“Do YOU want to meet my best friend?”
I received this book from B&H in exchange for reviewing. It's a short, easy to read, fun kids book. It has cute, quirky, bright and colorful illustrations. The one I received is hardback and should hold up well. The end of the book contains questions one can use to ask children about the story.
It begins with two bored children looking for something to do. Their mother suggests they play with a neighbor girl who recently moved next door. When she shows up, they begin playing a hide and seek game. Except instead of seeking each other, the new girl is seeking their "best friend". After much searching, she gives up and they introduce her to their best friend - the Bible.
While I have mixed feelings about the Bible being their best friend, which I will explain in a sec;I love the part, about the game. Since she just moved to the neighborhood, she is lonely; and what an awesome way for kids to introduce new friends to Jesus - with a game of hide and seek.
I struggled with how to review this book, because I think the author's intent to draw children and families to God through the Bible is a great way to begin connecting the dots. I get what the author is trying to accomplish. We need the Bible to begin developing a relationship with God. I am writing my new line of books through B&H Kids titled Meet My Best Friend, The Bible is My Best Friend Family Devotional, and The Bible is My Best Friend Flipbook. It is my prayer that these books captivate the minds and hearts of young children and challenges them to further connect and understand the power of the Bible. When friends are mean, the Bible can be their best friend. When they have questions, the Bible is their best counsel. When they don’t know what to do next, the Bible is their best handbook to life. The vision behind these books is to get boys and girls eager about digging into God’s Word. In addition, these books will give parents the suitable tools to help direct their families to Jesus. When I was writing these books, it was my deep desire to provide materials that children could use to cultivate a genuine relationship with God. With God and his Word, children will have answers for every situation they will encounter."
I agree with her that the Bible is the place to turn when we have questions, problems, and children should learn to dig in. But personally I feel like, the Bible is an object (with power of course), but more of a means to an end – the end being - a relationship with Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and a relationship with God, our Heavenly Father. That doesn't mean I don't value the importance of the Word of God. I searched Scripture, because I am a thinker. I like to analyze things. But I didn't find a single verse that says the Bible is our friend. It is truth, yes, a fire, a hammer, a sword, a lamp, and sooo much more. It teaches us about God, leads us to Him, speaks to us as Him, but JESUS is our friend. Jesus is a person, He can go everywhere with us, even places the Bible cannot go. He can seek us out - like a friend would do.
At the end is a list of questions. When I asked my son one of the questions: "...Who did you think was Emma and Liam's best friend?". His answer was God. That was also what I expected. In the Parent connection, Sheila does use Acts 17:11-12 to tell about a group of Christians called Bereans that studied God's Word daily. She also shares that the Bible tells us about God's Son and how much He loves us.
I don't intend for the purpose of this review to necessarily discourage you from purchasing the book. It is just my opinion that the theology is a little bit different than what I believe. I would rather have read something like, "This book tells us all about our best friend. You can't see Him, but He is everywhere. He is always with you, wherever you go." And then introduce the children to Jesus. But if this book, gets children and families to read their Bibles, it is still accomplishing a purpose. And God can use that to reach people.
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