cover image Every Which Way to Pray

Every Which Way to Pray

Joyce Meyer, illus. by Mary Sullivan. Zonderkidz, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-310-72317-2

In this solid debut children’s book from Meyer (The Power of Simple Prayer), the evangelical radio and television personality and prolific author, a conversation among zoo animals addresses common misconceptions about prayer with playful humor. Lamenting that hippos will never get close to God because they can’t fly and discouraged because, according to their book, The Rules of Prayer, prayer is hard work, Hayley and Harley Hippo make the rounds of Everyday Zoo. There a colorful cast of polka dot–clad characters counter their impressions that one must pray in church, dressed up, kneeling, with folded hands. Sullivan’s droll, pastel-hued visuals include numerous sight gags that complement the story: when the animals hear “folded hands,” a half-page illustration shows a circle of paws, hoofs, and bird feet surrounding the text: “That could be a problem!” Some cloud-shaped pictures against white backdrop depict animals praying in the shower, underwater, and eating ice cream; other full-bleed spreads illustrate a point, as when yellow bees silently form the words “God is Good” against a dark sky. Refreshingly unpreachy and theologically accessible, this is a welcome addition to the prayer book genre. Ages 4–7. (Mar.)