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.

With each emotion, the text tells a portion of the Easter story, taken directly from Scripture almost entirely.

Also almost entirely through Scripture, Jesus Heals tells children about some of Jesus’ healing miracles involving different parts of the body.

Holy Week begins with the triumphal entry and moves through clearing the temple, washing the disciples’ feet, establishing the Lord’s Supper, praying in the garden, the trial before Pilate, Jesus’ crucifixion, His death and burial, the angel’s announcement of the resurrection to the women at the tomb, and Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The illustration with the crucifixion spread is handled with great care

The emotion presented with each situation fits the text yet is common to young children too. (I’m sure you’ve seen an excited or joyful child and an overwhelmed or frustrated one too!)

What makes Jesus Heals a good choice for Easter is the final spread, a close-up illustration of a victorious, resurrected Christ with this verse: “Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross. He did this so that we would stop living for sin and start living for what is right. And we are healed because of his wounds” (1 Peter 2:24 ICB).

These are books to grow with your child. Babies can appreciate the colorful, simple images and be soothed by the sound of Scripture even before they can understand it. Preschoolers will notice details and absorb the stories. The pages are extra sturdy so the books will last.

I love how carefully Scripture is used on each spread.

I believe it is wise and appropriate for parents and caregivers to read Scripture in the hearing of little ones. I believe parents and grandparents want to teach their children about the Lord, and that it’s never too early to start. These books make it easy to do!

About These Reviews and Recommendations

My career as a children’s book editor, acquisitions editor, and editorial director greatly influences my response to books. I have seen a LOT of manuscripts and books. I have high standards for text, illustration, book design, and the purpose of a book. (This is a nice way of saying I am slightly jaded and quite particular.)

I understand too that parents, grandparents, and others who buy books want and need good value in the books you choose. Your book budget is not unlimited.

I’m not writing these reviews as hype or promotion for fellow author’s books. I do care about helping authors—after all, I am one. I understand the effort authors pour into every book and the hopes they have for each one. The books I recommend, however, I’m choosing because of the merit I see in the book, no other reason.

I want to point you to the best books more than I want to point out books I don’t like, so I won’t be writing negative reviews. If I can’t support a book, I just won’t write about it. At times, however, I may note details or features I would have changed in a book I otherwise recommend. This is to help you make your own decisions about what books are right for your family.

– Diane

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