We love finding new books to read. I might have mentioned that a time or two or a hundred. Books have always been important to me, and I love seeing my children get excited about books, especially when they are about God. Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we had the opportunity to receive the children's picture book titled God is Better than Trucks written by homeschool mom Sarah Reju, and illustrated by Roger De Klerk. This book is published by Christian Focus.
We were able to choose between four books from this publisher for this review. Knowing how much Harold loves trucks and cars, I figured God is Better than Trucks would be the perfect choice. Sarah Reju also has a book titled God is Better than Princesses, which was tempting, but I had to admit to myself that the girls would probably feel it was a little too young for them seeing as the recommended age range for children reading the book to themselves is 4-6 years old, and the age range for it to be read to children is 0-5 years old.
This 28-page, hardcover book is an A-Z Alphabetical Book which is great for helping younger children (toddlers and preschoolers) learn their letters. However, I would say it is great for older children (early elementary) who love all things trucks, cars, and other vehicles, because it is chock-full of these things. As is typical with this type of ABC book, there is a different vehicle for each letter of the alphabet. I love how creative the author was in choosing the vehicles, seeing as some letters are a bit tricky to find vehicles for. From the common ambulance, bulldozer, and firetruck, to the more rare off-road jeep and zamboni, your vehicle-loving child is sure to enjoy having this book read to them.
As you can see by the inside of the cover, this book contains a variety of vehicles: public service vehicles, construction equipment, cars, water transportation, and finally those that fly.
Each mode of transportation is named in red, then a statement of what makes it awesome is given. Each sentence then uses the interjection "but," after which the author states the way in which God does something similar but so much better. Each page ends with an exclamation that "God is better than _______(that vehicle)!" But that's not all. Each page also has a Bible verse or two that is relative to the text and given vehicle(s).
Sometimes the page is dedicated to one mode of transportation.
Other times there are two per page.
As we have read through the book, we have seen how God is shown to be a healer, the mover of mountains, someone who knows "everything that will ever happen for all of time," the one who sends rain to the whole earth, the king over the highest heavens, and so much more.
The illustrations are bright and colorful, and there is a lot to see. I really love the way most of the illustrations show the vehicles in a scene of everyday life instead of just having a picture of the vehicle on the otherwise blank page. However, we do wish the bulldozer had a more prominent position on its page.
Each of the Bible verses can be found in text boxes somewhere on the page. We have found them to be wonderfully relevant to the attribute of God that is being explored on the page. I did want to mention a formatting issue that was a bit of a distraction for me. The one text box on the page with the yellow taxi cab and the zamboni is partially covering the father's face. I sit there wanting to lift it up just a centimeter or two. However, the rest of the boxes are placed appropriately on their pages.
The author and illustrator of God is Better than Trucks have done a wonderful job of using trucks and other vehicles to bring out the attributes of God. Yes, it is great to love those trucks; however, always remember, God is better and more amazing than all of these things.
Harold has enjoyed reading this book with both myself and his dad. We will take turns reading while cuddled on the couch or loveseat.
Here he is showing off his favorite page
I think this book will be especially enjoyed by toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary school children. I would be hesitant to read it with a baby in my lap because of the paper pages. Also, for little ones, there may actually be too much happening on the pages between the busy pictures and long text. I've always found that board books with one bold image plus the letter are better for this kind of alphabet book when it comes to infants and younger toddlers. Additionally, though Harold was above the recommended age for reading the book by himself, I found, while he was helping me read, that even he was struggling with some words. I would personally consider this book a bit advanced for the recommended "read by myself" ages of 4-6 found on the website. These children would most definitely still enjoy having this book read to them, as did Harold who is 7; however this is definitely not a beginning reader. Honestly, I believe if I had chosen the God is Better than Princesses book, Hannah would have really enjoyed it. So, I can see children up until at least 9 years old enjoying this book.
Don't forget to check out the reviews of my fellow Crew Mates by clicking the banner below. You will find reviews of the two books by Sarah Reju (God is Better than Trucks and God is Better than Princesses), plus reviews for Big Bible Science and a biography of Elizabeth Prentiss.