Children’s Book Review: “God Knows Me!” by Joel Anderson (1999)

Illustrated by Kristi Carter and Joel Anderson.

My grandparents purchased this book for my children just before we made an international move, promising that no matter where the kids are, their great-grandparents are praying for them. This same lesson of “no matter where you are” is at the very heart of the message of Psalm 139, for there is nothing about me that God doesn’t see or know or intimately care about, even if I’m on the other side of the world.

Joel Anderson’s rendition of this psalm is a powerful presentation for young children. Taking the text directly from the NIV, he echoes all of the fears and worries that children face regarding loneliness and love. In light of Psalm 139, this modern reproduction, and books like The Runaway Bunny from 1942, it seems that children from all generations have suffered from abandonment, whether from death, divorce, war, etc. This absolutely is a major theme in God Knows Me!, for it magnifies the fact that, not matter how your life situation might shift today, there can always be a single Constant: the knowledge and love of God our Heavenly Father. This is a message that all children need to hear, not just to instill fear, as some parents might overemphasize (“Don’t be naughty: God’s always watching”) but rather to instill confidence and trust in the God Who Is There.

Carter and Anderson’s artwork is quite unique, using very soft and almost un-focused edges and playing a great deal with the colors of light. The pictures are sweet enough for a baby to enjoy, though not so baby-ish that older children wouldn’t also enjoy studying them. The text and message certainly surpasses age, so there’s not need to wonder if this book matches the current age your child (or grandchild or great-grandchild for that matter). It’s a fantastic Golden Book that makes me want to search out the others in the series (according to my back cover: Psalm 8, Psalm 23, and Psalm 27).

©2016 E.T.

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