Rabbi Lawrence Kushner is well known across religious boundaries, especially since for his popular book Why Bad Things Happen to Good People. His wife, Karen, is a clinical social worker. Together they have written the PBT books featured below.
Picture Book: Because Nothing Looks Like God
Authors: Lawrence & Karen Kushner
Illustrator: Dawn W. Majewski
Summary: In this well-considered picture book, 3 very general questions about God are explored via diverse characters, both human and non-human. The first is “Where is God?” Answers include, “God is in the way people come together” or “In worms turning leaves into earth. God is everywhere if we look.” Next question: “What does God look like? God looks like nothing. And nothing looks like God. But there are many things you cannot see and still we are sure they are there.“ The last question is “How does God make things happen?” After this question, readers are inspired to look at various contexts (family, school, etc.) and notice how people help each other. Then they are encouraged to look in the mirror and consider how they might help someone today. Note: The three questions in this book have been used to create 3 separate board books for younger children.
Hanna’s Comments: I’m particularly enthusiastic about this picture book because it says, “God is with us every day, in every way.” In the back is a section for parents and teachers explaining why this book is not comprised of dogmatic answers. Instead, the authors state that their purpose is to help children “lay down the foundation of what will become a mature adult spiritual world-view.” Then they suggest that parents continue the conversations that begin in this book. When conversations like these begin early at home and are continued in the context of a faith family, those foundations become well-grounded and authentic to the child’s experience.
Original Publisher & Date: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet, 3 board books versions
What Does God Look Like?
Where is God?
How Does God Make Things Happen?
Scripture Connections: I have no good apart from You (Psalm 16:2b); the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1); God is love (1 John 4:8)
Idea(s) for Application: I used this book in a class for parents of preschoolers at my church. It's great for parents who are longing for more instruction on how to better spiritually equip their children.