Psalms of Wonder: Poems from the Book of Songs

Flyaway Bks. Oct. 2023. 64p. Tr $20. ISBN 9781947888340.
K-Gr 3–Twenty-nine Biblical psalms are adapted to share with young children. These simplified versions are organized into six categories: Wonder, Courage, Comfort, Joy, Protection, and Love. Although adapted, Wallace has tried to honor the original language so that each psalm remains recognizable. For example, Psalm 23 here begins, “God is my shepherd, so I have everything I need,” as compared to the traditional wording, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” By simplifying the psalms, Wallace tries to provide more accessibility and understanding for children. Le’s gorgeous, vibrantly colored paintings aptly accompany the various themes and are a graceful addition to the book. For readers who know the psalms, these poems may offer a refreshing look at their meaning. They may be best served to children if read with an adult to help spur discussion and promote understanding, though middle schoolers may be able to read on their own. Presenting them side-by-side with the original psalms might also further comprehension for both adults and children.
VERDICT A lovely book with a specific purpose that will be welcome as an addition where there is a need for Biblical stories for young children. Pair with Marie-Helene Delval’s Psalms for Young Children and Dandi Daley Mackall’s Psalms for Little Hearts.

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