All Things Bright and Beautiful
Ashley Bryan (and Cecil Francis Alexander)
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010
For some strange reason, it took me a long time to warm up to the idea of songs-as-picture-books. Earlier this year, though, I found one that I loved, which made me think that maybe there might just be a few others out there that are worth checking out. And I was right! Last week Sarah reviewed a song-book and today I’ve got another one to share.
All Things Bright and Beautiful, unsurprisingly, is a book illustrated to the text of the hymn by the same name. (Note that two verses of the verses are left out. One of them is left out for good reason: check out the complete lyrics to see what I mean.) It’s a lovely hymn, and one that is very appropriate for young children who are beginning to notice and be enthralled by nature.
The artwork in this book is done entirely in paper collage, and the pages are great fun to pore over. Bright colors, attention to detail, and a variety of textures will surely make this book a favorite of many children. In addition, if you or your children are inclined to creating your own artwork, I’m guessing that it will make you want to pull out some scissors and colored paper to try paper cutting and collage for yourself. (If you do, send me a picture!)
My favorite line in the book is the last stanza of the hymn: “He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell, how great is God Almighty, who has made all things well.” What great fodder for discussion – and what a beautiful way to pray for our children. May we all see creation as the handiwork of God and have mouths that would freely praise him for his creativity and grandeur!