cover image God Inside of Me

God Inside of Me

Della Reese. Jump at the Sun, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0434-4

Singer and actress Reese, seen by millions of TV viewers each week on Touched by an Angel, calls on her experience as a licensed minister to deliver this thoughtful yet uneven picture book. Young Kenisha loves going to Sunday school to hear the smooth Bible stories and the sweet gospel singing. But Kenisha doesn't realize that she's not practicing what she hears in Sunday school--try to be patient, kind and loving like God--until her talking toys point it out to her. Dolly Dear reminds Kenisha that she goes ""into a tizzy"" when her brother dawdles on the way to church or when her toy, Clown, can't decide which shoes to wear. By story's end, Kenisha vows to be ever mindful of the tenet ""let go and let God,"" aiming to see the good and the God in everyone. Reese's universal and inspiring message unfortunately lies buried beneath a disjointed, meandering story. The reliance on fantastical toys serves as a distraction here, rather than a revelation. Buchanan's sunny watercolors depict a pleasant-looking small town in simpler times, but her renderings of Kenisha are inconsistent and sometimes disproportionate. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)