cover image I'M YOUR CHILD, GOD: Prayers for Our Children

I'M YOUR CHILD, GOD: Prayers for Our Children

Marian Wright Edelman, , illus. by Bryan Collier. . Hyperion, $19.99 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0597-6

Using the plain, honest language of children's everyday lives, Edelman—founder of the Children's Defense Fund and the author of Guide My Feet: Prayers and Meditations on Loving and Working for Children—crafts a collection of original prayers that also incorporates a few traditional selections. She offers kids support, peace and empowerment in prayers that cover such topics as the death of a pet, graduation, difficulties in school, sexual identity, substance addiction and even grittier issues ("A Child's Prayer on Seeing a Parent Abused"). The prayers are helpfully divided into five sections (e.g., "Prayers for Younger Children," "Prayers for Struggle and Strength"). Most of the works have the solid ring of assurance and solace; but some offer only the comfort of verbalizing a child's anxieties. Overall, these accessible verses will go a long way toward showing children that the act of praying can be easy and can take the form of a personal, heartfelt dialogue with God. Collier (Martin's Big Words) paints stripes of varying hues down the faces of his subjects, which, he explains in a note, is meant to symbolize blessings falling upon them. Some may find this technique distracting, but in general the artist uses his photo-realistic watercolor-and-collage style to great effect in depicting children of various races and ages. A book many will welcome. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)