Monday, August 30, 2021

3 More God Books about Creation!


Picture Book: When God Made the World

Author: Matthew Paul Turner

Illustrator: Gillian Gamble

Summary: In rhyming verse and beautiful images, God’s creativity is celebrated here! Unlike typical books about creation featuring the sequence of events in  Genesis 1 or 2, this is an exploration of all that God created in our universe. Turner emphasizes the cosmic, the geographic, and especially the human with these words: “God made a place for the story of us.” After initially focusing on astronomical features, Turner shows a boy in his bedroom. The boy dreams a journey via a flying boat with some animal and human friends. The children are encouraged to experience creation first hand: "'Cause when God made the world, God... created every detail for our joy and our good." The diversity of birds, water animals, and land animals is celebrated as part of "life's circle." With a last focus on diversity in human bodies, abilities, and purposes, the book declares that all of creation reveals the Divine. Creation "whispers God's story."

Hanna’s Comments: This book was written in memory of Turner's friend, the popular and greatly missed Rachel Held Evans, a remarkable young writer who died in 2019 at the height of her influence. Click on her name above for her website. Turner was later asked to finish What is God Like? a picture book that Evans had started not long before she died. I will devote the next PBT post to it.

I have a couple of Turner’s other books already on PBT. Here are those 2 links:

When God Made Light      When God Made You

Original Publisher & Date: Convergent, 2020

Age Appropriateness: 5 & up

Formats other than Book: Audio & Tablet

Scripture Connections: This book connects to the creation stories in Genesis 1 & 2. 

PBT Applications: Because there is a lot of complex text here, read this book to a group of teens. Don't show the images since they are of very young children. Lead a discussion about the most intriguing aspect of this view of creation. Spend some time on the idea of "life's circle" or the Divine being in creation. You might have them contrast it with Genesis 1-3.If you want to read it to younger groups, show the images and consider reducing the amount of text. Check out the Reminder at end of this post for some tips


Picture Book: God Made the World

Author & Illustrator: Sarah Jean Collins

Summary: In contrast to the book above, this book follows the Genesis sequence of events with images that are interestingly geometric and bright (easy to see in a group) but limited in beauty. The actions and words of God are more modern than traditional. For instance, on day 4 God says, "Lights on! Come shine in my new sky." Adam and Eve are not named, but they are made the same day and called God's daughter and son. God loved all that was made!

Hanna’s Comments: This book is 1 of 3 in the God Made series. The others are God Made the Ocean and God Made the Sea. Soon they will be available in a 3-book pack. I like these books because they are large board books which means they are sturdy but big enough to read aloud to a group. 

Original Publisher & Date: Tyndale, 2017

Age Appropriateness: 2 and up

Formats other than Book: none at present

Scripture Connections: This book connects to the creation stories in Genesis 1 & 2.

PBT Applications: Read this book to a group of preschoolers who are learning the creation story. Have them use some geometric stamps to make their own nature creations. Have each child declare their creation good, just as God did! 

Picture Book: The World God Made

Author: Donna D. Cooner

Illustrator: Kim Simons

Summary: Like the structure of the classic The House That Jack Built, this book builds on repeating text that always ends with: that shines on the world that God made. This pattern is broken at the end where the author does a nice job of emphasizing gratitude. Here you’ll find simple prayers of gratitude that you might have children repeat with you.

Hanna’s Comments: Like the book just above, I love the bright, simple images which make it perfect for reading to a large group. 

Original Publisher & Date: Word, 1994

Age Appropriateness: 3 and up

Formats other than Book: None at present

Scripture Connections: Unlike the books above, this book does not follow the sequence of events in Genesis. Instead, it celebrates those aspects of God’s creation that have the most meaning for very young children, such as dogs and cats. That means any scripture will connect to this book if it mentions a part of creation that is meaningful to young children.

PBT Applications: Read this book to a group of young children to explore the importance of prayers of gratitude when experiencing God's very good creation. Have each child list 5 favorite aspects of God's creation. Then together create a litany or collage that incorporates some of these. You might end with a imagined (or real) nature walk full of phrases saying thank you to God. 

Reminder: Picture books are flexible tools! If the text is too long for your audience members’ attention spans, shorten it with sticky notes. These can cover text, and you can write on them to replace sections of text. You can also use sticky notes to write questions or transition sentences that may be needed if you've skipped text. Use paperclips to skip whole pages

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