Prolific Christian author Max Lucado and his wife, Denalyn, have undertaken no small task in compiling the Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers. The hardcover book, illustrated by Lisa Alderson and published by Thomas Nelson, retails for $19.99.
In addition to prayers by the Lucados, the book is a compilation of prayers, hymn lyrics, and Scriptures.
Despite the title, there are chapters devoted to morning prayers, prayers for family and friends, prayers of praise and thankfulness, mealtime prayers, holiday prayers, and more.
Why you might buy the Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers:
Most of the prayers included are classics, from the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi to "Away in a Manger." You are unlikely to find such a comprehensive collection, and one very nicely compiled, elsewhere.
The illustrations of woodland animals are charming and engaging.
The Lucados have included an introduction for parents that is particularly good, written in Max Lucado's approachable style.
The prayers by Max and Denalyn Lucado feel fresh and relevant to young readers.
Because most of the prayers rhyme, they're great for memorization.
Why you might not buy the Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers:
Most of the prayers rhyme. You'll notice I mentioned this above. Rhyming may or may not be to your liking. I find that my very young children often get lost in the rhythm and don't pay attention to what is being said.
While the illustrations are lovely, they have nothing to do with the prayers on the page. My kids were asking questions about the pictures, trying to understand how they related to what I was reading. They became a distraction rather than an aid to comprehension.
Despite many of the prayers being adapted for young readers, they often feel stilted. Take this adapted prayer by Alice E. Allen, for example:
Give us this day our daily bread; Our table is so beautifully spread, Show us how best to save with care, Until our every loaf we share With hungry children everywhere. Father, that all be fed, Give us our daily bread.
The sentiment is lovely, but the inverted language may make it lost on little ones. A little more adapting might have made it more accessible.
I'm a fan, though not an avid one, of Max Lucado, so I was excited to see this book of prayers. It's a tiny bit disappointing, though.
I need to wait a couple of years to see if this book will engage my little ones. At almost 3 and almost 4, they have no interest in the text of this book. And they love books, even wordy ones.
My fear is that by the time they can understand what the older prayers are saying, they will have outgrown the illustrations.
That would be unfortunate because the collection is quite good, and the presentation makes it keepsake worthy. I would suggest picking up a copy and showing it to the child it's intended for before you buy.
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. I wasn't required to write a positive review. These are my honest opinions.