By Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by Kimberley Barnes (WaterBrook)
Matthew Paul Turner’s When I Pray for You shares a mother’s prayer for her infant child. The third book in Turner’s “When” series for ages 3-7 currently ranks second on the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association juvenile best sellers list. Illustrator Kimberley Barnes offers colorful images but with a softer tone than David Catrow’s vibrantly creative art in the set’s previous volumes.
The story begins with a young mother rocking her sleeping baby as she coos: “From the moment I saw you, I started to pray. Big prayers and small ones I have sent God’s way.” The prayers continue through the pages as she imagines the little girl’s first words, school plays, birthdays and nights away with friends. The mom dreams of her child soaring and exploring within God’s designing and refining as the make-believe path runs through beautiful pictures of land, sea, sky, children of all colors and a dog.
Chandler enjoyed the bright illustrations, especially of swimming fun and the dog floating on a raft. While she preferred When God Made You and When God Made Light, she believes moms, dads and grandparents will like When I Pray for You best because it teaches them how to pray for their children. The tale travels full-circle as the prayer closes with a wide-eyed babe wrapped in her mother’s arms, “’Cause when I pray for you, I pray all that you do brings love and brings light, and helps the world shine like new.”
Chandler Joy Hillman, age 5, with her grandmother
Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president
Baptist General Convention of Texas