A child asks God for a red bike but in the morning there is no surprise gift in sight. The child complains, "God didn't hear me, tell me why?" and the father explains, "God hears you, it's true, but praying doesn't mean God takes orders from you!" The question then takes another turn: if prayer means something other than getting one's own way, what should we say in our prayers?

August Gold, an interfaith minister and the founder of the Sacred Center for Spiritual Living in Manhattan. She is the author of the award-winning children's book Where Does God Live?. In this new paperback, she takes children on a spiritual jaunt through prayer. The text is spiced up with the delightful photographs by Diane Hardy Waller. The messages tumble off the pages in profusion: It is permissible to bring God our questions and our fears, our laughter and our tears. God welcomes all kinds of prayers and is a specialist in listening to our thoughts and words and feelings.

God also speaks to us in prayers when we slow down and listen. The Creator reminds us that we are all family and related to one another. Here's a big blast:

"So prayer isn't telling
God what to do —
it is letting God help you
remember what's true."

Gold ties things up with a big bold ribbon when she notes that God's nearness makes it possible for fun and friendship to abound in our hearts whenever we turn to prayer. This paperback is multicultural, nondenominational, and nonsectarian; it has been endorsed by Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Buddhist religious leaders.