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God's Paintbrush: 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, February 1, 2004


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God's Paintbrush: 10th Anniversary Edition + In God's Name + What Is God's Name? (Early Childhood Sprituality)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights; 1 edition (February 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580231950
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580231954
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 11.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Books for children that deal with spirituality are often a dicey proposition. Here Sasso, the second woman to be ordained as a rabbi, undertakes an ambitious project to help readers define for themselves the nature of God and their own connection to God. Using a variety of images--some from the natural world, some from everyday life, all of them well within a child's frame of reference--the author presents a series of simple scenarios (a friend moving away; the ticklish quality of fizz on an ice cream soda) and then poses related questions ("How can you be God's friend?" "What do you think would make God cry or laugh?"). Commendably, Sasso doesn't presume to answer the questions but instead allows readers to ponder and formulate their own answers. However, the (somewhat lengthy) text presents an anthropomorphic view of God that may not fit in with some readers' beliefs. Compton's watercolors, though vigorous and multicultural, are somewhat amateurish. Overall, some will find this well-meaning book and its joyous spirit helpful, while others might consider it inappropriate. Ages 4-9.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-- A first-person narration supplies observations about God and personal feelings about life in one- or two-page vignettes; questions appear in italics, asking readers how they feel about these observations, and about their experiences with God. Soft, detailed watercolor pictures realistically portray the situation described, mirroring the concept of God's paintbrush. They show people of various ethnic backgrounds and ages in a variety of situations, from a best friend moving away to the wind blowing through one's hair. Many of the pictures appear as double-page spreads, integrating two different experiences. The ideas and emotions presented are not organized in any apparent way, but are more stream-of-consciousness. The book is overwhelming in the sheer number of situations described, feelings explored, and questions posed. It is hard to imagine reading it in its entirety to a child or to a group in one sitting, though perhaps it would be useful in religious classes. The queries are interesting, and in some cases, unusual; the concepts relate to God more as a spiritual being than a religious one, and attempt to personalize children's ideas of Him. --Susan Kaminow, Arlington County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is the author of several nationally acclaimed children's books, including God's Paintbrush, Adam and Eve's First Sunset and In God's Name. Publisher's Weekly selected two of her books, But God Remembered and Noah's Wife; The Story of Na'amah as Best Books of the Year. Abuelita's Secret Matzahs is the winner of the 2005 Sugarman Family Children's Book Award and the 2006 Best Books of Indiana Award. A book for adults, Midrash: Reading the Bible with Question Marks, has been issued in paperback in 2013. She is the 2004 recipient of the Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature. The Shemah in the Mezuzah won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Best Illustrated Children's Book. She co-edited the Winter 2014 CCAR Journal entitled, A Symposium on Sacred Teaching and Spiritual Learning. Her latest book is Creation'sFirst Light. She is currently the Director of the Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Initiative at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I recommend this book to any teacher, parent or caregiver.
Rita A. Colotti
I found this book great for triggering discussion with my four-year old and a six-year old friend about the nature of God.
L. Erickson
An ideal interactive book for young children whose parents are interested in their spiritual formation.
Nathan Brooks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Broaching the subject of "God" and answering children's questions about God is not easy. "God's Paintbrush" is a wonderful springboard for exploring and discussing the question of God and is written in a way that will stimulate thinking about God and our relationship to God by both children and adults.
The book uses non-sectarian and non-sexist language which many readers will probably appreciate, since so many books refer to God as a "He."
Rather than defining God, the author helps children explore God and their relationship to God through moments in their own lives. "I wonder if God has a big lap to curl up in just like Mom's and strong arms like Dad's to lift me up and catch me when I fall."
When a child looses a tooth in order to make room for a new one, he wonders if the trees mind losing their leaves in the fall or if the snow minds melting to make room for spring..."I think God paints the leaves bright colors in the fall and makes the sun warm in spring because God likes changes. God likes the world to grow."
The book is interactive as each page ends with questions directly related to the text that help children explore God and their relationship to God.
The illustrations are colorful and comforting, showing people from different races.
I highly recommend "God's Paintbrush," especially for those who are looking to explore the meaning of God with their children. It will engage and stimulate the religious imagination of children and help them to think of God as a special friend.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book engages children of all ages as well as the adults who may be reading to them. Both my 7 year old daughter and my soon-to-be 11 year old son were drawn in by the relevance of the stories as well as the simple yet captivating images - which delighted even my 2 year old. The questions posed stimulated their imaginations and at the same time made God accessible. They were free to wonder about a God who now seemed more like a friend. A great work is one that touches not only our minds but our hearts. This book does just that.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rita A. Colotti on March 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am a Preschool teacher in a Christian school. We have many children of different faith backgrounds that attend our school.

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso has taken the topic of faith and made it possible to discuss with any person of any denomination, religion or culture.

The book is very thought provoking and allows children of all ages to think about God in a personal way; to realize that He has a unique relationship with each one of us.

Each time I read one of her books to my class, the children respond to the messages from the heart.

I recommend this book to any teacher, parent or caregiver.

Rita Colotti
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christine M. Irvin on February 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
God's Paintbrush, written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and illustrated by Annette Compton, is a different kind of picture book. It does not have a central character (or characters) and it does not tell a story. It is more a collection of vignettes about everyday situations that children encounter. Each short narrative is followed by a question, or questions, that connects the issue with how God fits into our lives.

One example is that of a young boy talking about his best friend moving away. He says he is sad and he hurts inside. The question is then asked, "What do you think makes God hurt?" Another example is a scene where Mom and Dad are tucking their child into bed, giving him hugs and kisses. The question, "What does God's touch feel like to you?" makes you think about being able to "feel" God's presence. All the concepts help to illustrate how God relates to all aspects of our lives. The questions that go along with each scene are thought-provoking and sometimes unusual. No answers are given to the questions. This allows the reader to think about the ideas and come up with answers on their own.

What I Like: I like the different format for the book, as well as the variety of scenarios and situations presented. The language of the text is also beautiful. It's quite poetic and invokes powerful mental images. One example is: "I think the wind is God's breath moving through the world, making it come alive."

What I Dislike: The watercolor illustrations are colorful, and represent many multicultural issues and cultures, but they are a bit sloppy in appearance. I think they distract from the text rather than add to it.

The title of the book was also somewhat misleading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. Erickson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found this book great for triggering discussion with my four-year old and a six-year old friend about the nature of God. It presents a series of scenarios and questions designed to help children explore different aspects of God. From watching clouds, to the changing seasons, to feeling lonely, it uses experiences young children can readily relate to as springboards for spiritual questions. The vision of God that emerges is anthropomorphic in nature, and this may make it more appropriate for those with Judeo-Christian leanings, but it is most definitely non-denominational, and its exploratory nature left room for a non-affiliated believer like myself to feel comfortable.
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