Title: Breathe – child’s guide to Ascension, Pentecost and the growing time
Author: Laura Alary
Illustrator: Cathrin Peterslund
Published by: Paraclete
Good for: Families with children aged 4–11 years wanting to explain and connect with the stories of Ascension (Jesus returning to heaven) and Pentecost (the Holy Spirit comes to Jesus’ friends) in a simple but deep and beautiful way. (And also adults who love beautiful books)
Best bit: My favourite part is in the part of the story about Pentecost which says: “I am learning new ways to pray with the wind and my own breath.” This goes on to describe ways of praying with bubbles, streamers and flags.
Worst bit: There’s really not really anything to dislike, but I noticed the church is a very American style, which wouldn’t resonate as well with British children, but I doubt they will notice!
While there are tonnes of books on the Christmas story and many for Easter, there are incredibly few about Ascension and Pentecost, and this book is a wonderful addition to our collection!
I really enjoy Laura Alary’s gentle, simple yet rich re-telling of the Biblical stories, linking them both with other parts of the Bible (for example she links the wind of Pentecost with the breath of God in creation, and the work of the spirit with the fruit of the Spirit in Paul’s letters), as well as common experiences of life which a child will resonate with, for example feeling sad because a friend has gone away. She also makes connections between activities we tend to do in the Spring and Summer with the work of the Spirit in our life.
I love the artwork which uses colour and texture really well to bring a connection with the words.
The story takes us from the Bible story about Jesus’ friends right to us and suggests ways we can see the Spirit at work, including in our own lives.
Anyone wanting to add to their seasonal collection of Christian books will love this book.