“The You-Song” celebrates, in a way young children can understand, the unique and vital place each of us occupies in God’s world and encourages them to fill their place in it with joy. Written by a teacher who’s helped many children overcome reading challenges, “The You-Song” is user-friendly, consisting of words that are either familiar or easy to decode. Lavishly illustrated with nearly 50 heart-warming photos, it’s also fun to read aloud to pre-readers.
About the Book
A simple, encouraging picture book with a religious message.Otto's (Daughter of Jerusalem, 2013) latest book is best suited to pre-readers or early readers. It emphasizes the importance of being true to oneself, and encourages children to sing their own "You-Song." Each person, the story says, has a You-Song, provided by God, which can be heard whispering or booming in an individual's actions. When the song doesn't sound pretty, "[i]t's just the world's jangle trying to muffle it." When this happens, the book urges children to find a happy place or event to tune back in to their You-Songs. The narrator then notes that although no one can have the song of another person, multiple You-Songs can join together to become a We-Song; that is, children may befriend others and work together with them as a team. By singing You-Songs and We-Songs, the narrator says, children are doing the work of God and sharing his blessing. Otto includes vibrant, full-color photographs of a variety of children engaged in different activities, such as painting or playing outside. The book's simple, repetitious text may make it useful for parents or teachers as a read-aloud, or for beginning readers. Each page has two short sentences or fewer, and the most complicated passage ("Jangle-free, / the You-Song can blend / with lots of songs around you— / one-of-a-kind songs / that God sings in others") is still relatively simple, with many repeated words. The large, easy-to-read, bold type helps emphasize this easy style, while the bright, clean photos will draw listeners and readers in. Educators may use the photos as a way to expand upon the book's message by asking listeners about the different actions depicted. The religious message is nondenominational, mentioning God but no specific religious faiths or texts.Attractive photos and easy-to-understand prose make a winning combination in this positive picture book.
– Kirkus Reviews
The idea that each of us has a you-song is so sweet and original. Joanne Otto has presented spirituality in a manner that is joyful and age appropriate. Also, kids will love the vibrant photos. Everything about the book rings absolutely true for younger children, and the message is beautiful.
– Ana H.
I would recommend this book for any young developing child who likes to read and loves colorful pictures of other children. It's an excellent book for parents to sit down with their child and read through and explain what the book is telling them. That each child is such a special gift and should realize what a unique and individual person he or she is. And to celebrate the fact that they are in the world and were put here to contribute their own special little threads to the tapestry that is life.
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