1. Parenting
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

In Every Tiny Grain of Sand

A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

By

In Every Tiny Grain of Sand children's book cover art
Candlewick Press
Even in this age of uncertainty, we have much for which we can give thanks. Financier and philanthropist Sir John Marks Templeton once said, "How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age." Reeve Lindbergh's children's book In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise, which was published in 2000 by Candlewick Press, is a great place to start.

In Every Tiny Grain of Sand is an unusual picture book in that it is divided into four sections, each with a different illustrator, and uses the writings of many writers not often associated with children's books. The selections in the book are from a variety of authors, cultures, and religions. These encompass Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Native American, Muslim, Baha'i, Algerian, Buddhist, Celtic, African-American, and East African, among others.

The authors and sources range from the anonymous to the well known. They include the Bible, Robert Browning, Christina Rossetti, Walt Whitman, Pope Pius XII, Anne Frank, Margaret Walker, Black Elk, and Albert Schweitzer. One of the greatest assets of this book is the quality of the writing. Children are not often introduced to writing of this caliber, in a way that has meaning for them, at an early age, and this book provides such an opportunity.

In Every Tiny Grain of Sand is a 10-inch by 11-inch hardbound book with a colorful dust jacket and different colorful illustrations on its cover.

The book's four sections are "For the Day," "For the Home," "For the Earth," and "For the Night." "For the Day" was illustrated by Bob Graham. His watercolor and ink illustrations provide scenes of children in all seasons and many different places enjoying their activities, creating an effective accompaniment to the prayers and poems of thanks in this section.

The delightfully detailed watercolor and collage artwork of Elisa Kleven reinforces the joys of home, family, and nature that are celebrated in "For the Home." "For the Earth" broadens the celebration of nature with lively watercolors by Christine Davenier. Here the emphasis is on both being thankful for the earth, animals, and seasons, and on taking care of the earth.

Anita Jeram is a master at painting night scenes that are both dark and vibrant with color and life. Her dense acrylic illustrations in "For the Night" cover every page and incorporate the poems and writings into the artwork. Jeram's artwork embodies both the mysteries and the beauty of the night, a fitting finale for In Every Tiny Grain of Sand.

This is not a book meant to be read at one sitting. Instead, it is a collection to be dipped into, enjoyed, and discussed again and again. In her introduction to the book, Reeve Lindbergh describes the collection, stating, "Some of them were written in appreciation of nature, or to praise God, or to celebrate good things in our lives like our families, our homes, and our love for one another. Others were written when the writer needed strength, comfort, or courage." I hope you will enjoy the book as much as I have.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.