The Story of Us tells the full redemptive story of Scripture in poetic form, using the classical 4 elements of earth, air, fire, and water.
*The Story of Us by Mitali Perkins and illustrated by Kevin & Kristen Howdeshell. Beaming Books, 2022. 32 pages.
Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 4-8.
Recommended For: All ages.
“One day, Creator came—to sort the mess…” So begins this poetic exploration of the grand story of Scripture: God, the Creator, made man to live in His perfect world. But sin entered the world, causing the entire creation to suffer (not just mankind). The Redeemer came to restore both people and creation itself. And one day, it will all be made new: “at peace, Then and Us.”
The classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are the “Them” in this lovely, unique, and lyrical treatment of the big picture of God’s work on behalf of His creation. We often focus our stories for children on God’s redemptive work among His people, but Scripture is clear that He will restore all of creation in the end along with humanity. Isaiah and Revelation both paint marvelous pictures of lions lying with lambs, of feasting with the Lamb of God, of the new heaven and earth.
I’ve only previewed a digital copy, but I am eager to see the print version because the visuals are dramatic and different. The palette is restful even while it’s exuberant; each element has a thematic color (such as blue for water), but the scenes when all four elements are represented include all the colors to lovely effect. This is not a book to use for “teaching the Bible” so much as it’s a celebration of God at work in and through His creation throughout all time—and for all time. His restoration of us and our world won’t be merely spiritual, but physical as well. Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Pictures of Jesus: Note, the book includes several representations of Jesus (as a baby and as an adult).
Visuals: Adam and Eve are shown naked, but strategic artistic decisions keep them appropriate for young viewers.
Theological: Some may quibble that the book implies that God didn’t “speak” Adam and Eve into existence, but used the four elements. But Genesis 2 does say that God made man from the dust of the ground. Most children won’t pick up on these nuances, but we know some adults will.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Worldview/Moral Rating: 5 out of 5
Literary/Artistic Rating: 5 out of 5
Read more about our ratings here. *indicates a starred review
Related Reading From Redeemed Reader
A Review: *Miracle Man by John Hendrix (another creative Bible story picture book)
A Review: The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung (a Bible story book with terrific illustrations)
A Resource: Why Your Church Nursery Needs a Library
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