Lisa Campbell shares her three favourite picture books and how you can have a ‘God moment’ with your child as you read them
I am a big fan of children’s picture books. Finding a good one with beautiful artwork and words that spill out like honey as you read them aloud is a joy! Good picture books that capture the imagination and engage the senses can create space for a shared sense of wonder and adventure as you treasure time reading them together with a child.
Add in to the mix an opportunity to explore beautiful truths of how we are fearfully and wonderfully by a loving God and I am all in!!
Here are three of my favourite picture books that explore emotional well-being. None of them are biblical stories per se but, in my opinion, all share biblical truths!
I’ve added a bible verse for each, along with a ‘wonder’ question to help inspire you to wonder together and explore a little more of the wonder of God’s love and the wonder of you!
Incredible You - Rhys Brisenden and Nathan Reed, TATE publishing
This is such a beautiful book both in words and in artwork! With a rhyme style that reminds me a little of Dr Seuss, it is packed full of fun and affirmation. It begins by recognising that sometimes we might wish we were something or someone different and takes an imaginative journey into wondering what else we might prefer to be - perhaps a tall giraffe - or maybe a fish - did you know that fish get to eat all the seaweed they wish?
Having explored some of the imaginative alternatives, we’re then reminded of some of the amazing things that make us wonderful as we finish with a celebration of ‘incredible you’.
There are plenty of opportunities to interact with this story, both immediate - such as having fun on the page that reminds us we can do funny voices- as well as inspiring wider family activities such as ‘write a kind note’.
A great book for primary aged children and a brilliant way to explore a little more of how we are ‘fearful and wonderfully made’.
‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ Ps 139:14
- · What is the thing you like most about yourself?
- · What are the things about you that you think God thinks are incredible?
The Colour Monster Pop Up - Anna Lllenas, Templar Books.
First published in 2015, this is the book I wish had been around when my children were little! It’s available in a few different formats but the pop-up book is definitely worth the extra money! This book is a beautiful journey into naming and understanding emotions and the pop up artwork really brings it to life. The 5 emotions explored are each given a colour, with emotional overwhelm described as having your colours all mixed up. Every page is brilliant, but I especially love the description of fear which says:
‘Being afraid can make you feel very small and alone. If you’re scared, tell me why and we’ll walk through the forest together.’
A beautiful way to open up conversation with your children about emotional well-being and explore how God walks with us and gives us His peace - His Shalom wholeness.
‘You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You.’ Isaiah 26:3
- · Can you remember a time when you felt happy … sad … calm …?
- · What does happiness … sadness … feel like in your body?
- · How can we talk to God about how we are feeling?
Happy – A Children’s Book of Mindfulness – Nicola Edwards, Katie Hickey, Little Tiger
Pausing to be still and to be present in the moment is something that most of us could benefit from giving more attention to! This is a beautiful book that helps children to explore ways of doing just that – to notice more of the wonder that surrounds them and to engage their senses as they pause and breathe. Full of God-inspired truth that encourages and supports emotional well-being – this book is full of wisdom for us all. Sprinkled with wondering questions throughout that help you explore the ideas together as well as practical ideas that will help you put it into practice.
And to top it all – the artwork is beautiful – what more can you ask for?!
‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46:10
- · Take a moment to pause and to be still. What can you see, hear, smell, feel, taste?
- · What do you think makes God ‘happy’?