Saturday, September 11, 2010

Book Review: Can You Find Jesus?

My children both enjoy look and find books and the Where's Waldo series, so I decided to be sneaky and see if they would like Can You Find Jesus? Introducing Your Child to the Gospel which is a Search and Learn book.  The book contains thirteen pictures that depict different gospel scenes.  For each scene the children need to find the ten symbols that are found in each picture as well as the additional pictures that are on the search list for each individual scene.  Each scene has a brief story that explains what the gospel story is being represented.  Next to each picture on the search list you will find a nice explanation of that particular picture and it's significance.   The back of the book contains a parent guide for each picture.  The parent guide tells you how to go about discussing the picture with your child and how to prompt them to look for specific things in the picture.  I found the guide to be rather useful.  There is also a glossary at the end of this book that defines any terms a child may not be familiar with in a way which they will easily understand.

Overall the book was very well received by my children.  They really enjoyed looking for the hidden pictures and when they had found everything they needed to find they spent some time just looking at all the quirky things in the pictures that made them laugh.  I thought the pictures were well done and rather amusing.

While the book is a lot of fun and a hit with the kids I have some reservations about it.  While reading through it I kept getting a feeling that it just didn't seem very Catholic, which had me bewildered since it is published by a Catholic Publisher.  I feel rather confident that my suspicions were correct when I came to the last picture scene in the book.  This scene entitled "Jesus Lives in Us"  is about finding Jesus in our everyday life, depicts a female member of the clergy.  I thought perhaps I was mistaken and asked my husband if he thought it was a female minister and he is of the same opinion.  For this reason, I doubt that this is really a Catholic book.  Taking a second look, I thought perhaps that female clergy member was really a choir singer, but there's a depiction of a choir and they are not wearing white vestments and a purple stole.  There are no depictions of priests, or any sacraments of the church being celebrated.  Simply put, I have a hard time believing this a an authentically Catholic book.  It's not a bad book but the last picture sort of spoils it for me.  I wouldn't want either of my daughters examining that last picture and getting crazy ideas that someday they can be female priests.  Shortly after writing up this review I discovered that there is also a drawing that appears to be Buddah in the final drawing.  Perhaps the illustrator was trying to be be very ecumenical, but I don't think it or the female clergy member were necessary additions to the book. I suppose most children aren't going to pick up on the Buddah, but I'm sure enough will notice the female minister. For more information on this book or to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

I wrote this review of Can You Find Jesus? for the Tiber River Blogger Review program created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic store online.  I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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