Psalms for Young Children

Marie-Helene Del­val; Arno, illus.
  • Review
By – February 15, 2012
The author does an excel­lent job of con­vey­ing the essence of select­ed Psalms in con­cise, child-friend­ly lan­guage. The pas­tel and ink illus­tra­tions are col­or­ful and full of motion, var­ied, yet con­sis­tent in style. There is no men­tion of the orig­i­nal Hebrew lan­guage of the Psalm, but on each page, a sim­ple Eng­lish trans­la­tion is giv­en in over­sized and read­able black font. The num­ber of each Psalm is iden­ti­fied at the bot­tom. For exam­ple, Psalm 143 is trans­lat­ed to read, Please God, don’t ignore me when I ask for your help. I know I can count on you! Show me the right road to take. Teach me to obey you and to do what you want. You are my God!” On the oppo­site page the appeal­ing cor­re­spond­ing illus­tra­tion serves to enhance the poet­ic imagery. Since the voice of an unspec­i­fied child address­es God” in every Psalm, it almost becomes trite if the book is read in one sit­ting, but that was prob­a­bly not its intent. The book is appro­pri­ate for chil­dren of any reli­gion, though a Jew­ish trans­la­tion might have cho­sen dif­fer­ent names of God for dif­fer­ent moods of the Psalms, or includ­ed Hebrew. A rec­om­mend­ed first look at Psalms and spir­i­tu­al poet­ry for the very young. Ages 4 – 8.
Miri­am C. Berkowitz holds a B.A. in Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions Magna cum Laude from Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty and an M.A. and Rab­binic Ordi­na­tion from the Schechter Insti­tute in Jerusalem. A wide­ly pub­lished writer, her teshu­vah on mikveh was recent­ly accept­ed by the Com­mit­tee of Jew­ish Laws and Stan­dards, and she was appoint­ed to serve on the Com­mit­tee for a five-year term.

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