God Is, by Mark Macleod

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

Mark’s name is well known is the book and publishing industry, as an editor and publisher, through his involvement the CBCA and more recently picture book workshops, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that’s he’s finally decided to turn his hand to writing a picture book.

God is with its colours of traditional pink and blue cover is the type of picture book many parents and grandparents may be prompted to buy. It is cute and is very firmly centred around family and enjoying the simple pleasures of friends and creation.

The gentle text has a soft lyrical quality. Each word in the text has been chosen with care. Two of those I particularly liked were

God is
in the light of the moon and
stars that chart a shining course
above the dark that never seems to end.
And more.

God is
in the changing colour of sunrise
and the shadows
that creep across your pillow
and stroke your cheek.
And more

The repetition of God Is at the beginning of each page and And More at the end is effective and gives a pleasing sense of rhythm and unity to the text.

Mark has very carefully avoided being closely aligned to any particular spiritual belief, so it is a general look at where God is in a young child’s life – in all the things that surround them and what they see and what they do. This well crafted book highlights friendship, love, family and creation- all the things that make up the details of a young child’s life. It could be a useful introduction to a young child of who God is.

I am sure a lot of people will find it very cute. I have no doubt it will sell well. It is the type of book I can see many grandparents and other relatives reaching for to give new parents and their little ones. It would be a good book for bedtime reading.

The subdued and gentle colours of the illustrations are effective and fit the mood of the text. The simplistic illustrations of the babies didn’t particularly appeal to me, although the dog was very cute. But I’m prepared to admit that many other people may well disagree and enjoy the illustrations.

God is

God is, by Mark Macleod, ill by Kirrily Schell
ABC Books, 2009
HB RRP $24.95

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe
Out now The Goanna Island Mystery
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This book can be purchased online at Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.