Little Words Matter: David

Little Words Matter David
David by Holli Conger
Also by this author: Little Words Matter Bible Storybook
Series: Little Words Matter
Published by B&H Publishing on February 1, 2016
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
Buy on Amazon

A few little words can tell a big story about David! 

Who doesn’t love the story of how God helped David the shepherd boy defeat the mighty giant Goliath? Now little readers can learn about David in just 12 child-friendly words.
In the Little Words Matter™ board books, it only takes a few words to tell a big story. Crafted especially for toddlers, these books make biblical truths easily understandable and enjoyable for little ones and their parents too!

The Little Words Matter series is meant to engage your littlest of readers with the simplest of words, all while introducing them to Scripture! In Little Words Matter: David, the story of David and Goliath is told through 12 beautifully illustrated panels with a one word description.

The concept is great. Toddlers are just in the beginning of their language journey, spoken and written. One-word communication is common, as is the repetitive callback as they learn various sounds and letter combinations. The simplest of books engage with this concept using shapes, colors, animals, and other common foundational words in a child’s vocabulary.

Little Words Matter: David takes that concept but doesn’t seem to fully understand how to execute it. Here’s the words it uses, in order: shepherd, brave, music, giant, scared, faithful, armor?, slingshot, stones, pow!, victory, thankful. These aren’t exactly easy words or concepts. For instance, instead of “giant,” it would have been more developmentally appropriate for their target audience to have focused on the contrast of “big” and “little.” That’s a concept more easily grasped for a toddler (not to mention more universally applicable!) than “giant.”

The story also tries to do too much—which is crazy, given that it has only twelve words. The interactions with Saul (music, armor?) aren’t a necessity to the story and make the story’s flow even more awkward than it’s already going to naturally be in this style.

I dislike criticizing unless I think I have a solution for improvement, so in this case—a bit nerdy, perhaps—but here’s how I would have written it:

David, (introduce the boy)

Shepherd, (he’s in the field)

Brave, (he’s defending the sheep)

Scared, (the army is running away)

No! (show David stopping them)

Big (introduce Goliath)

Little (contrast with David)

God (show that God is with David)

Pow! (Goliath is hit)

Win (the army rejoices)

Praise (David plays the harp)

You’ve got a couple of contrasts (brave, scared; big, little), a couple of exclamations (no! pow!), it keeps things varied enough, yet relies on simple words, and better streamlines the story. In the end, the concept for this series is good, but they’re going to have to do better in their word selection to bring out its full potential.