Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fear Not

If there's one thing a small child should learn about God, it's Fear Not. In this book by Paula McWhorter, Jesus' life is illustrated in a manner that teaches the reader to not fear anything. A gentle call to confession of sins and admitting Jesus as Lord and Savior is a parallel thread throughout the book.

What I Like: I really liked the illustrations. Whoever the illustrator is (I'm not sure because I can't find a credit) his or her images are very well done, especially the first part of the book.

What I Dislike: There's a lot to nitpick in this book. First, I really didn't think the use of the King James Version (KJV) was appropriate for the target age. It hampers the ability of a small child to understand (or their parents to read aloud without tripping over the words). I also didn't understand why the author decided to remove the word "begotten" from her quote of John 3:16. As near as I can tell, it's the only instance where a word from scripture was deleted. There are several grammatical and punctuation errors on top of that, including varying whether "He" was capitalized or not when referring to God/Jesus.

Some of the text reads:
"Finally on Christmas Eve,
God sent His only Son."
I find this questionable for two reasons: first, we don't know exactly when Jesus was born, and second, an "eve" is the day before. Why have a Christmas Day if Jesus was born on the eve?

Another issue I had was this quote:
"Satan vowed to kill God's only son."
I can see how it could be portrayed this way, but my understanding of the reason Jesus had to die was because He was the only sacrifice that could cover everyone's sin completely, unlike the sacrifices from the Old Testament of goats, bulls, and sheep, which were only temporary. So, God sent Jesus to be sacrificed; it wasn't necessarily Satan who kill Him.

I also wonder if some of the concepts mentioned, such as the veil in the temple being torn after Jesus' death, are appropriate for the age of the readers.

All of the people (Jesus included) in the book are extremely Caucasian. There is one image that's supposed to portray kids from around the world, and even the African child is light-skinned. Six of the nine images are obviously supposed to be white, with one Eskimo, one Asian/Chinese, and the African.

All of the writing except one page is a black background with white lettering, which is incredibly difficult for most people to read.

Overall Rating: Ho-hum

Age Appeal: 5 - 8

Publisher Info: Westbow Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-1-4497-2663-8; Paperback, 32 pgs., $13.95

Buy it at for $11.86.

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