Friday, May 22, 2009

Do You Want a Friend?

I just stepped out of my office to take a short break from sermon prep. One of the joys for me is to walk by my mail box and find large shipping envelopes that usually include books!

I had one in my box today, and it contained Noel Piper's new children's book, Do You Want a Friend? Before getting back to Proverbs 3, a sermon series we've titled, "Teach Your Children Wisdom," I read Noel's book.

I love children's books. And I really enjoyed taking the few minutes to read through this. I want to recommend the book to every parent and to every church with a bookstore and to every uncle/aunt or godparent or friend of parents for several reasons:

1. I appreciated that every aspect of friendship highlighted in the book pointed to the Savior and to a specific passage of Scripture highlighing His character.

2. I appreciated that most of the faces in the book are some shade of brown. You can read this book with every ethnicity or phenotype and the reader can see themselves in it.

3. I appreciated that the main family was an intact brown family. Don't see that enough in children's books.

4. I appreciated that this brown family was socially and economically mobile.

5. I appreciated that people with disabilities are plentifully included--even in the background family photos hanging on the walls.

6. I appreciated that tears and empathy are taught in the book.

7. I appreciated that people of every age play meaningful parts in the book.

8. I appreciate that the book not only points to Jesus as Friend, but to Jesus as the only Savior, Friend of sinners. That it ends with the gospel and doesn't shy away from telling children that sin is dangerous but Jesus is greater.

9. I appreciated the hymn that concludes the book, "One There Is, Above All Others." The book ends in doxology. Praise the Lord!

Thank you Noel and Crossway for this wonderful addition to Titus' library and our reading time with him. Thank you for making the gospel plain to children with out making it childish. Praise the Lord.


christopher said...

"Titus' library." Wow, that's deep. i like that. :) i bought the first book in this series, now i'm going to have to get this sequel. i too, have appreciated the various ethnicities represented by the illustrator. Thanks for the book review.

Noel said...

Heart-felt thanks to Gail Schoonhoven for her skill and heart that brought such a variety of people to the pages of Do You Want a Friend.


Noel said...

I'm so embarrassed. The talented illustrator of Do You Want A Friend? is Gail SchoonMAKER.

(The misspelling in my previous comment slipped in because of friends we used to know with that name.)

So sorry, Gail.

Some thoughts from Gail about her artwork in the book are at my blog --