Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kids Books

My family LOVES reading. The kids devour books. It's so fun to watch., They both love being read to and looking through picture books on their own. How fun to walk into a room and see them both pouring over the pictures, often "reading" on their own (as they've memorized most of our library). I can't wait to teach them to read and see how their love of literature will (hopefully) mature through their own new freedom of discovery!

There is one subject of children's book I have struggled with though. For 5 months (last Saturday) we've been searching, unsuccessfully, for children's books that do 3 things:
1. Introduce death to a preschool aged child in a developmentally appropriate and honest way
2. Uphold the biblical perspective of death and Heaven
3. Are colorful and engaging for small children so that they actually want to read it

It's pretty slim pickings. Actually we have yet to find a single book that gives us all 3, and none that give us #2. I know they must be out there, but probably in small publishing's, for individual churches or ministries. But I can't seem to get my hands on them.

What I have found are books that:
1. Mention death but do not explain it in a child's understanding
2. Are geared for middle school or high school aged children
3. Give unbiblical information (like people turning into angels or which have a very loose view of "spirituality")

I don't think this is anyone's fault, death is obviously not a popular topic. And the view we hold is not mainstream by any means. We've been given several children's books that try but fail to satisfy. I usually end up having to correct what is read (for example: people are different created beings than angels, with different jobs and purposes. So I don't want my children to think of their brother as being an angel. He's a person. But he lives in the same place angels live.) which is obviously confusing for Emma and Hazen. And you may think I'm nuts for getting worked up about it but it bothers me just the same.

Maybe one day I'll be able to sit down and write my own book. But for now we're doing mostly conversational learning about death and Heaven and Jesus' relationship to us. And that's more interactive anyway. But for a family that loves to read, I do wish there were better resources out there. If you know of any, please fill me in! I'll make a recommendation list on the sidebar of the blog page as we find books worth passing on!


  1. Meg - I used to work at Northwestern Bookstore and I definitely had a few books that I would recommend to people. I, of course, can't remember them now and NWB is now Lifeway books or something. I know they're out there! Next time I'm at that store, I'll try taking a look. There are a lot to choose from, but I remember there being at least two.

  2. Meg, would you be interested in trying your hand at writing a book about this topic?

  3. Thanks Rebekah!
    Kristin - Yes I'd be interested in trying it but have no experience so I don't know how it would go.

  4. Our pastors wife at the lake was really disappointed in the books out there for little kids on salvation and so she wrote one. She said that is was surprisingly easy. She even has it published. It's only available by order from stores like Barns and Noble, but a few Christan books stores are starting to carry it. We read it to our kids all the time and i know it played a big part in Emma wanting to ask Jesus to forgive her sins. it might be a therapeutic for you Meg. Would you like me to get you some information about the process she went though? I believe the whole thing only took her a year to do but i would have to ask.

  5. That'd be great Sara, Thanks!