Name of Book: Heartsongs
Author: Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Illustrator: Mattie J.T. Stepanek
Audience: Ages 3 – adult. This book is for anyone who wants to share in the appreciation of God’s creation.
Summary: Although the 20 poems are separated into sections marked: Senses, Seasons, and Celebrations, the overall theme of creation and hope is interwoven throughout the book. The title, Heartsongs, has heart strings attached to it, as the words gently pull at the readers’ hearts. As one reads, they are reminded of the simple joys and blessings of life.
Literary elements at work in the story: Poetic, philosophical, inspirational.
Although some poems end with “Amen,” each one could be read as a prayer.
The imaginative quality of word usage makes each poem a masterpiece.
Creative, descriptive word play will bring ones senses to life, as the author connects to the simple joys that so many of us take for granted.
Theme: Spiritual, hopeful, joyful.
The author offers the reader hope and a purpose for living. His messages of peace serve well to inspire and educate all who want to celebrate life and make choices based on the special gifts God gave to each unique individual.
Perspective: Spiritually encouraging for all levels of Christian belief. It is for those who want to be reminded of God’s love and for those who are seeking God’s love.
Theology: Not only will these poems and prayers bring comfort and faith to someone who may be suffering and/or recovering from illness or tragedy, bit it will enlighten caregivers too. It can remind an individual or congregation who they are in Christ and the role(s) they play in the Body of Christ. It may also help trigger ideas of who they want to be and what gifts they can share.
For a communicant’s class, this book answers several theological questions. Can’t think of a joy or concern? Read this book!
Scripture: See Matthew 10:13; Luke 14:32; and Mark 9:50 about peace.
On finding one’s purpose for living: Psalm 139:23-24; 1 John 1:9 Psalm 119:18; see also John 16:13.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Besides being an absence of war, what other examples of peace can you think of?
- What is the most powerful thing you can do as an individual or team member to bring peace to the world?
- If you were on a Peacemaker’s Team, what planet-saving ideas would you bring to the table?
This review was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Gina Craft.