For over two years, the only library books we brought home were ones we’d put on hold. We were ridiculous about this, of course, and still managed to bring dozens of books home, one heavy red plastic bin at a time. But still: I missed browsing. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until the first day I took my daughters to the library and wandered up and down the aisles, finding titles I’d never heard of and hadn’t known to look for.

We found books we love but had forgotten about (The World of Little House, for example, or Stephen Biesty’s cross-sections), as well as books that were completely, deliciously new to us (like Phil Bidner’s Martina & Chrissie). Of course, we also encountered the twaddle—lots and lots of it. So much more of it than I remembered. But in between the books we could do without we found plenty of little gems, like Sarah Raymond Cunningham’s sweet picture book, May God Bless You and Keep You.

May God Bless You and Keep You, by Sarah Raymond Cunningham | Little Book, Big Story

This book reads like a series of benedictions spoken over the life of a child. Cunningham gives parents the words to bless children through the many joys and trials our children might face, from the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep, and all of these words point readers back to the Lord. Like a refrain throughout the book, Cunningham writes:

May God bless you.
May God keep you.
May God’s face shine on you today.
May God give you grace
and keep you safe.
May God be with you always.

May God Bless You and Keep You, by Sarah Raymond Cunningham | Little Book, Big Story

For so many children who have wondered, over the past two years, where God has been or why he hasn’t answered their prayers the way they’ve wanted, this short picture book is a balm—a reminder that God is with us always, that his face shines upon us. I’m looking forward to many more trips to the library this summer, but I’m glad our first one began with this book. What a sweet start to a new season.

May God Bless You and Keep You
Sarah Raymond Cunningham; Lorian Tu (2018)