Title: At Your Baptism
Author: Carrie Steenwyk and John D. Witvliet
Illustrator: Linda Saport
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young
Audience: All ages
Summary: At Your Baptism is a book which uses the words from the French Reformed liturgy for baptism to remind us how much God loves us all. It does this by telling the story of God’s greatest gift – the birth, life, death and resurrection of his son and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Literary Elements at Work: This book looks and feels like children’s picture book with thick board pages and few words on the pages but it has a profound message to all readers. The illustrator assist the authors with colorful pictures that help tell the story of God’s love for us. The story begins with God’s promises. He sent his son Jesus into the world as fully human but without sin. It then shows Jesus as a healer, teacher, and friend and then he dies on the cross for us all. But that was not the end. Jesus rose from the dead was seen by many and then he rises to reign in heaven at God’s right hand. Jesus showed us how to love each other and God.
(How) does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story? The authors and the illustrator set the tone for this book concerning gender, race, culture and economics on the first page as they show a gathering of people of all colors for the baby’s baptism. The book then shows Jesus teaching a woman and children. It later shows two children of different races embracing each other and it closes with a picture of all the children playing in a field.
Theology: This book reveals God’s promises for us all. God loves us so much that he sent his only Son Jesus Christ to earth. Jesus came to earth not to be served but to be a servant. And we are called to do the same. We were taught true love and obedience by Jesus, to love God and our neighbors. “We love because God loved us first.”
Faith Talk Questions:
- What lesson can be learned from this child’s book as an adult? Or is there one?
- What lesson can be learned as a child?
- Do you think God loves us all the same or does he have a favorite? If so who is it?
- Do the illustrations help tell the story? Why or Why not?
- Would you change anything in the story? Why or Why not?
- Can you earn God’s love? Why or Why not?
- Does this story help you understand the importance of your baptism? If so how?
This book review was written by Union Presbyterian Student Bob Martin