Cross-centered Focus

Tony over at The Shepherd’s Scrapbook recently commented that it is difficult to find children’s books that are specifically cross-centered. There are hundred of titles that focus on the “adventures” of OT heroes such us Daniel, Joseph, Moses, and David but very few storybooks focus on the life of Christ. Almost none seek to responsibly describe the importance of Christ’s sacrifice in terms that children can understand.

Since reading Tony’s post my reticular activating system has been working overtime. (When you buy a red car and then you begin to see red cars all over the place- that’s your RAS)

Everywhere I look I have been surveying children’s books to see if they are cross-centered or merely moral tales of values and ethical behavior.

I have only found one book so far that fits the criteria of being a) a children’s reading book and b) focused upon all aspects of Jesus’ life, teaching, ministry, and sacrifice.

The Book of Jesus For Families (Bethany House, 2002) is a great little book that would dutifully serve countless hours of reading and teaching time for you and your child. The book is divided into 7 “chapters” or sections categorized by different points in the life of Jesus. Chapter Six is titled “When Jesus Died” and Chapter Seven is titled “The Big Surprise”. When was the last time you saw a children’s book deal with the sacrifice and resurrection? Each chapter has a variety of different essays ranging from one to five pages written by some of history’s greatest writers.

From the dust jacket:

Calvin Miller presents The Book of Jesus for Families, a keepsake collection of stories, songs, parables, and poems about Jesus Christ. Writings by Charles Dickens, Walter Wangerin, Pearl S. Buck, Calvin Miller himself, and many others depict the life of Jesus, his teachings, and the amazing things he did. Lavish, full-color illustrations bring the stories to life.

The selections, some original to this collection, have been especially chosen for a young audience to help parents introduce their children to the greatest man who ever lived and help children identify with Jesus as a real person, not just a character in a story.

Whether enjoyed together as a family or alone, The Book of Jesus for Families is a treasury of literature and art that will inspire and delight readers of all ages.

Unfortunately, it seems that the book might be out of print but maybe you can find it somewhere. It would be well worth the search.

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