Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Jesus Book

I received a free copy of The Jesus Book by Stephen Elkins quite some time ago from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze blogging opportunity. It was delightful to dig up my copy of this book again and page through it.

The book is designed to answer children's questions about Jesus and Christianity, without watering down the information too much. It also does not go over their heads, as long as you control how you present the book to the child. At the top of each section there is a short sentence that introduces a concept about Jesus. For younger children, this suffices as it gives them some vocabulary. Following each little bit, such as "John the Baptist said Jesus was The Lamb of God," there is a bible verse reference as well as a more detailed explanation. These more detailed explanations are more appropriate for older children. However, an adult reading this book with a younger child could use those explanations as a foundation for discussion.

My copy of the book was accompanied by a CD with 30 songs for children. Listening to that CD reminded me of my childhood. My sister and I were a part of our church's youth choirs and put on annual performances.

I would use this book with children starting in the 5-7 year-old age range. Independent readers are going to enjoy reading the information, but may come to you with questions. Otherwise, again, it is a great conversation tool. It is not a book that is meant to be read all at once.

You can preview part of the book here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Things That Twirl

I came across the book Things That Twirl as I was perusing the free Kindle books on Amazon. It is a short rhyming story that is written, edited and illustrated by Eric Demont Smith. In the story, a little boy named Billy Joe goes to the zoo on a school trip. He encounters a variety of animals, each character doing its own little twirl or dance of excitement throughout.

It is definitely a cute story. The flow of the rhyming words actually works and does not seem forced. The illustrations look like they were made by a young child. That being said, it leaves me a little confused as to whether Eric Smith is a child or an adult. The words indicate a much older child or an adult.

Regardless, it is a cute story to share with children. He says in the introduction that it is a song as well as a nursery rhyme. Unfortunately, there is no music to accompany it. You could possibly come up with your own tune.

I read the book on my Kindle Cloud reader on my laptop. I then skimmed it on the Kindle app on my Droid. The formatting on the Droid is better in that the words and pictures are on separate pages. It seems off on the laptop. This indicates one of the reasons that I do not like to read picture books as ebooks.

I actually wish that there were more pictures than the two that are included with the story. A picture book begs for more. But it would be fun to share the story with children and to encourage them to create their own illustrations for it. They could even try to write about their own trip to the zoo.