I am a father of four kids eight and under. So I read to them a lot. As far as religious kids’ books, I like books that tell the old, old story well in a way that is both age appropriate and compelling. The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross is a great book. It gives kids age five to eight (my test group) a big picture sense of why Jesus died and rose again. Author Carl Laberton tells a story which is accessible for my kids and true to scripture. His story is beautifully illustrated by Catalina Echeverri’s stunning illustrations. On the first day I got this book, I already read it several times with my kids. It opened up a great conversation with my eight year old about what the Bible tells about sin and we loved talking about what was happening in the pictures.
Here is a brief synopsis of the book [spoiler alert]: It begins in the garden where there was nothing bad, ever and there was no one sad. . . ever. And best of all God was there. Unfortunately the people did a terrible thing and decided they wanted a world without God in charge. Because of their sin, God sent them out of the garden and put warrior angels in front of it like a big KEEP OUT sign. People still kept sinning because they didn’t want God in charge. God wanted to remind people how wonderful it was to live with him, so he had his people build a temple. In the center of the temple was the wonderful place where God was. But around that wonderful place was a curtain with pictures of warrior angels—God’s big keep out sign telling them that because of their sin, they couldn’t come in. After hundreds of years God sent his son as a person (Jesus) to open the way to God’s wonderful place. The people put Jesus on a cross. Jesus took all our sin—the bad things we do and the sad things they cause—and the curtain in the temple tore in two signalling God’s wonderful place was open again. Jesus rose three days later and welcomed all who trust in him back to God’s wonderful place.
I like this book a lot and my kids all liked it. It is a perfect book to explore the meaning of Easter with kids. Another plus for the book is that Jesus isn’t depecited as another blond haired messiah. He has dark hair and some color. The final pages depict the post-resurrection Jesus with bright face with a glowing white hair and beard nd a golden sash (see Revelation 1:13-16).I give this book high points for biblical and theological accuracy but it was the art work that initially grabbed me. Below, illustrator Catalina Echeverri reads the story alongside her illustrations. This will give you something of a taste of what to expect. I give this book five stars. ★★★★★
Note: I received this book from the Good Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest review.