“Psalms for Little Hearts” – Book Review

Author Dandi Daley Mackall has rewritten 25 selected Psalms specifically for children: Psalms for Little Hearts. She writes about situations that young people can relate to (playing baseball, going to the zoo, being picked on at school). They all rhyme and are short stanzas. At the end of each Psalm, a portion of the original Psalm is included if you also want to read that.

The illustrations by Cee Biscoe are ample and appealing to little eyes. They add a young feel to the book.

Psalms for Little Hearts

But while the book is sweet and colorful, I’m not sure it would keep the attention of its target audience of 4-7 year olds. The concepts are lofty. I would recommend it only be read with an adult companion who could explain the meanings and who could help retain the child’s attention, and even then, only in small doses.

Here’s an excerpt from Psalm 8.

Even your enemies have to admit
You made the heavens and earth, bit by bit.
Wow! Your creation’s a super smash hit!
Everything shows us your glory.

Here’s what I wonder—to me, it’s unclear:
Why do you bother with people down here?
How can you care for us year after year?
Everything shows us your glory.

Lord, you have made us a part of your story,
Given us honor and crowned us with glory,
Told us to keep your world all hunky-dory.
Everything shows us your glory.

Older children could comprehend it easier, but they may also have outgrown some of the content choices, such as this from Psalm 4:

Pouncing puppy licks my nose.
Muddy puddles, muddy toes.
See that robin? There it goes!
I know you are smiling at me.

Hip, hooray, the city zoo!
Who made zebras? I know who!
Good things always come from you.
Lord you are smiling at me.

Silly monkeys, tall giraffes,
Hoot owl hoots, hyena laughs–
Taking funny photographs.
That’s you still smiling at me.

The lyrics are cute and clever. I appreciate them as an adult. But before you purchase this book, I’d recommend you carefully consider the maturity level of the child you want to share this book with.

It might be easier to just read the Psalms straight from the Bible.

* * *

My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers
for the review copy of this book

 

 

2 thoughts on ““Psalms for Little Hearts” – Book Review

  1. Martha J Orlando

    As I have three grandchildren ages 8, almost 5 and 3, I found this review very helpful. I do think the oldest would find the language “babyish,” but her little sisters might really enjoy it being read to them.
    Thanks, Lisa, and blessings!

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