Every Monday, your mother wakes you up early for breakfast, tells you to hurry up and get dressed, and takes you to school when she goes to work.
That happens on Tuesday and Wednesday, too, as well as on Thursday and Friday. You might know what day Mom goes to the grocery store. You undoubtedly know what day your favorite TV show is on. And you always know what day it is when you have lessons or practice.
Saturday is a day to play outside, but if your house is like a lot of others, “Sunday is for God,” as you’ll see in the new book by Michael McGowan, pictures by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.
Early on Sunday morning, Momma calls upstairs and says it’s time for breakfast. Everything smells so good, and as a young boy cleans his plate, his Daddy says to hurry up and get ready. Momma says Sunday is the Lord’s day, and the whole family is going to church.
Everybody gets dressed up on Sunday, including a tie and a shirt with an itchy, starchy collar. Momma says they need to look nice because that’s what the Lord wants. Papaw is wearing his flashy tie and Sister can’t find her glove, but everybody finally gets out of the house and the walk to church is short.
Inside, the pews quickly fill up. People start to sing about gathering at the river, and the boy wishes he was sitting by a real river. His friend, Joey, is trying to see who will laugh first, and when Brother fusses with his hair, Daddy tells him that the Lord doesn’t care what somebody’s hair looks like.
Brother Cartwright looks like he’s starring in a show. Sometimes, it’s hard to understand the things he preaches, but there are also times when “Amen” is the only right thing to say. Then, church is over and it’s time to head home where Momma puts dinner on the table and the scratchy-collared shirt makes way for playing clothes.
Tomorrow is a regular day. Back to the schedule. But Sunday is for God.
Remember getting frowned-at as you were squirming in your Sunday clothes, wondering how much longer til you could go home? “Sunday is for God” puts voice to that for your child, but at the same time, author Michael McGowan shows kids that there is a lot to behold in a Sunday church service.
While McGowan’s story will definitely appeal to kids, there’s a hidden surprise in this book that took me four read-throughs before I caught on to it. Look closely at the illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher and you’ll see that the pictures subtly consist of snippets of hymns and Bible verses. Small children—the audience for this book—probably won’t notice or care, but it’s a nice delight for grown-ups.
If your child is a wiggle-worm on Sunday morning, you’re going to want this book around. For 4- to 8-year-olds, “Sunday is for God” is something to enjoy any day of the week.
(“Sunday is for God” by Michael McGowan, pictures by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, 2010, Schwartz & Wade Books, $17.99, 40 pages.)