Introducing a Classic Hymn to Young Children With a Beautiful Picture Book: All Things Bright and Beautiful (With Ideas for Extended Learning and a Giveaway!)

I love the words of some of the classic church hymns. In today’s church services, we’re more likely to be singing and hearing modern praise and worship songs. And, don’t get me wrong, I love to worship with those songs as well. But there are some classic hymns that have beautiful, moving words. And I love to hear those and to share them with the kids.

Review of All Things Bright and Beautiful

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One of the elements of a Charlotte Mason education is hymn study. I’ve enjoyed finding classic hymns and reading them and listening to them with the kids. I especially love seeing a classic hymn presented in a way that kids can really relate to it and can understand it. All Things Bright and Beautiful is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that has words from the classic hymn written by Cecil Francis Alexander.

All Things Bright and Beautiful: the Classic Hymn

Cecil Francis Alexander was born in 1823 and was later married to a reverend. She has written over 400 hymns. Many were written specifically for children. She was also the author of some long narrative hymns. But her hymns for children have remained popular over time. I was surprised to see other hymns that I have heard authored by her- “Once in Royal David’s City”, “Jesus Calls Up O’er the Tumult”, and others.

The words in “All Things Bright and Beautiful” focus on the beauty of God’s creation. They describe the beauty of the earth- flowers, sunsets, seasons, fruits. And they point us to worship God for these things.

Literature unit ideas for All Things Bright and Beautiful

All Things Bright and Beautiful: the Children’s Book

All Things Bright and Beautiful is a beautiful children’s book illustrated by Katy Hudson. The book uses appealing watercolor pictures and follows three young children as they explore the world God has made.

On each page spread, the children are enjoying the beauty in animals, plants, seasons, fruits, a pond, and other things in nature. On one of the last pages, as evening as come, we see that the children’s parents are pitching a tent for camping and know that the children have been taking the opportunity to look around the camping area to enjoy nature.

I love the detail in each picture. Although my children are older and can still enjoy the words of the song and beauty of the picture, I think reading this book with little ones would be wonderful because you could take time to point out all of the things they see in each picture.

Ideas for Extending the Book

~ There are many animals shown in the pictures of the book. The animals are in their natural surroundings. Talk about what a habitat is and have children tell what each animal’s natural habitat is.

~ The children in the story are enjoying the flowers that they find on they find on their walk. Go on a nature walk with your children and have them identify flowers that they find. Use a children’s field guide to help you identify the flowers.

~ Birds also feature prominently on one page spread. While on your nature walk, have children sketch a bird that they see in their nature journals. Use a children’s field guide to help you identify birds.

~ The words of the hymn refer to the seasons. Talk about the seasons with children. Discuss the differences that can be found in nature in each season. Identify when in the year you experience each season in your part of the world. You could take time to read books about each season.

~ For children who are a little older, have them draw a nature scene and then redraw the scene as it would look in different seasons.

~ The children in the story are picking blueberries on one page spread. If it’s the right time of year, go blueberry picking. Make a recipe using blueberries you’ve picked or purchased.

~ Throughout the book, the children experience a variety of environments- mountains, meadows, ponds, forests. Read more about each of these environments and the plants and animals found in each one.

~On the last pages, night has come and there are many starts in the sky. Read about constellations. If you live out in the country where stars can be seen, study the stars at night and see if you can identify constellations. If you can’t see stars naturally, visit a planetarium and see the stars and constellations.

~Read the creation account from the Bible. Make a chart where children draw what God created on each day.

~ Genesis 1:1 and 31:1a are written out in the back of the book. Have children memorize these verses or use them as copywork.

~ There is also a large, beautiful moon in the night picture. Talk and read about the phases of the moon.

All Things Bright and Beautiful is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that can allow you to share the words of a great classic hymn with children of all ages. Although it’s a picture book, there are certainly ways that you can extend the book with older elementary kids as well.

You can find the book on Amazon here. Enter the giveaway below to win your own copy.

All Things Bright and Beautiful Giveaway

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
All Things Bright and Beautiful

Do you love using great literature for unit studies with ideas that extend the themes and ideas in the book? Check out my 31 Days of Literature Unit Studies posts for literature unit ideas for 31 different children’s books for a variety of grade levels.

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