Children’s book addresses big questions

Children’s book addresses big questions

Review: Thoughts that feel so big, Michelle Abel

Anyone who has (or works with) children old enough to ask big questions knows the struggle (and occasional panic) that can come with addressing these.

As adults, we so often want to rush to respond to their young, probing inquiries, often to simply assuage their worries. And yet, it is too easy to be dismissive or too quick to respond to children’s questions, or to come up with answers that will not always fit. For Christians, this can all too often involve imparting an overly simplistic theology that young people will reject or question as they grow older.  

In an attempt to wrestle with some of the big questions that her niece, Isabella, has asked her, writer Michelle Abel wrote a book that explores some of life’s bigger questions.

The book addresses where we can see God in a variety of settings, ranging from nature to the city in which we live to even losing a loved one.

Charmingly illustrated by artist (and regular Insights reviewer) Nick Mattiske, Thoughts that feel so big’s visuals help its young audience put a frame of reference to the deeper questions that it provokes.

Perhaps the book’s biggest strength lies in how it does not over-simplify. As Ms Abel writes, “It’s ok to ask why. Some answers are late, some answers never arrive.”

While Christians so often aim to answer so many questions about the faith we have, it is worth noting that the absence of answers is itself a biblical theme, addressed so often by the Psalmist and in the Book of Job, where God does not answer as to why suffering happens.

The book is aimed at a “Birth to 12 year old” audience, but its themes are definitely suited towards people of all ages. It should be noted that some of Thoughts that feel so big themes, such as saying goodbye to a loved one, can be heavy for children. As such, it is recommended with the advice that adults prepare to discuss these themes with younger readers once it is complete.  

Thoughts that feel so big is available now

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