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Prayers for Children: A Big Little Golden Book    illustrated by Eloise Wilkin order for
Prayers for Children
by Eloise Wilkin
Order:  USA  Can
Golden Books, 2006 (1952)
Hardcover, Paperback

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Prayers for Children is ageless with Wilkin's precious, winsome characters, showing the tenderness of a child's face and expression, especially when cuddling a bunny, baby birds, or a lamb, or kneeling with hands folded.

The lead-off is Morning Prayer - 'Now, before I run to play, / Let me not forget to pray / To God Who kept me through the night ... Be Thou with me through the day.' Mary L. Duncan's I Thank Thee, Lord follows with a little one kneeling upon arising to the morning. There's Christina Rossetti's touching The Gift: 'What can I give Him, / Poor as I am? ... Give my heart.'

Mary Dixon Thayer writes one of my favorites, A Good Way, with a child in a coonskin cap pulling his sibling on a sled - 'Let's see, dear God, I want to tell / You in a brand-new way / 'I love you!' But I cannot think / Of anything to say. / I know, dear God! I'll run and do / Something for someone, and / Then when You see me doing it / Of course You'll understand!'

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge stands out with He Prayeth Well, Who Loveth Well - 'Both man and bird and beast ... All things both great and small; / For the dear God / Who loveth us, / He made and loveth all.' And poet Ralph Waldo Emerson recognizes the environment in Father, We Thank Thee 'For flowers that bloom about our feet ... For tender grass so fresh and sweet'.

Prayers and rhymes range in length from two to twenty-one lines. They are suitable for Sunday school classes, prayers for morning and night-time and in-between playtime, and at the table before or after meals. Just the right length for children to easily read and commit to memory, verses are surrounded by Wilkin's realistic, colorful illustrations, which fit the bill for each page.

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