Monday, June 29, 2015

Two Picture Books of Abraham and Sarah: Stories Crucial to Our Faith Heritage

Picture Book: Abraham’s Search for God

Author: Jacqueline Jules

Illustrator: Natascia Ugliano

Summary: Beautifully presented, this is the story of Abram (later Abraham’s) certainty that there is something greater than the many idols of clay and stone in his culture. Even as a boy, he questions the assumptions and ways of his elders. A lover of the outdoors, Abram spends one evening absorbed by the beauty of the moon, but when the sun replaces it in the skies, he believes the sun to be the ruler of all. Clouds, thunder, a rainbow, and the sun again come and replace the object of Abraham’s worship. After each change, Abram believes dominance is being demonstrated. Eventually he realizes that there is something greater and more beautiful than all of these, a great power that is the force behind these changes. That great power is the one true God whose evidence is everywhere. From then on Abram worships the one true God.

Hanna’s Comments: The last line of this book summarizes why this story is so important to all in the Abrahamic tradition: “Today, we remember Abraham as the father of three great religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.” Explain further this last line to children who are unaware of the connections between these 3 great religions. If age appropriate, spend some time talking about the conflicts these traditions still have with each other and consider how God might view these struggles. Abraham’s story continues in the other book offered here in this PBT post.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Kar-Ben, 2007

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32 

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: God Book, Biography 

Scripture Connections: Genesis 12

Idea(s) for Application: Read this story to children and explore the importance of Abraham to your faith heritage. Emphasize the worship of the one true God in contrast to the worship of idols of Abraham’s time and today’s idols.  


Picture Book: Sarah Laughs

Author: Jacqueline Jules

Illustrator: Natascia Ugliano

Summary: Beautiful Sarah’s laugh is said to make “the whole world clap hands with joy.” She marries Abraham, who did not pray to idols like others, instead, he prays to the invisible God. When Abraham tells Sarah he hears a voice saying they should move to a new place, she agrees. In Canaan, Abraham tells Sarah that God promised the land to their children. In a dream, God visits Abraham and tells him to count the stars for there will be that many children of their children. When he tells Sarah this, she dances but does not laugh for they have no children and she is old. As their prosperity increases so does Sarah’s sadness. Sarah encourages Abraham to take her servant Hagar as his wife. Hagar has a child, but Sarah is still not happy. When three strangers come, Sarah prepares a fine meal. When they tell of Sarah’s child to come within the year, Sarah declares that she and Abraham are too old. The baby does come despite Sarah’s age. She names him Isaac, meaning laughter and declares, “God has brought me laughter.”

Hanna’s Comments: Abraham’s continuing story is offered beautifully here through the perspective of Sarah. Too often the few stories of women in the Bible are not explored with children. Such perspectives are invaluable to young girls and to young boys. This author and illustrator offer 2 glorious books that easily allow you and your children the privilege of learning about these important spiritual ancestors. Be sure to connect their stories to modern questions and hopes while explaining their crucial importance in your faith heritage.   

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Kar-Ben, 2008

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 32 

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: God Book, Biography 

Scripture Connections: Genesis 18 and 21

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children who are studying the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Hebrew Scriptures. Make connections to today’s faith struggles, personal and global.