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Zacchaeus and Jesus Review by Karen Waide

Flipside Stories
Dandi Daley Mackall
Tyndale Kids
(800) 323-9400
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188

We had the opportunity to review one of three newly released Flipside Stories from Tyndale Kids. The book is titled Zacchaeus and Jesus. It is also known as Jesus and Zacchaeus. This double-sided book was written by Dandi Daley Mackall and illustrated by Lisa Manuzak.  The book is suitable for children ages 3-8.

This 46 page hardcover Bible storybook tells the story of Zacchaeus from two different perspectives. In the first side, the story is told from the perspective of Zacchaeus. We see what might have been going on in Zacchaeus' mind and life when he heard about Jesus passing by. Then we see what happens when he meets Jesus. When you are done reading the one side (which is about half of the book), you just flip the book over and start at the beginning of the other side. This time you will be reading from Jesus' point of view.

The story is told in rhyme, which I love in a children's book. I think the rhymes really help the story to flow. This story is slightly different though. Each page has 3 lines of rhyming text, and then there is a fourth line which does not rhyme. This line is used to connect the story together. On the pages from Zacchaeus' point of view, we find that Zacchaeus is very much interested in seeing Jesus. There are lines such as, “I like what I've heard about Jesus,” and “I hope that from here I'll see Jesus.” While Zacchaeus is wanting to see Jesus, we see that Jesus (on his side of the book) is focused on finding and saving those who are lost. We find such lines as, “I was looking for those who were lost,” and “Seeking the man who was lost.” This resonated with me, as I know it is straight from the Bible account, where it is said, “...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10. In fact, this Bible verse is the last sentence on the Jesus-side of the book.

The illustrations are quite eye-catching. They are bright, bold, and fun, and fill up one half or the full double-page spread. I have to say, the illustrations really help to complete the book. Browns, greens, and dark reds are prevalent colors, with a smattering of blue, yellow, and white. Both perspectives of the story also have one double page spread that is to be held vertically. On these pages we are in the tree, either looking down at Jesus, or looking up at Zacchaeus.

This book can help children to understand that Jesus loves us all, and he is seeking out those who are lost and wants to save them. From Zacchaeus' point of view, we learn that no matter what we have done, we can approach Jesus for salvation. I love that you get to see this story from two points of view. It is also very important to me that the story stays faithful to the Biblical account. Yes, there is extra dialogue added in to help the story along, but these additions help to tell the story. I do not feel that they hurt the Bible story.

This is definitely a book I recommend for families with young children. If you are looking for a Bible story that shares the truths of the Bible, this would be a great book to add to your collection. It can be purchased from Tyndale for $14.99

- Product review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017