A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
There is a wealth of resources available to adults who struggle with anger, anxiety, and failure, but what about young children who deal with these issues? Now there is a new series of books that addresses these very real experiences that children and their parents work hard to manage every day. These topics are dealt with using Bible-centered principles and the type of counseling that is provided by The Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF).
Each book in the series tells a very endearing story about a woodland character that has a serious problem. The stories are very relatable as the characters deal with just the kinds of situations that happen to us every day. We see in ourselves and our children the same sinful reactions that we would share with these creatures. But in each story, there are godly principles applied to help them and us understand how we can and should respond.
In Jax’s Tail Twitches: When You are Angry, Jax the squirrel has simply had it with his brother, and his father is furious at their neighbors. In the midst of all this stress, Mama burns dinner which adds to the frustration. Thankfully, Papa remembers what the Bible says about anger and he repents of his sin and instructs his family on the proper way of dealing with the problems of life besides resorting to angry outbursts. The problems don’t go away, but how the family handles the problems improves dramatically.
In Buster’s Ears Trip Him Up: When You Fail, Buster the bunny takes great pride in his speed and looks with eager anticipation to the day of the big race at camp. Obviously, from the title, poor Buster trips over his own ears and loses the race. He is devastated. His big sister reminds him that his value is not in his performance and that it is often wounded pride that makes us feel so very bad when we fail. Buster repents of his pride and thanks God that he is valuable apart from his ability to run fast.
In Zoe’s Hiding Place: When You are Anxious, Zoe the mouse is especially fearful about going on a class trip since she got lost and was briefly left behind during the last class trip. She rehearses over and over in her mind all of the things that could go wrong and settles on anticipating the worst-case scenarios. Her parents open up the Bible to her and instruct her on turning her fears into prayers. Zoe is reminded that God is with her everywhere she goes. She is also given practical suggestions on how to make sure she doesn’t get lost or left behind this time. She faces her fears and through prayer, meditation on God’s word, and obedience to her teacher, she is able to conquer them.
Each book has two sections following the story. The first section is titled, “Helping Your Child with. . .” There are ten points that follow that give sound counsel on how to deal with these struggles that your child may be dealing with. These are very practical, helpful tips. The second section is titled, “Back Pocket Bible Verses” and includes four perforated verses that can be removed from the book and given to the child that needs help to carry with him/her throughout the day.
The illustrations for these books are stellar. I absolutely love the thought that went into the drawings. I spent quite a bit of time studying the rooms in their little houses where stamps served as posters, and beds were made of matchboxes, combs and pencils. All of it was so clever. The characters are just adorable and so enjoyable to look at.
I’m very excited about this series. I wish it had been available when my children were young as I have a daughter that especially struggled with anxiety. I think these will be an invaluable resource to parents as they seek to instruct their children in the ways of God and help them to cope with everyday difficulties.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.