HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Prayers for a Small Child
Author and Illustrator: Eloise Wilkin
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, 1995
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Wilkin, Eloise. Prayers for a Small Child (published in 1995 by Random House Books for Young Readers). Eloise Wilkin (1904–1987) illustrated dozens of classic Golden Books in her long career, providing the art for such books as Baby Dear, We Help Mommy, and the original Little Golden Book version My Little Golden Book About God. After graduating from Mechanics Institute, now The Rochester Institute of Technology, Eloise Burns moved to New York City where she hoped to have a better chance at a career in illustration. In 1935, she married Sydney Wilkin and soon began a family of four children. In 1943, she was offered a contract with Simon and Schuster and worked almost exclusively for Little Golden Books until 1961. With around 100 books illustrated, she is remembered as one of the top children’s illustrators of the twentieth century. I don’t recall where we obtained this “Knee-High Book,” similar to Little Golden Books and issued by the same publisher.
It consists of several “prayers,” including “All Things Bright and Beautiful” by Cecil Frances Alexander and “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” by Isaac Watts, all collected and warmly illustrated by Eloise Wilkins in her signature style with soft pastel paintings. Little Golden Books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin are among the most remembered, beloved, and requested by children. Prayers for a Small Child is very sweetly illustrated, and the prayers are just right for little ones, giving happy, “warm fuzzy” feelings that would definitely draw small children into the book so that they can learn to know and commune with the God who loves them. It is a wonderful book to help a little one with his or her prayers! Some of Wilkin’s books are stories or poems collected and illustrated by her, such as Eloise Wilkin’s Poems to Read to the Very Young and Eloise Wilkin Stories: Nine Beloved Classics, while others were written by different authors with Wilkin’s illustrations, such as Wonders of Nature by Jane Werner Watson.