Sunday, February 17, 2013

Book Review - Psalm 23


Psalm 23

Illustrated by: Richard Jesse Watson
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Publication Date: February 2013
ISBN: 978-0310727842
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: February 18, 2013

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” – such a profound statement as well as the beginning to perhaps the most recognized psalm from the Bible, Psalm 23. In this new book, famed spiritual artist Richard Jesse Watson brings the words of the Lord to life for young children in a beautiful and stirring way.

This brief psalm works quite well for a children’s book, with one short, descriptive line per two-page spread. Of course, what sets books illustrated by Richard Jesse Watson apart from others is the amazing artwork that accompanies the text. The illustrations that bring the scripture to life in this book are bright, cheerful, and engaging. Even the lines, sometimes interpreted by adults as frightening, are soothing with Watson’s drawings. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,” is illuminated by a beautiful angel guiding two children and their lambs through the dark, her giant wings gently covering the youngsters.

At the back of the book is a four-page spread with small versions of all the pictures, along with the portion of the psalm found on that page. A brief explanation for children and a one-line “Thank you, God, for…” next to each picture furthers the educational value of this book.

Psalm 23 follows the best-selling The Lord’s Prayer that Waston did in collaboration with Rick Warren. I read/reviewed that book too (and truly enjoyed it) and must note that I believe Psalm 23 surpasses the first book both in beauty and depth of message. This is a book where each line of text meshes beautifully with a stunning illustration, and it should be placed in every Bible study classroom and home.

Quill says: Beautiful, inspirational, and the perfect book for bedtime prayers. Every child should have this book on their nightstand!