This is a review that almost did not happen. I was not part of the first call for it, but got picked up when a few spaces opened up. It was a book I almost passed up until I saw the author named. But with the book Just Do It under his belt, I figured it was a book worth considering.
I was right!
The Biggest Story: How the Serpent Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden, by author Kevin DeYoung is a gem! Really it is.
The story behind the story- Kevin wrote this book from a sermon he preached to his congregation around Christmas. He eventually expanded his sermon and wrote it down in story form. While it may look like a simple children's book, it is oh so much more. Woven through a book written in simple story form is the story of redemption. The story of sin and the One who conquered sin. The story of the first Adam and the second Adam.
For 132 pages, The Biggest Story goes beyond the familiar stories we all learned in Sunday School. Yes, inside you will find mention of Adam and Eve and Abraham and Noah. But instead of just the typical story book fashion of many little tales from the Bible, Kevin has woven one continuous story of God's love for his people- from beginning to the end.
Is it serious? Yes! Will your kids like it? Yes! Because tucked in between the powerful message and colorful pages, Kevin inserts humor that will also make you giggle.
My kids' favorite line-
"When David wasn't sinning (which he did in some really big ways), he was a good, wise, merciful king. " p 83
Yes, trust kids to focus on the humor. But, hey, focus is good regardless and if it draws them in and holds their attention without taking away from the story in any way, I am game.
My favorite line-
"God's promises never fail and the Promised One never disappoints." p.123
There are 10 amazing chapters in this book. The plan was for our family to read one chapter a night during our devotion time. Didn't happen. We ended up reading the book in three nights because no one wanted to stop with just one. Honestly, you could easily read the book in one sitting- it is just that good. Just be ready to read it again. And again!
At the end is a two page Note to Parents from Kevin that I would recommend you read FIRST! It will give you ideas of some things to look for while you are reading and some topics to expand on and discuss with your kids.
Just a quick note about something else that really stood out for our family. The illustrations in The Biggest Story are brilliant! I will admit that modern art is not really my thing, but wow, these pictures will knock your socks off. It is quite frankly one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have seen in a very long time. Every time I read a two page spread I turned the book around to show the kids the pictures and we have since had many conversations about several in particular. In addition, people who have walked in our house and seen it sitting on our coffee table have also picked it up and commented on it.
The pictures alone would hold the attention of younger kids who may not yet be ready to grasp the story and it makes for a beautiful book to keep out. Who knows, maybe it will be the book that sparks conversations in your house that open doors to sharing the Gospel. God can use anything and anyone!
As usual, Fly By Productions is graciously allowing us to share a copy of this beautiful book with one of our readers. Please leave a comment here and one winner will be randomly selected next Friday!
Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan. He blogs at the Gospel Coalition and has authored or coauthored numerous well-known books, including Just Do Something, The Hole in Our Holiness, Crazy Busy, and Taking God At His Word. He lives with his wife and their 6 children in Central Michigan.
About Don Clark:
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