Sometimes Christian parents struggle to spiritualize pagan holidays and cultural events. This book is a great help for them.
Written by Diane Stortz and illustrated by Rusty Fletcher, Let's Shine Jesus' Light on Halloween follows a young boy as he celebrates this popular holiday. Certain traditions of Halloween are each countered by truths about God and supporting Bible verses. For example, the the first page offers a description of some spooky sights, then explains we don't need to be afraid because God has "overcome the world," (John 16:33).
The book also talks about carving smiling jack-o-lanterns (God's love makes us smile), wearing costumes (God knows everything about the 'real' us), using a flashlight to see in the dark (God's word is a lamp unto our feet), and receiving lots of treats (being friends with Jesus is the sweetest reward). The last page offers this prayer:
"Dear God, Even though Halloween is a lot of fun, sometimes it can be a little scary, too. I'm glad that Jesus is the light of the world. Thank you for always watching over me so I don't have to be afraid. Amen."
The illustrations are bright and friendly. They feature plenty of contrast. Please note that Jesus' face is pictured twice in a frame above the child's bed.
What I Like: I like how this book addresses the fear many children have around Halloween. We don't celebrate Halloween in our home, but our daughter (four years old) is very interested in it because all of her friends are. This book reminds her to trust in God even when she's afraid. Finally, I appreciate all the Bible verses. They are quoted in their entirety with references.
What I Dislike: The title is misleading. I borrowed this from the library expecting it to be about kid-friendly evangelism, how to use Halloween to witness to neighbors and friends. Instead it was about how to make Halloween more "Christian."
Overall Rating: Good.
Age Appeal: 3-5
Publisher Info: Standard Publishing, 2002; ISBN: 0784713820; Boardbook; $8.99