Jesus goes to Jerusalem for Passover and crowds cheer for him. He goes to the temple and tips over the stalls because "the Temple is a place to say prayers. It's not meant for all this cheating." Jesus' enemies begin talking about getting rid of him because he's "a troublemaker."
Next we see Jesus at the last supper - and Judas slipping away to betray him. When Jesus goes into a garden to pray, Judas bring soldiers to arrest Jesus. The priests say, "You teach all kinds of nonsense. Worse, you let people believe you are God's chosen king." "That's what you say," Jesus replies. Soon they take him to Pilate, who has him crucified. Before Jesus dies, he prays, "Father God, forgive them."
Jesus' friends bury him. The following Sunday, some of his friends go to his tomb and find it empty. Angels tell them Jesus is alive. Jesus appears and says
"Soon I must go to my Father, God in heaven...Tell everyone the news I told you: love one another; forgive one another. Then you will be God's friends for ever, in God's everlasting kingdom."
What I Like: I appreciate that this book covers more of the Easter story than most children's books do; we get an introduction to Jesus, for example. The illustrations by Claudine Gevry are colorful and interesting enough to keep my 3 yr. old son, who normally doesn't like to sit through Bible stories, engaged.
What I Dislike: The book never mentions Jesus is God's son; although he calls God his "Father," humans often do this, too. Worse, the book misstates how to receive salvation. It says nothing about believing in Jesus as God, nor anything giving our lives to him. Instead, it says if we want to go to Heaven, we just have to love and forgive each other. And there is no explanation of Jesus' resurrection meant.
Overall Rating: Unfortunately, because of the inaccurate view of what it means to be a Christian, I must give this book a "Poor" rating. If this were corrected, I'd give it at least a "Good" rating.
Age Appeal: 3 - 8
Publishing Info: Lion; 2012; ISBN: 978-0745969275; hardback, 32 pgs., $6.99.
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Special Info: Read our reviews of other books by Christina Goodings; read our reviews of books with Claudine Gevry's illustrations, too.