THE LORD'S PRAYER, by Rick Warren, Illus. by Richard Jesse Watson
Published February 2011
"Warren, author of the mega-bestseller The Purpose Driven Life (2002), and Watson join forces for a thoughtful and visually appealing introduction to the Protestant version of the Lord’s Prayer (with forgiveness for debts, not trespasses). Each line of the prayer serves as the text for a double-page spread with an illustration of a child (or several children) relating to that phrase in some imaginative way. For “give us this day our daily bread,” a little boy feeds a flock of birds in a readily obvious choice of illustration, but for “as it is in heaven,” a line of joyous children and animals (including a lion and a lamb) skip along in a procession into a mysterious swath of swirling stars and streaks of sunshine. The illustration for “lead us not into temptation” is inspired, showing the image of a solemn-faced boy in a mirror against a dark background lit by a single candle. The final pages include smaller reproductions of each page with short commentary by Warren to help explain the meaning of each phrase of the prayer. Watson’s light-filled, expressive paintings bring the famous prayer into focus for younger children with greater accessibility than any other currently available edition. Both highly useful and beautiful—an unusual and welcome combination."
-Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Watson and Warren's complementary visual and textual interpretations of the familiar Christian prayer provide a welcome devotional resource for parents and children. Against full-bleed paintings, Watson (The Legend of Saint Christopher) offers images of childhood's stages, beginning with a picture suggestive of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam—here, a baby's hand clasps a much larger one against a golden orb of rays and swirls. Ensuing illustrations offer multiethnic depictions of infants, toddlers, and children, sometimes in solitary moments, sometimes joining with creatures young and old, great and small, in celebration. An illustration that accompanies "forgive us our debts" features two siblings who may have fought over a teddy bear, while an image of children playing on a great tree by the sea illustrates "For thine is the kingdom." Warren's introduction tells parents that children "have much to teach us about prayer," while his end-of-book commentary explicating the prayer addresses children; under the "kingdom" image it reads, "I am part of God's family, which will last forever and ever!" This spirited rendition should have wide appeal. Ages 4–7."