Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Walk with Papa

A Walk with Papa was written by Patty Zemanick. The inside cover flap tells how she loved taking walks with her father through the woods on their farm. This book is an extension of her beloved memories. It offers a meaningful walk through which children can meet their heavenly Father.
The story, told through gentle rhyme, begins with a young girl and her papa. He invites her to follow a path she's never taken. Along the way they find a hay field, where she lays down and plays. Later, the brush gets thick; a thorn catches her pants and scratches her leg. As they walk further, the young girl snaps a branch which strikes her back. Papa holds her tight as she cries. They walk a little more and discover a beautiful stream. A twisted twig, shaped like a cross, floats by. She tucks the treasure away. Finally, at the end of the path, they enter a clearing on a tall hill. As they look at the world around, Papa reveals: "This is where I like to pray. I sit and talk with God. He hears every word I say."
They sit in the clearing and, by recounting their journey, Papa tells the girl about Jesus. He slept on a bed of hay, just like she pretended to. A thorn tore her jeans; thorns were also placed on Jesus' head as a crown. Papa says "He was hurting much like you." Papa continues to explain how soldiers hurt Jesus' back and ridiculed Him. He did nothing wrong, but rather was perfect. As the girl takes the cross-shaped stick from her pocket, Papa explains: "God knew we were not perfect, so there had to be a way to erase the wrong we did each and every day. That's why He gave us Jesus to die upon the cross. His death erased our sins so our souls would not be lost." They talk about how Jesus rose from the dead and how He lives in our hearts when we accept Him. The young girl prays a simple prayer of forgiveness and salvation. Then they head toward home with new hope in their hearts.
Sandra Hammack's illustrations fill the book with colorful watercolors. The pictures are done in an impressionistic style not often found among children's books.
What I Like: It is biblically accurate and unpolluted. Often, especially in children's books, we try to dress up the message or add more to it. God's plan of salvation is simple. The author does a great job explaining it in a way children can easily understand. I also really like the Bible verses provided at the back of the book. Fourteen passages are provided (references and text) to reinforce the Gospel message detailed within the story. From Isaiah to Ephesians, readers will have plenty of opportunities for further study and discussion.
What I Dislike: My only complaint with this book is the illustrations. Some pages are beautiful -- especially the landscapes! -- but others (those featuring faces or people) are not. Also, six of the illustrations are repeated in the book. They are featured toward the beginning and again, the same picture, a few pages later.
Overall Rating: Upper end of Good.
Age Appeal: 5-10
Publisher Info: Dragonfly Ministries, 2007; ISBN: 0978828909; Hardback; $14.95
Buy it Now at Amazon for $14.95!
Special Info: Meet the author and illustrator and learn more at this book's website.

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