In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve a good life with only one restriction: they could not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and Evil. A sneaky serpent, however, questioned God’s instructions. He convinced Eve that God had lied and that she and Adam were foolish for obeying Him. Eve ate the fruit, then passed it to Adam who also ate. Immediately they noticed their nakedness and ran to hide. When God called for them, they blamed each other and the snake for their disobedience. God showed them their new home outside the garden and set angels to guard the entrance. Then he gave them a big promise:
”One day I will send My own special Son to love and forgive all of sin. And He will have victory over this death so Satan can no longer win.”
The story concludes with a picture of the Nativity, the fulfillment of this great promise. The last page of the book offers a note to parents that explains the story further and offers suggestions to help children understand.
This book was illustrated by Joe Van Severen. Full of interest, high contrast and color, they present a fresh look at the familiar story. Please note that the last illustration shows the face of Jesus as an infant.
What I Like: I really like the tie-in to Jesus’ birth and the fulfillment of God’s promise in the Garden. The illustrations are not my favorite, but they are colorful and my kids like them. I do like the illustration of the angels guarding the entrance to the garden. It emphasizes a detail often overlooked in this story.
What I Dislike: The rhyme is forced and, in some places, simply doesn’t work well. More importantly, though, is the encouragement given in the editor's note to parents: “Stress the fact that God does not punish us for our sin.” The text emphasizes Jesus' atonement for sin once and for all. What the editor failed to mention is that we must believe in Jesus in order to have His blood cover our sins. Without personally and individually accepting His gift of salvation, all are condemned to death and an eternal punishment for sin. This truth, however, is never mentioned.
Overall Rating: The text by itself, I would rate "Good." However, my rating drops to "Poor" when the text is coupled with the editor's note. The misrepresentation of the Gospel is a grievous error.
Age Appeal: 5-9, but my 4-year-old liked it more than my 5-year-old.
Publisher Info: Concordia Publishing House, 2004; ISBN: 0758606184; Paperback; $2.49
Buy it at Amazon.com for $2.49.