A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
Birth to three years old is a crucial period for language acquisition. It is during this time that the brain is set to learn the sounds and grammar structure of the native tongue which the child will speak as a first language. It is a vital time for parents to fill with speaking and reading. The developing brain is a veritable sponge that soaks up so much information during this stage. What a wonderful opportunity it is to begin feeding that brain simple theological concepts!
That is precisely what Devon Provencher ventures to do in his Big Theology for Little Hearts series. This series consists of three board books entitled: God, Jesus, and The Gospel. Each page has one term on it with a very simple definition. For example, in God, words such as “creator,” “eternal,” and “just” appear. In Jesus, some of the terms are “deity,” “incarnation,” and “atonement.” In The Gospel, we find “rebellion,” “punishment,” and “sacrifice.” These are not the kind of words we would expect to be reading to such little ones, but each is followed up with a simple explanation.
For example, for “atonement,” the author states, “When He died on the cross, Jesus took the punishment that we deserved.” You might contend that even that simple definition is way over the head of an infant or toddler. I agree. But getting the language and concepts of theology implanted in the mind will allow for later nurturing and watering of those seeds and Lord willing, one day that child will grasp the meaning of these words that s/he was exposed to so long ago. This is basically what we are hoping when we read them Bible stories and tell them about Jesus at a young age. We don’t expect them to understand the full impact of our words, but we are planting seeds in hopes that one day the Holy Spirit will use these to bring our children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That’s exactly what these books are doing, they are just starting the process much earlier.
Added to the great content, the illustrations are just a delight to look at. The pictures are beautifully rendered and very simple. Even the font used is perfectly suited to this book. The illustrator is the wife of the author and it is clear that they put a lot of thought and collaboration into creating this series.
Most board books introduce colors, shapes, and animals. What a marvelous idea to introduce God, Jesus, and the Gospel to your little ones! You’ll be amazed at what your child can learn at such an early age if only you share it with them.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA, and an experienced former teacher of deaf/hard of hearing children.
Buy the books
GOD, by Devon Provencher