Bless the Beasts: Children's Prayers and Poems About Animals

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Children love animals, their connection with animals fosters respect for creation and humanity. These inspirational prayers and poems offer graceful words of personal observation, joy, and concern about their favorite creatures, from the cuddliest pets to the wildest beasts.

Filled with over 30 lavishly illustrated reflections to suit any mood, this interfaith collection includes thoughtful, funny, and profound poems and prayers by such beloved writers as Carl Sandburg, Robert ...

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Overview

Children love animals, their connection with animals fosters respect for creation and humanity. These inspirational prayers and poems offer graceful words of personal observation, joy, and concern about their favorite creatures, from the cuddliest pets to the wildest beasts.

Filled with over 30 lavishly illustrated reflections to suit any mood, this interfaith collection includes thoughtful, funny, and profound poems and prayers by such beloved writers as Carl Sandburg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Yolen, and Rudyard Kipling—along with fresh offerings from newer poets and a sprinkling of heartfelt prayers written by children themselves. Together they provide an accessible door to a childs spiritual life and development of compassionate values.

A collection of over forty poems and prayers about animals, composed by contemporary authors such as Jane Yolen, writers from times past such as Victor Hugo, as well as children of today.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
As the subtitle states, this is a collection of children's prayers and poems about animals. Not all of the selections are by kids. Many of them came from well-known poets such as Christina Rossetti, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Victor Hugo and Carl Sandburg. The amazing parts of the book are the beautiful and thoughtful entries from kids ranging in age from 8 to 12. "Everybody Has a Heart" by 8 year-old Samantha Jorgensen, and "If I were a Blue Whale" by Nicholas Spanoudis are quite touching. The artwork is almost over the top. Each page is bordered and each section has a different style that shows a progression through the seasons. Pictures range from delicate spreads in pastel colors to deeper colored scenes as it changes to fall and winter. Teachers in religious settings may find this very useful to stimulate discussion and learning about the world and also appropriate for those homes where there is some emphasis on prayer. 2002, SeaStar,
— Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-This well-intentioned effort suffers from an uneven selection of material. A wide range of poets is represented, from Carl Sandburg to Rebecca Kai Dotlich (whose "Dragonfly," "-with wings that you/could whisper through," is quite lovely). Unfortunately, though, some of the writing doesn't work as well (in Deena Rae McClure's "Barnyard Praise," for instance, the rhythmic flow and strong language of good poetry just isn't there: "The rooster crows, the hens "Cluck! Cluck!"/It's time to go to the chicken hut"). A few poems by children are included. The overall sentiment is nondenominational, emphasizing gratitude, respect, and wonder. The sweet illustrations are done in soft colors, but do not show much genuine emotion or substance. If your library has a large market for inspirational materials, consider this title. Otherwise, stick with some of the excellent collections already available, such as Reeve Lindbergh's In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child's Book of Prayers and Praise (Candlewick, 2000), which includes several verses about animals.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587171765
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Edition description: REINFORCED
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 1 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 1.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

June Cotner is the best-selling anthologist of Graces and Bedside Prayers, as well as many other collections of prayers and poems. Her first book for children was Amazing Graces: Prayers and Poems for Children. She lives in Poulsbo, Washington.

Kris Waldherr has also illustrated Sacred Animals and The Book of Goddesses. Her children's books include Rapunzel and Harvest. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Table of Contents

A Note about This Book 4
Hello, Animals! Prayers and Poems of Discovery 6
Rejoice, Animals! Prayers and Poems of Wonder 24
Be Blessed, Animals! Prayers and Poems of Reflection 40
Index 64
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2002

    Honoring Connections

    The innate attraction of children for what is true, kind and beautiful can be seen in their love of the natural world. On the exquisitely illustrated pages of BLESS THE BEASTS intriguing insects, family pets, farm animals, artic dwellers and creatures of the sea and skies fill young minds with curiosity, awe, laughter and an enhanced understanding of their humanity. Anyone wishing to encourage and honor the connection between humans and God's creatures whether they splash, creep, crawl, prance, hop or flutter will find a treasure in this creatively collected anthology. Surely many of these accessible yet thought provoking poems and prayers will find a permanent home in the hearts of children and adults who share the joy of reading them again and again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    FOR ANIMAL LOVERS

    "This sparrow died today, O Lord, Your feathered creature small. We lay him in the friendly earth And ask your blessing on us all." This poem by Esther Wilken is a sample of the selections in BLESS THE BEASTS, a collection by June Cotner. Poems by well-known writers such as Carl Sandburg and Victor Hugo, as well as contributions from other adults and children, grace the pages of this beautiful little book. Kris Waldherr's illustations are so lifelike you want to stroke the fur or feathers. Some of the poems celebrate the beauty and personality of particular animals; some express sadness at the death of a beloved pet, some simply give thanks for the experiences we have with these creatures with whom we share the planet. If an animal has ever owned and loved you, or you wish you had a pet, this book will touch your heart. If you admire wild animals and birds, this book will cheer you. It's like a mental cuddle with a furry friend. Shirley Nelson freelance writer and contributor to the book

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