Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. Opinions expressed are my own.
- Written by Sarah Parker Rubio
- Illustrated by Dream Chen
- Publisher: WorthyKids (Hachette)
- Format: Board Book (7 x 0.55 x 7.05 inches)
- Audience: Ages 1-4
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…so that you, with all God’s people, will be given strength to grasp the breadth, length, height and depth of the Messiah’s love…Eph. 3:18
We love because He first loved us.1 John 4:19
This delightful little book brings God’s love to life with tangible images that will make sense to a tiny audience. The pattern of the book, which likens God’s love to elements in nature and joyous moments in day-to-day life, reminds me of a psalm. Just as the psalms are written as short poems, God’s Love is Like Sunshine is a rhyming story with an upbeat rhythm. The psalms are full of metaphors and analogies to contextualize God’s love, zeal and protection. God is a “Shepherd” to His sheep (Psalm 23), a rock fortress to the refugee (Psalm 18), with “unfailing love and truth…as attendants” (Psalm 89:14).
Without directly citing Bible verses, the book has various details that, in a contemporary fashion, harken back to the psalms. Compare, for example:
“Love is like pancakes piled high on your plate…” / “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” Psalm 34:8
“God pours out his love and fills you right up…” / “My cup overflows!” Psalm 23:5
There are also references that connect God’s love with singing, as well as a mention that He sings over us. This is such a beautiful truth for a children’s book.
What I Liked
I like that this book takes a simple, but abstract, concept and puts it into words for children to understand. Speaking from personal experience as someone who grew up attending church, I have found that it is easy for such a profound truth to lose its meaning without ever really having meaning.
Children may grow up hearing “God loves you,” but what does that really mean? I think Sarah Parker Rubio does a good job of answering this question in a way that infuses these familiar words with relatable meaning.
I also appreciate that the book includes the spiritual principle of loving because God first loved us. The emphasis is definitely on God’s love for us, but the author concludes by noting that God’s love is what empowers us to love others.
Somewhat of an aside, but this book’s title also makes me think of the song “Your Love is Like Springtime,” by Chris Renzema. Definitely worth a listen!
Dream Chen’s lively illustrations certainly bring the text of the book to life, with their bright colors and attention to detail. The cover, for instance, features a cheerful pup kissing a little girl– perfetly fitting for a book about love! Similarly, the last page of the book includes a boy receiving a dove– symbolic of peace– on his outstrethed arm.
Throughout the book, the characters wear expressions of delight and serenity as they experience moments of God’s love. The cast of characters is also diverse and includes children with differing skin tones, hairstyles and abilities.
This sweet little book would make a nice addition to a home library for parents of toddlers and young children. I could also envision this as a Sunday School nursery readaloud.