Each month I buy a book to support retailers and other authors and to recommend to my readers. You can find this year’s picks for January, February, and March at those links and find a roundup of the books I bought for 2014 here.
Why do bad things happen, and where is God when they do? Nearly everyone asks those questions. And if even if children don’t ask them, you can bet they are thinking them just the same.
I like this book, written by Tama Fortner and illustrated by Veronica Vasylenko, because it answers the questions for young children by focusing on who God is and what He is like.
A mother rabbit and her bunny child converse throughout the book, beginning with the child’s question “Mommy, what is God like?”
Each spread contains a question or statement from the child (“Does God make bad things happen?” … “But it’s hard to love bullies and people who are mean.”), a brief response from the mother that ends with a summary statement about God’s character, and a related Bible verse.
Picture books written as conversations between a child and an adult can be wearing to read aloud, but the text in this book, although it is a conversation, is artfully done–explaining difficult concepts simply, in childlike language:
It’s sad when people cry and are hurting.
We always want the ones we love to be happy and healthy and smiling. So when they are not, it makes us sad and breaks our hearts. That’s when it’s time to turn to God and tell Him all about it. Pray for those who are hurting and sick, and then remember this: no matter how tough things may be . . .
GOD IS WITH US WHEN WE ARE HURTING.
The book’s questions and answers fit what God has told us in his Word to the understanding of young children: God created a good world, He has good plans for us, sin is the cause of the bad things that happen, God is always caring for us, God uses his people to show his great love, heaven is wonderful, God never changes, God keeps his promises, He sent Jesus to save us.
God is always good—it’s teaching we need all need to grasp!
My favorite lines are probably these:
When the troubles of this world start to worry you, be brave and believe this . . .
GOD IS BIGGER THAN ANY BADNESS.
The subtitle is Comfort for Kids Facing Grief, Worry, or Scary Times. I suspect many parents and grandparents might find a good dose of comfort here too.