Review: Jesus Always -- 365 Devotions for kids
On the one hand, I applaud this book for tackling some pretty heavy topics for a kid's devotional. It's a good stepping stone between the toddler-kiddie kind of devotional and adult devotionals. I'll even say that in many ways this is on a par with a lot of adult devotionals.
But I have a few issues with this book. First I'm not a fan of the "first person" format. The book is written in devotionals where God speaks directly to the reader. So instead of "Jesus is" we have "I am." Or "Go to Jesus" we have "Come to me." This is a problem because I really think it would be best if this was read to kids by their parents. Children reading this book will have to understand that these messages were written by one particular person pretending to be speaking as God. That is a lot to deal with. They will have to understand that this person may or may not be totally correct in everything, and that this person is not really God. Cognitively, the minds of young children aren't really formed to have that ability to do the mental gymnastics this book requires.
The second problem is connected to the first: Because the book is written in first person, some of the exhortations -- which would be couched in gentler terms-- just comes off as God nagging the reader. Or worse: the exhortations sound like a bullying God. The tone is all wrong. Sure, there are sections where the "message from God" is all about love.
Thirdly, the theology feels a bit like church speak. So if the child you give this book to goes to church, they will be already down with the jargon. It's not a problem with the vocabulary. Yes, sometimes the vocabulary is at times a bit tough for younger kids but kids can learn concepts such as radiant and infinite and their parents can explain some concepts. But wow, a lot of the doctrines and theologies come so fast and furious that more explanations are needed.
I received this book free of charge in exchange for a fair and honest review.