The gospels are some of the most captivating pieces of literature ever written. The depictions of Jesus’ life have captured the imagination for nearly 2,000 years and continue to do so. Our family recently jumped ahead in our Bible readings from Leviticus to Luke, and the response in our young children was amazing. Reading about the deeply personal life of our Lord while He walked the earth is a true joy.
The sense of awe and joy Jesus’ live evokes is succinctly captured for young children in The Miracles of Jesus by Tracy Harrast. Five of Jesus’ acts are brightly illustrated on two-page spreads and described in simple, succinct prose – approximately two paragraphs of text for each story. In addition to the relation of the event, a spiritual application statement is also included.
“Wine for a Wedding” relates Jesus’ first miracle – the transformation of water to wine at a wedding in Cana. The application statement that helps young readers draw spiritual connections between events related in the Bible is, “Jesus even helps with little problems.” The ability to transform scriptural events into personally applicable principles is immensely valuable in the lives of Christians young and old; I’m delighted to see picture books that model this skill for children.
The other four miracles related span both the well and lesser known: “The Wind and the Waves Obey”, “A Picnic for Thousands”, “Jesus Walks on the Water”, and “Money from a Fish”. For each story all of the applicable verse references are given whether the event is described in a single gospel or all four, an excellent feature that few Christian children’s titles include. With two pages for each story, the resulting ten pages seem rather brief for a picture book, thankfully there is an additional feature which compensates for this brevity.