I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard — Book Review

This book for children was inspired by the hit song of the same name by MercyMe. The author, Bart Millard, is one of the founding members of this contemporary Christian band. In it a little boy imagines what it will be like to see Jesus face to face and live with Him forever. Will there be yummy food? Will there be sports and swing sets? Does God like ice cream? Are there pets? These questions cannot be answered right now, only imagined.

Some things, of course, are certain. In heaven each day will be happy because we’ll be with the God who knows and loves us. Best of all, we don’t have to wait to spend time with God because His Spirit is in us right now!

The illustrations by Sumiti Collina are bright and attractive Children will be engaged and encouraged to share their own imaginings about heaven and what it will be like.

VERDICT: 4 STARS

For a review of the movie and the song see this post:

I Can Only Imagine

For more Christian books for children see:

What’s So Wonderful About Webster? by Stephen and Alex Kendrick–Book Review

When I Hold You by Ashley Huffstutler–Book Review

Little Sweet Pea, God Loves You — Book Review

Song of Creation by Paul Goble — Book Review

Adapted from The Book of Common Prayer, this book for children age 5-10 is beautifully illustrated by the author, Paul Goble. With bright, delightful pictures that youngsters and parents will love, Goble shows every element of creation — birds and animals, day and night, ice and cold, sun and moon, winds and water, plants and air –worshipping and glorifying God, the Creator of it all. It’s a good reminder that God’s presence is all around us.

Each page includes a few verses in smaller type, reminding the reader that they can add verses and ideas of their own.

Children will enjoy and quickly pick up on the liturgical statement that is repeated over and over:

bless you the Lord: praise Him and magnify Him forever.”

However, parental involvement will be needed to unpack the meaning in a way children can understand.

VERDICT: 4 STARS

For more books for children see:

The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell–Book Review

Great and Small Prayers for Babies — Book Review

God is Hope by Amy Parker–Book Review

Because I Love You by Max Lucado–Book Review

When Jesus taught people, he often used parables, or stories to reveal important truths. He used images and situation that would be familiar to his listeners — things like sheep and shepherds, for example. In this short book for children, Max Lucado uses the same technique.

Because I Love You

A kind man named Shaddai loves the children who live in his village. He knows each one intimately and enjoys being with them, singing and telling them stories. He wants to keep them nearby and protect them and so he builds a wall that will keep them safe from the dangers in the surrounding forest. Naturally, there is one very curious little boy who finds a hole in the wall and ventures outside even after Shaddai’s warning, that he will get lost and have trouble finding his way back. This is indeed what happens. When Shaddai hears Paladin’s cries for help, he leaves his work to go and search for him.

The book simply tells the story of Shaddai and Paladin but it could be used by parents or teachers to explain God’s love in a way youngsters will relate to and understand. It provides a jumping off point for a discussion of why we should obey God’s rules, and how He still loves us and seeks us out to save us even when we fail to listen to Him. The illustrations by Mitchell Heinze are realistic and attractive. It would be best suited to young elementary age children, and is definitely a book to read out loud and discuss. Children won’t get the deeper meaning without assistance.

VERDICT: 5 STARS

For more books for children see:

The Great Farmapalooza by Jill Roman Lord — Book Review

What’s So Wonderful About Webster? by Stephen and Alex Kendrick–Book Review

Flashlight Night by Elisabeth Hasselbeck–Book Review

Every Which Way to Pray by Joyce Meyer–Book Review

The animals at the Everyday Zoo want to be closer to God and that means prayer! But what is the right way to pray? Harley the hippo has a book on prayer with lots of rules — kneel, speak softly, and use special “holy” words, for example. However, as he talks to the other animals he learns that you can pray:

*Anywhere

*In a loud voice, or without words at all

*Kneeling or standing, walking or even upside down!

*For a long time or with just one word — like HELP!

The important thing is to stay in touch with God, and to pray from your heart.

Every Which Way to Pray (Everyday Zoo) by [Joyce Meyer, Mary Sullivan]

The bright illustrations by Mary Sullivan, would make this a great book to read out loud to a Sunday School group, or with your youngster at home. Children will be able to understand and relate to the message that prayer is not difficult and can become an everyday activity. It’s probably best suited for children age 4-7.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. I recommend it.

For more books for children see:

Little Sweet Pea, God Loves You — Book Review

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

When I Hold You by Ashley Huffstutler–Book Review

Nothing by Natalee Creech –Book Review

In this book, attractively illustrated by Joseph Cowman, children learn about the depth of God’s love. Whether we are traveling in a train, boarding an airplane, flying into outer space, rafting down a raging river or diving under the ocean in a submarine, the love of God follows us. God does not abandon us when we say or do things that we regret. His love is permanent and unending. NOTHING can separate us from God’s Love!

Nothing: Nothing Can Separate You From God’s Love!

Youngsters will love the colorful pictures and winsome rhymes. The words are energetic and seem to bounce off the page! The message is biblical and easy to understand. It brings the verse below to life in a way that young children can grasp. This would make a great addition to any toddler’s library!

“Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.” Romans 8:38-39

For more books for children see:

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

The Gift That I Can Give For Little Ones by Kathie Lee Gifford–Book Review

God is Hope by Amy Parker–Book Review

God Is Hope (God Is Series)

This sturdy board book is intended for toddlers up to age three. The illustrations by Chris Saunders are lovely and include many pictures of familiar animals and birds that youngsters will enjoy identifying. The message that God’s hope is all around us is an important one, and there is a reinforcing Bible verse at the end.

However, I do have some qualms about the book. The size (8″ x 8″) is a bit large for young children to handle easily. In addition the concepts presented are way beyond the understanding of children this age. They think concretely and comparing hope to the sunrise or the onset of Spring will not make sense to them.

My husband, who is a pastor, also pointed out the fact that God is not hope — rather, God gives us hope. Again, a distinction that will be beyond young children.

VERDICT: 2 STARS. Purchase it for the pretty pictures, not the theological content.

For more books for children see these posts:

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell–Book Review

Great and Small Prayers for Babies — Book Review

Little Sweet Pea, God Loves You — Book Review

This lovely little book is a Zonderkidz publication, illustrated by Kit Chase. The soft pastel pictures of baby animals with their parents are charming and winsome.

Little Sweet Pea, God Loves You

The rhyming narrative tells a story about love — the love of parents for their children, and the love of God for each of us. Perfect for reading aloud, it pictures daily activities a small child will easily recognize and identify with –playing, cuddling, being read to, eating, rocking, singing, getting ready for bed.

Short and sweet, it will delight both you and your toddler. I recommend it!

VERDICT: 5 STARS

It’s also available as a Zondervan e-book.

For more Christian books for children see:

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

When I Hold You by Ashley Huffstutler–Book Review

Great and Small Easter by B&H Kids Editorial Staff — Book Review

The Gift That I Can Give For Little Ones by Kathie Lee Gifford–Book Review

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am very interested in spiritual gifts, and this sturdy board book would be a great way to introduce young children to that concept. In it Ms. Gifford explains that each person is uniquely created by God. When He made us, He also gave each of us a gift. That gift might be a talent, like music; it might be a quality like kindness; it could be the ability to help others in a variety of ways.

The Gift That I Can Give

The narrative highlights the fact that whatever our gift is, it is meant to be given away. We are to use it to benefit the people around us. Of course, the greatest gift, the gift that all others spring from is love. This is the gift we all receive from God, and the gift we can pass on to others.

The illustrations by Julia Seal are bright and attractive. The message is clear and will be easy for youngsters to understand. The examples given are appropriate to the age level. I would highly recommend it.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. I loved it!

For more about spiritual gifts see:

What are the Spiritual Gifts?

Let Your Spiritual Gifts S–T–R–E–T–C–H You

The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

For more Christian books for children see:

Where is Wisdom by Scott James — Book Review

Great and Small Prayers for Babies — Book Review

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

Great and Small Easter by B&H Kids Editorial Staff — Book Review

This delightful little board book would make a welcome addition to any toddler’s Easter basket.  Just the right size for small hands, it is sturdy enough to withstand lots on hands-on attention– a necessity as children will enjoy opening the flaps over and over.  Attractive drawings in lovely pastels illustrate animal pairs puddle-jumping, playing hide and seek, and singing and dancing to celebrate the season the the God who gives life to everything!

It closes with a Bible verse:

“Look, I am making everything new!”  Revelation 21:5

Little ones and their parents will love it.

VERDICT:  5 STARS

If you would like to purchase this book, follow the link below:

Great and Small Easter – B&H Publishing (bhpublishinggroup.com)

The Lutheran Ladies received a free e-copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.  Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CPR 255.

For more books for children see:

What’s So Wonderful About Webster? by Stephen and Alex Kendrick–Book Review

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

The Great Farmapalooza by Jill Roman Lord — Book Review

 

Gracie’s Garden by Lara Casey — Book Review

Kudos to illustrator Jon Davis, for making this children’s book lovely inside and out.  Sporting dainty flowers on the cover and charming drawings inside, it will delight the eyes of your youngster.

The author, Lara Casey, draws on gardening experiences with her own children–Gracie, Joshua and Sarah who love to dig, play, and plant, and even more to eat what they have grown themselves.  The children learn how God puts little miracles inside each seed, giving every one exactly what they need to grow into scrumptious fruits and vegetables.

The narrative, although not especially inspiring, leads children through the process of planting, growing and harvesting a garden.  Included with the book purchase is an activity book which can be downloaded for free.  It includes coloring pages and other activities to use while teaching about plants and gardening.

VERDICT:  3 STARS.  If you are a gardener and want to get your children involved, you will love it.  Otherwise, I found it attractive, but not particularly compelling.

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:

https://www.lifeway.com/en/product/gracie-s-garden-P005824890

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

For more books for children see these posts:

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

Where is Wisdom by Scott James — Book Review

The Promises of God Storybook Bible by Jennifer Lyell–Book Review