so on. However, this makes reading the book aloud very choppy, until you get the hang of it. Using onomatopoeia to show how animals and nature praise God is a great idea, but it isn't executed well in this book.

Also, the overuse of dashes makes the words for "praise" even more confusing. Usually, when letters are separated by dashes, you pronounce each letter individually, but not in this book.

Though the watercolors are cute, they are a bit odd. The sun is a warm yellow, with a big smile, but it has skinny white arms and hands with skinny white fingers coming out of its cheeks. The kangaroo looks happy, but has a rounded nose, more like a dog.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: Preschool-First Grade

Publisher Info: Little Sprout Publishing House, 2006; ISBN: 0977919404; Paperback, 32 pages, $11.97

Buy it at for $7.99.

Special Note: The angels look like adorable, multi-cultural children with wings.
You can read our other reviews of Psalms for Kidz books here.

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