Christmas Book Review Series: The Sacrament Is for Me
Welcome to the Exponent Book Review Series and Cyber Monday Giveaway!
Over this week and ending on Cyber Monday, we will share our thoughts on books that we think you should consider as possible Christmas gifts for yourself and others! As in the past, everyone who comments on a post will be entered into the draw to win a copy of one of the books that we have reviewed! (Choice of electronic or hard copies in the domestic US, digital copies outside of this area). Your comment on each post gives you one entry (multiple comments on the same post will not give you additional entries.) This year, we are adding comments on the Book Review posts shared on the Exponent Facebook page in addition to comments on the blog.
Don’t forget to leave a comment!
Review of The Sacrament is for me by Jessica B Ellingson and illustrated by Chase Jensen.
I was hooked just looking at the cover! The cover artwork is full of whimsy, and has both male and female characters depicted rushing into a church—making one want to rush in and open the book to see what wonders might be inside. But was the inside just as nice?
I read this for the first time with my daughters, and they happily read along—pausing only to analyse the artwork before I was allowed to turn the page. The book is for a beginning reader and their parents, though older children will enjoy reading it and looking at the pictures as well. Its concept is pretty simple; it is a rhyming (almost?) instruction book that feels like a story.
The story takes us on the journey of a child attending sacrament meeting in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel. The characters are not named, nor does the artwork reflect a gender based gaze. This makes for a flexibly androgynous book that both girls and boys can enjoy without bias. The primary theme is learning about why we take the sacrament in a simplistic, true and rhyming way that reminds us of Jesus, baptism, and ways that we can show respect and reverence at church during the ordinance of the sacrament.
The artwork is beautiful throughout, and I have a serious crush on the font used throughout the book. My only mild criticism of the book is the characters in the church congregation were primarily white (where we attend church, the individuals in our past few wards have been equally or primarily *not* white, making this a little hard for us to share. Plus it’s never too young to start teaching inclusion). I also thought that the overall colours in the book were slightly muted. I would have liked something more intensely colourful because the book felt so sunny in its words and images. However, on reflection, I suspect that the gentler colours were a stylistic choice that might be better suited to calming a child who might be reading the book in an actual sacrament meeting.
So in a nutshell, yes—the inside of the book is just as engrossing and fun as the cover! The Sacrament is For Me is well worth your investment of $14.99 as it can be a great resource for family home evening, bedtime, afternoon reading and so on. The words teach by gentle instruction, and the illustration is just plain delicious.
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