Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Walking the Plank to the Baptism Tank

If you know a child who'd like to be baptized, but is a little nervous about the process, Walking the Plank to the Baptism Tank by Mike Thaler makes an excellent gift.

In his silly, puny style, Thaler shows a young boy who is afraid to get baptized because he's heard the tank is deep, dark, and cold. In the accompanying illustration by Jared Lee, we see an enormous tank with pieces of monster-like creatures peeping out here and there. But, our hero decides, "life without Jesus is even deeper, darker, and colder," so he'll get baptized anyway.

He wonders if he'll need snorkeling gear for his dunking, and whether the pastor will dress like a pirate and walk him off a plank. He hopes a lifeguard will be present, but then remembers his mom says "God is our lifeguard, and He's always on duty twenty-four hours a day."

He remembers that God parted the waters for the Isrealites and that Jesus walked on water...then wonders if any of that would work for him. He wishes the pastor would just sprinkle water on him, instead of dunking him.

The Sunday of his baptism, there's a line of kids before him. He's glad everyone "seems to be coming out all right." Finally, it's his turn...and the tank isn't so deep, dark, and cold. "Is that all? Hey, can I do a double dip? Can I stay in for a while and splash around?" he wonders. When he exits the tank, he feels "clean and new. It's like a Laudromat for the spirit." Maybe he'll take up swimming and win an Olympic gold medal, because "anything is possible with God."
What I Like: Thaler and Lee have a real gift for making topics that could be boring lots of fun, and their work in Walking the Plank is no exception. Although this book isn't as funny as some as this team's other titles, it's plenty lighthearted, and the illustrations are filled with silly details and fun dialogue in bubbles. This is a terrific book for kids who will soon be baptized.
What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 4 - 8
Publishing Info: Zonderkidz, 2009; ISBN: 978-0310715948; paperback, $4.99
Buy Now at ChristianBook.com for $3.99
OR buy at Amazon.com for $4.99
Special Info: Read our other reviews of Mike Thaler and Jered Lee's books.

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