I’m always on the hunt for a good quality picture book for children and a book that promised “the whole gospel in a single story” was certainly worth a look at.
Here’s What I Thought:
- The pictures are lovely. I love the mixture of (I’m guessing) watercolor and chalk and the way the colors blend into each other to create a truly vibrant scene.
- The story flows very well and it does seem to paint a cohesive story of the gospel.
- I like that the author tried to touch on all the major events of the Old Testament, such as building of a nation with Abraham, rescue from slavery, the kings, the prophets, and even the years of silence.
- Though the actual words that the book uses aren’t overly complicated, the style of writing is a little vague, especially since it is aimed at children. Instead of saying that Adam and Even ate the forbidden fruit, the book says, “They took what wasn’t theirs. They tried to rule the world for themselves”. Not only am I a little concerned about the implications about Adam and Eve’s motivations, it seems a little too abstract for a child to understand.
- Though there is a lot of talk about people “wanting to do things their own way”, there isn’t any specific mention of sin or even disobedience. The real heart of the gospel is Jesus taking the punishment for our sins, but this element seems to be missing from the story. There is a vague mention of “Jesus died in our place”, but there is no direct reason for WHY Jesus needed to die in our place.
It’s tough to reduce the incredible story of the gospel down into one picture book made for children, so I understand (in part!) the challenges with trying to fit complex theology into a simple picture book. I think Ben Irwin did a great job capturing the overall “Big God Story” as well as the love that God was trying to demonstrate to us through sending His son. I love that Irwin stated that “God had a plan” throughout history and even in the silence, God was working out his plan. I do wish there was a little more emphasis on Jesus as Savior and not just Jesus as King, but perhaps Irwin is saving that for another book! 🙂