Nothing (Book Review)

  • Author: Natalee Creech
  • Illustrator: Joseph Cowman
  • Publisher: WorthyKids (Buy Now!)
  • Synopsis: Delightful imagery and concrete rhymes bring Rom. 8:38 to life in this adventurous board book for ages 1-4.
  • Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. Opinions expressed are my own.

Scripture Connection

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

Spiritual Themes

The rhyming book begins with a question: “Can anything separate me from God’s love?”, then offers its answer– a resounding “No!” Each page sets forth a possible object or scenario that could, possibly, separate a person from God’s love, typically beginning with the phrase “not.” In this way, the book follows the format of the key Scripture. Just as the verses in Romans illustrate that there is NOTHING with the power to separate us from God’s love, this little book conveys the same message.

Additionally, the book adds affirmation of the strength and resilience of God’s love: “There is nothing so POWERFUL, / nothing so STRONG– / God’s love is too HIGH, / and too DEEP and too LONG.” This is why even “a swirling tornado / or a sinkhole of mud” cannot separate us from God’s love!

What I Liked

As I mentioned in a recent picture book review, it is easy to become desensitized to God’s truths. There is SO MUCH goodness in the Good News and, especially for those who grow up learning these truths in Sunday School, it can become easy to forget what they really mean– if, indeed, we really understood them, at all.

My recollections of Sunday School are more lessons of morality than messages about the depth of God’s love. And, frankly, I was already learning about morality (“Character Counts!”), at school.

That’s why I SO appreciate books like this one. The message is clear and tangible– and the Indiana Jones style imagery definitely contributes to the fun.

My favorite pages were the ones that discussed God’s love with respect to our sin: “No! God’s love doesn’t change / with the words that you say / or the things that you do. / It will not go away!” I think that this is a message most of us need to hear. So often, I feel that, once I’m aware of my sin, my relationship with God is all messed up and I can’t find my way back to Him. I feel that I have to make things right, on my own. But this line makes it so clear that, even when we mess up, God isn’t going anywhere!

With such a great message, this is a book I would gladly recommend for kids AND grown-ups!

Illustrations

The writing evokes some powerful, adventurous images, and the illustrations are right on board! (That was an unintentional pun. Hooray!) Cowman’s artwork is zany and whimsical, and the book features some splendid scenarios, from a kid astride a white buffalo on a teeny-tiny cliff to a kitten in a space suit aboard a rocket ship.

I really enjoyed Cowman’s integration of animals, in general. On closer inspection, I realized that amost every illustration includes at least one animal. I spy a pooch, a butterfly, a buffalo, some mice, two squirrels, a frog and someone who loves ice. (And more!) Plus, the animals have definitive personalities, just like the children. The eagle, for instance, is not a happy camper.

Overall, Cowman’s artwork is delightfully imaginative and makes the sentences leap off the page.

Recommendation

For adventurous littles and adults who need a reminder of God’s love, this is a title I highly recommend.

Published by Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

Hi, there! My name is Stephanie and I’m a Fresno, CA native. After studying at Biola University, I received my MLIS (Masters in Library Science) from San Jose State University. I live with my mom, poet Kimberly Vargas Agnese, and serve as her unofficial agent. We reside at MeadowArc, a food forest in its infancy. I am called to, and passionate about, purity. In fact, the name Agnes means “pure.” Before I was born, my mom felt led to include the name Agnes in her name, and in the names of her children. My full, hyphenated name includes 26 letters (but not the whole alphabet).

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