Jesus and the Children emphasizes that God does not just love adults, but children, too! This story is based on Mark 10:13-16. Jesus is shown in typical Jesus-type clothing, but all the other characters (mom, children, disciples) are modern-day. The disciples are a strange looking bunch and tried to stop all the children from coming to talk to Jesus, but Jesus put a stop to that. (I do want to note that one of the disciples does have a tattoo just in case someone is sensitive to that.) The last picture is awesome with all the disciples, children, the mom, and Jesus all hanging out (literally, like on the cover), happy as can be!
Dave the Donkey:An Easter Story tells the Easter story from a young donkey's perspective as he excitedly tells his grandpa how he carried the King into Jerusalem. Dave gets a bit confused as his expectation of how Jesus should have been treated and the reality were not the same. Sadly, his grandpa sets him straight. They both rejoice over the fact that the King is alive.
The Gardener and the Vine is, in my opinion, an excellent way to explain John 15:1,5 with a child.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener...If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit."
The "remains in me and I in him" is the part that really hits home with this book.This is the story of Jesus, and I really like how it unfolds in The Gardener and the Vine. Basil is the small branch who becomes part of the vine...it's not easy for him or the vine, but well worth it.
I like the illustrations and the stories, but I think the last two pages will be an invaluable resource for parents. Cecil's Page has an introduction to the story for the parents and gives suggestions for some discussion starters on what to do before the story and after the story. On the following page you can read the verses of the Bible than inspired Andrew McDonough to create the story.
The Cecil and Friends books are recommended for ages 4-7, and I wouldn't go any younger. I know I won't be reading them to my daughter next month when she turns four, but maybe in six months or so.
I was not familiar with Cecil and Friends (click for their website to get a better look at them) books, and I thank Zonderkidz for sending me these books for review purposes.