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Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers set (four books) Review by Donna CamposBy Joey Allen
New Leaf Press
PO Box 726
Green Forest, AR 72638
Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers is a four-book series intended for ages 4-7. These hardbound, full-color books are designed to teach children the foundations of the Christian faith in these four areas: The Trinity, The Scripture, The Gospel, and The Mission. The concepts are difficult to explain, but Joey Allen does so with basic wording and scripturally sound theology. The Scripture references included throughout each book are helpful for furthering the understanding of the child and solidifying the subject matter with Biblical proofs. Each book has a unique Foreword, and those were written by Dr. D. Jeffrey Bingham of the Dallas Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr. of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Earl and Ruth Radmacher of the Western Seminary, and Jerry Rankin of The International Mission Board, SBC, respectively. Each book complements the others in the set but will stand alone if desired. The only other item you may want on-hand is a Bible for looking up the Scripture references.
The straightforward writing style makes this series an excellent tool for families with a broad age range of children, as older children can read to younger ones and learn more in doing so. Also, by listing only the Scripture references, the author leaves the decision of Bible translation up to the parent, which we thoroughly appreciate! Each book references God's Son and His sacrifice as central to the broader picture of Christianity. We particularly enjoyed a comparison used in The Gospel: just as passengers riding on an airplane are required to do nothing to accept its flight, there is nothing a person can do to get to heaven beyond trusting Christ. It is this type of simple explanation that makes us enjoy these books. Our children enjoy the books and come back to them repeatedly, as we will continue to do.
The subject matter for this series is serious, and as such, there are serious implications. I am sure that parents are much in prayer when talking with their children about salvation or other spiritual topics. I would stress that prayer is still necessary when reading these books. The theology is sound and well presented, but some of the examples used may be intense for some children (e.g., a friend saving you from being hit by a car or being lost from your parents). Our 8-year-old son is on the autistic spectrum, and a great deal of discussion is necessary for us to approach this subject matter. I advise using these books in an atmosphere of discussion rather than having young readers read them on their own.
Our family found these books to be a blessing. They open doors to discussion between parent and child, and I believe they will help many children come to a fuller understanding of the Christian faith.
Product review by Donna Campos, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2007