Books for Kids, Teens and Families…

There are some great kids books out there, it’s important that we invest the same amount of time finding them sound books that are based on the Bible and point them to Jesus as we would for ourselves. Here are a few of the books I’ve been sent recently for kids, teens and families…

For kids…

Wherever You Go, I Want You to Know by Melissa Kruger

In this short book for little ones, Melissa Kruger speaks about dreams that we all have. Children may dream to be doctors, astronaughts, firefighters, farmers, cooks or whatever their wee creative minds can think of. But every parent’s wish and prayer for their child is that they would know Christ. This book ends by explaining the gospel and how children can believe and live with Jesus. Great wee book for small children.

God – the Best Father by Catherine Mackenzie

In this board book for small children, Catherine teaches about who God is. With any book for children there will be limitations. The book focuses more on what God did in sending Jesus rather than on who God is. I think that Christian Focus publish some great books for kids, but I personally wasn’t a huge fan of this one.

Mary – the Best Girl by Catherine Mackenzie

In this little board book Catherine teaches children about Mary, the mother of Jesus. This book highlights how Mary was a normal girl who got things wrong but she gave birth to the only perfect one; Jesus. I guess for small this would be good, I wonder if it might be a bit confusing though as it says that Mary is normal but also that she is special.

God Made Me AND You by Shai Linne

It is so important that we teach our children that every person is made in the image of God regardless of their kind colour, their class or their background. I think that this is a great wee book to help with that. It starts off with a typical day in class but two bullies make fun of people, particularly one boy for the colour of his skin. Then Linne (through the voice of the teacher) starts to teach about the importance of seeing every person as being made in the image of God. Here’s one of the lines that I loved…

“What some call ethnicity and others call race, We should celebrate as a gift of God’s grace.”

There’s also a helpful section at the back of this short book called “Six Ways to Help Your Child Appreciate God’s Design for Ethnic Diversity”. It’s a bit on the pricey side for a children’s book, but I think it’s worth it.

So, What is the Church? by Carine Mackenzie

I think that it’s important to teach children from a young age about Jesus and the Bible, so I picked up this book with some excitement. Christian Focus suggest that this book can be read to 4-6 year olds and read independently by 7-8 years olds. This books does a good job of teaching that the church is not a building and that a person can worship God wherever with as many or as few numbers, the place is not important. I have two ‘criticisms’ of the book;
1) It’s a bit jumpy.
It speaks of Paul and Silas in prison, of Ezra and Nehemiah, about worshipping and the role of a preacher, the widow with 2 small coins, baptism and communion, Paul’s time in Philippi, Philip and the Ethiopian.
2) The Illustration.
One of the key things with books for children is to make them attractive and accessible. Personally, I don’t think that the illustrations in this book are attractive and would draw a child’s eye to read it.

For pre-teens and teens…

There are two more editions to the Trail Blazers series, one on the life of Maud Kells and one on John & Betty Stam.

Maud Kells – Fearless in the Forest by Jean Gibson

This is an accessible book that can be read to 8-9 year olds and read independently by 9-14 year olds according to the publisher. Getting children to know the stories of saint who have done wonderful things for the Kingdom of God is important. This book will help! Maud Kells left her home in Northern Island to the Democratic Republic of Congo. This book tells the story of how even in difficulties and political upheaval, Maud stood firm in the Lord and trusted Him. If you’re an adult I’d recommend you buy her book An Open Door or buy the two of them here at a reduced price.

John & Betty Stam – To Die Is Gain by Rachel Lane

This is a story of tragedy and trust, a story of great sacrifice but a secured hope in Jesus and the gospel. You’ll hear the story of how a young couple felt called to go to China and be missionaries there. Their lives were not easy, there were times of stress and pain, but the Lord sustained them ad carried them through. This would be a good book for teens to see what the Lord can do in someones life.

Dig Into Matthew by Chris Ranson

This is designed for teenagers, but regardless of how old you are you’d enjoy it! Chris Ranson is very gifted at illustrating the Bible in a way that compliments the text and doesn’t distract from it. Each page is jam packed with action as Chris walk through the Gospel of Matthew, unpacking the big themes, expounding the text and asking reflection questions. Seriously, stop reading this little review and just go buy the book. Trust me, you’ll love it!

For families…

All Together Now by Awesome Cutlery

Family devotions are important because they set gosply routines in place and they show children how their parents love the Lord’s Word. In this set of family devotions you’ll find prayers, ice-breaking questions, Bible verses, text related questions and challenges for the whole family. Awesome cutlery have produced some great material to help children, and the whole family, engage more with God’s Word. This booklet is just another edition to that. I would highly recommend it to families.

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