When I Pray for You (Board book)
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With lyricism, whimsy, and heartfelt emotion, Matthew Paul Turner reveals the tender emotions connected with watching a beloved child grow up and experience the world. Paired with Kimberley Barnes's vivid and playful illustrations, When I Pray for You is a beautifully affirming book, in which children and parents will see their own stories come to life.
When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings parents pray over their children, and shares with the little ones how much care and concern a loved one feels for them.
This is a book you will read to your child again and again. Perfect for any occasion, as well as for milestones including baby showers, birthdays, and graduations.
From the moment I saw you,
I started to pray.
Big prayers and small ones
I have sent God's way.
I prayed you felt safe,
full of joy and content.
When I whispered "I love you,"
you knew what I meant.
UK-based illustrator, Kimberly Barnes, has worked with top clients such as Little Tiger, Top That Publishing, Igloo, and Macmillan Education. Her love of drawing began at a young age and fostered into a career in illustration, specializing in children's illustration. She enjoys the regular cup of tea and isn't partial to the odd biscuit or two.
A mother with wide, emerald eyes cradles her blanketed infant: “from the moment I saw you,/ I started to pray./ Big prayers and small ones/ I have sent God’s way.” As the child grows from a baby to a girl, the mother is encouraging yet watchful: “I pray you grow strong, have passion and fight./ And stand up for what’s good with all of your might.” Barnes’s ebullient artwork shows the child at a pool party, reading to her peers in a book nook, and playing in a band. A final spread shows that the child has not yet grown up; instead, the mother holds her baby on a hilltop under a gentle sky, projecting a life to come. New moms will welcome the wistful tone and scenes of a child’s joyful discoveries. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)
In this cheerful, reflective rhyming children’s picture book, author Matthew Paul Turner shares a parent’s prayer for a child to grow up in the love and light of God: “I pray you love well.\ That the light in you swells.\ That the story God writes is the one that you tell.” The parent prays for the child’s joys, achievements, fears, and dreams, reminding the child, “When I pray for you, I imagine God’s view\ And pray all that God sees comes alive inside you.” Turner’s hopeful, encouraging poetry is complemented by illustrator Kimberley Barnes’s pictures of vivacious, ethnically diverse characters and bright, buoyant settings of home, playground, nature, and more. When I Pray for You would make an excellent gift to parents of newborns and to children at the time of their baptism. (WaterBrook, 2019)