Thursday, April 21, 2022

Paul's Letters

This unique book by a Caldecott-winning author-illustrator offers key messages from each of Paul's letters found in the Bible.

Picture Book: Paul Writes (a letter)

Author/Illustrator: Chris Raschka

Summary: Presented in the order found in the New Testament, some central ideas from these significant documents of early church history are presented, 1 book per double-page spread. They are beautifully rendered with water-color brushstrokes. Crucial words are emphasized with a larger red font. Colorful maps showing Paul’s travels are on the end pages. 

The text begins with an introduction explaining that Paul was

“a faithful and learned man... who began to believe in the story of the life and teachings of Jesus.”

Here are images of the 2 pages about Romans: 

At the end of the book, Raschka explains that Paul was “killed by his jailers with a sword.” He goes on to explain that a sword and book are historic symbols for Paul who changed the world by writing to his friends. 

Hanna’s Comments:
 I think there is too much information here to read in a traditional way. I would focus on no more than 3 of Paul’s books at a time. You might want to choose those books that get the least attention, such as Philemon, Titus, and the 2 Thessalonians. The author does give Paul credit for writing Hebrews. BUT he notes that “some biblical scholars doubt that Paul wrote Hebrews.” Raschka explains that he chose to summarize those verses in Hebrews that sounded like Paul. 

Original Publisher: Eerdmans Books, 2018

Age Appropriateness: 6 and up

Formats other than Book: Tablet

Scripture Connections: Specific scripture references are at the bottom of each page.

PBT Applications: Consider this a future PBT Grab & Go book! Little prep would be required. I don’t think preschoolers would find this book interesting, but there's rich potential for older church groups, even if you only show 1 double-page spread to discuss and build on. Consider having your participants build on this picture book experience by contemplating a letter they might want to be their legacy. These letters could be to their church or to someone else.  

Here are images of the 2 pages about Philippians:




  1. Anonymous4/21/2022

    The content that has been included seems to be very "warm and fuzzy" - especially the crucial words (peace, true, honest, pure, good, happy, etc.). Paul sure sounds like a nice friend - but is that a good and full picture of who he was? Is that who Jesus is? Paul certainly wasn't martyred because he was a nice friend. Even children can and should understand this more deeply.

  2. No, this book is only a partial image of Paul which is all that would be possible in a picture book, especially one written primarily with children in mind. That's an interesting angle. Warm and fuzzy are not words I would use to summarize the books crucial words that you mention. Sometimes being a peacemaker, for instance, is anything but warm and fuzzy. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Beautiful. Looks like a fresco.