Monday, January 25, 2010

Nonnie, What's God?

Inspired by a conversation with her 3-year-old granddaughter, Linda L. Lile wrote Nonnie, What's God? It follows Abby and her "Nonnie" on a typical Friday afternoon. They travel from daycare to Nonnie's house where they enjoy a snack and some books while cuddling on the front porch swing. Then Abby asks her grandmother a very big question: "What's God?"

Nonnie says a quick prayer, overwhelmed by the responsibility of sharing God with such a young, tender heart, then begins her answer. She points out the blue sky and white fluffy clouds, then talks of gray clouds and rolling thunder. "That's from God!" She talks of happy feelings, warm sunshine, twinkles in eyes and love from family. All of these are "from God because ... God is Love!" Abby then whispers "That's my God too!"

The book begins and ends with personal notes from the author. 1 John 4:8 is quoted at the back in the King James Version.

Jenniffer Julich serves as illustrator. Every page is absolutely filled with saturated colors and fine details. The style offers heavy outlines and slightly exaggerated features.

What I Like: This is a very personal story. You can tell Nonnie simply adores little Abby! I like the bold colors and the inclusion of Scripture at the back. I like that Nonnie doesn't take lightly her responsibility with this young heart. This would make a nice gift for a beloved grandmother.

What I Dislike: The book is told from Nonnie's perspective making this appeal more to adults than to children. It would be more effective as a children's book if it were told from Abby's point of view or even from a third-person perspective.

Nonnie's answer is okay, but she offers a much simpler version in her inner monologue. The text reads: "How do I explain that God is the Creator of all things? Or how my heart is filled with his Spirit each and every day?" Then she prays and launches into her long and creative, but convoluted answer. I would have appreciated a more concrete answer (such as "God is the Creator of all things.") to Abby's question before going on into the more abstract, intangible answer of "God is love."

Also, the illustrations are a bit chaotic. Each features a swirl of something -- activities, butterflies, snacks, etc. -- that float above and around the main characters. I like the colors and even the style, but it's too full. I don't know where to look.

Overall Rating: Good, leaning toward Ho-Hum.

Age Appeal: The publisher doesn't say, but I recommend 3-7.

Publisher Info: A-LU Publishing, 2008; ISBN: 0981709206; Hardback; $13.95

Buy it Now at for $13.95!

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Anonymous said...

Nonnie, What's God? Won a Bronze medal in the 2009 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards in the Religious/Spiritual catagory.

Tanya said...

Thanks for letting us know! :)

If anyone is interested in seeing other winners of these awards for self-published books, follow this link to Independent Publisher.