Top positive review
Distilling—but not diluting—powerful truth in a way children will understand
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2021
There is a popular concept in Celtic lore called, "thin places," which is the idea that there may be spaces that exist in the world where there's less of a barrier between us and the Divine... that if we go there, we can find the God our hearts so desperately search for.
I believe that in WHAT IS GOD LIKE?, the late Rachel Held Evans' debut children's book, co-authored with Matthew Paul Turner, a "thin place" has been created. This gorgeous book will take your breath away. What I love about Rachel and Matthew's words in this book is that comfort is found in the mystery of God—too many Christian resources for children (and far, far too many of those same resources for adults) set up a very reductive, black-and-white understanding of how God works and leave no room for the reader to be truly amazed by the diverse beauty of the Divine. Many Christian writers are now starting to present lovingly the mystery of God in their works for adults (which very much includes Rachel's catalogue) and it is so wonderful to see those truths distilled—but not diluted—in a way a child can understand and love. As it is in life, there is no easy answer spoon-fed to the reader in this book—each analogy of what God is like inspires critical thought and profound imagination. I have hope for the children of the church if WHAT IS GOD LIKE? and the many other works it will inspire are part of how they are introduced to the question—what is God like? This one is a must read. I can't wait to share it with all of the children in my life.
(P.S. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention also the awe-inspiring illustrations from Ying Hui Tan. The vibrant colors and expert skill are a marvel to behold. Each page more than lives up to the high echelon Rachel and Matthew's words lie. Moreover, the diversity of all the people—gender, ethnicity, disability, and more—featured in this book ensures that every reader will be able to find someone they can point to and say, "that looks like me!" This makes the reader feel seen—by Rachel, Matthew, Ying Hui, and God as well)