The Miracles of Jesus
The sense of awe and joy Jesus live evokes is succinctly captured for young children in The Miracles of Jesus by Tracy Harrast. Five of Jesus acts are brightly illustrated on two-page spreads and described in simple, succinct prose approximately two paragraphs of text for each story. In addition to the relation of the event, a spiritual application statement is also included.For each story all of the applicable verse references are given whether the event is described in a single gospel or all four, an excellent feature that few Christian childrens titles include. With two pages for each story, the resulting ten pages seem rather brief for a picture book, thankfully there is an additional feature which compensates for this brevity.Each of Estelle Corkes illustrations are filled with light and jewel-toned colours (excepting Jesus Walks on Water, a night scene). The uniformly cheerful spreads are each accompanied by a turning wheel that reveals an aspect of the miracles scene while adding lively motion to each story. When your child turns the wheel the water turns to wine before her eyes, the waves roll, fish and bread appear in baskets, and a coin appears in the mouth of a large fish. Young readers between the recommended ages of three and five years will be captivated. My middle-daughter was captivated as a two-year-old, and my six-year-old is still interested. Thankfully the board-book format has proved to be reliably durable during its rigorous, in-home testing process regardless of the childs age.Parents seeking a simple, light-hearted way to introduce a small selection of Jesus miracles to little ones will be delighted to see their children returning to this title again and again.
April 15, 2009
Although many Christian parents express interest in finding more picture books detailing the New Testament, there tends to be an inherent problem with such books: They often bore young children. However, Tracy Harrast's "The Miracles of Jesus" addresses this problem head-on and comes up with a creative solution.The basic idea of the book is simple enough: Tell brief (two or three paragraph) versions of five of Jesus' miracles in easy, kid-friendly language. But the book doesn't stop there. Estelle Corke's illustrations add color and interest to the stories. But it's the publisher's addition of a spinning wheel on each page that really makes this book a favorite among toddlers and preschoolers.Each two-page spread includes some feature that moves when the child turns a simple, sturdy wheel on the side of the page. For example, we see moving water poured into jars to make wine, the whipping of the ocean before Jesus calms it, Jesus' legs moving as he walks across the lake, bread and fish multiply in baskets, and a coin appear and disappear from a fish's mouth. It's a simple and effective way to get small children more involved in the stories of Jesus.To add to the book's effectiveness, each story includes a notation about where in the Bible parents can find the miracle, plus a one sentence summary to help young children get the "meat" from the story. For example, in the story of the wind and waves obeying Jesus, the author writes: "Jesus is stronger than anything we fear."What I Like: I think this book is an excellent introduction to the miracles of Jesus. My three year old loves moving the wheels in the book, and is really beginning to remember each story well. I also appreciate the one sentence summaries, which help me help my child get "take away value" from each story.What I Dislike: Nothing. Overall Rating: Excellent. Kristina SeleshankoManaging EditorChristian Children's Book Review( www dot CCBReview at blogspot dot com )
September 24, 2008