*Hosanna, Loud Hosannas by Barbara and David Leeman

student-hymnal-250x356*Hosanna, Loud Hosannas: Essential Hymns Every Child Should Sing compiled and written by Barbara and David Leeman, 2014. 300 pages.

Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 8-12
Maturity Level: All

Part hymnal, part textbook, and part devotional, Hosanna, Loud Hosannas is a beautiful, excellent resource for Christians of all ages although it is designed for children in first through eighth grades. Organized into three major sections (church calendar, attributes of God, and our response), the 115 hymns include old and new tunes that many will recognize. Each double-page spread features the hymn on the right-hand page and three selections on the left: a short history of the text, a short introduction to the tune, and a short devotional text on the hymn (“As you sing this hymn…”). The hymn itself is written as it would appear in the hymnal with the treble clef line/melody represented. Thus, instead of reading the words as a poem might appear (the method used in many modern churches which print only the text in the bulletin), the student learns to read the hymn line by line with the accompanying music. Famous works of art illuminate the text; back matter includes selected psalms for responsive reading and several helpful indices (“Author, Composer, Source Index,” “Topic Index,” and “Alphabetical Index”). For those wishing to expand upon this book, a CD recording of all 115 hymns and a spiral-bound piano accompaniment book will be available later this spring; more information is available on the Student Hymnal website.

David and Barbara Leeman bring a wealth of experience to this endeavor, including years of experience teaching music to children. Their love of hymnody and what it adds to our worship shines in this collection. The book is nicely bound and will serve the child who owns it for many years of use. It is one of the few books that is worth buying for each child in the family to use. If singing hymns at home is not part of your family (or educational) practice, let us encourage you to consider adding it. Children love to sing, and the great hymns of the faith are a wonderful way to teach our children more about God and our rich faith. This is a book to own, a book to give children and grandchildren, a book to introduce to your congregation, and a book to use for your own purposes, particularly if a traditional hymn book is daunting. Highly recommended.

Books can be ordered through our usual Amazon store, but the authors have self-published this book; it is worth supporting them directly because of the high quality of this book. The Student Hymnal website contains more information on the book and related resources.

Cautions: none

Overall Value: 5 (out of 5)

  • Moral/worldview value: 5
  • Artistic value: 5

Categories: Starred Review, Christian, Music, Education

Cover image from Student Hymnal website

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Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest.


  1. Carolyn Morley on January 6, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Corrected copy: Please replace first submission!

    I’m a grandmother in my seventh decade and come from a background of singing hymns and all their verses as I grew up. I know hundreds of great hymns and though my memory falters at times, I can usually remember all the verses after a few attempts. Scripture comes to my mind often borne on the melody of a great hymn because of the rich doctrine they contain. This hymnal is absolutely beautiful both for its text and its illustrations. I have purchased copies for my six grandchildren as well as for myself. Each will receive his very own hymn book as a birthday gift in 2015. Thank you Barbara and David Leeman for sharing your wisdom, experience and passion with us in this beautiful work of art. This is truly a gift that will keep on giving!

  2. Betsy on January 12, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Carolyn, my mother-in-law bought each of her grandchildren one of these for Christmas this year–and they were a BIG hit. We have a precious video of my 3-year-old nephew singing from it. My own children spent quite a bit of time poring over their books and pointing out their favorites. It is definitely a gift that keeps on giving!

  3. Ruth Turner on October 6, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I tried to order this outstanding book today, but this is what Amazon is saying.

    Currently unavailable.
    We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.

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