I can’t pinpoint the moment when I fell for this—was it the illustration of the disciples pulling their boat out into the sea?
Their expressions during the storm?
Or was it only at the end, when Mitchell brought the story to its beautiful conclusion, that I knew I’d fallen whole-heartedly in love with The Storm That Stopped?
I can’t say. But the book became one of my favorites to read aloud almost immediately.
What Scripture presents as a fairly simple narrative, Alison Mitchell shares with the energy of a good bedtime story. She tells not only what happened but why it was important: When Jesus calmed the storm with just a few words, what did it mean? What did that tell the disciples about who Jesus is? After reading the book, my husband said, “It’s a little like a sermon,” meaning that Mitchell doesn’t stop at telling the story, but goes one step further and tells us what the story is about.
Catalina Echeverri’s illustrations add yet another layer to the story and, if I’m perfectly honest, are what really got to me. You’ve seen her work already in The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross, but she is at her best when illustrating the disciples: she shows how genuinely frightening it must have been to face the storm, but she does it in a way that is funny and endearing. My daughters and I giggled quite a bit over the disciples’ response to the storm, but a few short pages later, I found myself tearing up again—this time not from laughter but from wonder.
Mitchell and Echeverri make a marvelous team and I am glad, because this isn’t their only book together. I’m already itching to read the others!
The Storm That Stopped
Alison Mitchell, Catalina Echeverri (2016)