Friday, January 30, 2015

Children's book review: My Little Life of Jesus

 My Little Life of Jesus

This padded hardcover book will surely please your 3-5 year old child! The colors with which this book is illustrated are bright and cheerful, perfect for little eyes. Your child will want to read this book over and over again, and it is a good idea for keeping your little one occupied during church!

 This small book, perfect for very young children to hold and carry around, covers events in Jesus' life on earth. It begins with the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary and telling her that she would have ''a special baby''. The book follows the life of Jesus up to his crucifixion and resurrection.

One thing I appreciated about this book is that it includes the Biblical reference for every single incident! This is great for parent to be able to quickly find the text and perhaps read further to their interested child. This will also encourage children to look up the original passage themselves.

  Major issues with the book were as follows;
  The illustrations are fun for any kind of kids' book. Even Bible stories. However, I just can't recommend the way Jesus is illustrated in this book. I would not want my child growing up with such a picture in his or her mind! The Jesus pictured in this Bible is typical: pale, brown hair and beard...and during his trial incredibly sad, mournful and weak! I know the trial and crucifixion was immensely painful to our Saviour.  But he did NOT look like a lost puppy dog. And that's a fact.
   Secondly, this book really missed the salvation message which I thought was unusual for such a book! Truly, although the book follows Jesus' ministry, it doesn't mention salvation. Or why Jesus died! Is this too deep for a child? I think not!

  As a small but important note, I thought it good that the illustrator pictured Jesus as older than an infant when the wise men came to worship him. Details like this are important!

In the portion about John the Baptist, I thought it was good that the author worded John's message as follows: ''He told people to turn away from the bad things they were doing.'' The term turn away is a good one and can lead to important discussions between children and their parents. 'Turn away' implies more than just ''sorry''. It means true repentance, true change from all  you did before.

However, in the portion where Jesus is explaining the parable of the shepherd and the lost sheep, I thought the author confused the meaning of the Bible text. In ''My Little Life of Jesus'' it states: ''God is just as happy as the shepherd when anyone turns away from doing bad things.'' I think that is a weak explanation for children. If I were a child, I would get, from this the idea that all God wants is people to ''be good''. We all know the meaning of this parable is the the Good Shepherd seeking lost souls and saving them...not simply hoping that people will ''be better''. Just a thought you might want to consider explaining to your young one as you read this book.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.