We try to differentiate between "Family Worship" books and "Devotions for Kids" books by saying the first is meant for parents to read to and with their kids, and the latter is meant for kids to read to themselves. These books could be used either way—kids at about a third grade reading level could mostly handle these on their own—but as the introduction says, they're meant to be used in a family setting.
Mostly written by Sally Michael, these books focus on various aspects of God: His names, promise, providence, wisdom, battle, word, gospel, and design (just to use the titles). Their stated goal is to encourage an "interactive dialogue between adult and child."
The illustrations can be kind of weird but the books are well designed. Exclamation points are sprinkled liberally throughout the texts, as are discussion questions aimed at helping children think critically. A section titled "learning to trust God" at the end of each chapter brings application through activities, songs, and prayers. Most texts are adapted from the Children Desiring God Sunday School curriculum.
The chapters themselves are about a ten minute read, and that's not including the time spent pausing for discussion and activities. We appreciate the critical thinking focus. Sally Michaels admonishes parents of unbaptized children to never push "your child to pray the sinner's prayer," instead presenting the Gospel, asking questions, and letting the word of God speak for itself. The books have a very strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the fallen state of man, and Christ's redemptive work on the cross. Without being too pushy or juvenile, this series presents the Gospel intelligently and simply for children and families, in a way that honestly and earnestly desires to show that God "is who He says He is."
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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