cover image All Things Bright and Beautiful

All Things Bright and Beautiful

Cecil Frances Alexander, illus. by Katy Hudson. WorthyKids/Ideals, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8249-5676-9

Three children explore an idyllic meadow landscape from morning until sunset in this gentle staging of Cecil Frances Alexander's oft-adapted 1848 hymn. Hudson's (Bear and Duck) cozy paintings give a solid sense of nature's wonders, though they can be quite literal in the way they dovetail to Alexander's verse. As the day progresses, the children, who are presumably siblings, spy an owl on a tree branch ("All things wise and wonderful"), admire wildflowers ("Each little flower that opens"), fly kites ("The meadows where we play"), and skip stones while mountains appear in the distance ("The purple-headed mountain,/ The river running by"). When evening arrives, readers see the children's parents for the first time, as they pitch a camping tent while the children shine a flashlight into a tide pool. Despite some awkwardly posed scenes (in one, the children stand in a river, their arms raised in unison as they face the sun) and animals that can feel dropped onto the landscape, Hudson's serene images are an inviting accompaniment to this familiar song of praise. Ages 4%E2%80%937. (Feb.)