Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jake & Jesus

The concept of Jesus as an actual person can be hard for kids to grasp since they can't see Him. In Jake and Jesus by Kelly Hagen, Jake tries to help other kids understand who Jesus is, even though they can't be with Him.

Jake wants to tell others all about his best friend, Jesus, and why He is Jake's friend. First, Jake explains they spend a lot of time together, and Jesus is never too busy for him. Since Jesus isn't physically present, Jake states Jesus talks to him through the Bible. His Mommy and Daddy read him stories about Jesus that teach Jake about who his Friend is. Then Jake tells us he talks to Jesus through prayer--and anyone can talk with Him anytime, no matter where or when.

Finally, Jake tells of the gifts he and Jesus exchanged: how Jake gave Jesus his heart, and Jesus gave His life for Jake (and you and me!). That's the best kind of friend a kid could ever have.

What I Like: Any book that tries to portray Jesus as a living, breathing person to a child is going to get a thumbs up by me. I feel this is something the book did very well.

The illustrations are pretty cute, too. Jake seems like a pretty sweet kid!

What I Dislike: I understand this is a difficult concept for kids to grasp, however, I really felt this book talked down to a child's intelligence just a little. Maybe for the younger set, it would be fine, but to me, it really felt condescending in tone. Also, while it touched on the fact that Jesus died for us, and we go to Heaven because of His death, the book didn't explain why this is the case--no mention of sin or anything of the sort. If I were talking about this book with my daughter, I'd be shorting her if I didn't point out the reason why Jesus died for us is because of the bad things we do.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 4 - 7

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing, 2010; ISBN: 978-1-61739-306-8; Paperback, 24 pgs., $6.99

Buy it at Amazon.com for $6.29, or for Kindle for $5.59.

Special Info: An image of Jesus is shown throughout the book, usually in a picture Jake keeps in his room.

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