Monday, March 14, 2011

Jesus Calling for Kids, a review

Jesus Calling: 365 Devotionals for Kids
I heard from my friend, Lacey, about this opportunity to get books - free - by simply reading and reviewing them first!  I can definitely do this!  I ran straight away to BookSneeze and signed myself right up! 
Booksneeze sent me Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids.  Jesus Calling is a daily devotional geared towards children. This isn't any devotional you have ever read to, or with your children.  Each day's entry is like a moment alone with Jesus.  Jesus is talking, calling, to each one of us.  
Imagine yourself stepping in to the elevator at the library, and right after you get turned around and settled into your best "elevator holding position", Jesus steps in.  He immediately senses and recognizes your need at the moment - likely before you even know it's there.  And then He speaks.  Only for the ride that sends you up one or two floors, but it's enough. 
Enough to make you think.  And smile.  Maybe even breath sigh of relief.
And then the door opens.  Begin the gentleman he is, he moves asides for you to exit first.  But before you make it out of the box completely, he hands you a note with a smile.  The note simple contains a couple references where you can learn more about what he just shared with you.
That's what this book is like.
We ripped open the box as if our very lives depended on it carefully opened the box and was immediately impressed with it.  
The book isn't some cheaply bound book, but a very sturdy hardback-with a satin ribbon, as a bonus!  With four kids in the house, having paperbacks in the house is inviting disaster! 
As you can see above, we already own Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.  It has a different binding, more "grown-up."  The two books have the same entries, just at different levels.  I have enjoyed reading my book and then reading the kids' version over breakfast.  Something about having them both has deepened the experience with the concept, I think. 
I really like how the book looks, as well as how it feels.  Nothing turns me off faster than bold, crazy illustrations.  To me, that is saying that the book is simple gaudy entertainment, or in the spirit of Charlotte Mason: twaddle.  As you can see from the cover, it is a simple, just-enough sort of illustration that doesn't scream "Kiddie-book" to your 'tweens, but doesn't yell "Boring!" to your 7 and under crew.  I LOVE this about the book.  I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but......this book is just like the cover -- simple and just enough.
Let's move on to content, shall we?  Yes, please. 
Looking at the two-page spread above, you can see that these daily devo's are short and to the point.  I, again, play the four-kids-in-the-house card.  If a devotional is going to go on and on and on (like my blog posts tend to do. ahem.), it really doesn't matter how well-written and deep it is - my lower set (and maybe even my oldest) will drop out.  
Key features that this mama loves
1) Bible verse right from the get-go of each daily devo page.  It IS about God, you know.
2) Additional Scripture passages to read following the short devotional.  We have gone to these almost every time.  It gives us all more to chew on, depth in the conversation, more to ask about.  From a homeschool standpoint, my oldest (who is 10.5) can read these passages on her own, or out loud and then narrate in some form.  If I wanted her to. :)
3) Did I mention short and sweet?  No fluff, just good stuff. 
4)  The bookmark.  You got me.  I'm a sucker for a built in place-saver.

And really, the bird is just too cute not to name.
I think the only thing that I found to be anything less than stellar was that I had to preface the book, and follow up, with a statement that Jesus didn't actually write THIS book, but that Ms. Young spent time in her Bible and collected these Scriptures for us to read, in Jesus' voice.  It has taken some convincing, and I don't think a couple of my children believe me.  This is all well and good, because the point that they DO hear Jesus' words.
Sense his love pouring up over the symbols on the page.
Hear his love sliding over the satin ribbon.
Desire to act on that love.
This book has officially joined the Bible basket at this house, and I hope that you will add a copy to yours.  You can order this book through ChristianBook, Amazon (linked above) or Barnes and Noble.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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