Friday, December 19, 2014

Giving Thanks :: Poems, Prayers and Praise Songs

A few weeks ago I was meandering around the aisles of books while the Littles played at the library.  I wasn't really looking for a book... I told myself I had already checked out enough.  But, then the beautiful cover of the book 'Giving Thanks' caught my eye.

I realized that the the front of the book was actually a paper cut-out.  Wow.  It was so intricate and beautiful.  As I started flipping through the book I realized that this was a keeper.  As the title suggests it was full of poems, prayers and praise songs.  Like this one:

Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you, God, for everything.

Or this wonderful poem:

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small.            
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

All things bright...

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning.
That brightens up the sky;

All things bright...

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them, every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell.
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895)

This lovely book was edited by Katherine Paterson.  She has won numerous awards for her books.  She was born in Japan and has lived in China.  She now lives here in the States.  This book would appeal to anyone, from anywhere, that wants to be inspired to have a sense of gratitude.  

Many of the works printed in this book will be very familiar to you, but I am guessing many won't.  Native American Prayers, Chinese Proverbs, Pueblo Blessings and Vietnamese Farmer's Prayers, to name just a few, are there for you to read and enjoy.

This book would be a wonderful supplement to a Culture or Social Study.  Not just for Thanksgiving, but any time of year.

Pamela Dalton is the amazing paper artist that did the illustrations for this book.  The are so delicate and detailed.  Here are a few pictures from the book.

I can't even imagine the patience that work like this requires.  I have tried my hand at cutting snowflakes, but I can assure you, no one will be putting them in their books.

If you would like to try your hand at a little paper cutting, or maybe have a child that would like to give it a try, here are a few links to get you started:

Paper Cutting Tutorials.  This link is full of fun tutorials.  Some are easy, and others might take a bit more concentration.  They also give you a wonderful book list.  Try your hand at Chinese Paper Cut Art.  Or for those of you who would prefer a video try this,  The Art of Paper Cutting.

I hope you give it a try.  Let me know how it goes!  I will leave you with one more:

A circle of friends is a blessed thing.
Sweet is the breaking of bread with friends.
For the honor of their presence at our board
We are deeply grateful, Lord.

Thanks be to Thee for friendship shared,
Thanks be to Thee for food prepared.
Bless Thou the cup; bless Thou the bread;
Thy blessing rest upon each head.

Walter Rauschenbach (1861-1918)

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  1. My husband and I received a wedding gift of 1Corinthians cut out into an intricate design just like these pictures. It is stunning. Even though we received it 25 years ago, it still is my favorite.

  2. A lovely book to read with children.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsbeKids