The story starts with Jesus growing up and listening to the teachers in the synagogue. Later, as an adult, he goes to teach and preach around the country. During this time, he meets some fishermen, Simon being mentioned first. After preaching to a crowd from a boat, Jesus directs Simon to cast his nets into the sea as he will catch many fish. Simon doesn’t believe him, but he does as instructed anyway, and indeed catches more fish than his nets can hold.
Shortly after this time, Jesus invites Simon and three of his fishermen friends (Andrew, James and James’ brother John) to be his disciples. He chooses eight others, but they are not named in the book.
As they journey around the country, they travel mainly by boat as it is the most efficient means of travel. One time when they are all in a boat together, a huge storm rages around them. All the disciples are afraid, but Jesus calmly tells the winds and the waves to be still, and they are. Jesus chastises his friends for their lack of faith.
The book ends with the disciples wondering amongst themselves: “Who can Jesus be? How can he do miracles like this?”
The oil painting illustrations by Estelle Corke are colorful and expressive.
What I Like: I like the illustrations.
What I Dislike: Although the story is a good one, the text narrative is a bit disjointed and choppy, making the storyline somewhat difficult to follow. Also, with the way the book ended, I hope there is another book written to pick up where this one left off.
Overall Rating: Good.
Age Appeal: 4-8.
Publisher Info: Lion Children’s Books, 2009; ISBN: 9780825478338; Hardback, $5.95.
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