When it comes to the Psalms, I’ll be honest: they contain certain passages that aren’t exactly suited to small ears. And somehow, like a ship out of the fog, you never quite see those passages until they are upon you. (Not sure what I mean? Read Psalm 139. I’ll wait.)
So, an adaptation of the Psalms is nice, especially one as well-edited and beautiful as Psalms for Young Children. Delval does a lovely job of retaining the humanity of the Psalms, including some of the emotionally dark ones alongside the happy, sparkly Psalms of praise, in a way that keeps the heart of each passage beating.
Like storybook Bibles, this book is not a resting place but a springboard into relationship with the full book of Psalms, and I like that: we have a five-year-old and a three-year-old, so we deal with a lot of emotion in the course of a day. It’s helpful, then, to show our girls that, hey! People are pouty sometimes. King David was pouty sometimes. But still, he praised the Lord.
But as I said: springboard. We tend to read these at the table, where they serve as a nice segue into reading a full Psalm or two from “Papa’s Bible.” Discussion ensues. And the springboard of Psalms for Young Children has served its purpose.
Psalms for Young Children
Marie-Helene Delval, Arno (2008)