Want to add something with lasting value to your child’s Easter basket this year?
Two titles in the Baby Believer board book series are especially appropriate.
These books differ from the numerous board books available with a happy-Spring-and-new-life theme.
(There’s nothing wrong with those, and this year’s new crop has some good ones. I’ll be spotlighting them soon.)
But this series was developed to give parents a tool for introducing their children to Scripture and doctrine from a young age.
At the same time, each book teaches a basic preschool learning concept such as counting, opposites, animal names, parts of the body, and emotions. (The series currently has six titles.)
Holy Week: An Emotions Primer
Jesus Heals: An Anatomy Primer
written by Danielle Hitchen
art by Jessica Blanchard
published by Harvest House Publishers (2019, 2020)
board books, 20 pages, 6.8 x 0.8 x 6.8
Holy Week: An Emotions Primer focuses on identifying emotions children feel that people in the events of Easter week also experience.
God’s many names and descriptive titles in the Bible give readers word pictures of His character, attributes, and actions.
This new picture book explores 16 different biblical metaphors, describing God and our relationship with Him not just in words but in pictures too.
When I first heard about this book, I was eager to see it, of course, given the three books I’ve written about the names of God.
written and illustrated by Ruth Goring
published by Beaming Books (2019)
hardcover, 40 pages
10.2 x 0.3 x 10.1 inches
Looking at the cover, God’s Very Good Idea seems to be about the wonderful diversity of people in God’s world. And it is that!
But as the subtitle A True Story about God’s Delightfully Different Family hints, this picture book covers so much more.
In fact, this picture book packs a lot of biblical understanding into 32 pages, all on a level that older preschoolers and early elementary grades can easily and enjoyably grasp.
(The illustrations are so much fun too!)
Right from the start, we learn that God’s very good idea was people, “lots of people, lots of different people, who would all enjoy loving him and all enjoy loving each other.”
Not everyone can change the world (not everyone is called to), but everyone can change their world—and the worlds of those they love and serve.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
This is exactly what Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God accomplishes for middle grade girls.
Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God
written by Shirley Raye Redmond
illustrated by Katya Longhi
published by Harvest House (2020)
hardcover, 112 pages, 7 x 0.5 x 9 inches
Girls will be inspired by these 50 mini biographies of contemporary and historical women who lived out their faith with boldness and perseverance.
And they’ll think: I want to live like that too!
Somehow a picture book titled Words to Love By just feels like a good book for Valentine’s Day.
And this cheery, colorful exploration of how we use words to love others delivers well at Valentine’s or anytime.
“Words may be small, but they can do big things.”
What are some of those big things? Words can
• encourage: “I believe in you.”
• bring out the best in people: “I knew you could do it.”
• spread love and kindness: “Do you need help?”
• let others know they’re not alone: “Do you want to play with us?”
One of the cardinal rules of narrative picture book writing goes like this: Let the main character solve his problem himself.
Reading is waaay more fun for children this way.
But in the world of Christian picture books, what do parents (and therefore publishers) want?
To teach children something we consider important. And often in a narrative Christian picture book, an adult character not only solves the problem but imparts the lesson as well.
So when a Christian picture book allows its main character to solve a problem (and learn that important something) without an adult character driving the lesson home, I want to cheer for that book.
Today I want to introduce you to an important new book for parents, unlike any other resource on the subject of child sexual abuse.
What’s different and special about this book?
It teaches you how to create in children and teens themselves the kind of warrior heart that can shield them even when protective adults are not around.
Beth Robinson is a licensed professional counselor and supervisor of counselors, a certified school counselor and a frequent expert witness in legal proceedings involving sexual abuse.
Latayne Scott is an award-winning writer with over two dozen books and a theologian with a PhD in biblical studies.
As the introduction explains, a having a warrior heart means learning to say no to whatever puts our heart at risk. A child can be trained to have a brave, noble, and prepared heart with which to face the world.
At its core, the gospel is quite simple. So simple that author Dandi Daley Mackall figured out how to express the good news in just four words.
And then she wrote a picture book about it.
Wow! The Good News in Four Words
written by Dandi Daley Mackall
illustrated by Annabel Tempest
published by Tyndale Kids (2017)
32 pages, 11 x 0.2 x 11 inches, jacketed hardcover
The four words are
The Biggest Story
written by Kevin DeYoung, illustrated by Don Clark
published by Crossway (2015)
jacketed hardcover, 132 pages, 8.8 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
Children often learn Bible stories without understanding how each story fits into the story of the Bible as a whole.
To address this, Kevin DeYoung wrote The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden.
In ten short chapters, The Biggest Story takes readers through the biblical plot line and also develops two important themes.
Mom or grandma, Sunday school teacher or children’s ministry leader, I know you care about influencing children and preteens toward faith. Good Christian books can be an invaluable tool.
So to help you find them, I’ve returned to reviewing and recommending books I believe are most worthy of a place on your child’s bookshelf.
In addition, from time to time I’ll also let you know about valuable parenting resources, especially those that can help you point children to Jesus and disciple them as His followers.
If you’re signed up for my author newsletter, Paper Airplane, you’ll receive an email alert whenever a new review is posted (2-3 times per month). I’ll also include links to each month’s reviews when the monthly issue of the newsletter goes out.
If you’re not already a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up here.
To start the new year off right, this month I’m focusing on Bible stories and helping children understand the gospel. This week, it’s The Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible.