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If Jesus Came to My House

If Jesus Came to My House

4.8 6
by Joan Gale Thomas, Joan G. Thomas (Illustrator), Henri Sorensen (Illustrator)

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It is easy to see why this friendly little book, originally published in England, has already sold 19 editions. It offers the Golden Rule in concepts easily grasped by small children and indirectly suggests some ways to carry them out.


It is easy to see why this friendly little book, originally published in England, has already sold 19 editions. It offers the Golden Rule in concepts easily grasped by small children and indirectly suggests some ways to carry them out.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

First published in 1951 and newly illustrated, Thomas's rhyming reflection on the place Jesus has in a young boy's life still provides inspiration and comfort to today's readers. The nameless narrator imagines greeting Jesus, a child "about the age that I am/and about the height of me," at his front door. He describes how he would make Jesus feel at home, giving him a "comfy seat," making him tea, and sharing his toys. The lad realizes that Jesus will never come to visit, but comforts himself with the prospect of going to church to pray, sing, and worship. He takes to heart the timeless mandate from the Gospel of Matthew to do for the least of Jesus's brothers what you would do for him. Painted in glowing jewel tones, McElrath-Eslick's luminous portraits mirror the old-fashioned charm of the text. She depicts Jesus as an appealing barefoot boy dressed in shorts and a T-shirt and in the latter half of the book portrays the young narrator offering a cup of tea to a friend, giving his toys to less fortunate children, and taking a bouquet to an elderly woman. The idyllic landscapes further emphasize the gentle message of the lilting text. Pair this fine addition to religion collections with August Gold's Where Does God Live? (Sky Light Paths, 2001).-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA

Kirkus Reviews
With a first-person narration in old-fashioned, rhyming verse, a little boy imagines what it would be like if a young Jesus visited his house as a friend. The unnamed boy invites Jesus into his home and they spend an afternoon playing together. In the second half of the story the narrator describes how he can use the principles that the adult Jesus taught, by attending church and serving others in need. Though the concept of Jesus as a little boy may be a little confusing to younger children at first, there is a distinct delineation between the boy's imaginary visitor and his real life. McElrath-Eslick's attractive illustrations use vibrant colors and a double-page-spread format to add a contemporary balance to the text, which is still in print in an earlier edition from 1951. Although it's regrettable that they portray an all-white cast of characters, the new illustrations make this beloved poem more accessible to today's children while still providing a traditional introduction to applying the Golden Rule in a child's life. (Picture book/religion. 3-5)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.31(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Joan G. Thomas was an author and illustrator of several books, including The Christmas Angel and A Stands For Angel: A Book of the Alphabet in Picture and Rhyme.

Lori McElrath-Eslick is the award-winning illustrator of such books as DA Wei's Treasure: A Chinese Tale by Margaret and Raymond Chang; Does God Know How to Tie Shoes? by Nancy White Carlstrom; and Read For Me, Mama by Vashanti Rahaman. Lori lives with her family in a small town in Michigan.

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If Jesus Came to My House 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ScottPax More than 1 year ago
It's a classic. This was one of my favorite books as a child, and my mother gave copies to each of my children when they were born. It's now a favorite baby gift of mine. I loved the simple pen and ink drawings of the original, but this version has a new look for a new century! The story is simple.... as a child, if Jesus came to your home, what would you do? Of course you would share your best toys, offer Him your favorite chair, etc. etc. And the rest of the book... ? As an adult, we know...."what you do for the least of these, you do for Me".... and so the book points out to the child that he/she can do things for other children AS IF they were in fact Jesus ...for He lives in us all. A great life lesson in a short children's book.
mom-in-houston More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at my child's (3 yr old)church book fair and we love reading it together. The story tells about Jesus as if He were a small boy coming to visit and how he would treat Him: share toys, give Him flowers, talk with Him, share his fears with Him. Then it goes on to say that even though Jesus cannot come to visit him like a boy, he can treat others like he would treat Jesus: talk with Jesus in prayer, and do all the nice things that he would do for Jesus for those in need. A very sweet way to teach an important lesson about the "Golden Rule" (treat others as you would like to be treated). Beautifully illustrated, too. A nice read-aloud for ages 3 and up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book that I had bought for my son a few years ago. He loves reading this with me. I also use it when teaching religion . The kids really enjoy this one and I think the child inside all of us wonder what it would have been like to hang out with Jesus if he were a guest or a play date at our house.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter, who is now 49 years old, and I both memorized this book. We really enjoyed it each time I read it to her or when we later recited it together. Now I often give it for a baby gift and read it again before I give it away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was a little girl my grandmother got me this book and read it to me. I've kept my copy all these years. Now as a grandmother myself, I'm so pleased to find that it is still in print and I can get my grandson his own copy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book epitomizes what Jesus expects from his 'children' (including adults). It puts the heart where it needs to be. Such a common sense approach to a complex subject in terms children and adults alike can appreciate and understand.