A Book Review from Books At a Glance
by Kristin Stiles
If you have a toddler in your life (child, grandchild, niece, nephew, neighbor, etc.), don’t even wait to finish reading this review. Go right now and order this book! If you need a little more convincing, let me tell you why this is arguably the most important book you can read and reread to a very young child.
Sarah Reju knocks it out of the park with this early introduction to the gospel message. She takes the greatest need that a child (or anyone) has and presents the greatest solution. The text is simple and has a beautiful rhythm to it that will quickly be memorized by the child. She includes all of the most important aspects of the gospel: God is our Creator; He loves us; He is our King; we rebel and want our own way; we are sinners; God sent Jesus; Jesus lived a perfect life; Jesus died in our place; Jesus rose from the dead; Jesus invites us to come to Him; Jesus commands us to say no to sin and to say yes to Him as King of our lives. That’s a lot of doctrine to pack into a simple book for toddlers, but Reju does a masterful job of doing just that. She even includes a scripture reference on each page to support the message she is sharing.
Illustrations in a book for toddlers are vastly important. Are they colorful and eye-catching? Do they convey the information provided in the text? Are the characters relatable to a wide variety of children? Illustrator Phil Schorr was able to fulfill all of these criteria. This board book is inviting to look at. The emotions on the faces of the children are so clearly conveyed. Young children will certainly enjoy looking through this book again and again.
There is one other aspect of this book that is just marvelous. Sarah Reju includes a note to the parents at the end of the book that covers such topics as: What is the Gospel? What Can You Do to Help Your Little One Understand the Gospel? What Can Only God Do? and Bible Verses to Remember. Her advice and encouragement to parents are excellent. She reminds parents that they have a responsibility to present the gospel to their children, but the salvation of their children is fully a work of God. She exhorts parents to not only read the gospel from this book and also from the Bible, but to live the gospel. She reminds parents that their everyday lives will teach their children as much, if not more, about the gospel than the simple words of this book.
I can only offer one word of criticism, and that is as a grammarian: “who” is used often throughout the book when “whom” would be the correct pronoun. That’s it – that’s all I have to critique (and this may have been an editorial decision anyway).
So, you’ve ordered this book already, right? If not, please go out and get it. Get a couple of copies; you’ll want to share with all the parents of toddlers that you know.
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.
Buy the books
JESUS SAVES: THE GOSPEL FOR TODDLERS, by Sarah Reju