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.
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
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