Monday, November 10, 2014

The Little Life of Jesus Review

My oldest child's reaction (he is seven) upon seeing this board book for the first time was, "Why does Jesus look like a little baby?"  (He was talking about the pictures of adult Jesus).  And his second reaction was, “Why does the angel have blue hair?”  I didn’t have an answer to either question.  And indeed the pictures in The Little Life of Jesus are cutesy.  They are not ugly, just…cutesy.  My initial reaction to anything that seems to talk down to children is to get rid of it. 
That being said, for a board book meant for small children, this book has meat to it.  It tells the story of the life of Jesus (every major event) in an accessible way to the children, without pandering (that is, the book itself doesn’t pander, the pictures do).  This has become one that my smallest children request to bring with them to Mass, (it’s in our Mass bag now), and my three year old repeatedly asks me to read it to her.  “Where’s my Little Life of Jesus?” she’ll ask me again and again. 
This book would have gotten lost long ago if the illustrations were all that carried the book.  But The Little Life of Jesus has continued to hang around because I don't mind reading it aloud.  And unlike most other children's books that tell the story of Jesus, but completely leave out the Eucharistic Feast, this one does include Jesus’ last supper.  “He gives thanks, blesses it, and says: ‘This is my body, which is given for you.’"
I also appreciate how honestly but simply it tells of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. “At the top of a hill, soldiers nail Jesus to the cross. Jesus dies, giving up his life for all mankind.” 
With better illustrations this book would have been a must have!  As it stands, I might still have purchased it to fill an Easter basket (or Christmas stocking).  There are not many books geared for small children that tell the story of Jesus in such a wonderful way.

**I wrote this review of Little Life of Jesus for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

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