We are a couple of weeks away from Pentecost—the celebration of the outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh: wind and fire, young and old seeing visions and dreaming dreams, and women and men speaking with other tongues. Acts 2 tells the story of one-hundred-and-twenty disciples gathered and waiting, surprised and vivified by the Spirit’s presence, knit together as one family—the church—the body of Christ.
The Day When God Made the Church: A Child’s First Pentecost Book by Rebekah McLeod Hutto (illustrated by Stephanie Haig) provides a way for parents, educators and ministers to share the story of the Holy Spirit’s coming with young children. With Haig’s vivid illustrations, Hutto narrates the rush of wind, the crowds confusion and highlight’s from Peter’s sermon. She stresses the good news of Christ’s resurrection and the joy and new life given by the Spirit to all who respond to the good news of Jesus.
Hutto is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister at Brick Presbyterian Church where she serves as Associate Minister for Christian Education and Discipleship. She manages to tell the story of Pentecost in an engaging way that is simple enough for a three or four-year-old to apprehend, and true enough to events that older kids and adults (big kids) will also find it instructive. Haig’s artwork includes ribbons of color and fire, people, animals and symbols. There is a variety of skin tones included among Jesus’ disciples, signally the diversity of the body of Christ.
This is a short picture book (paper back, 32 pages long) but it captures well the birth of the church. I recommend this book for parents, Christian education directors, Sunday School teachers who want to share the joy and Good News of the Spirit with their children. I give this four stars.
Note: I received this book from Paraclete Press in exchange for my honest review.