Book Review: Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval

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book review

Psalms for Young Children book coverA few weeks ago I picked up Psalms for Young Children by Marie-Helene Delval at one of my favorite bookstores, St. Bede’s Books in Baltimore, Maryland.

I like books that I can read with my children that they really want to hear and read for themselves, and which also helps them in their young relationship with God. This book fills the bill, and then some.

The pictures are striking, and Delval’s interpretation of this selection of Psalms are really very, very good. If you’re looking for detailed translations from the original languages, this isn’t your book. What Delval does is condense the meaning of the whole psalm into a few verses, which captures it’s essence in a way that children can readily absorb.

It’s not a “dumbing down” though, in fact it’s spurred some really good conversation between me and my kids about biblical poetic metaphor. We had a really good bedtime conversation the other day about that it means to be like “a tree planted by a river…full of fruit,” when we “listen to… God” in her paraphrase of Psalm 1. We talked about what kind of tree we’d be if we didn’t listen to God, and my kids painted a pretty grim portrait of a sad little tree.

Good stuff!

But, don’t just take my word…

An interview with children’s book expert extraordinaire, Zoe Jane Morley—soon to be 2nd grader.

Zoe, what do you like about the Psalms?

Zoe with the book

Zoe showing the page with her favorite psalm.

They tell you what people in the Bible  prayed a long time ago.

What do you like about this book, Psalms for Young Children?

I like how the author wrote the psalms so that children can understand them.

Right now, what’s your favorite Psalm?

Psalm 46, because if you’re in a little boat and there’s lighting coming down at you and waves go as high as giants you can still be safe because God is with you.

Zoe, do you ever get scared?

I do. A lot.

Now, after reading this book, do you know that God is with you?

Yes, I do. That helps me get through the scary times.

Zoe, what would you say to one of your friends if they wanted to read this book?

They will like every single detail that the author put into it, especially the pictures.

The Author

follower of Jesus, father of two, husband of one, Episcopal priest, with one book down, one blog up...surrounded by empty jars of nutella