Kristin Stiles’ Review of THE HOLY SPIRIT, by Devon Provencher

Published on April 9, 2024 by Eugene Ho

Crossway, 2022 | 22 pages

A Book Review from Books At a Glance

by Kristin Stiles


I have video of my daughter at 18 months pointing to various animals on command: elephant, giraffe, chimpanzee, alligator, etc. How did she learn those? We obviously weren’t seeing these live animals in our everyday activities. We may have taken a trip or two to the zoo, but not often enough to make those labels stick to those animals in her little brain. What we did was we read books. A lot of books. I’d point to the pictures and name the animals. We’d discuss what they looked like and how they acted. The repeated exposure caused her to learn what they were and then to be able to identify them in new and different scenarios.

As parents, we use books to passively or actively teach our children all kinds of things. Why not use books to teach even the youngest children theological terms and concepts? This is the approach that Devon Provencher has taken in his series “Big Theology for Little Hearts.” His most recent addition to this series is The Holy Spirit

This board book presents ten key words or phrases that relate directly to the Holy Spirit: triune, regeneration, Pentecost, indwelling, conviction, sanctification, gifts of the Spirit, fruit of the Spirit, guide, and perseverance. You say, “Those aren’t kid-friendly words!” They are no harder to say than hippopotamus or caterpillar. “But how can a toddler understand those concepts?” The author offers a single sentence definition of each term. And while no one in all practicality expects a toddler to internalize the depth of what these mean, s/he can start having a very basic familiarity with them that can be expanded upon in the years to come. Each term also has a simple, but extremely charming illustration that goes with it done by Jessica Provencher. These illustrations are more relatable to a child and will help with understanding. For example, the picture that goes with “Sanctification” is a bathtub with bubbles and a rubber ducky while the defining sentence says, “Believers become more like Jesus every day through the help of the Holy Spirit.” Parents can help their little ones make the connection between sanctification and getting a bath.

I really appreciate this series and what the Provenchers are striving to accomplish in exposing children to the words and concepts of our faith. Twenty-three years later, I now think it would have been more beneficial to my daughter to be able to tell me that “the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to see how bad our sin is” instead of being able to point to the rhinoceros.


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

THE HOLY SPIRIT, by Devon Provencher

Crossway, 2022 | 22 pages

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