From time to time, we all need to be reminded that God didn't give us a spirit of fear. Children, especially, need help learning this, and Michelle Medlock Adams' I Will Not Be Afraid, is a great tool for this purpose.
Featuring colorful, impressionistic art by Jeremy Tugeau, this book begins by listing things that typically frighten young children: thunder and lightening, the dark, meeting new children, performing on stage, and the news (specifically news about wars). We see a little girl braving them all, as she explains that "I will not be afraid at all, 'cause I know God is there." She tells us God is in control of everything - even storms, the dark, and wars. She knows God loves her and that she can trust him. He's "bigger than anything." She says God didn't make her to be scared, but if she does feel that way, she just prays.
"'Cause even when my life is through,
I know just where I'll go.
I'll go to heaven up above -
and there's no fear up there.
I'll live forever with my Lord,
forever in his care...
I will not be afraid at all
because You are my Friend.
Your perfect love removes my fear,
and Your love has no end."
The last page of the book is a note to parents, suggesting they discuss specific things their children could be afraid of, then explain how to combat those fears with prayer. The author even includes a simple prayer that children can learn quickly and easily.
What I Like: There are many secular books about childhood fears, but none teach children why they should not be afraid (because God is in control) and how they can effectively combat fear (through prayer). I Will Not Be Afraid does both these things. I also appreciate that each two page spread features a scripture that not only backs up the author's assertions, but can be used as a memory verse. Too, Jeremy Tugeau's illustrations are delightful. In warm colors, he shows truly kid-like children doing things most any child can relate to.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 4 - 8, but my two year old loves this book, too.
Publishing Info: Concordia, 2008; ISBN: 0758613350; hardback, $14.99.
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