We are, like so many of you, firmly entrenched at home. Mitch’s office is the living room couch; the girls and I are back to homeschooling, as schools are closed state-wide until late April. Our church has moved to online services, and we only leave the house to shop for groceries or to take a short—but socially distant—walk to the neighbor’s, to watch their chickens. Even the library is closed.
It is a strange time.
I know that many of you are in the same boat. I found myself wondering what I can do, from here, to help other families who are suddenly at home all the time with kids, and here are a few things that crossed my mind:
1) I love helping you find good books for your kids, and I know that the long days at home may call for great new read-alouds, or chapter books for a school-age reader now passing the time at home. Or books full of art project ideas. Or books with elaborate pictures that will keep little kids busy for a while. You are always welcome to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will do my best to help you find the book (or books!) you’re looking for. (You don’t even really have to know what you want. Just tell me a little about you and your family, and I’ll come up with a short list of ideas for you.)
2) The Little Book, Big Story book list is always available to you! It is organized by genre, and each book is labelled by age, and each title links to the full blog review (and each review contains a link to the book’s Amazon listing), so you should be able to find some new family favorites there. You can access the book list here.
3) If school closures mean that you are unexpectedly homeschooling, I would love to help in any way I can. Please feel free to email me (email@example.com). I may not be able to answer your questions myself, but I may be able to help direct you toward someone who can. And a lot of curriculum publishers and online programs are offering free or dirt-cheap resources right now for families like yours. I may be able to connect you with some that suit your family. (Do you know of any good ones? Please share them in the comments below!)
4) Lastly, I’m going to keep sharing good books here. Because we’re in the middle of Lent, I already had some great, gospel-filled books scheduled, and I love that we get to keep reminding each other of the truth even now, when things seem so uncertain. But God is not uncertain. He is steadfast and unchanging, and though we are living through one of scarier chapters of his story now, we know that this story has a happy ending.
And that is what today’s book review is all about.
Jesus is surprising: A God that became a baby? A master that serves his servants? A king that dies for his people? This is the truth at the heart of God’s Very Big Surprise.
In this latest book in the wonderful Tales That Tell the Truth series, Randall Goodgame (of Slugs & Bugs!) uses the parable of the good master to tell the story of Jesus’ ascension and return. He also weaves the gospel into the story. And he gives us a vision for what we can do to serve Jesus while we wait for his return.
This is a small picture book, but it is filled with big and glorious truths. And they are truths our families need to hear again and again right now: God knows the end of our story! None of this comes as a surprise to him! I am so grateful for books like this one, that encourage adults as well as kids.
You can find the rest of the books in the Tales That Tell the Truth series (and I really hope you read them all) right here.
God’s Very Big Surprise
Randall Goodgame; Catalina Echeverri (2020)
Disclosure: I did receive a copy of this book for review, but I was not obligated to review this book or compensated for my review in any way. I share this book with you because I love it, not because I was paid to do so.
Hang in there, friends.