Based on the lyrics of his song by the same name, Archuleta’s foray into picture books calls upon his musical roots as well as his faith.
The book is language-sparse, with most of the story told through Ugolotti’s illustrations. These depict a White child who dreams of playing soccer but must grapple with disappointment. When the unnamed protagonist, who presents male, is not picked to play for the soccer team, he befriends a Black child who presents female and who has also been left out of the game, due to injury. Their initial connection on the sidelines blossoms into a true friendship, proving to be a far richer outcome than the aspiring soccer star could have anticipated. Alongside the visual story runs a little prayer of gratitude thanking God for his presence, patience, and plan in the child’s life. The words are general, with no reference to either soccer or friendship: “Heavenly Father, I am grateful for your eternal presence. / I am learning to be patient and that you are really there.” Though the interracial mixed-gender friendship is cute, the overall prayer and plot are bland. This is useful to augment collections and bookshelves where Christian picture books are in high demand, but it does not stand out from the pack. (This book was reviewed digitally.)
Though cheerful illustrations add some zest, this little prayer feels flat. (Picture book. 4-8)
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2021
Page Count: 32
Publisher: Bushel & Peck Books
Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021
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