A World of Praise – Deborah Lock and Helen Cann

A World of Praise by Deborah Lock, Helen Cann
Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers on September 20, 2022

A global hymn to God’s abundant love and care for his creation.
“As the sun rises above tall peaks,As colorful birds sing in the steamy jungle,We take each new day with you.”
From East to West, North to South, the world gives praise to God. Cherry trees blossom in Japan; geese honk over Greenland; stars glitter over the savannas of Kenya. No matter where we live—in the city or the countryside, by the sea or the mountains—we can find reminders of God’s goodness.
Celebrating diverse places like Peru, Estonia, and Nepal, this poetic, lushly illustrated book praises God’s love for people, creatures, and landscapes across the globe. Whether families savor one prayer at a time or travel through them all before bed, A World of Praise will encourage children to glorify God’s presence in creation and in their lives.

Eerdmans Books for Young Readers publishes a refreshingly eclectic range of illustrated books. While some fit the theme of typical children’s books, there are also those that I would classify more as illustrated poetry. That’s what A World of Praise is. There’s nothing inherent in Deborah Lock’s focus that makes this book “for young readers.” In fact, if I’m nitpicking, there are elements of the vocabulary that I would say are beyond most young readers. The back of the book defines A World of Praise simply as “A global hymn to God’s abundant love and care for his creation.” And that’s what this book is: an illustrated hymn that takes readers around the world to reflect on God’s creation and praise Him for it.

The opening pages offer up an introductory refrain of praise that sets the tone for the book:

All the world from East to West

Gives praise to you….

All the world from North to South

Gives praise to you…

From here, Lock and illustrator Helen Cann take readers on a sweeping, worldwide journey from the peaks of the Andes to underneath Japanese cherry blossom trees to the coastlines of Norway. A World of Praise features sixteen different locations—catalogued in the book’s final pages—visually expressing that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psa. 24:1).

Cann uses evocative colors that focus on landscapes, but usually with children or families in the background. From the rich blues of the coast to the greens of the countryside and the whites of ice and snow, A World of Praise presents the world and its people as beautifully diverse and yet all part of the same Creator’s masterwork. Lock’s poetry is best experienced read aloud as she uses a variety of refrains to create a psalm of praise.

We come together for a time of thanksgiving.

We join together to support each other.

We meet together to share what you have given us.

We celebrate together with thanks to you.

For our food, our freedom, and our country.

A World of Praise is a reflective, worshipful work that isn’t just for kids. Lock and Cann use their talents to portray a diverse world worth praising and worth protecting. It’s perfect for any age.