I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been looking for “comfort reads” lately, and I found two more that meet that criteria, although for different reasons than Love Remains did. I Can Love Like Jesus, written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Chase Jensen, and A is for Adam, written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Maggie Coburn, are Christian children’s books, and the simple truths I believe they contain and the beautiful ways in which they’re expressed brought peace to me.
I Can Love Like Jesus
This page from I Can Love Like Jesus demonstrates both the simplicity and beauty of the whole book:
It says: “When a blind man asked Jesus for help, Jesus blessed him and gave him sight. I can respond when someone needs help, like Jesus.” Having taught children in various LDS congregations for almost 20 years, I can attest to how difficult it can be to translate ethereal, abstract spiritual concepts, like striving to be like Jesus, into concrete actions that they can see themselves doing. But those lines of text, and the accompanying picture do that easily. You’ll notice in this picture that Jesus healing the blind man is depicted in the clouds behind the girl helping the younger girl who scraped her knee; every page has a similar depiction that relates to the text of that page. This is a book that my 8-year-old read easily; its 350 word count and engaging, well-done illustrations would make this a good read for any child from first grade on up, or for the parents of such a child.
A is for Adam
This book, a child’s compendium of Bible heroes, reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book, only with a little bit more text and, of course, more religion. That was one of those books that both of my boys, when they were in their preschool and kindergarten years, loved to have me read to them over and over. Each page represents a letter of the alphabet, and each letter a hero of the Bible. “S,” for instance” is for “Shadrach.” A brief paragraph explains who each person was and why he or she was a hero. Halfway through the book, and again at the end, there is a summary page of half of the alphabet and what each letter in that half stands for.
It’s also similar to Brad Meltzer’s Heroes for my Son, which I reviewed here. I feel like I could easily make multiple family home evenings using those two books, to spark conversation about what kinds of actions makes a person be the kind that other people look up to.