God’s Beloved Community: A Picture Book

WaterBrook. Nov. 2022. 40p. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780593193884.
Gr 2-4–First reminding readers that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pastor, Sanchez uses the voice of a child to narrate: “God birthed a creation full of delight, diverse in every way, brimming with vibrant variety: land and sea, plant and beast, night and day.” What follows is a partial version of Genesis, retold with glorious rainbows, a man and woman with brown skin (discreetly covered), and flora and fauna of the new kingdom. The snake ruins paradise, of course, and from divisions come racism. God sends Jesus to bring a new message of love—if people will forget hate, they can become the ideal, or beloved, community. The pictures are lovely, as is the message of the book, which will find a home in religious collections and on shelves where adults can help unravel some of the biblical mysteries.
VERDICT The beloved community is a great concept to teach children, but may need a more step-by-step delineation than the broad sweeps found here.

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