Covering everything biblical from Angels to Zacchaeus, this rich text explores not only stories, but several Bible verses that emphasize the alphabet for your young readers.
"H is for HANNAH. This wife hardly smiled,What I Like: The illustrations are quite unique. They seem to be a combination of painting and collage work, and have a slight 3-D appearance. Older kids are sure to love them.
For she and her husband could not have a child.
She prayed in the house of the Lord and He heard,
And what she had so hoped to happen occurred.
For heaven sent Hannah a sweet baby boy.
He made her feel happy. He brought her heart joy.
A priest raised the son for whom Hannah had prayed.
This honored a promise to God she had made."
Ms. Parker makes good use of alliteration many times throughout the book (using the same beginning letter/sound to emphasize.) For instance, in the "P" story (which tells the parable of the prodigal son,) "P" is often repeated: Parables, preach, people, popular, privileged, possessed all appear in the first 6 lines of the poem.
What I Dislike: I personally find poetry very difficult to get through, and this book was no different. Even while reading silently, I had difficulty making it through this relatively short book. The stories themselves were fine, although there were a couple instances where the poems touched on many topics instead of sticking to one story, such as in "M is for Miracles." This one notes many miracles from the Bible: Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, the three friends of Daniel who went into a fiery furnace and were unharmed, Moses dividing the sea, among others.
The "Y" story didn't follow the pattern set in the rest of the book. It had no accompanying picture, and its poem was not really a poem at all, but an intro to Matthew 11:29 (Take my Yoke upon you...).
One thing I really wish this book had was Bible references for the stories. Most of the stories I knew, and could find in the Bible, but the "H" story referred to Hannah, and I am not familiar at all with her story. I'd like to go read the story in the Bible, but without a reference, it would be a tedious task.
Overall Rating: Good.
Age Appeal: The author suggests 4 - 8, and while I believe this would be a superb coffee table book, I would hesitate to suggest a young child read this. I'd personally recommend at least age 8 and up, depending on the strength of your young reader.
Publisher Info: Quail Ridge Press, 2007; ISBN: 978-1-934193-48-8; Hardback, 56 Pages $18.50
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