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Book review: 'Book of Mormon Children' teaches valuable lessons

By Amy Wilde

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Aug. 19 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

"BOOK OF MORMON CHILDREN: A Collection of Stories Set in Book of Mormon Times," by Merrilee Boyack and illustrated by Tera Grasser, Bonneville Books, $19.99, 226 pages (f)

In the new release, “Book of Mormon Children: A Collection of Stories Set in Book of Mormon Times,” author Merrilee Browne Boyack uses fictional characters and stories intermingled with truth and real characters from the Book of Mormon to help relate them to children.

The book is divided into 22 chapters, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. For the letter “H” we meet Hannah, daughter of Alma. The story unfolds as she watches her father sheer the wool from the lamb she has cared for. Hannah works hard alongside her mother to brush and spin the wool.

While gathering yellow moss to dye the wool, Hannah and her brother, Alma the Younger, overhear women talking about Alma, his preachings of repentance and wicked King Noah. All the while Alma is gathering believers to be baptized in the water of Mormon. The story opens up conversation for parents to share their own stories of baptism and conversion.

What Boyack does so well in this book is draw the reader in while keeping each individual chapter short enough to be completed in one bed-time story sitting. She breathes emotion into characters, making the stories effortless to read and absorb.

The end of each chapter is broken out into two parts: a learning activity and a "Did you know?" section. This offers an opportunity to discuss the lesson of each chapter with children. The book is illustrated with beautiful paintings of Book of Mormon children. The illustrator, Tera Grasser, grew up in Germany and later received her bachelor's of fine arts from Brigham Young University.

Boyack, a graduate of BYU and a popular speaker at Time out for Women and BYU Campus Education Week, has authored five books including “In Trying Times, Just Keep Trying!” “Book of Mormon Children” is her first book for children.

Amy Wilde is a writer living in Brigham City. She blogs at amywildeatmosphere.blogspot.com and her email is wilde.amy@gmail.com.

Twitter: wildeatmosphere

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