Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Just In Case You Ever Wonder

Just In Case You Ever Wonder is a delightful book by Max Lucado, illustrated by Toni Goffe. It follows a child from the very beginning, before she was born, filling her with reassurances of how special she is and how much she is loved by her parents and by God. It points to creation and the power of God in lines such as "The same hands that made the stars made you ... That's why you are so special." It points how the uniqueness every child possesses; the creative design of our heavenly Father. The text continues to explain God chose "just the right home" and parents for this child, "where you would be warm when it's cold, where you'd be safe when you're afraid, where you'd have fun and learn about heaven." As the child in the book grows, she is continually reminded how her parents will always love her and hug her. It ends with a wonderful, yet simple description of heaven.

What I Like: The text in this book is amazing! The author gives heartfelt descriptions that could not be more sentimental and filled with love. It offers sound theology; an excellent foundation of doctrine and security in God's existence, love and divine intervention throughout creation and life. I have yet to find another book that so well solidifies a child's individuality by purpose. Each child is unique -- different from all the rest -- and this is a wonderful thing! Mr. Lucado does a beautiful job teaching that truth in this book.

What I Dislike: The illustrations are so-so. Because the words are so touching, I would have preferred more vivid and detailed pictures as accompaniment. Also, the illustrations only show a girl - not a boy. It would be nice to have both genders featured.

Overall Rating: Good (I would like to give an Excellent for the text and a Ho-Hum for the illustrations, but ... overall: Good.)

Age Appeal: 3-7, but my children have loved this book since about 14 months of age

Publishing Info: Tommy Nelson Publishers, 2000; ISBN: 0849975093; board book; $6.99

Special Info: This book is also available in hardback for older children. The board book version (described here) is ideal for younger ones who are teething or a little rougher with their books.
~ Also, some readers have taken offense at the first illustration which shows a mother bottle-feeding a baby. They feel this gives an anti-breastfeeding message.
~ Finally, this may not be the best book for a child of a broken family. The text and illustrations both point to an in-tact and loving home with a mother and a father present and involved in the life of the child.

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