Randall GoodgameGood Book Company / 2020 / HardcoverOur Price$9.493.5 out of 5 stars for Jesus and the Very Big Surprise. View reviews of this product. 3 Reviews
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Courtney2 Stars Out Of 5Falls Short UnfortunatelyJune 6, 2022CourtneyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 2I wanted to love this book. I have a few others in this series (my favorites being The Storm that Stopped and The One O'Clock Miracle--both fabulous) so I was pretty excited for this one to come in.
On first read through I immediately noticed the lack of continuity. It spends 15 of 31 pages retelling the somewhat obscure parable of Luke 12:35-38. Those pages land in the middle of the book, really breaking up the flow. It would have been better if the book focused entirely on the surprise theme or entirely on the parable instead of making the book half and half. The surprise theme also doesn't feel like it really flows because you kind of lose track of that idea once the story starts Also, the story pages are muted to distinguish them as a parable, taking away from the vibrancy typical of this series.
The other reason we'll be returning the book is that the theme of "surprise" ends up depicting Jesus as unpredictable. As my husband pointed out, even though there was an element of surprise to US with who Jesus was and how he lived, He had foretold His coming, and was regularly sharing His character. It was us that had a hard time putting the pieces together and expected something different. I bought the book because I saw a preview. I liked how the first four pages highlighted the surprising element of the king of kings coming as a baby in a stable (now that WAS a surprise), but the next two pages say:
"When Jesus grew up and stated preaching and teaching, he surprised people all the time. One of his very favorite ways to surprise people was by telling them stories about what God is really like. Some people thought God was always angry. Some people thought God was a trickster who liked to make bad things happen. And some people thought God didn't care about them at all. Of course, Jesus knew exactly what God was like. So he told a story about God's love in a way that would surprise EVERYBODY... even you. [Insert 15 pages of parable which is the only other example of "surprise" in the book]"
While it's true people were surprised, we just felt like the tone of this book was unhelpful for us to share with children. And I didn't like that it painted people as only being ignorant or surprised to who God was, as if there hadn't been an entire OT revelation of God before the arrival of Jesus.
I don't tend to write reviews but I know they are helpful to me when I'm looking at kids' books so I thought I'd write one in case our thoughts are helpful to someone else in their decision making.
Author Elijah Buchan5 Stars Out Of 5Simply PutSeptember 23, 2020Author Elijah BuchanI love this simply put story of Christ and His servitude
Rebecca ManeyGastonia, North CarolinaAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Beautifully Written!September 4, 2020Rebecca ManeyGastonia, North CarolinaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5What a lovely reminder that Jesus demonstrated His great love for us by serving, and while we wait for His return, there are many things that we can do to get ready!
Beautifully written with captivating imagery.
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