I was given a copy of Allia Zobel Nolan’s book When God Turned on the Light to review, and the more I read it, the more I like it. Not only do I see it as a wonderful book for children, but it inspires me as a glowing example of how to write about the Bible in a delightfully new way.
This is a book about creation. It isn’t exactly Genesis, but it is. It weaves the theme of light playfully through most of the days in the Genesis account of creation. Because the book focuses on things young children understand, it will captivate children from beginning to end.
The rhyme in this story flows smoothly enough throughout the book. But it isn’t just rhymes that make the book poetic; the text is rich with word pictures and beautiful descriptions. For example: “Caterpillars munched leaves, which the light made see-through. When they took off their fuzzy coats, butterflies flew.” Allia’s creative lines, coupled with delightful illustrations by Linda Clearwater, will stretch every child’s imagination.
Pages come with surprises. For instance, zebras discover their reflections “staring them right in the eyes.” Fun pops out of page after page as the light seems to dance its way through the story, bringing everything to life. And near the end of the book, a much deeper concept is beautifully introduced: “Yes, God lit the world with another light too. He was Jesus, the Lord, who saved me and saved you.” Wow!
And on the last page is a Scripture verse, Psalm 18:28: “You have turned on my light! The Lord my God has made my darkness turn to light” (TLB).
This book takes my breath away. I know it will touch young hearts in a powerful way.
Authors and writers, read the very best books in the genres you want to write in to see what makes them the best. Look for the spark that ignites a child’s imagination. Then find topics that can sparkle and shine out of your writing, and put them on paper using all the finesse of a skilled craftsman of the language.