Monday, February 22, 2010

One Surprising Morning

One Surprising Morning (Una Manana Sorprendente!) was written by Peg Augustine (English) and Emmanuel Vargas (Spanish). This book opens with Jesus' disciples in a room, sad and afraid. One by one, they begin to reminisce about Jesus' life. Short glimpses follow: Jesus at the Temple when He was a young boy; the feeding of the multitude; His triumphal entry on Palm Sunday; Jesus washing the disciples' feet before the Last Supper; Jesus' crucifixion. Then women enter the room happy and excited. They tell everyone that Jesus' tomb is empty and that He has risen from the dead.

The text throughout is offered in English on the left page and Spanish on the right. Several Scripture quotations are also given in the book. The final page quotes Matthew 28:5 -- "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said."The illustrations by Judi Niernberger offer simple watercolors in soft pastel colors. Readers should note that a rendering of Jesus' face is depicted throughout the book.

What I Like: I like the inclusion of both English and Spanish text. This is great for bilingual families. It's nice to have the text and biblical accounts (quoted Scripture) intertwined. I also like the unique perspective. Not many books present Jesus' life through remembrances of His disciples. I wish the author had elaborated on that delivery a little more.

What I Dislike: Studies show that children prefer strong illustrations with bright colors. This book offers neither. Also, the staccato flow inhibits cohesion. The text begins with one setting then jumps another to another without smooth transition. Finally, the story ends abruptly without ever returning to the initial characters. There is no application nor any indication of why (if at all) this story is important to readers today.

Overall Rating: Normally I would rate this "Ho-Hum," but because the book is listed at such an incredibly low price, I'll say "Good." It would make a nice Sunday School gift without breaking the budget.

Age Appeal: 4-8

Publisher Info: Abingdon Press, 2007; ISBN: 0687492602; Paperback; $1.59

Buy it Now at for $1.59!

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