This is going to be a rare post for me and difficult to write.  Most of my reviews are positive–I can find the good in nearly any book. Unfortunately,  Say & Pray Devotions: First Words, Devotions, and Prayers fell short for me.

I had high expectations for this book–anything geared at young children sets the foundation for future experiences.  Mixing language acquisition with beginning faithful practice is a difficult feat.  This book attempts to do this, and while there are many solid aspects (the illustration, the vocabulary highlighted, the durability of the book), the negatives far outweigh the benefits in my mind.

For one, the verses selected are either overly simplified by the accompanying text or redundant in nature.  I cannot figure out why some of the verses were selected in the first place.  One example is “You made…my body.” –Psalm 139:13 accompanied with the prayer “Thank you God, for my body! Amen.”  Seriously?  There was nothing else?  Children are young and innocent, not stupid.  Can we expand a little?  My kids were bored with this book.  They loved many things (as I listed above) but kept telling me “read what it really says, Mom.”  (Unfortunately for them, I WAS reading it as it was written.) I guess they felt no one would really be that repetitive.

If you don’t read it word for word, it has potential.  If you are looking for a book with no prep or impromptu thinking required, this one is not the book for you.  If you don’t mind a little repetition (okay, a lot!) or are using it for a young baby, this might be okay.  For older toddlers already speaking, I would skip it.