Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Early Sunday Morning

A young African American girl named June loves to sing, and she’s happiest when she sings with Daddy, performing together in front of a mirror. But singing into a microphone is a completely different experience. And now, June is really nervous because it’s Sunday morning and, in a few hours, she’ll sing her first solo in the youth choir at church.

Her supportive, loving family and community have given her advice to help her overcome her nervousness—wear a new dress because looking fancy will help, pretend everyone in the audience has a watermelon head, believe that the angels in heaven will shout when you sing, and more—but still she’s anxious. Besides feeling afraid, June is disappointed that Daddy won’t be able to come to the service to hear her sing and offer his support.

When the moment to step up to the microphone arrives, June doesn’t heed the advice she’s been given. Instead, she leans into the microphone, swallows really hard, takes a deep breath, gets ready to sing ... and receives a wonderful surprise!

This joyful, God-glorifying children’s picture book celebrates the wonder of worshiping God within the context of a loving family and church community and reveals how children’s gifts are nurtured by adults who love them. (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.