Review: What is God like?

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Rachel Held Evans

Title: What is God like?

Author: Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner

RRP: £15.99 (hardback book)

Published by: Random House

Available from: Book Depository for £11.54

Perfect for: curious children age 3 to 10 years old wanting to discuss this big question, and parents wanting to give answers which inspire awe, wonder and a desire to know more

Best bit: simple but deep language, using of a wide range of metaphors from the Bible to describe what God is like, expanded by the imaginative, fluid artwork

Worst bit: The artwork wouldn’t have been my first choice, but art is such a subjective thing, and I love how inclusive the images are as well as how they dance lightly between ‘real’ pictures into which children can imagine themselves and fun, abstract and conceptual elements

More thoughts:

Wow! I love this book!

Having read some of Rachel Held Evan’s books for adults, I was intrigued to see what she had dreamed up for children!

This book was started by her before her death and was skillfully brought to completion by Matthew Paul Turner.

This book is not a factual Everything You Need To Know About God book, designed to help parents feel confident they have taught their child about God.

Instead is it more like an introduction and an invitation to discover more.

The book starts:

What is God like?

That’s a really big question, one that people from places all around the world have wondered about since the beginning of time.

And while nobody has seen all of God (because God is far too big for any of us to fully see), we can know what God is like.

It then moves into a series of metaphors from the Bible:

God is like an eagle…

God is like a river….

with a sentence describing how God is like each one, with full double page pictures of this metaphor. The picture includes a group of children who are always relating to the object of the metaphor (e.g. the eagle, the river); they look playful, peaceful, and inquisitive, like the are on an adventure. It would be possible to tell the story of these children’s adventure through the metaphors instead of the text of the book!

God is like the star…

God is like a shepherd…

God is like a fort, a gardener, a flame, the wind…

It is wonderfully gender inclusive: God is like a Father and God is a Mother.

It also tackles the Trinity in a brilliant new way (I’ll leave that one for you to discover!)

Those who want the Bible mentioned will be disappointed, but the text (and images) are packed with words (and images) which Bible uses to describe what God is like. I love how this makes it a book I could share with friends of different faiths and none, as well as it being a really great book for Christian families.

I am excited at this additional to our home library, and I hope there are more in the pipeline!