Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jesus, God's Only Son

Jesus, God's Only Son is a Level 2 (Reading with help) book in Zonderkidz "I Can Read!" series. It begins with Jesus praying in the garden then re-tells -- with age-appropriate details --the accounts of His arrest, crucifixion, resurrection and accession.
The tone of the book focuses much on Jesus' friends: how they wanted to help Him when He carried the cross, how they cared for His body at the tomb and how happy they were to discover He was alive. The last page includes readers in this friendship by telling them that Jesus is always watching over them and that they will one day meet Him in Heaven. The illustrations by Dennis G. Jones feature a comic-like style that instantly attracts young readers. Bold lines and bright colors typify the expressive characters.
What I Like: This book is very attractive. My kids were instantly drawn to it. As with every book in the "I Can Read!" series, this one features the perfect spacing and font size for beginning and emerging readers. The sentences are short. The text includes a combination of familiar words to build confidence and new words to expand vocabulary and reading skills.
What I Dislike: This book leaves a lot of questions unanswered. It says "God's son Jesus was working hard" but never says what He was doing or what kind of work engaged Him. It explains that Jesus died and rose from the dead, but never explains why. It tells readers they will someday meet Jesus in Heaven, but doesn't say how or when. I wish the book offered more answers.
The illustrations clearly exhibit great skill, but the style detracts from the text. They inspire more humor than reverence. My kids were far more interested in Jesus' disproportionately huge hands and feet than in the message behind the story. The drawing of a muscle-bound, beefcake-like angel with flowing blonde curls cracked up my kids. They thought it was hysterical! That's not exactly the desired reaction when reading about the resurrection.
Overall Rating: Good.
Age Appeal: 4-7
Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2010; ISBN: ; Paperback; 32 pages; $3.99
Buy it Now at Christianbook.com for $3.49!
OR Buy it at Amazon.com for $3.99.
Special Info: Jesus is pictured throughout this book in the illustrations. See our reviews of other books in the "I Can Read!" series.

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