Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Moon Is Always Round By Jonathan Gibson

The Moon Is Always Round
by Jonathan Gibson
Illustrated by Joe Hox
Publisher: New Growth Press
ISBN: 978-1-64507-027-6

I was sent a complimentary copy of The Moon is Always Round by New Growth Press for review.

Summary:

Even young children want answers to the hard questions about God and suffering. In The Moon Is Always Round, seminary professor and author Jonathan Gibson uses the vivid imagery of the moon to explain to children how God's goodness is always present, even when it might appear to be obscured by upsetting or difficult circumstances.
In this beautiful, full-color illustrated book, he allows readers to eavesdrop on the conversations he had with his young son in response to his sister's death. Father and son share a simple liturgy together that reminds them that, just as the moon is always round despite its different phases, so also the goodness of God is always present throughout the different phases of life.
A section in the back of the book offers further biblical help for parents and caregivers in explaining God's goodness to children. Jonathan Gibson reminds children of all ages that God's goodness is present in the most difficult of times, even if we can't always see it.
My Review:

What a compelling story for children who have tough questions or have experienced loss. The Moon is Always Round was unexpectedly beautiful to me.

The text in the story is written to flow along with the illustration. The style and bolding of words certain words brings emphasis throughout the story. The illustrations go along beautifully with the story, which help make the reader become invested emotionally in the story.

When I read the story, it pulled on my heartstrings for any family who has endured loss, and for that reason needs to read a book like this to their child. On the other hand, this is such an important book for families to have in the face of loss. I'm sure it can be hard to know how to have such a difficult conversation with a child, but this book will help.

What I liked most about this story is how it gives a concrete example of how God can exist even when we can't see him, just like the moon when it waxes and wanes. Also, because this is based on a true story, you have an appreciation of how the author understands how to relate loss to children in a simple, but straightforward way.

I appreciate at the back of the book the lessons that will help children grasp the story on deeper levels. The catechism at the end will help adults and children have a discussion about the moon while relating it to how we know there's a God even when we can't see Him.

About the Author & Illustrator:

Jonathan Gibson (PhD, Cambridge) is ordained in the International Presbyterian Church, UK, and is associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is coeditor with Mark Earngey of Reformation Worship, contributor to and coeditor with David Gibson of From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, and Covenant Continuity and Fidelity: A Study of Inner-Biblical Allusion and Exegesis in Malachi. He is married to Jacqueline, and they have two children: Benjamin and Leila.
ILLUSTRATOR
Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa where he doodled whenever he wasn’t spading thistles or feeding pigs. Everyone knew by his crooked hay rows that he would choose art over farming. Joe earned his BA in Art and Education from Dordt College and his MA from the University of Nebraska. Today he lives with his wife and four children in Pella, Iowa, where he illustrates and teaches art. Joe has illustrated all of the Good News for Little Hearts series.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.