By Tonya Andris
Inside The Pew
One of my favorite groups growing up was New Kids On The Block. Remember them?
During the brainstorming of my book review column, NKOTB’s song, “This One’s For The Children” came to mind. Then, I thought about all the Christian titles I have received from authors over the past three months which reiterate God’s love for children. Remember, God said in Isaiah 54:13, “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.”
Parents, if you are looking for books that will nurture your child’s understand of the Almighty’s grace and love (and there are many), these titles are an ideal start.
“Perfectly Unique” by Annie F. Downs
(Zondervan; $9.99 USD)
In her debut release, Downs takes personal stories and uses them as a catalyst to teach young girls to embrace the way God made them. She affirms to young readers that God made us each as individuals and we are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). I found the book to be very encouraging to young women because there are so many messages that girls and women have to change who they are to be accepted. God made you; love yourself. Downs, who is a former elementary school teacher, made the best choice to life stories to make an impact on the reader. Exercises and relevant scriptures guide readers along. Among the many endorsers of the book is Hillary Scott, lead singer of Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum. “This book will touch your heart, encourage you, and challenge you to let your Heavenly Father pursue you as his daughter.”
As a side note, Downs is currently embarked on the Girls of Grace Tour where she will make stops at churches and various venues to spread the Christian message to sixth- to 12th-grade girls. Her next stop is slated for Feb. 23 at Christ Church, 15354 Old Hickory Blvd. in Nashville, Tenn. Downs also has dates set in March for Birmingham, Ala., and Augusta, Ga., and Allen, Texas, in April. Visit http://www.girlsofgrace.com/ for more information.
“Helping Man … The Beginning” by Jalen Butler (author and illustrator); co-written by Katina Butler
(Joseph’s Coat Productions, $12.95 USD)
It is wonderful to see a child writing a book to minister to children. This is exactly the purpose of 7-year-old Jalen Butler. The Denton, Texas, elementary student wrote “Helping Man …” to “help people and please God.” With the Bible as his guide, Butler takes readers into the world of Helping Man, who is always on a quest to save the day. On his quest for peace, Helping Man also has to battle his nemesis, Mogular. As a parent, I appreciate the “kiddie feel” of the book, from the illustrations to the message. Butler’s book has gained attention in the Dallas area through appearances on local NBC affiliate (NBC-5) and Christian radio (KWRD 100.7 FM). He’s also gained a legion of fans at his elementary school. As for all the attention, at the end of the day, Butler can only thank God. “I’m just doing what God has blessed me to do.” Learn more at www.facebook.com/HelpingManBook.
“The Sweetest Story Bible” by Diane Stortz and Sheila Bailey; narrated by Roma Downey
(Zonderkidz, $22.99 USD)
One of the greatest way to show our children God’s love for them is to tell them the stories of the Bible. My daughters love to hear the story of their namesakes, Rebekah (Genesis 24) and Lydia (Acts 16). Authored by Diana Stortz and illustrated Sheila Bailey, the story Bible brings the characters of the Bible to life for your children. At the end of each story, Stortz lists Sweet Words and Sweet Thoughts for girls to remember. At the end of God’s Ten Rules (Exodus 19-20, 24, 31), children are reminded “God knows what is good for us.” The deluxe edition also includes an audio CD read by “Touch By An Angel” actress Roma Downey.
Tonya Andris is book editor for Inside The Pew. To suggest titles or comment on this review, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.