Name of Book: All Things Bright and Beautiful
Author: Cecil F. Alexander; illus. Ashley Bryan
Audience: Ages 2-5
Summary: Cut-paper collages depict scenes of people, animals, and nature that perfectly interpret this wonderful 19th c Irish hymn. Bryan has created a masterpiece in which art and text work together to God’s glory. Children can sing along (words and music are included) and point out all of the things mentioned in the song. A fun book for all.
Literary elements at work in the story: Illustrations and words come alive and work perfectly together in this visual presentation of the song, making it especially accessible to the very young. The placement of the text also adds a sense of movement and keeps the book moving.
How do the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: Bryan’s illustrations include not just the glory and beauty of creation but its diversity as well. All races celebrate God’s creation from the ferris wheel at the opening to the rainbow at the end. This is multiculturalism at its best.
Theology: Psalm 8:1
There could hardly be a better song or better illustrations to serve as an example of this verse. God’s glory shows through every phrase and every illustration. It is as if God reached down, touched the author and illustrator and said, “Show forth my glory”.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Can you think of something “bright and beautiful?”
- God’s creation is so magnificent. What can we do to keep it so?
- The end of the song says, “He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell, how great is God Almighty, who has made all things well.” How can we see and speak better about God and God’s creation?
This review was written by regular contributor Janet Lloyd.