So Great A Love, by Kristie Wilde
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Book Crash. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
From time to time I review children’s books, although it is probably some of the more unusual writing I engage in , and it never ceases to amaze me the sort of effort that goes into providing education through texts to children. Because one tends to associate children with people who need to be taught, just about any writing that is directed to youth is assumed to contain some kind of pedagogical purpose, whether it is intentional or not. This book at least manages to makes its purpose plain and it serves as an effort in reminding or informing children of the love that their Father in heaven has for them. As might be imagined, this is a subject of some poignancy for us, as it is easiest for children to understand our Father’s love for us if we have the love and affection of our earthly fathers, something that is far too often not the case for young children in our contemporary society. In fact, this is the sort of book that would be best read by a father to his child who is sitting on his lap.
The contents of the book are, as one might expect, very straightforward but no less worthwhile for that. Most of the pages of the book consist of short and simple sentences that express the breadth and depth of God’s love by making some sort of use of a metaphor related to creation. This makes sense given that the book is part of the author’s “Joyful Creation Series,” which from this book at least looks like an immensely enjoyable collection of books with biblical quotations and gorgeous photos. Most of the expressions of God’s love in this book are taken directly from scripture, like Jesus’ statement that he wished to gather the people of Jerusalem up like little chickens in His wings, but they were not willing, and the artwork here is really superb, whether the illustrations are of a mother and baby koala bear or of camels frolicking in the desert, or of young birds being shielded from the crashing waves and fierce storms in a high aerie. The end of the book contains the author making direct reference to a variety of scriptures that express God’s love in its various dimensions, likely as a way of informing the reader that the words of the book are not merely her own words but God’s words.
To be sure, this book is not the last word of God’s love. The issue of theodicy, and the need for us to justify God’s love in the face of the storms and trials of life, require books far longer and far more complex than this one to deal with the subject in its totality. That said, this certainly does make an excellent first book on God’s love, one that is best read in the context of a loving and intact family. It is one thing to teach the truths of God in writing, but we humans are best suited to learn when the context reinforces the message that is being sent. Being a part of a loving and whole family is what is implied by the references to so many loving animal families which serve as metaphors for the love of God for us. The clear and distinct message of this book is best served by the animal families being reinforced by loving human families which all serve to educate and encourage a child about the love of the family of God. This book certainly encourages the reader to look into this series more for both the quality of the artwork as well as the quality of the message of the book.
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