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Picture books highlight prophets, pioneers and New Testament teachings

“Follow the Prophet” is by Shauna Gibby and illustrated by Bryan Beach, top left. “The Whole Armor of God” is by Deanna Draper Buck and illustrated by Karin Hochstrasser, top right. “Exploring the Pioneer Trail” is by Shauna Gibby and illustrated by Casey Nelson, bottom right. “Ida’s Witness” is by Karl Beckstrand, bottom left.
Book cover images provided by the publishers

These picture books shared about prophets, pioneers and teachings in the New Testament.


FOLLOW THE PROPHET,” by Shauna Gibby, illustrated by Bryan Beach, Deseret Book, $16.99

“Follow the Prophet” shares about 14 prophets, starting with Adam in the Garden of Eden through President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Follow the Prophet” is by  Shauna Gibby and illustrated by Bryan Beach.
“Follow the Prophet” is by Shauna Gibby and illustrated by Bryan Beach.
Deseret Book

On each page, there is a “hidden image” that appears when a light is held under the page (and a cellphone flashlight works for this).

Each prophet is introduced and then the author asks a question that is answered by the hidden image, with an explanation on the back of the page where the image is.

There’s Adam, Moses, Elijah and Malachi from the Old Testament; Lehi, Mosiah and Nephi from the Book of Mormon; John the Baptist and Peter from the New Testament; and Presidents Joseph Smith, Lorenzo Snow, David O. McKay, Gordon B. Hinckley and Russell M. Nelson.

While it can take a couple of pages to get the light logistics down, it’s a fun way to share about prophets and what they do.


EXPLORING THE PIONEER TRAIL,” by Shauna Gibby, illustrated by Casey Nelson, Deseret Book, $16.99

Prairie dogs, snakes and wolves were some of the animals pioneer families of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints saw as they headed west to the Salt Lake Valley.

“Exploring the Pioneer Trail” is by Shauna Gibby and illustrated by Casey Nelson.
“Exploring the Pioneer Trail” is by Shauna Gibby and illustrated by Casey Nelson.
Deseret Book

They also passed a military fort and some interacted with Native Americans. Author Shauna Gibby shares this about the pioneers and other fun facts, such as what kind of games children played, things they carried in their wagons and how they got across deep rivers.

This also has a “hidden image” on each page that shows when a light is held under the page. (Yes, a cellphone flashlight will work OK, but it does take a bit to figure out how to position a child while holding onto the book and phone.) On each picture there is a question that is answered by the hidden images.

It does present simple highlights of a pioneer wagon crossing in an entertaining way.


THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD,” by Deanna Draper Buck, illustrated by Karin Hochstrasser, Deseret Book, $12.99

In both Ephesians 6 and Doctrine and Covenants 27, it discusses putting on the armor of God. In Deanna Draper Buck’s “The Whole Armor of God,” she goes piece by piece through each part to explain what it is and how to spiritually put it on.

“The Whole Armor of God” is by Deanna Draper Buck and illustrated by Karin Hochstrasser.
“The Whole Armor of God” is by Deanna Draper Buck and illustrated by Karin Hochstrasser.
Deseret Book

For the breastplate of righteousness, she shares how it goes on your chest over your heart and then explains further how “righteousness is the good and kind things you think, say and do.”

The images show each piece of armor as a cutout the children are putting on a cutout figure of themselves. The illustrations show a variety of nationalities and situations.

It’s a great way to connect the scriptures to the real world for children. It would have been fun to have their own paper doll cutout with armor included.


IDA’S WITNESS: The True Story of an Immigrant Girl,” by Karl Beckstrand, Premio Publishing

Author Karl Beckstrand tells the story of his great-grandmother as she grew up in Sweden, battled scarlet fever among other ailments, and worked hard with her family in “Ida’s Witness.”

“Ida’s Witness” is by Karl Beckstrand.
“Ida’s Witness” is by Karl Beckstrand.
Premio Publishing

When she was 12, Ida and her mother were going to see the doctor in the city about pain and blisters on Ida’s arm to the point that she wore it in a sling. They were there over a Sunday and attended a conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was there that Ida felt a desire to be baptized.

As she and her family faced opposition in Sweden, Ida continued to share about the church.

There are likely many stories in a person’s family history that can be shared in a picture book format. While there is more text than is typically in a book aimed at children, it’s a nice way to share important stories from family history.