Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adam & Eve, God's First People

As part of their "I Can Read!" series, Zonderkidz has added Adam & Eve, God's First People, with illustrations by Dennis G. Jones. A Level 2 book ("reading with help") this delightfully illustrated volume does a good job retelling the story of creation.

The book begins when "everything was dark" and "God was all by himself." Then he makes light, water, ground, plants, and so on. "It was all very good." Finally, God makes a man called Adam and a woman named Eve and "everything was very, very good." God gives Adam and Eve a perfect garden (called Eden) to live in. "There was only one rule: Don't eat from the tree of good and evil."

All is well until one day a snake slithers into the garden, succeeds in some trickery: Eve and Adam both eat the fruit from the tree of good and evil. Suddenly, the two realize things aren't perfect any more. They hear God coming and try to hide from him, but end up having to admit their sin.
"God told Adam and Eve to leave Eden. They couldn't live there because of sin. But God had a plan. His son, Jesus, would come to earth and save us from sin."

What I Like: Jones' illustrations are wonderful. They have a humorous feel much of the time and are colorful and engaging. This is also the best recounting of Adam and Eve I've read for children; the author (who isn't credited) explains sin and - unlike some retellings of this story - reminds us God was already planning to send a Savior to earth.

What I Dislike: I'm bothered by the statement that God was alone before he created the earth. The Bible says "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." (Gen. 1:26), which most Bible agree means Jesus and the Holy Spirit were with him. John 1: 1-2 also says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Jesus] was in the beginning with God." The Bible also says God called all his creation "good" and didn't call anything "very good" until he made people. Otherwise, however, I think this book is a great choice.

Overall Rating: Despite the problems mentioned above, I give this title a rating of Very Good.

Age Appeal: 4 to 8.

Publishing Info: Zonderkidz , 2010; ISBN: 978-0310718833; paperback, $3.99

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Special Info: Read our reviews of other books by Dennis G. Jones.

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