Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Can Talk with God

I Can Talk with God, by Debby Anderson, is a book every parent should read to their child. The author does a great job of explaining to young children what prayer is, and - most of all - how God wants us to talk to him.

The book begins by noting that God made "monkeys to chatter, tigers to roar, bees to buzz...[and] He especially made people to talk...so they could talk to Him!" The author goes on to explain that while we often pray to God before a meal or at bedtime or in church, God wants us to talk with him everywhere.

Anderson then gives children some examples of where and how they can pray: While running or holding still; while in the pumpkin patch ("Thank You, God, for pumpkins, apples, and falling leaves!"); on the playground ("God, I'm sorry I called my friend a mean name. Please help me to say kind words"); with eyes open or shut; whenever you hear a siren ("Dear God, please keep the fire fighters and police officers safe"); and more.

Anderson explains that God answers our prayers, too:

"The traffic light...reminds me of how God answers our prayers. Sometimes He answers 'Yes' like a green light for go. Sometimes He answers 'No' like a red light for stop. But most often He answers 'Wait' like a yellow light for slow."

God talks to us through the Bible, too, the author notes - which is why we should read it every day. There is even a page that explains "the most important prayer we can ever pray," which is to ask Jesus to "rescue us from all our sin and badness." Anderson supplies a sample of such a prayer.

Throughout, Bible references are provided for parents. The endpapers are also printed with the Lord's Prayer.

What I Like: Finally! A book that not only explains how to pray, but tells children God wants them to converse with him frequently. And unlike most children's books, the author clearly explains that God doesn't always say "Yes" to our prayers. The author also does a good job of giving children examples of what to pray for in their everyday lives, and her illustrations are bright, fun, and full of kids from various ethnic backgrounds. (A child in a wheelchair is also included.)

What I Dislike: The page about asking Jesus to be your Savior is in the middle of the book, disrupting the flow of things greatly. It's also the only page with a lot of text on it, so I think many children will grow restless at this point. I wish this page had been placed at the end of the book instead.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: 2 - 5.

Publishing Info: Crossway Books, 2003; ISBN: 1581344163; hard back, $9.99.

Buy Now at Christianbook.com for $7.49.

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