Tag: rommel ruiz (page 1 of 1)

The Gospel in Color

We had talked to our daughters off and on about racism—here and there as we came across it in books, mostly—but we could discuss it only to a certain depth, being white parents in a predominantly white city. But as the national discussion about race and racism grew louder and more urgent this spring, I was confronted by how little I actually understood about the issue. My own little lessons about it began to seem too shallow, too theoretical.

And so I was grateful for this book, The Gospel in Color. Racism is not theoretical to authors Curtis A. Woods and Jarvis J. Williams, but neither is the gospel: at the heart of this book, it shines bright, a clear reminder that things are not what they are meant to be, but that God is working out his plan of salvation for all races and all peoples.

The Gospel in Color, by Curtis A. Wood & Jarvis Williams | Little Book, Big Story

The Gospel in Color comes in two editions—one for parents, and one for kids. Both are beautifully illustrated by Rommel Ruiz (Golly’s Folly; Why Do We Say Goodnight?), and full of biblical, practical wisdom. The parent edition contains more in-depth information; the kids’ edition is written directly to younger readers.

The Gospel in Color, by Curtis A. Wood & Jarvis Williams | Little Book, Big Story

In both books, the authors share ways that their families have personally experienced racism, as well as some of the history of thought that has led to the idea that one race is somehow superior to others. But Woods and Williams handle this graciously: they don’t villainize anyone, and they don’t gloss over any hard truths either. Instead, they hold the gospel up to the issue of racism and allow it to reveal racism for the sin it is while simultaneously reminding us that grace is available to us for all sin, and that God is always at work, restoring our world.

The Gospel in Color, by Curtis A. Wood & Jarvis Williams | Little Book, Big Story

I know that there are a lot of perspectives on race, even within the church. I know that there will likely be things in this book that may not sit well with all readers. But I know, too, that the gospel is the one thing that unifies all Christians—it is the grace of God that unites us into a family and holds us together—and it is that gospel that Woods and Williams proclaim. Grace for all. Freedom for all in Christ.

After this, I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9–10)

The Gospel in Color: A Theology of Racial Reconciliation for Families
Curtis A. Woods, Jarvis J. Williams; Rommel Ruiz (2018)

Why Do We Say Goodnight?

People in our house can find their own pajamas and put them on (some can even do their own laundry!). They can fill their own water bottles and find beloved stuffed animals wedged between a bed frame and a wall. Gone are the days of the last-minute feedings, velcro swaddlers, ninja-style exits from darkened rooms. (Gone, too, are the sweet, sleeping baby noises; the snuggly late-night feedings; the tiny toes . . . )

Only two things still pull our just-tucked-in daughters from their just-warmed-up beds:

a) interpersonal conflict

b) fear

House fires, volcanoes, giant puppets that eat people: our daughters’ marvelous imaginations—the same ones that fuel their stories and games during daylight hours—sometimes take a while to power down before bed. That hour when all is quiet and their thoughts hum darkly along can be rough.

Why Do We Say Goodnight?, by Champ Thornton | Little Book, Big Story

Why Do We Say Goodnight?, a sweet story by Champ Thornton (The Radical Book for Kids) and Rommel Ruiz (Golly’s Folly), addresses just this. “Why do we say goodnight,” the young narrator wonders, “when night isn’t good at all?” Her mother gently and patiently tells her that God made the dark as well as the light, and he is with us in it even when we can see him—our Shepherd and Protector.

Why Do We Say Goodnight?, by Champ Thornton | Little Book, Big Story

These are truths I still tell myself when my own imagination turns toward the Dark Side at three in the morning. They are truths I point to when worried daughters drift into the living room after hours.

And right now, as we live in lockdown, I turn to these truths during the daylight hours: God is our Shepherd and Protector, and when we can’t see, he can. We aren’t always surrounded by a literal darkness right now but by the darkness of waiting, which obscures the road ahead and makes us wonder, How long, O Lord? And so this book is an encouragement to me as I read it to my daughters and pray with the story’s narrator:

Please help me, Lord,
to trust in you
for all you are
and all you do.

Lord, you made night,
and you can see.
You’re the Shepherd
who cares for me.


Why Do We Say Goodnight?
Champ Thornton; Rommel Ruiz (2019)

Golly’s Folly

Some of the best parts of Scripture feature unsavory elements. Adultery, for example. Prostitution. Murder. And because those passages tend toward the unsavory, they don’t often get shared with children.

Maybe that’s as it should be. Maybe those books are better after the wait.

Golly's Folly, by Eleazar & Rebekah Ruiz | Little Book, Big Story

But sometimes authors take the plunge and pull surprisingly beautiful themes out of Scripture’s darker corners. Authors Eleazar and Rebekah Ruiz did just that when they adapted the story of Ecclesiastes into a parable called Golly’s Folly.

Golly is a prince who grows impatient for his turn to be king. But when his father hands his crown over to Golly, Golly uses his new authority to surround himself with wealth, possession, and knowledge—all in an effort to make himself happy. That goes about as well as you might expect. Eventually, Golly learns that what makes him truly happy was his before he ever wore a crown.

Golly's Folly, by Eleazar & Rebekah Ruiz | Little Book, Big Story

I happened upon a trailer for this book months ago, and while I was promptly smitten with the illustrations and the design, I was most taken with the message of the book. From a young age, our children are surrounded with countless variations on the theme that we can find our happiness in possessions and experiences and achievements, and they watch us wrestle with those same temptations (with varying degrees of success). So I’m thankful for a book that shows our children, clearly and concisely, where our true happiness lies.

Golly's Folly, by Eleazar & Rebekah Ruiz | Little Book, Big Story

And while I’m excited to tell you about Golly’s Folly myself, this week’s review doesn’t end there: on Tuesday, you’ll get to hear directly from authors Eleazar and Rebekah Ruiz, who were kind enough to let me interview them for this blog! I think you’re going to love what they have to say about children’s books, beauty, and their new publishing company, Patrol Books. (We’ll also be giving away a copy of the book!)

But if you can’t wait until then and want to know more about the book right now—why they wrote it, how it was made—here are a few behind-the-scenes videos about the making of Golly’s Folly to tide you over:

Behind the Story |  Behind the Art | Behind the Letters

Golly’s Folly
Eleazar and Rebekah Ruiz, Rommel Ruiz (2016)