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Seven Good Books for Kids (and Their Grown-Ups)

December 9, 2016

It’s a great day for Christian children’s literature. Theologically sound authors are joining forces with incredible illustrators to create books for kids with the truth, stimulation, and whimsy necessary to reach a child’s heart and mind.

Part of my wonderful job is to find the best ones. Here are seven of my new favorites. Each one is Scripturally grounded with strong gospel threads. And they’re just plain fun to read!

1. Words about God to Help You Worship Him

(Written and illustrated by Nicholas Choy)

This is a great little book. Each page displays a word that describes God, a short rhyme to creatively depict the word, and an explanation of what the word says about God. At the bottom of each page is a list of Scripture verses where that attribute of God can be found. Most impressively, the author manages to define “aseity” (the complete independence of God from his creation) in terms of ants and elephants.

2. The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden

(Written by Kevin DeYoung and illustrated by Don Clark)

DeYoung is indisputably as gifted in writing for children as he is in writing for grown-ups. With strikingly beautiful illustrations, this book is categorically a storybook Bible…with a twist. Jesus is portrayed as the Snake Crusher while DeYoung unfolds redemptive history like a fairytale. Adults will recognize the Scripture-rich language as kids are drawn into the beautiful truth of God’s big story.

3. The Christmas Promise

(Written by Alison Mitchell and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri)

The first in The Good Book Company’s Tales That Tell The Truth series, this book portrays the nativity in its truest form – the fulfillment of God’s biggest promise. Jesus is presented as the prophesied King, but not the kind of king God’s people expected. He is “a new King, a rescuing King, a forever King.”

4. The One O’Clock Miracle

(Written by Alison Mitchell and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri)

The second in the Tales That Tell The Truth series, this is a wonderful retelling of John’s account of Jesus healing the official’s son. Told from the official’s perspective, the reader is captivated by a man’s encounter with the Son of God as he seeks to save his own son. Alongside Echeverri’s whimsical illustrations, Mitchell teaches that Jesus is our great Healer and that his Word is truth.

5. The Storm That Stopped

(Written by Alison Mitchell and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri)

On the last page of each book in the Tales That Tell The Truth series, there is a “How do we know?” section. This shows the reader where to find the story in the Bible and also hits home the big idea of the story. In this recounting of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4, children find the answer to the biggest question: Who is Jesus? Like the disciples in the boat, kids will clearly see that Jesus is the Son of God.

6. The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross

(Written by Carl Laferton and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri)

This book is magical. As the title suggests, Laferton and Echeverri combine talents to tell the story of redemption in three pictures – a perfect garden, a giant curtain, and a lonely cross. Big theological concepts are beautifully communicated to young minds as all three pictures are revealed as God’s good gifts to his sinful people. The Old and New Testaments are threaded together in their true intention with Jesus standing at the center as our great High Priest.

7. The Radical Book For Kids

(Written by Champ Thornton)

I am overwhelmed by the pure genius that is this book. It’s the holy grail of Christian children’s literature. It is systematic theology, apologetics, church history, Christian living, and doctrine all rolled into 67 standalone chapters fit for 8 – 14 year-olds. Writing that seeks to be this comprehensive, especially when geared toward children, is almost always too broad to be clear and too academic to be compelling. Not so with Radical.

Throughout the book in its variety of subjects, Thornton presents the gospel in countless ways, all pointing to the authority and sufficiency of Jesus Christ. He seamlessly introduces kids to legends of the faith like Augustine, explains how Jesus fulfilled each of the five types of Old Testament offerings, and tells us what to do once we figure out that parents aren’t perfect.

Radical is also as versatile as it is brilliant. Each chapter could easily source a family devotion. It can be read independently. And it would make a phenomenal resource for homeschooling.

Consider adding one or all of these books to your child’s library. They will stir a fascination with God’s Word and with God, himself, in your child’s heart (and yours).

The Author
Caitlin Williams

Caitlin Williams serves as the director of children’s ministries at The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Northfield, Ill. She is a lover of good books, good conversation, and long naps.

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