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5 Stars Out Of 5
July 18, 2014
Hunt bases this story off of the very popular and favorite passage, Psalm 23. Each chapter highlights a specific verse/phrase from the passage. Psalm 23 is emphasized beautifully through the story of Sammy and the Good Shepherd.
Sammy is a happy sheep under the care of his Good Shepherd. He meets a sad, lonely and unhappy sheep living on the opposite side of the fence. Through a series of encounters and conversations, Sammy learns that his new friend belongs to a bad shepherd. Soon after, the Good Shepherd purchases Sammy's new friend, gives her a new name, "Precious", and she becomes a part of the flock. We then see how she learns to be part of her new flock.
Since Psalm 23 is inevitably assigned as a memory verse for most church-attending kids, this book is a fabulous supplemental resource. Each chapter allows children a different perspective that aids in comprehending the words they are learning from the passage. The story weaves in more theological truths than you would see in Psalm 23. For example, the friendship that develops between Sammy and his new friend tastefully encourages patience and evangelism.
Hunt also includes a "talking points" section at the end of each chapter to assist in further discussion of the principles learned. Each "talking point" includes the following portions: what the Bible tells us, something to talk about, and something to do.
Compared to the other children's books I've read from Reformation Trust, this one is much lengthier. At 60 pages long, it's definitely more suitable for elementary age kids than toddlers.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Sammy and His Shepherd reminds us that to be called Christ's Flock of Sheep is both accurate and wonderful. Accurate because we wander away, we aren't wise enough to know grass from a poisonous weed, we fall off of cliffs trying to get "better" grazing than in the safe pasture, and if we roll onto our back we cannot right ourselves without our Shepherd.
Wonderful because Jesus chose to carry us as a Shepherd carries His Sheep, and knowing a little bit about the many ways a Good Shepherd cares for His flock gives us a tiny glimpse into Christ's care for us.
Sammy and His Shepherd is a long children's book- 60 pages and every page beautiful. At the end Child-on-the-right said "It's OVER?!!!" She did not want Sammy's story to end.
Sammy is a little sheep whom the Good Shepherd bought when he was sick. The Shepherd prayed for Sammy and cared for him tenderly. Sammy was restored to health and the Shepherd named him Samuel "Heard of God" because God heard His prayers. The name was a sign of the Shepherd's Love, and the fact that Sammy has a name at all is surprising to a little thin sheep in the next pasture. The thin little sheep has no name and lives in a dirty, dry pasture.
Sammy lives in green pastures beside still waters and has plenty because of his Good Shepherds care. "Early morning was Sammy's favorite time of the day. The air was crisp, the grass was yummy, and everything was still as the night softly melted into day. Sammy called it his quiet time. He liked to use the time to think about all of his blessings. "
The little Sheep doesn't think she has any blessings, except for Sammy, who calls her My Friend and talks to her every day. When it is time for the Good Shepherd to take His flock to summer grazing, My Friend is so desperate that she tries to follow them, and gets stuck in a fence.
Just as the evil shepherd is about to beat My Friend with his staff for trying to escape, the Good Shepherd frees her from the fence and buys her from the evil shepherd. Then he carries this sick, dirty, nameless sheep home.
"As he walked, the shepherd whispered to My Friend. 'Now you belong to me,' he said. 'The only way you could become part of my flock was for me to redeem youÃ¢â¬âto buy you. But now you are mine. No one can ever take you away from me. I will never leave you, and I will always lead you on good paths.
Now,' he grinned, 'what shall I name you?'"
The Good Shepherd names her Precious, and she begins to learn what it is like to be part of the Good Shepherd's flock. This book follows Psalm 23, and my summary of it does not do it justice. These sixty pages contain truth after truth. This book will not disappoint.
"It takes time to learn to trust our shepherd," Sammy said with a smile. "The more you know him, the more you'll trust him. You'll even trust him when you don't understand what he's doing or why he's doing it."
Sammie and his Shepherd is an incredible children's book which creatively expounds Psalm 23. Hunt's writing style makes deep scriptural truth understandable for the even the youngest of children. Hunt uses Psalm 23 and explains deep doctrinal truths (e.g. New birth, the need for atonement, perseverance, perseveration, and salvation by faith alone apart from works) in an easy to read, picture friendly way. Hunt's pictures are very captivating and attractive to the eye, which helps children stay attentive to the message and bridges the gap between the image and word. Another attractive aspect of the book is that Hunt closes every chapter with a time to discuss the chapter. The discussion time is quiet helpful because it allows parents to ensure that their little ones are understanding all the material and the implications of the material. Hunt also aids the parents at the end of her book by giving discussion questions and scriptural references to the answers to these discussion questions. After breaking down the entire Psalm throughout the bookm, Hunt ends the book by quoting the entire passage. Hunt concludes by bringing to story back to its root and pointing it back to the scripture in which it is based upon. Sammy and his Shepherd not only teaches important doctrinal truths of scripture but it also instructs little children on how to apply these great truths of scripture (e.g. Loving you neighbor, the human responsibility and God's sovereignty, consequences for disobedience, and trusting in Lord and not leaning upon your own understanding). Sammy and his Shepherd is a wonderful story and aid for parents to teach their children scriptural truth in a simple/ applicable way.
What a sweet story! Sammy (a sheep) meets a new friend whose life isn't as great as his. Throughout the book, Sammy tells his friend how great his shepherd is, how he takes care of the flock, how he can trust him, etc. Each two-page chapter takes a sentence from Psalm 23 and uses Sammy's relationship with his shepherd to demonstrate our relationship with Christ.
Susan Hunt does a great job drawing the parallels between sheep and us. She clearly presents biblical principles and children will easily be able to understand the bigger message. Additionally a discussion guide for each chapter is provided at the end to help parents and teachers discuss the book with their kids. The illustrations by Cory Godbey are excellent as well.
I received a free copy of this book from Reformation Trust in exchange for my fair and honest review.