Morning Has Broken
Eleanor Farjeon and Tim Ladwig
When I was in high school, my dad used to wake us up on Sunday mornings by bursting upstairs with an ear-splitting rendition of Eleanor Farjeon’s hymn, Morning Has Broken. (And I do mean ear-splitting. My dad is a wonderful man, but vocal solos are not his strong suit. That was sort of the point of this form of alarm.) So man, did I hate that hymn.
So Tim Ladwig’s illustration of Morning Has Broken has gone a long way towards endearing the hymn to me. And for those of you without the unpleasant associations, you’ll find the book pure delight.
The text of the hymn is jubilant praise for the dawning of a new day – something that those of us with small children all too often forget to do. But Farjeon’s words remind us that the sun spilling over the horizon, right now, is “born of the one light Eden saw play!” We may stand on the other side of a sin and a blazing sword, but there’s a miracle afoot: though not untouched by our misdeeds, creation retains its glory!
This is a simple book. Tim Ladwig’s illustrations are full of light, life, and motion, and echo the wonder the hymn sings. It is a lovely little reminder of the sheer glory and abundant grace that is a new morning. My kids don’t see me rejoicing nearly enough at the sunrise. But this book offers a much more graceful – and faithful – picture than me shuffling for coffee. I’m happy to be able to offer it to them.
(And for you sadistic parents out there, the musical setting for the hymn is at the end. If you need to croon it loudly and out of tune to your tired teenagers, just don’t tell me about it.)