Our family loves books, so it’s not a surprise that every holiday the children receive a book in their Christmas stocking, birthday stash, or Easter baskets. It can be difficult to wade through the many children’s books available, and I’m always disappointed when we spend money on books that are duds. So this spring I wanted to highlight four new books that have released within the year that have made their way to our children’s library and have received our family’s stamp of approval.
Love Made: A Story of God’s Overflowing, Creative Heart by Quina Aragon – This is a gorgeous book full of vibrant illustrations and equally beautiful writing. The book takes your children on a journey to see the creativity of God, the glory of the trinity, and how we are his most special creation. My children love the colors and pointing out the different animals, and when it comes to the end, they smile with pride as we talk about how loved they are. One minor critique is that this book isn’t great for adoptive or foster families. I can read this book to my biological children because it talks, in first person, about how our love made our children, but it doesn’t translate to families built through other means unless you get creative and change the wording (which is what we do for our adopted child). With that said, I still highly recommend getting this book for its vibrant colors and illustrations alone. It’s truly stunning.
Goodbye to Goodbyes by Lauren Chandler – This is another beautiful book illustrated by one of my favorite children’s book illustrators, Catalina Echeverri. Goodbye to Goodbyes takes children through the story of Lazarus and displays both the humanity and divinity of Jesus. Chandler beautifully shows how one day, because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we will one day say goodbye to all goodbyes. This is a great book for all children, but especially for children who have a loved one facing illness or death.
When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner – Matthew Paul Turner is one of my all-time favorite children’s book authors. His previous books, When God Made You and When God Made Light, are worn and torn in our house, and his latest book will undoubtedly join the ranks of his previous two. Turner is a gifted lyrical author and his rhythmic writing is easy and fun to read. And this book, like his others, brings a tear to my eyes. Be sure to have a tissue on hand when reading this aloud to your kids! When I Pray for You celebrates the bond between a parent and child by writing about the prayers we pray over them. The illustrations are beautiful, and like all of Turner’s books, they include diverse characters which is great for families who are trying to be intentional on building a multicultural library. My one critique is minor. Although the illustrations are beautiful, Turner worked with a different illustrator for this book and I did find myself missing the whimsical illustrations of his first two works. But still, When I Pray for You is by far one of our favorite new books this year.
GraceFull: Growing a Heart that Cares for Our Neighbors by Dorena Williamson – Dorena Williamson has done it again! In the last year she has released three books (this being her third) that tackle difficult topics with ease for our children. GraceFull is a story about two friends, Hope and Anna, who come from two different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Their friendship is a strong one, but when Hope’s church takes up an offering to help Anna’s immigrant family, Hope has a lot of questions. Although the book is about poverty, homelessness, and grace, it also addresses issues like human dignity and respect. GraceFull, and Williamson’s two other books ColorFull and ThoughtFull, would be excellent purchases for your elementary aged children this Spring.
I hope your family enjoys these recommendations as much as ours has!