Books have always been my friends, and the one you see pictured here is a special friend. I can still hear my mother’s voice reading My Little Golden Book About God. This little book shaped my understanding of God. I still believe that “beyond the farthest star, God knows the way,” and that God planned “[this] tiny world your two hands could span.” I still believe that “God whispers to us in our hearts: ‘Do not fear, I am here, and I love you, my dear.'”
I am always on the lookout for children’s books to share in my ministry with children, and I have found that good children’s books speak to the faith of all God’s children, including those of us that are grownup.
I am dreaming of a book fair to help put some of the best books in the hands of children, youth, and their families. It would resemble a school book fair, but it would pull together a collection of the very best Bible story books, board books, picture books, and books for young adults on topics such as prayer, worship, service, justice, and life in the church. It would include the best fiction as well as non-fiction.
I have started a list of titles, and I am seeking recommendations. What titles do you dream of putting in the hands of your children and youth to support their faith formation? I am especially in need of helpful titles for older elementary children and teens, but welcome all your recommendations. You can put them in a comment below, or go to the contact page and email me. Thanks very much for your help!
Meanwhile, here are two web sites for people who love using children’s literature in ministry:
Storypath is a ministry of Union Presbyterian Seminary. You can find hundreds of book reviews there, plus bibliographies and lesson plans. Each week they post reviews of books that relate to the Revised Common Lectionary readings for the week. There is also a scripture index and a theme index.
Picture Book Theology is similar. The reviews are written and posted by Hanna Schock, an avid reader who finds the presence and wisdom God in picture books especially. She offers suggestions on how to use picture books in educational ministry.
Here are some of my own reviews from elsewhere on this site:
A Child’s First Book of Prayers, by Lois Rock.
Psalms for Young Children, by Marie Helene Delval.
The People Could Fly:American Black Folktales, by Virginia Hamilton.
Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth, by Douglas Wood.