From now until June, I am teaching my preschool Sunday School class again, so I thought I'd do an occasional post called Sunday Sharing. In each post, I'll share a book with you that I plan to share with my class. After class, I'll update the post to talk about how the kids reacted to the book, sharing their reactions with you.
A Wish and a Prayer, published by 4RV Publishing in June 2010
Author: Beth Bence Reinke
Illustrator: Ginger Nielson
Some of you may remember that back in January, my very first review was of another book by Beth Bence Reinke, In My Bath, an absolute delight of a book. In A Wish and a Prayer, Beth Bence Reinke has again teamed up with Ginger Nielson, who provides lovely illustrations for this story of a young boy, Jason, whose pet parakeet, Sonny, escapes through an open window.
Over the next few days, Jason hopes and wishes that Sonny will return. His friend Scott says that wishes made at 11:11 will come true, and Jason tries that. Another friend, Tasha, suggests throwing pennies into a fountain and making a wish. In these and other ways, Jason wishes for his parakeet to return, but to no avail.
Finally, when his mother hears about all the wishing, she talks to Jason about wishing and praying, and asks who hears wishes and who hears prayers. That night, Jason prays to God, and the next morning, guess who is back?
As you might guess, this is a message book. Like most, the message can feel a little preachy, and is only appropriate if your religious beliefs match those of the message. On the other hand, the book is fairly open and nondenominational, so there will be few objections from any Christian denomination. My wife is Unitarian, and she might hesitate, but would probably read this to one of our children if they were of that age.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I like that Jason's friends are both black and white but that it is never mentioned, just visually understood. I like the age-appropriate way Jason thinks and reacts. There are also good uses of sound effects that I think my preschoolers will like when I read aloud. I'd recommend this book strongly, with the caveat that it wouldn't be appropriate for public schools or for families who do not believe in God, or who are not comfortable pushing their faith onto their children. I would give this four stars out of five.
Now, I need to get ready for church. Afterward, I'll share what my kids think.
Update: The best laid plans and all that. They haven't found another Sunday School teacher yet, and while I would have been happy to team teach with a parent, the Youth Minister wanted to make a point by canceling Sunday School for the week. So, no sharing except with you. Sorry.
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