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

I wasn’t disappointed.

Rich mixed-media images accompanied by simple text aim to wake up imagination and spur children to consider God’s greatness, wisdom, and love.

Pairing the metaphors with words of application and pictures too gives young children, who are concrete thinkers, a boost toward understanding. But grownups will find themselves pondering and appreciating the text and images too.

Some of the metaphors are straightforward: “Jesus says, ‘I am the Vine and you are the branches.’ We grow from God’s Vine. God’s love flows through us like juicy sap.”

Others may be less familiar, such as ways in which God acts as a mother or how we “put on” God’s goodness like we put on bright clothing (a reference to putting on Christ found in the letters of the apostle Paul).

The last page, “Images of God in the Bible,” lists the 16 metaphors in the book (Word, Love, Light of the World, Living Water, Vine, Bread of Life, Clothing, Door, Good Shepherd, Rock, Wind, Comforter, Father, Mother, The Way, and Home) along with Scripture references for locating the concept in the Bible.

All in all, a beautiful, comforting, thought provoking book for the entire family (or a Sunday school class or youth group) to pour over and enjoy again and again.

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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