Words have magnificent staying power. I remember when I was in kindergarten doing my very first marble art project when I heard a word I'd never heard before. I was rolling the paint covered marble around on fresh white paper. As I was watching the marble roll and leave a color trail, one of the parent volunteer's was giving me verbal instruction. She must've been telling me to avoid keeping the marble in one spot or to roll faster or who knows what. All I remember is when she said I couldn't roll the marble too vigorously or else it would jump out of the tray and onto my clothes and that we would have to wash my clothes and the floor would get dirty and "it would be a big shebang."
I marveled at the sound of that word, "shebang." I can remember that whole marble art craft just because of that word! (And because my mom hung the marble art on the door of my bedroom which stayed there until about 6th grade.) I digress.
Words are soaked up by kids and it is advantageous to offer a wide variety of them. You never know which ones they'll remember! These two books have plenty of words for your kids to latch onto and, even better, two stories that they won't forget.
The Beautiful Garden of Eden is the story from Genesis 1-3. The story rhymes and builds from one page to the next. So, the first page has a simple sentence; "This is the garden of Eden." Then the second page says, "These are the trees that swayed in the breeze in the beautiful Garden of Eden." It continues to build throughout the book. Certain phrases are highlighted and colored red for the readers to notice. The story and cadence of the word combinations make it easy to remember.
The pictures are colorful, artistic, and large. The words are FUN! "Calamitous curse," "slurpy and sweet," "the tree that caused the upheaval." Very cool groupings of words!
The story does end on a sad note. At first when I looked at this, I was a little put off. Then I thought about it. Isn't this how the story ends? It is a sin story that ends with Adam and Eve leaving the garden. That is sad. On the very last page is the verse from Galatians 3:13, which says, "Christ has rescued us from the curse." This would make an excellent talking point. I wouldn't want to leave my kids or anyone else's kids feeling discouraged. We do have a Savior who can rescue us from the consequences of sin! I'm glad the author included that last page to share the hope we have!
The second book is called, A Patch on the Peak of Ararat. This book is written in the same style as The Beautiful Garden of Eden and is a creative retelling of the well-loved story, Noah's Ark. The rhyming phrases (like the aforementioned book) build on each other. This book has the same illustrator and so there is continuity between these stories. Both books also have a similar page that talks describes God's Word in a different way. The Beautiful Garden of Eden describes God's word as "the Book that shows the first sin." while A Patch on the Peak of Ararat uses the phrase, "The Book of God's promise to men." Both of these are true and it is neat to see similar illustrations used to show kids that this book, the Bible, is both a book that shows us our sin and gives us God's promises.
The last page of A Patch on the Peak of Ararat is also like The Beautiful Garden of Eden in that it gives the reader a reference to find the whole story and a verse to ponder.
I've had the phrase, which is also the title of the book, A Patch on The Peak of Ararat in my head for the last few weeks. I wonder how long this phrase will stick with your children? I'm willing to guess that whoever reads this book will remember that Noah's Ark landed on the mountains of Ararat*.
So, whether your children remember the word, "Ararat" or that the Bible is "the book of God's promise to men," or whether your children remember the God who rescued Noah and his sons - those three "hard-hammering guys" I'm confident something good will be etched in their minds, and in your mind too.
The small conversations that develop from these books could lead to the "big shebang" conversation where your kids decide, they too want to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. You never know. Has there ever been something to make a bigger shebang about than that?
Thinking about rhyming words, stories from Genesis, and marble art,
Lindsey Feldpausch :)
*Genesis 8:4 "the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat." (NIV)
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Opinions are %100 my own.