Simple and beautifully illustrated, William R. Osborne’s God, You Are: 20 Promises from the
Psalms for Kids is a small but worthy little volume. Based on twenty “You are _” prayers and
praises from the Psalms, each identifier is drawn out into a simple meditation followed by a
While it could be read by older kids on their own, Osborne intends this as a book to be read by
parents with their young children (the recommended age is 4-8), and I think this is its best use.
Some of the meditations hold vocabulary and ideas that will require explanations from the
parent to ensure understanding on the part of our children. This is not a negative, of course, as
many good books lead off into conversations to help our young ones understand ideas or
images. Indeed, the purpose of such books is to facilitate these conversations, not have them
Osborne did a great job choosing twenty aspects and descriptions of God’s character that
children can understand, be drawn to, and pray on their own—from “the God who works
wonders” to “God, You are my hiding place.” Children are, of course, very capable of
understanding big ideas, but as Osborne’s goal is to lead them towards prayer as well as
towards understanding and loving God, he has chosen well.
And they are short! Each page can be read in a minute or two, and added to as much as or as
little as the parent needs or wishes. He keeps these meditations appropriate lengths for little
attention spans, which, much to the humbling of our parental wisdom, are usually much shorter
than all the things we want to say to them.
One of my favorites, “God, You are Everywhere,” teaches that God is with us, and His will is
being done around the world. It even gently and kindly addresses the fears that children often
have about how God feels about them after they disobey. God knows absolutely everything
about us, and He loves us. What an assurance to little hearts (and big ones, too)!
The illustrations by Brad Woodard are another highlight of this book. Brightly colored,
compelling, and racially diverse, the illustrations visualize the heart of Osborne’s meditations in
beautiful ways. My personal favorite depicts an adorable fort in the woods to illustrate the idea
of God as a hiding place, a safe place to be. I also love how most of the illustrations do not
show faces, allowing the reader to imagine him or herself into each story being told, each
picture of God’s character.
With simple and approachable text and beautiful illustrations, God, You Are would make a
helpful and lovely addition to any Sunday school classroom, homeschool, or bedtime routine.