Kate Taliaferro reviews Nancy Tipper Ling's new book of poems based on Bible stories—a book that appeals to her children ages two to twelve.
As a homeschooling mom, I consider resources that can be used for more than one child a godsend and I am always on the lookout for these kinds of materials. But every so often, a book comes into our life that everyone can use, a true blessing for our family of six kids. One Perfect Plan by Nancy Tipper Ling, illustrated by Alina Chau, is one such book.
One Perfect Plan: The Bible’s Big Story in Tiny Poems is a deceptively simple book. Ling utilizes a simple three to six line poem structure to recount the main points of salvation history, such as Creation, Noah, Daniel, Esther, and on through to the New Testament. It is a book that can be read in one sitting, or taken a page or poem at a time. Additionally, under each poem Ling has wisely included the book, chapter, and verse the poem is referencing so you can discover the fuller context for the poem.
Chau’s illustrations are breathtaking. The colors are vibrant and each one draws you into the poem at hand. There is a beautiful quality of movement to her art as it flows from page to page. It is as if the breath of God which first brings forth creation continues sweeping through the pages, infusing each story with love and purpose toward the pinnacle moment when Jesus arrives.
At present, I am using this book as first introduction to the Bible and religious education for my 4-year-old. The poems are short, so he is able to work on memorizing them one at a time. The poems are also full of vivid imagery, so between looking up the official American Sign Language signs online for specific words and his own creativity, we are creating our own hand motions to accompany the poems.
We are also using this book as part of our Morning Time gathering, where we all come together to pray, sing, and usually work on poetry. My oldest is twelve and youngest is two, and I have found each child in their own time reaching for One Perfect Plan to read through.
This book has been such a lovely, gentle addition to our home and homeschool. It encourages us to slow down and savor each Bible story, to recall the wider story or to go looking again for it in the Bible. We ask questions, work on memory work, and simply sit and enjoy the illustrations. This book will have a permanent place on our shelf, even after homeschooling has ended.
Ask for One Perfect Plan at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com.
Copyright 2023 Kate Taliaferro
Images: (top) Canva; all others copyright 2023 Kate Taliaferro, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mom of 6. She has a Masters in Religious Education and tries to find God's presence in all parts of her day, be it cooking, cleaning or just the everyday ordinary. She enjoys homeschooling, stitching crafts and finding cheerios between the couch cushions. She blogs at Daily Graces.