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!