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Culture Children's Books
Machowski’s 224-page picture book is a kid-friendly introduction to the study of God. Machowski includes familiar stories (such as Christ’s death and resurrection), but his presentation of God’s character through clever, humorous essays—with titles like “The Ology of Creation”—sets this book apart. Andy McGuire’s illustrations complement the classic-with-a-twist text: For instance, an ice cream cone with worms sticking out memorably depicts the sinfulness of man. Reformed in its perspective, The Ology will appeal to Christian families of many stripes.
The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross
From the Garden of Eden to the New Jerusalem, this bold and brightly illustrated picture book uses just 32 pages to walk kids through the entire biblical story. Catalina Echeverri’s vibrant illustrations, which include some images of Christ, complement Laferton’s playful text. She uses an image of angels blocking Eden’s entrance—described in the text as a “Do Not Enter” sign—and repeats it elsewhere in the book. This visual repetition along with simple, relatable storytelling make the book a powerful introduction to biblical typology and Christ’s restoration of fellowship between God and man.
God’s Good News Bible Storybook
Beautiful acrylic art. Bible stories told using the actual words of Scripture. Simple notes from Billy Graham expounding the text. These three pieces fit together to make this story Bible especially respectful toward God’s Word and suitable for readers of all ages. Editors who selected Graham’s writings balance themes and topics, including the number of male and female characters. Like Graham himself, the book focuses on the “good news” of the gospel—inviting readers to repent, trust Christ, and grow more like Him. Scott Wakefield’s illustrations, which include images of Jesus, are warm and colorful, occasionally depicting familiar Bible stories in fresh ways.
7 Days of Awesome: A Creation Tale
This picture book wasn’t written by Dr. Seuss but certainly feels inspired by him. Rhyming text and silly phrasing set a boisterous tone (“And LOOK! What a hoot! Today, God made fruit!”), while a madcap professor (we’re never told his name) leads us through the seven days of Creation. This isn’t detailed science, and the approach is certainly derivative: Even the helicopter seems similar to the Cat in the Hat’s helicopter. Still, the book has just enough fun and originality to capture kids’ imagination—and to keep parents smiling when they’re asked to read it again.
While traditional Easter lilies quickly fade, picture book Lily: The Girl Who Could See (Oxvision, 2015) is a lasting gift option for Christian families. Its subject, Lilias Trotter, studied art under the famous critic John Ruskin during the Victorian Age. Yet Trotter’s love for Christ and passion for the poor led her to choose mission work in Algeria over artistic fame.
Although author Sally Oxley chose not to use Trotter’s own artwork and words, the story and illustrations work well. Christian readers will appreciate Trotter’s example of humility, and they will be encouraged that in her life (as in their own) gifts sacrificed to God are never wasted.
Families with older kids may want to check out the March DVD release of a documentary on Trotter’s life, Many Beautiful Things. —Megan Saben