I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher. Opinions expressed are my own.
- Author: Joyce Meyer
- Publisher: Worthy Kids (Hachette)
- Available June 7th
- Synopsis: Joyce Meyer’s picture book provides encouragement for young readers: God has given you special gifts and “no one else… is exactly like you.”
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
The book explores individuality in the context of God’s design for people. There is emphasis on loving ourselves because of who God has created us to be. At the same time, the author makes it clear that our gifts and talents are not meant to be used selfishly, but to love one another.
What I Liked
This book is rich with grace! The author points out that even when we mess up (and we WILL mess up), God doesn’t stop loving us. I so appreciate this emphasis I have been seeing in children’s books, which takes away the weight of legalism and instead encourages readers to rest in God’s constant, unchanging love.
I like that Meyer lists a variety of different gifts, when discussing possible talents a person may have. In addition to standard hobbies like playing soccer and acting, she also mentions gifts of encouragement (cheering on your friends) and making friends.
Meyer also addresses comparison. Our uniqueness is not intended to produce jealousy or competition. Rather than seeing others’ gifts as a threat to our own, we can thank God for the individual talents He has given to each of us– and “let[ting] Him amaze the world through [us].” I so appreciate this phrasing. Life is not about striving to please God, but about abiding in Him, allowing Him to have His way in us (John 15).
Martin Piwowarski’s illustrations are excellent: deeply imaginative and wonder-inspiring. There are lots of snapshots of nature, including some adorable animals, as well as some clever interpretations of the text. My favorite illustration shows a little girl placing a crown on the head of another girl, based on descriptions about loving one another.
Another of my favorite illustrations accompanies a paragraph about God’s love “zoom[ing] past forever.” The art depicts a rocket ship zooming straight through a little boy’s bedroom. On the bed, the sleeping dog (who I just realized is one of the main characters) also wears an astronaut helmet. Another drawing also features out-of-this-world illustration, with a child dangling his legs off a crescent moon seat.
Artwork is also delightfully diverse, with children of varying skin shades, hairstyles and abilities (one of the little boys is in a wheelchair). These diverse representations affirm the message of the book.
Colorful and inspiring, Uniquely You is an excellent read for children aged 4-7, as a read-aloud or independent read. The message of uniqueness, without comparison, is a great encouragement for adults, too!