Monday, March 8, 2010

The Flowering Cross by Beth Ryan, illustrated by Renée Graef

The Flowering Cross, written by Beth Ryan and illustrated by Renée Graef, tells of a grumpy old man who is transformed by the love of God and the kindness of a little girl. “Mean Old Jack” is feared by all of the neighborhood children except for Katie and her brother, who shower kindness on the old man and come to know him as “Papa Jack.” After rejecting their many invitations to attend church, Papa Jack surprises Katie one Easter morning by announcing his intention to join her for the worship service.

This delightful children’s book is sure to appeal to 4-8 year olds. It contains fourteen charming illustrations and nine Faith ImprintsTM, which capitalize on events in the story to teach children about topics such as obedience and the love of God. The message of the story is clear: children are often able to share the love of God in a way adults cannot. Unfortunately, Bible verses are not quoted from the King James Version, a translation I love for its beauty, accuracy, and simplicity; however, parents may appreciate its uncomplicated quotations from the International Children’s Bible. In addition, I was disappointed that some of the illustrations show Katie in pants and her mother with very short hair, giving the book a modern feel. Despite these objections, I heartily recommend this book.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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