Nancy White Carlstrom and Debra Reid Jenkins
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2001
“Glory be to God for dappled things,” wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins in “Pied Beauty,” a paean to the unchanging God who is nevertheless author of “all things original, counter, spare, strange”. Creation, in its dazzling multiplicity, calls us to praise in all our varied ways the one “whose beauty is past change.”
Nancy White Carlstrom’s picture book Glory gives an explicit nod to Hopkins’ poem. Each verse in this short poetic book begins “Glory be to God for — ” and proceeds to describe the wild and amazing profusion of animal life that He created. It’s simple and elegant: birds, sea life, wild animals, pets and farm animals all appear, and we are called to notice how “all creatures by their being praise their Creator’s name.” It’s an appeal to pay attention, to notice God’s glory in the things we think we know – and a reminder that “if these were silent, the very rocks would cry out.”
This is just the sort of book I love to look through with my almost-two-year-old son on my lap. The text is spare, the illustrations are lively and bright — and appropriately enough, dappled. It’s simple but rich, and worth checking out.