Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Flowering Cross

The Flowering Cross is a precious story about the love of Christ. Written by Beth Ryan and illustrated by Renee Graef, this book shows how a little girl's love for a seemingly grouchy man allowed him to see the love that was shown to him on the cross.

We meet Katie on Easter morning as she jumps out of bed excited about the flowering of the cross that was going to take place at their church that day. She and her family had befriended their neighbor, a man that all the other children were afraid of because he was so grumpy. Katie and her brother Nolan endeared themselves to this man, and became so close to him that they began to call him Papa Jack. Papa Jack grew the most beautiful flowers in town, and he allowed Katie and Nolan to pick them.

Up until today, when Katie's family had invited Papa Jack to go to church with her, he had refused. But when she arrived at his door all ready to pick flowers for her church service, Papa Jack was all dressed and ready to go with her!

On the way to church, Katie shared the love of Christ with Papa Jack and how He died on the cross so that we can have eternal life. She told Papa Jack that the children in their church would put flowers on a wooden cross at church to show their thanks to Jesus for what He had done for them. Papa Jack was so touched as he thought of Christ's love, and the love that his neighbors had shown him.

Papa Jack came to Christ that day, went home, and made his own flowering cross. It became the centerpiece at Katie's house for Easter dinner that day. He started to show kindness to the neighborhood children, and picking flowers in his garden became a Easter tradition for the entire neighborhood.

What I Like: The gospel message is so simple that indeed a child can understand it. I love the simplicity of this book, but the message of salvation is very clear. One of the things that I like best about the format of this book is that on almost every page, there is a Faith Imprint and a verse. For example, on the page where Katie's mother tells her to get up and take a bath on Easter morning, the Faith Imprint says: "Share how Katie did what her mother told her to do." The accompanying verse is Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents the way the Lord wants. This is the right thing to do." (International Children's Bible) The illustrations are soft and as touching as the story is. Another thing I like is that although the cross is used as a symbol in this book, the emphasis is put on what Christ did for His people.

What I Dislike: I don't dislike anything about this book.

Overall Rating: Excellent

Age Appeal: 4-8

Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2010; ISBN:1400315379 ; Hardcover,32 PGS., $12.99

Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $9.99.

OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $5.20.

Get the Kindle edition for $7.99.

Special Info: Find more Easter books we've reviewed here.

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