Review: How to Pray – A Guide for Young Explorers
Title: How to pray – a guide for young explorers
Author: Pete Greig and Gemma Hunt
Illustrator: Patrick Laurent
Published by: Hodder
Price: RRP £10.99 available from Eden for £8.36
Good for: Children, young people and adults age 7+ especially those who like visually interesting books and not big blocks of text
Best bit: Brilliant internal design which makes it so easy to read, with brilliant content as you would expect from Pete Greig (and Gemma Hunt)
Worst bit: This is tricky, as it really is an excellent book. I guess there are no extra material online (if you discount the Lectio 365 and Lectio 365 for families apps!).
Also the paper is very porous and a bit easily ripped (as I found when I removed one of my post-its!.)
This book is a winner from the off. The cover is fab, and the book corners are cut to be slightly curved, which I love. Even the title is great:
“A guide” makes me think this is something to help me, a book I can dip into, rather than a rule book.
“young” suggests children and young people without giving an age or using those words.*
“explorers” gives the idea of prayer being part of a faith journey, not an activity or a destination on it’s own. It also sounds like it’s an adventure, which is echoed in the text and design inside.
(Young Explorers is also the name of Hodder’s range of books for young people, so nice work Hodder.)
The content is arranged in the same way as How to Pray, working through the P.R. A. Y. acronym in the same way it’s used in Lection 365, which is helpful if you already use that or if you should choose to use it after reading the book.
The pages are well designed, which is a HUGE plus for me as a visual person. This costs a lot more money than laying out a book with slightly larger text but basically the same as an adult book. I really appreciate the creative work put into this book; it’s really attractive inside and very easy to read.
The welcome notes from Pete and Gemma makes it feel like the book is a letter from them to me. And the illustrations of them are fun too.
As you would expect, there’s lots of info about prayer, including examples from people in the Bible (a good mix of male and female) as well as contemporary adults and children. This is really helpful to give us a feeling that we’re not alone in our prayer journey or finding prayer tricky.
Some of the pages are filled with a beautifully designed quote, which I’d love available as prints or cards – I love having reminders of things on my wall!
And there are fun activities to do to help you pray, such as making a snow globe. This is really clever, we’ve just read about how our minds can sometimes feel like snow globes and we can use a short time of quiet to still our minds and focus on God. The snow globe is also a great way to actually do this stilling of the mind. Nice.
My children are 9 and 10 and when I offered to read a bit of this book to them, the agreed reluctantly.
However, when I offered to stop after a few pages, they wanted me to read on, to the extent that I got through about a quarter of the book in one sitting with them.
That is a great testimony as to how good this book is.
I hope you will get a copy and one for your child / godchid / grandchild / friends’ child too.
*I wonder if the original How to Pray should be rebranded: How to pray – a guide for old explorers 😉