My daughter loves going to Sunday school and church on Sundays with her grandmother, her brother, and me. She also loves reading books and has been reading on her own for over a year now. I love adding new books to my home library for my kiddos to read. When recently offered the chance to review Early Sunday Morning written by Denene Millner and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add a new title to my home library. The 40-page hardback book currently costs $10.60 on Amazon with a list price of $17.95.
Currently residing in Atlanta with her husband and two daughters, author Denene Millner is a New York Times best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and contributing editor at Agate Publishing where she directs the Denene Millner Books imprint. She has written twenty-five books and is the found of MyBrownBaby, a critically acclaimed blog that examines the intersection of parenting and race.
Currently residing in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband of 22 years and their daughter Zoe and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes, Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator whose passion for children’s books began when she came across The Snowy Day by Ezra Jacks Keats, one of the first representations of a black children in picture books, as a child in the 1960s. Hoping to inspire young readers as Keats did for her, she has illustrated more than thirty books. She is also the author and illustrator of Let Freedom Sing and Don’t Let Auntie Mabel Bless the Table.
Recommended for young readers between the ages of 4 and 9 in preschool through third grade, Early Sunday Morning follows a little girl named June and her family on their weekend routine as June prepares for her first solo with the youth choir at her church. Young readers will spend the weekend with June as she collects snippets of advice from family and friends on how to be less nervous about her upcoming performance. As the big moment arrives, June leans on the love from her family to conquer her fear.
I absolutely love reading books with positive messages with my two children, and Early Sunday Morning is a heartwarming celebration of love and family. I love reading the book aloud to my kiddos because of the positive message throughout the story. Family is super important to me, so I appreciate any book that portrays the same value. I also love the message about overcoming fears. My daughter also enjoys reading the book aloud on her own or to her baby brother. I definitely agree with recommended age range for the book. My kindergartener, who has been reading for well over a year, can read most of the text without any help.
In addition to the positive message throughout the book, I really love the illustrations in Early Sunday Morning. First, I love adding a book to my home library that features a black family. Even in this day and age, diverse books are not necessarily the norm. I strive to expose my children to all sorts of people and families through books. Second, the illustrations throughout the book are just plain gorgeous. While quite simple at times, the pictures are also striking. Each illustration brings the story to life. My daughter especially loves the illustrations of the mother getting ready for church because of her hot pink church dress!
If you are searching for an uplifting book about love and family to share with your child, I highly recommend Early Sunday Morning written by Denene Millner and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. The 40-page hardback book follows a little girl named June and her family on their weekend routine as June prepares for her first youth choir solo and overcomes her fear by leaning on her family. The illustrations are simple but gorgeous and really help bring the story to life. The text is perfect for young readers in preschool through third grade. Definitely checkout Early Sunday Morning for a heartwarming story about love, family, and overcoming fear!
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‘Early Sunday Morning’ Book Review © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of ‘Early Sunday Morning’ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Early Sunday Morning’ 1 © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Early Sunday Morning’ 2 © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Early Sunday Morning’ 3 © 2017 Heather Johnson