Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Anytime, Anywhere: A Little Boy's Prayer

Most youngsters have a bedtime routine. For Isaac, that means two stories and a prayer. The book Anytime, Anywhere: A Little Boy’s Prayer, written by Marcus Hummon, starts in Isaac's bedroom just after his father closes the last book but before Isaac starts to say his prayers. Isaac begins by praying for his family. Then, not content to stop there, he asks God to bless a multitude of insects and animals, including his dog. He then prays for his friends (even one who was not kind to him), neighbors, people who are sick, people in jail, the homeless, and world peace. It’s a long conversational prayer, laced with questions for his father, who patiently answers them all.

Throughout the story, the father-son interaction is heart-felt and genuine. For example, when praying for someone who is sick, Isaac stops to ask, “Do you remember when I was sick? Did you pray for me?” His father answers, “I always pray for you, Isaac.” When praying for the homeless, Isaac speculates about when they pray. His father responds, “I suppose you can pray anytime, really. Anywhere.” And when his father questions Isaac about praying about the toys he wants, Isaac says, “God is my friend, so I just thought I’d say what’s on my mind.”

The story isn’t action packed, nor is there a nail-biting problem to overcome. However, it holds a warm, cozy appeal. The father shows gentle wisdom, and the child shows how much he cares about other people. The bright, colorful illustrations (done by Steve Johnson and Lou Francher) fit the story nicely and depict various ethnic races. They are a combination of acrylic painting and collage. Each page has a black-and-white checkerboard edging from the quilt on the boy’s bed. The quilt flows softly in the background, reflecting the thoughts and questions of the boy. Meanwhile, the checkerboard border provides unity to the book, anchoring the reader in the boy’s bedroom even while we see him reliving moments of his day. In all, the pictures give the story a dreamy feel.

What I Like: A big plus! This book is selling for a bargain price at Amazon! The story is a good tool for parents wishing to model or address the subject of prayer with their children. While it’s not likely to be a huge story favorite, it still holds enough snuggle-up charm to be enjoyed numerous times. Plus, the detailed illustrations will hold the interest of younger readers (even if the text does not).

What I Dislike: Nothing. It’s a nice story with a drowsy, bedtime feel… probably exactly what the author intended.

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: ages 4-7

Publisher Info: Atheneum, 2009; ISBN:1416948562; Hardcover, 32 pgs., $16.99
Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $12.99
OR Buy it at Amazon.com for A BARGAIN PRICE $6.36.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: