CHRISTMAS PROGRAMS FOR CHURCH GROUPS, by Marilyn A. Smith; Baker Book House, 1968; 91 pp., $1.50 (paper).
In our schools and Sunday Schools teachers are constantly looking about for material suitable to annual Christmas programs. This is a book which might be of some assistance. There is in it extensive use of Scripture in the construction of programs; there are suggestions of excellent program themes. It might be possible to glean some ideas from it to aid in the difficult work of making programs. But the book is not all very helpful. It suggests programs which require the use of costumes, crèches and dialogue in some instances. And the theology is not always very Reformed. Recommended as being of some help in the making of programs.
YOU JONAH!, by Thomas John Carlisle; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1968; 64 pp., $1.00 (paper).
Eerdmans has collected in this book a number of poems illustrated with impressionistic woodcuts which deal with the history recorded in the book of Jonah. While it is difficult for me to evaluate any type of poetry, this is especially true of the free verse which the author uses in this collection. The weakness of the poems is their failure to interpret Jonah’s life correctly—Jonah is made almost an unbeliever—and their inability to catch the’ central thrust of this prophecy. Nevertheless, some of the poems are forceful and sharp and present certain aspects of Jonah’s life in a way that makes the book of Jonah a living book. If read with discretion it is worth purchasing to those who are interested in poetry and to those who teach literature in the schools.