- Age Range: 4 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 2
- Series: A Faith that God Built Book
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale Kids (February 2, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1496417437
- ISBN-13: 978-1496417435
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,991,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Beautiful Garden of Eden (A Faith that God Built Book) Hardcover – February 2, 2017
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Top customer reviews
Clearly, since I'm not well-versed in children's books, I'm also not well-versed in their authors. Gary Bower lives in Michigan with his wife, Jan, and they have 12 children and 22 grandchildren. I'd say that makes him an expert on writing books that will appeal to kids!! You should check out their website and read about the creative endeavors of the whole family!
The book I read is called The Beautiful Garden of Eden and is part of "A Faith That God Built" series. It's written in the rhyme scheme of "The House that Jack Built," with each new part of the story building on the previous part and repeating all the way back to the beginning.
Here's what I love about the book:
* Illustrations, done by Barbara Chotiner, are whimsical and fun. It's the first time I've ever seen the forbidden fruit depicted as a pomegranate rather than an apple, and the Adam and Eve illustrations are tastefully done. Illustrations are as important as words in children's books, I think, so I was impressed.
* While I worried that the repetitive rhyme would get annoying, it didn't feel that way to me as I read it out loud. In fact, I felt the repetition was great for solidifying the Scriptural truths into little hearing hearts.
* Speaking of Scriptural truths, I found the book to be sound in doctrine. I think that's another thing you have to be careful with in children's books; there's a difference between changing the meaning and making it kid-appropriate. I felt like this one made it kid-appropriate without compromising truth.
* I heard Gloria Gaither say once that kids love big words, because it makes them feel smart to say fun, big words. This book incorporates that. While it's not written over the heads of kids in general, it throws in a few fun big words like upheaval, comely, calamitous, and woefully.
* The final page of the book directs readers to the full account in Scripture, which I think is important.
I'm glad to put this book on my shelf, alongside the handful of treasures I've picked up at the Goodwill. Next time the kids come over, I hope they'll have fun reading it!
* Tyndale sent me a copy of this book at no charge. All opinions are my own. *
1. It must be beautiful. This, of course, has more to do with the illustrations than the writing but a book with pictures that look like I drew them (definitely no artistry coming from my hands) are not going to draw in a child. The Beautiful Garden of Eden is illustrated by Barbara Chotiner. They are not too intricate but not too elementary. It's a beautiful blend of the two that lends wonderful pictures with this story. I love the bold colors she uses - deep pink and luscious green. I adore her details of the serpent's scales and the bramble thorns.
image via Amazon.com
2. The words must dance. This is why Dr. Seuss is so popular - he knew how to make words dance and bounce! The Beautiful Garden of Eden has a lovely lilting quality to the words. It's lovely to read aloud. If you struggle with reading a book aloud, it's not a good story time book. Bower has made these words dance with rhyme and rhythm.
image via amazon.com
3. It's repetitive. This is not 100% true but kids tend to remember by repetition. The Garden of Eden follows "the same whimsical style of storytelling as the beloved classic 'The House That Jack Built'" and the repetition will leave your child asking for this book again and again.
4. There must be a good plot. I've read some bad books where you end up scratching your head, trying to figure out what the plot was exactly. Now, The Beautiful Garden of Eden, of course, follows the Biblical account of Adam and Eve and their fall. I love this plot because it's true, it teaches kids why we sin, and the last page leaves you with a hint of the end. Galatians 3:13 "Christ has rescued us from the curse." I'm glad Bower doesn't just leave us with a fallen Adam and Eve but skips to the end and the redeeming love of Christ.
5. It must be short. I absolutely love Berenstain Bear books and Arthur. They are not really good preschool story time books because of their length. Exceptions can be made but I prefer to use books about the length of The Beautiful Garden of Eden, Bear Snores On, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Children have short attention spans and if you would like to read more than one book at a time, then you must keep them short and sweet.
I do hope you will purchase The Beautiful Garden of Eden by Gary Bower. It would make a lovely addition to any library.
Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own and may vary from others' opinions.
The Beautiful Garden of Eden by Gary Bower and illustrated by Barbara Chotiner is a retelling of Genesis 1-3 in the style of “The House that Jack Built.” Part of the Faith that God Built collection, The Beautiful Garden of Eden is the story of how the first sin occurs when the serpent tempts Eve with the fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil.”
The repetitive cadence of the story invites young readers to predict the upcoming text and recite it from memory.
The rhyming text portrays what leads up to Adam and Eve taking the forbidden fruit, and what happens afterwards:
“This guy is Adam, the very first man,
molded from mud when Creation began,
Who ate of the fruit , so slurpy and sweet,
that God warned His gardeners never to eat.”
The story is told in the illustrations as well, with a special surprise interwoven in the tree branches toward the end of the story. The vivid colors and vibrant style of the illustrations help express the emotion of the story while remaining childlike and whimsical. all of these elements make The Beautiful Garden of Eden a wonderful way to introduce young children to the Genesis story.
This book is especially fun to read aloud because of its song-like rhymes. There is a beautiful marriage of rhyme and illustration, an important quality of picture books for pre-readers. Young children enjoy looking at enticing illustrations while listening and are more likely to remember the message of the book if they enjoy it. Overall, The Beautiful Garden of Eden is a fun way to introduce a big concept to little learners.
The publisher provided a review copy of The Beautiful Garden of Eden.
Most recent customer reviews
-written by Gary Bower and illustrated by Barbara Chotiner-
The BEAUTIFUL Garden of Eden takes the story of Adam and Eve to...Read more
What fun! This is going to be one of those books that the children will want to hear read over and over and over.Read more
“A Faith That God Built” series
–by Gary Bowen
If your kids like the classic 'The House That Jack Built', they will love the...Read more