Saturday, May 28, 2011
God’s Spirit in the Heart of Every Child, written by Michele Zink Harris, is a collection of three short stories. The first story focuses on searching for God. A young boy looks in a dictionary, behind seats, and in the sky but cannot see God. Then he discovers God’s spirit within his own heart… and soon sees God everywhere. The second story encourages children to be the person God created them to be and to use their skills to serve him. In the story, a father talks to his daughter about the “Bird of Inspiration”—or the Holy Spirit—who guides us toward our life purpose. The third story explores giving everything to Christ. The book tackles these big concepts in a simple straightforward manner, almost like a conversation between a wise parent and a child.
The illustrations, done by Don Collins, remind me somewhat of the old “Dick and Jane” storybook pictures! However, a variety of ethnicities are represented, giving the book wide cultural appeal. The people look friendly and joyful.
After each story, the author provides story discussion Scripture verses and passes on a few tidbits of wisdom. For example, after the first story, the author writes, “Once you realize you are created in God’s image and you spend time understanding His word and His walk, then you will begin to see His image in other people. When we can do this, it is easier to love, and to encourage, to respect, and to care for each other. We also can see God’s hand more easily in all creation.”
This book provides parents with a great tool to teach their children about what it means to have a relationship with God. It gets straight to the heart of trust, obedience, and truth, but does so in a way children can better understand what having that kind of commitment to God will look like.
There is a lot of text and a lot of "idea" to digest in this book. Consider reading each story on its own to help your child fully assimilate the deep Spiritual concepts.
What I Like: I was surprised at how well the author broke these complex ideas into more easily grasped pieces. I like the inclusion of Scripture verses and the clarity of vision the author has for the stories. I would have liked to have this book on hand when my children started asking questions about accepting Christ into their hearts.
What I Dislike: Nothing really, other than the pictures holding an old-fashioned feel. But I think readers will find this book is less of a story than a resource… or perhaps a “conversation” for kids truly seeking God is a better word. It’s something I’d use to help my kids understand what it means to serve God or know God, but not a story I’d use to entertain them.
Overall Rating: If used as a Spiritual tool, Excellent. If viewed as a straight-up story, Good. I guess that averages into Very Good!
Age Appeal: No age is listed, but I think it would be best suited for the 4-8, possibly up to 12 year old age group.
Publisher Info: CreateSpace, 2010; ISBN:978-1450546560; Paperback, 50 PGS., $12.95
This book is not available at Christianbook.com.