Book Review—The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song

Bob Hartman has a storytelling gift, and he puts it to great use to beckon children into the Bible’s account of Paul and Silas and the Philippian jailer (found in Acts 16:16-40) in this book.

And like the subtitle says, the story is about more than simply God’s power or the dedication of Paul and Silas. The goal of this book is to show children how God uses people to save people.

The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song
written by Bob Hartman, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
published by The Good Book Company (2020)
hardcover picture book, 32 pages, 9 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches

The story opens with a question, engaging kids right away. Someone’s snoring. Do you hear it?

Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—I Love Me!

The text is simple and never mentions God, but this new picture book has lots to say about our appreciation of God’s gift of our bodies and the diversity within the human race.

I Love Me!
written by LaRonda Gardner Middlemiss, illustrated by Beth Hughes

published by Beaming Books (2020)
hardcover picture book, 32 pages, 8 x 0.5 x 8 inches

I think most young children are thrilled with their physical bodies as they grow and discover each new ability and skill. At some point, however, comparison creeps in. Kids may wonder why they don’t look like someone else or why they can’t do what some others do.

This new picture book can be a tool in the toolbox for teaching children to celebrate who they are before the comparison trap sets in—and, equally if not more important, to see and celebrate who others are too. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—My Breakfast With Jesus

Meals on the go aren’t unusual in our busy world, but in the world of the Bible, eating together often has great significance. This new picture book captures that for kids while it also communicates lots of fun information about foods and cultures around the world.

Deuteronomy 12:7, part of God’s instructions to the Israelites regarding meals as a part of worship, opens the book, followed by the reminder that Jesus shared an early morning breakfast on the beach with His friends.

A holy way to start the day.
A breakfast blessing.

The refrain continues on each spread as the text and illustrations take us to twelve different locations around the world—well, one is out of this world—as followers of Jesus start their day with breakfast and thanks to God. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Far from Home

Good children’s books lead to empathy, something our nation and our world surely needs right now. Stories about diverse cultures show children of all ethnicities and backgrounds that we are all human, all equally valuable, all very much alike.

In Far from Home, children will empathize with the emotions of a young refugee who journeys with his parents away from all that’s familiar and loved. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—The Big Book of Bible Questions

Kids are curious about their world, right? Discovering new facts about interesting subjects can be a lot of fun, and it usually leads to new questions and wanting to learn more.

That’s how it is with Bible knowledge too. Kids have questions as they grow and learn—why questions and how questions and what-does-it-mean questions. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Jesus and the Lions’ Den

Wait, what? JESUS and the Lions’ Den?

Yes, that’s right.

Jesus and the Lions’ Den
written by Alison Mitchell, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
published by The Good Book Company (2019)
hardcover picture book, 32 pages, 9 x 0.2 x 10.8 inches

I began to love this book as soon as I opened it and saw the vivid endpapers that invoke the Persian setting of the story. Then an intro page explaining how the book works reeled me in. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Two Books for Baby Showers

Spring and early summer often bring a round of baby showers, right? So here are two completely different books that will make good gifts or books-in-place-of-a-card.

One of the books almost makes a sweet Mother’s Day gift to a new or soon-to-be mom.

And, they’re both by the same author! Read More…

– Diane

Three Picture Books About Hope—Book Reviews

Three recent picture books can help children feel safe and happy even though their routines have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Quinn’s Promise Rock
Written by Christie Thomas, illustrated by Sydney Hanson
Harvest House, 2019
hardcover, 32 pages, 9 x 0.4 x 9 inches

Out on a night flight with her father, Quinn is a worried little owl. What if she gets lost? What if she can’t keep up with her father, or loses sight of him?

Quinn’s father uses three different rocks to assure Quinn that she is safe and that God always takes care of her. Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Jesus Heals and Holy Week (Baby Believer Series)

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.

Read More…

– Diane

Book Review—Picturing God

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.

Picturing God
written and illustrated by Ruth Goring
published by Beaming Books (2019)
hardcover, 40 pages
10.2 x 0.3 x 10.1 inches

Read More…

– Diane