Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love is a book about a middle age couple, Willie Juan and Ana, who live in a small Mexican Village. They loved each other very much. Most of all, they loved God. Willie Juan and Ana, were unable to have children of their own, but they loved children dearly and always had a houseful of children from the village come to visit.
Willie Juan loved to ask the children questions and asked them one day, "Little friends, someday, when you are in Heaven, what do you think Abba will ask you?" This got the kids to thinking and a couple of the kids had a couple of very good questions.
I liked this book a lot for a couple of reasons. The main one is it is trying to show just how much God loves you. Not only do they show it through the couples love of children, but also in the conversations they have with the children. It does it in a way that younger children can understand it. Also, the illustrations in this book are beautiful. Very colorful and eye catching.
Overall, this is a very sweet book. My 6 year old and I loved reading it together. It will be a book that we will read often together.
Smack Dab in the Middle of God's Love by Brennan Manning and John Blase is a children book, which is meant for children age 4 and above. The book writes about God's Love to every one, and Willie Juan and Ana whom do not have any children, but having the neighbors' children visiting them and laugh together with them. Willie & Ana is also a loving couple where they stroll the market each day hand in hand. Despite not having any children, they are able to communicate and well accepted in the neighboring children. Willie named God as Abba, and he taught the visiting children God's Love is just endless.
When Willie asked what is one thing that the children think Abba will ask when they in heaven, one child has a fear that GOD must be BIG since he has endless love for everyone. Willie take time to explain that there should be no fear on GOD.
I shall say that this is a simple and good book to illustrate God's Love, since the wordings are easily understand. The book is also not too thick for a child to read.
Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love - Brennan Manning and John Blase
This is a story about a Mexican couple, Willie and Ana Juan, who don't have children of their own. However, they don't let that stop them from opening their home and hearts to the children in their village. While Ana makes sopapillas with the children, Willie tells them about God's love for each of them. Nicole Tadgell did an excellent job with illustrations; they're bright and cheery and add a distinct Mexican flavour.
I definitely recommend this beautiful and engaging book for all children. The story is simply written, so even young children would understand it, although it's probably geared for children between 3 - 9 years. The message about God's love is the focal point of the story and is illustrated in a variety of things little children can relate to: grandparents, animals, food, and people who love them, all of which are God's gifts to us. Furthermore, this Mexican couple are role models of what they're teaching; they not only talk about God's love -- they themselves demonstrate a kind and loving spirit in their interactions with the children.
I especially appreciated some of the delightful phrases: "Plop a little (honey) smack-dab in the middle." That made everything just honey-wonderful. Smack-Dab in the middle of God's Love,' is a great title -- a catchy little phrase that children will easily pick up on.
I love reading fun children's books, and Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love is definitely a fun book. Smack-Dab in the Middle of God's Love is the story of Willie Juan and his wife Ana. Although they don't have any children, their house is always filled with children from the neighborhood. The children enjoy the food, the company, their surroundings, and they enjoy learning about God from Willie Juan. Willie Juan, who is kind of like a second dad to all the children, calls God "Abba." I like that this book points out that relational view of God for children especially. The authors do a great job with the setting of this book, too. While the story could have taken place anywhere, the authors chose a little village in Mexico. The culture is tied in through bright colorful pictures and a plot that occasionally features an abuela or sopapillas or a burro.
I like that this book clearly shows children that God loves them. However, the text focuses on God's love as seen through things here on earth. While I agree that these items are indeed a manifestation of God's love, the book doesn't mention the greatest manifestation of God's love: the fact that He sent His son to die for our sins. The book is, however, a "cute" story that mentions that God love us, something that IS reassuring for children. I just think it should express that further. Additionally, the book mentioned that Willie Juan and Ana couldn't have any children. My seven year old asked the obvious question: "Why?" I wasn't really ready to have that conversation, so I wish the book would have simply said that they didn't have any children. I can, however, see the redemptive aspect of this in the fact that Willie Juan and Ana are always surrounded by children anyway.
All in all, I would say this is a cute book. It isn't deep and it doesn't mention the greatest feature of God's love for us, but it is still a fun book.
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