by Sally Matheny
The author, Laura Sassi, a graduate of Princeton University and UCLA, had a successful teaching career before becoming a children’s author. She’s been a homeschool mom, children’s ministry director, historic museum interpreter, and more.
In addition to Sassi’s HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS CHILD, Paraclete Press recently published the 24-page board book, MY TENDER HEART BIBLE.
The illustrator, Sandra Eide, created beautiful pictures for this book. Children will find the bright-colored scenes of nature, animals, and people delightful.
I love all the different shades of brown represented in the skin colors. I also like that the forbidden fruit in Genesis is not depicted as apples like other books. Eide illustrated them as an unfamiliar-looking fruit.
In addition, it’s fun to see that Abraham’s wife, Sarah, has a cat hanging out near their tent. I don’t typically see many cats illustrated in children’s Bibles!
Eide thoughtfully put the joyful scenes front-and-center for the tender hearts of little ones.
MY TENDER HEART BIBLE Contents
This board book features twelve Bible stories:
Creation Joy Genesis 1:1 – 2:3
God’s Garden Genesis 3:1-24
Star Promise Genesis 15:1-6
Great Escape Exodus 14:10-31
Tasty Blessings Exodus 16:11-18
Brave Queen Esther 14:13-17
Welcome, Jesus Luke 2:8-19
Dove Love Matthew 3:13-17
Precious Children Mark 10:13-16
Worry Cure Matthew 6:25-33
Donkey Parade Luke 19:35-38
Easter Joy Matthew 28:1-10
There is some creative leeway in the wording since it is presented in rhyming text and written for very young children.
One example, from Dove Love:
“ . . . and God says, ‘Meet Jesus, the Son I adore.”
But, the scripture reference is clearly given so it’s a great way to show children how to look up a passage in the Bible.
In this case, Matthew 3:17 (ESV) states:
. . . and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
The scripture can be read from a full-version of the Bible, such as the English Standard Version or the New King James Version, and further discussed, if so desired.
A sample of Sassi’s engaging rhyming text introducing God’s truths to little ones:
Dark. Light. Day One:
God’s creation has begun.
Splash. Whoosh. Day Two:
Next, come sea and heavens too.
Sprout. Grow. Day Three:
God fashions every plant and tree.
Heart Moments in MY TENDER HEART BIBLE
Each Bible story ends with a Heart Moment, which is a one-sentence prayer.
The one for Creation Joy says,
“Thank You, God, for making the universe and everything in it—including me!”
I highly recommend MY TENDER HEART BIBLE to introduce your toddlers and preschoolers to stories in the Bible.
Check out Sassi’s one-minute, You Tube video clip sharing more about this wonderful book.
A freelance writer, Sally Matheny’s writing is published in worldwide, national, regional, online and print publications. She focuses on the power of story, history, and His Story to tell the next generation wondrous things.
End Game Press is slating Sally’s first nonfiction picture book, T is for Together, for publication in 2024.
Connect with her on various social media sites. But, if she’s not hanging out with family and friends, or engaging in an American history class, you’ll most often find her at SallyMatheny.com or Pinterest.
This review first appeared on Sally Matheny’s blog on February 16, 2023.