Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bad Book, Good Books for Children about Jesus

When my son was baking the church I was serving held a baby shower for us. It was a great experience and being their associate pastor, they showered us with way too much. We were over whelmed with clothes, blankets, and books. I think we ended up with five copies of Goodnight Moon. Being a minister though if it had the word Jesus in it, they thought we needed it. Now after reading these books for three years now there are some I like and some I want to throw out.

One I really like is Adam, Adam, What do you See. It is cute and starts children in being familiar with some basic and important biblical stories. It is a fun rhyme to it and good pictures.

One I want to toss is the Golden Book The Story of Jesus. First it is really bad theology. The book makes it look like Jesus decided to follow God and that he wasn't divine. Here is how the book ends, (the picture above this is a white Jesus running through a field with children), "After Jesus' death, his followers took his teachings all around the world. And the storis he told are still known and loved and retold today, in every land on Earth." Really? That is what Jesus was here to do, tell stories? And "after Jesus' death"? After his death there was the RESURRECTION! Not running through a field with kids. Now this was copyrighted in 1977 but also republished two more times. I do not recommend this book. Although Jesus is in the title, the Jesus I worship is not present in the book, just a doppelganger.

One I truly love is My First Message. This is by the writter of the Message translation, Eugene Peterson. What I love is the pictures. They are vivid but also culturally correct. Jesus has darker skin and dark hair and brown eyes. The people around him are the same way. The pictures actually reflect that Jesus was born and grew up in the Middle East and not on the foggy islands of Great Britain. Also, scripture is used. It is a little watered down for easy reading and conveying the message to children but it doesn't hide anything. The prophets of Baal are caught up into the flames of God. Jesus dies on the cross and is resurrected. It tells Biblical stories from the Bible and is the perfect first Bible. When my son's Great-Grandmother want to buy him a Bible this is the one I wanted her to buy him. I think she was thinking about a leather KJV Bible but I wanted something he would actually read and enjoy. We found it in My First Message.


Erin G said...

wow, GREAT idea for a post! thanks for sharing.

Erin G said...

need to remember to ask for My First Message for baby girl's (coming next week!) first Bible. :)