Let It Shine

Common Sense Media says

Color-burst pictures illuminate gospel songs.




Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Spiritual message encourages good works.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the text of this 2008 Coretta Scott King Award winner is Christian spirituals.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Three African-American spirituals are lovingly illustrated.

Is it any good?


It's no wonder that this sumptuous book won the Coretta Scott King Award. The gorgeous, colorful illustrations in this picture book swerve, melt, and celebrate the spiritual message in the three gospel songs shared here. They exemplify the hope and encouragement messaged in traditional African-American spirituals.

The text itself is lifted directly from songs that most kids will find familiar, having become part of our American lexicon regardless of religious faith or practice. Whether families are exploring this book because of their own Christian beliefs or looking at it as an important aspect of American history and culture, the book has much to offer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can sing the songs together (sheet music is included in the back) and also explore the importance of spirituals in African-American history.

Book details

Author:Ashley Bryan
Illustrator:Ashley Bryan
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 9, 2007
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8
Award:Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors

This review of Let It Shine was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools