Thursday, August 19, 2010

first prayer book

A friend introduced me to this reprint of a very sweet, vintage children's prayer book and it has become a frequent last-book-of-the-evening when I'm reading with Finn. Originally published in 1941 by Rachel Field, the simple reverent (and dripping with 1940s sweetness) illustrations by Elizabeth Orton Jones won the Caldecott Medal in 1944, which was the book official publication date, almost 2 years after the author died.

Finn loves listening to the lyrical verse and discussing the little girls bread, milk, toys and activities.

I enjoy the soft color and simple illustrations so reminiscent of idyllic childhood.

I'm also touched that the child in the book not only asks God to bless her food, belongings, family and friends but all the other children of the world, in every race and nationality, and asks him to keep them safe and free from fear. What a powerful message to bring to my own 3 year old, to hold forth other children's care and safekeeping in this manner.

There are other prayer books which we definitely enjoy reading in the evenings, but this book with it reprinted large format is always a favorite.


  1. I've got a REALLY old ex-lib copy with faded colors and a new board book - but I don't think it's quite as bright as this edition. Nevertheless, it's a classic favorite.

  2. The illustrations look simple and lovely. I like the message it sends.

  3. so wonderful....
    and I thought of you specifically while writing this:

  4. We had a copy of this book as children, it is probably still in the attic in England, one day I hope my childhood books will reach Finland to share with Little Bean. I may have to find a new edition though in the meantime!

    Thank you for sharing, I really enjoy looking at your book discoveries.

  5. This book was a favorite in my house when my girls were young, especially my oldest daughter. We both knew the words by heart. I could not bear to part with this book and it is safely tucked away in her memory box in the attic.

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