The title of this just-released book for girls, of course, comes from the book of Esther. A Jewish girl turned queen of Persia is asked by her uncle Mordecai, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther’s actions impacted not just the Persian kingdom but the kingdom of God, saving the Jews from extinction. Author Angie Smith wants today’s girls to know that they too have a purpose and calling in God’s kingdom—and that the stories in Scripture show us this is true.
Although told from a narrator’s point of view instead of more directly through the eyes of the women in the stories, readers still experience the forty stories in the book, for the most part, as the stories of the women who lived them.
Some stories, such as the story of Mary and Martha, are traditionally told this way. But others—such as the story of Jacob—often are not.
One thing I like about the storytelling in this book is that the author never downplays the significance of the men in the stories as she explores and shines a light on the experiences of the women in the same stories.
Take, for example, the story of Jacob and his wives, Rachel and Leah.
In “The Veil: The Story of Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah,” Leah knows that Jacob favors Rachel and tries to win his love by giving him sons. But when Leah’s fourth son was born, she named him Judah, which means “This time I will praise the Lord.”
She had no idea that her praise was offered to the same Lord who would, many years later, come to earth as a baby from the same family of Judah.
As she rocked her song into the midnight hours, she may have wondered if she would ever be chosen.
But as sure as the start lit the sky, God knew the answer:
You already have been, Love.
But all of the women in these stories aren’t rocking babies! Some, like Jael, are pounding tent pegs through an enemy’s skull. Others, like Delilah, are scheming and deceiving for pay. Yet every story is told with carefully chosen words, appropriate for the book’s audience (probably the 6-10 or 8-12 age groups), and the significance of the event and its part in God’s plan are always communicated.
The forty stories in the book begin with Eve in the garden and end with Priscilla working and teaching in the fledgling church. Each story ends with a devotional in three sections—He, Me, She—that provides a reminder about God’s goodness, an application takeaway for girls, and a prayer parents can offer for their daughters. There’s a Hebrew or Greek word to learn and a memory verse with each story too.
The book is highly illustrated by Breezy Brookshire in a traditional style in both color and black and white. Parents will appreciate the B&H Kids Parent Connection page, and parents and girls will enjoy the extras at the back of the book: “A Peek Behind the Scenes” by Angie and “From Concept to Illustration” by Breezy.
This beautiful storybook is well worth adding to your family’s collection if you’ve got girls!