With two little grandsons toddling around my house a lot earlier this month, I’ve been thinking about the books they like and the importance of enjoyable books that reinforce values and activities we want our children or grandchildren to learn and do.
So when I went looking for a book to buy for July, I zeroed in pretty quickly on Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers by Kathleen Long Bostrom, illustrated by Rebecca Thornburgh.
The colorful 20-page board book is part of a new series published by CandyCane Press, an imprint of Ideals Publications. Other books in the series are Rufus and Ryan Go to Church, Rufus and Ryan Give Thanks, and Rufus and Ryan Celebrate Easter.
Kathleen is the author of the popular Little Blessings series, published by Tyndale, which covers a lot of basic theological ground while charming preschoolers and their parents with adorable illustrations.
Ryan and his stuffed-animal friend Rufus go everywhere together. Their stories reflect simple and familiar activities many preschoolers know well–going to church, finding things to be thankful for on a rainy day, celebrating holidays, and saying bedtime prayers.
“Rufus, it’s time for bed!” says Ryan.Daddy carries Ryan upstairs.Ryan carries Rufus.
Teeth are brushed.
Pajamas come on.
“Let’s say our prayers,” says Ryan.
“What should we tell God?”
Ryan bows his head and closes his eyes.
“You, too, Rufus–no peeking!”
“Hi, God! It’s me, Ryan.
Did you have a good day?
I sure did!”
I like this series because it understands a child’s world and perspective and helps families underscore the importance of faith-building activities without getting preachy. I do wish Rufus and Ryan Go to Church included going to a Sunday school class, not just a worship service, since in many congregations preschoolers don’t attend the adult worship time. But I like the community of Sunday-go-to-church time that the book captures!