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All Things Bright and Beautiful – illustrated by Jean Claude

SPCK £6.99 ISBN 9780281081226

You might have thought that the dusty old children’s hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful ought really to have been retired for now – too many of us have painful memories of the plinky plonk tune and excruciating school assemblies and church family services from decades back.

But there’s life in it yet, thanks to this delightfully illustrated children’s paperback book from SPCK. The star of the show is of course illustrator Jean Claude – it might have been nice to read a little about him, as there’s a little biog on the hymn writer Cecil Frances Alexander at the back of the book. You can find out more about him here.

Jean Claude’s wonderfully colourful illustration really give character to the animals and nature scenes exhibited in the book, and the at times tweeness of the lyrics is easily forgotten.

It’s ideally aimed at under 7s, though I’m guessing 3-5s are the key audience here. There are so many animals, birds, trees and plants depicted here I do wonder whether a little glossary at the back might have been a useful added extra, giving a bit of educational armoury to parents reading the book to their kids, along with the spiritual lesson of God the Creator and Provider? Perhaps I’m being picky.

Anyhow, it’s the kind of book that would make a lovely gift and creative parents will find lots of ways of having fun with it along with their children.

You can get a better look at the illustrations on this video of a bedtime story using the book, part of the Church of England's #FaithatHome series ...

Russ Bravo is Editor of Inspire. His children are a little old for this sort of thing.

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