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John Sommer, “Too Many Pickles (and a Few Great Books)” (Sep 25, 2018)

I enjoyed reading Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase with the children. It had just the right touches of wit, adventure, trepidation, and justice. The article talks about her writing style as well as the time her family made home in a bus.

Brian Phillips, “The Practical Magic of Joan Aiken, the Greatest Children’s Writer You’ve Likely Never Read,” The New Yorker (Aug 31, 2018)

The basic finding is that children’s brains are activated differently in emerging readers depending on how the content was fed to them. Audio-only had little brain activation, meaning just playing an audiobook or reading without letting the child see or hold the book is not highly effective. The opposite was true of full-on voice and animation, which left the child with very little to do in terms of activating their brains to understand the content. The middle ground, reading to a child while showing them static illustrations, required the most interaction in the brain and developed the most connection with the content.

There has long been a case for the “calmness” associated with e-ink e-readers for children’s content.

Mercy Pilkington, “Research Shows What Books Do to Kids’ Brains,” Good e-Reader (May 27, 2018)

“Our Favorite Picture Books,” Bethany Chase Photography Blog

Jonathan C. Edwards, “Father to the Fatherless: What to Believe When Dad Walks Away,” Desiring God (May 2, 2017)

Panorama of children't picture book covers
Creation to Christmas: Big Picture Picture Books /

At CTBP we know you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the little ones in your life. Something simple yet significant. And you want our recommendation. Well…

Why not give them the Creation and Consummation of the cosmos in a picture book? What would better satisfy your niece or nephew than the biblical panorama of salvation history to read in one sitting? An epic present. Really.

The idea of the Bible as one epic story is catching on with authors, illustrators and publishers. Jesus started the idea (Luke 24:27, 44–49). Missionaries have taken to crafting “Creation to Christ” (C2C) stories to cross cultures. I tell it as the Kingdom Story. And now there are picture books to give you more creative ways to convey the good news to your children. Make this year’s gift truly epic by doing it together: reading, believing and living out the story of the Bible.

Below are three winners and two honorable mentions in the category of… uh… big picture picture books.


Honorable Mentions

Two other books are too long for one sitting but present the Bible clearly and creatively as one story.


Kevin DeYoung and Don Clark made a board book to go along with The Biggest Story, The Biggest Story ABC.

“To the Sons and Daughters of Divorce”: Summary /

Every child of divorce must walk a path of healing… The point is to see how, as children of divorce, Jesus Christ is a light in dark places, a hope for the broken, confused, and lonely…

  1. Everyone in a family is organically, emotionally, spiritually connected.
  2. For a child, experiencing a divorce is experiencing a violent storm.
  3. Divorce does not just separate parents.
  4. Divorce separates you from you.
  5. Brokenness is not unrighteousness.
  6. You didn’t do anything wrong, but you still have to heal.
  7. Marriage and divorce communicate something about God’s love.
  8. God has a special affection for you.
  9. God is building you to help others.
  10. Reach out to others who have walked this hard path.

Read it all at Paul Maxwell, “To the Sons and Daughters of Divorce,” Desiring God.

You bless our socks off!

I went up to the roof this morning to take in this sight. I took S—— with me, who is almost 3. He was captivated by the large vehicle yard. “Wow! Look, daddy, trucks!” He even spotted the low-flying plane (can you?). “But son, what about the big and bright snow mountains?” Maybe this background is normal for him.

I grew up near Niagara Falls and always was in danger of finding the “wonder” commonplace because it was so near. What makes something wonderful? Is God less of a wonder because he would come near? Perhaps we take him for granted. But his presence makes the rest more wonderful.

I’m standing and pointing at those snow-caps. But S—— insists, “But trucks, daddy, my favorite!” and I come near to him. “Yes, son, those are one of my favorites, too.”

Doug TenNapel, “Watching my kids play with fireflies on a warm evening is more than I ever thought I’d get from this life.” (Jun 2, 2014)