How Big Is God? (Harper Blessings Series)

Overview

When a young boy asks his mother where God lives, she tells him "in your heart." This inspires a slew of curious questions: Is he invisible? Is he like a superhero? Can he fly? How can he be everywhere all at once? In this heartwarming conversation between mother and son, all the ways in which God exists are discussed and the possibilities are endless. Through bright, dreamy illustrations, How Big Is God captures the immensity and wonder of looking at God—and the world—through a...

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Overview

When a young boy asks his mother where God lives, she tells him "in your heart." This inspires a slew of curious questions: Is he invisible? Is he like a superhero? Can he fly? How can he be everywhere all at once? In this heartwarming conversation between mother and son, all the ways in which God exists are discussed and the possibilities are endless. Through bright, dreamy illustrations, How Big Is God captures the immensity and wonder of looking at God—and the world—through a young child's eyes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A mother leads her son through a conversation about God in this smoothly conceived if slightly bland picture book. The boy begins by asking where God lives, and when told that God lives in his heart, the boy concludes, reasonably enough, that God must be extremely tiny. The mother's responses use kid-friendly language to point to the mysteries of God ("Think of him like sand, small enough to make its way into your sock. Or big enough to make a whole dune"). Alternating between traditional layouts and the occasional vertical spread for emphasis, Bryant (previously teamed with Bergren for God Gave Us You) depicts the talk as action unfolding over the course of a day, in an enticing array of settings, from snowy fields hemmed in by mountains to the bottom of the ocean, from outer space to a waterfall. Despite the range of scenery and an abundance of patterns, the sameness of the palette and of the characters' pared-down expressions tends to dampen the visual interest. On the plus side, Bergren's nondenominational approach presumes little; parents can be anywhere from vaguely spiritual to active in a religious community, and still want to share this book with their children. Ages 3-7. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
In this concept book, a mother tries to explain God's presence to her young son. In reply to the news that God lives in his heart, the boy says, "If God is in my heart, he must be very, very tiny." The mother answers, "He can be inside us, beside us, and all around us, at the same time!" The boy asks if God is also at the neighbors and is God like a superhero? He learns that God is tiny as a seed and tall as a tree. God is on the bus and at school. God is small like a grain of sand but also is big enough to make a desert. God's favorite place is in the heart. The pastel colored pictures show the boy getting dressed, sliding on snow with his dog, and flying a kite. He, the dog, and his mother fly through the stars, sun themselves at the beach, and wade at the bottom of a waterfall. In spite of the loving mother-son relationship, the abstract God lacks warmth. However, this book may be helpful to parents and Sunday school teachers trying to get the idea across. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1- A young boy awakens with a question: "Mom, where does God live?" and the pair spend the day exploring the universality of God. Bergren uses metaphors from nature to show how God can be both small (and personal) and large enough to be a presence throughout the world. Bryant's subdued watercolor illustrations of rosy-nosed, slightly disheveled characters suit Bergren's quiet musings. Each comparison-a snowflake and snow-coved mountains, a seed becoming a tree, a drop of rain and the deepest ocean-appears on a spread that shows the mother, son, and a puppy in that environment. This could confuse readers, since some depict real-life situations and others are obviously products of the characters' imaginations. Though there is nothing new here, the author's careful word choices add rhythm and lift the story beyond its well-trod theme. Match this with Nancy White Carlstrom's Does God Know How to Tie Shoes? (Eerdmans, 1993) to answer big questions with grace.-Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC

Kirkus Reviews
The creators of the popular God Gave Us You series continue their exploration of theological concepts for young children with this effort to explain the philosophical idea of God in more concrete terms. The story's structure follows a little boy as he questions his mother about the concept of God. She explains that God is a direct presence, especially within a person's heart, as well as an all-encompassing force present everywhere around the world. In a series of metaphors, she compares God's presence and power to elements of nature that her son already understands. Some adults and their young listeners will consider the author's cheerful approach meaningful and elucidative; others may find the mother's explanations theologically muddled. Young children will need an adult's help in understanding some of the metaphors, such as God holding the entire universe in his hand. Bryant's pleasant watercolor illustrations follow the boy, his mom and their dog as they play together in a variety of realistic, outdoor settings relating to the text, with a few spreads and the cover showing more imaginary explorations in a river and in outer space. (Nonfiction/picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061131745
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/8/2008
  • Series: HarperBlessings Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 639,636
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the author of the children's books God Gave us You and its sequel God Gave us Two, as well as several adult novels. She lives in Colorado Springs, CO with her children and husband.

Laura J. Bryant has provided artwork for numerous children's books, including Where Fish Go In Winter and Other Great Mysteries, and ALA Top Ten Pick for Early Readers, as well as two previous books with author Lisa Bergren, God Gave us You and God Gave us Two. She attended the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, and now lives in West Virginia with her husband.

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