Flashlight Night: An Adventure in Trusting God

WaterBrook. Feb. 2021. 40p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780525652793.
Gr 2-4–The illustrations are charming, the intentions are sincere. Hasselbeck’s book lacks adventure and and a sustainable rhyme scheme, but offers children a metaphor for teaching Christian faith and trust in God. Hasselbeck, with her three children credited as coauthors, tells of a young white boy and his friend, a Black girl with long braids, writing their prayers in chalk on a large wall in the boy’s attic. The children pray for a variety of outcomes: material gain, success at school and sports, good health for a sick friend. The prayer wall features in the title metaphor when the boy’s mom asks him to shine a flashlight on the prayers God has answered and turn it off for those in which an answer is yet to come. Even though the light is not shining on them, the boy knows they are there. The characters have the round faces and small happy mouths of Precious Moments figurines, while the handwriting on the chalkboard looks way too neat to be a child’s.
VERDICT With an ending prayer to God about faith and trust, and a trio of Bible verses about belief, this is a worthwhile addition to Christian collections, aimed more at parents seeking books about faith than at children.

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