These three picture books share what children can do now to prepare to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, how to prepare for baptism and about prayer.
“WHEN I’M A MISSIONARY,” by Merrilee Boyack, illustrated by Brian Call, Deseret Book, $18.99, 30 pages
Lacey and Julian are excited about missionary work, especially when their older brother Elliott returns from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
They start learning a dozen things to prepare for a mission, such as learning to talk to people, learning to work, reading their scriptures, being obedient, getting along with others and not giving up.
Each is framed as a conversation Lacey and Julian have with a variety of people — Elliott, their parents, grandparents, the missionaries in their area and their neighbors. Then Lacey and Julian put into action their suggestions, sometimes with a few nerves and fears, and what they learn.
Each thing to prepare for a mission is also a skill that is needed for life in general.
At the end, California author Merrilee Boyack added ways parents can help teach each skill. Idaho illustrator Brian Call’s drawings are lifelike and help communicate the children’s excitement and efforts for preparing.
“I CAN PRAY EVERY DAY,” by Catherine Christensen, illustrated by Corey Egbert, Cedar Fort, $14.99, 24 pages (ages 3 and up)
Throughout the day, there are many times and opportunities to pray, author Catherine Christensen shares in rhyming couplets in this picture book.
Opportunities start when it’s time to get up and go to bed, family prayers and blessing the food, and also at church or at the park or store. Prayers are also to give thanks, help bless others, seek forgiveness and help when times are hard.
With Christensen’s simple statements and Corey Egbert’s illustrations, it’s a primer for all ages to learn about when, where and why to communicate with Heavenly Father.
“BAPTISM AND BOOMERANGS,” by Sherrie L.M. Gavin, illustrated by Tatiana Lawton, Cedar Fort, $14.99, 32 pages (ages 6 and up)
Amara has just turned 8 years old and is about to be baptized. Her family, including her parents and her brother Jack, have gone to visit her grandparents in Sydney, Australia, so they can be a part of her baptism.
Amara is worried about what happens after being baptized, even though her parents have taught her that she will be confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and she will have companionship of the Holy Ghost.
It’s Grandad who takes Amara and Jack to the park and uses learning to throw a boomerang as an analogy. The boomerang is designed to return, and Heavenly Father’s plan is designed so his children return. And although learning to throw a boomerang can be hard at first, it's important to keep trying, just as it's important to keep trying as hard things come in life.
Author Sherrie L.M. Gavin, a New York native who now lives in Australia, and illustrator Tatiana Lawton, of Brisbane, Australia, also share culture and flair of life Down Under.
“1, 2, 3 WITH NEPHI AND ME,” by Heidi Doxey, illustrated by Emily Konopasek, Cedar Fort, $9.99, 20 pages (ages 2 and 5)
This board book shares items from the Book of Mormon from one Liahona to 10 Jaredite kings that righteously ruled.
Written in rhythm and rhyming couplets, author Hedi Doxey includes the scripture and, if needed, a list of names or things, such as the names of the Jaredite kings.
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