The Watcher by Nikki Grimes

Inspired by Psalm 121, this meaningful children’s picture book relates the story of classmates Jordan and Tanya. Jordan struggles to cope each day with Tanya’s bullying. Meanwhile, Tanya feels lonely and afraid as she hides behind a shield of anger and invincibility.

Both Tanya and Jordan are being raised by adults who love God. The children have been taught to trust that God is watching over them, to pray to God for help and expect his care, and to forgive others who have hurt them. As they experience both alienation and, later on, reconciliation, they learn that God is faithful to them.

The Watcher is written in the form of poetry called the Golden Shovel—the words of Psalm 121 conclude each line of Grimes’ poem, allowing the reader to experience the psalm from a fresh perspective and to relate it to a story of God’s care set in contemporary times.

Nikki Grimes’ masterful poetry combined with Bryan Collier’s powerful, emotive illustrations portraying the children’s fear, anger, loneliness, dismay, surprise, and joy make this a book to be treasured. Ages 6 and up. (Eerdmans)

About the Author

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

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