Yes, Jesus
by Ann Chapman

"'What I'm going to be, I am.'"

After nearly two thousand years of myth, fables, and scripture, it's a tall order to find a fresh angle on the greatest story ever told. Many were raised with stories of Jesus, as teachers, clergy, and parents shared the themes of the faith and the life of a simple carpenter who was, in reality, the Son of God. Yet, in this wonderful children's book, the author manages to turn the familiar narrative water into refreshing wine with this inspiring tale of Jesus's education.

On every page there is a humble yet slumbering self-assurance in the title character. Most adults around him are puzzled by his confidence and his natural wisdom. Even more surprising is the fact that Jesus regards his father, the carpenter, as his stepfather. With their underlying themes of conviction and faith, there is a soulfulness within every exchange between Jesus and his teachers. Despite his youth and humble background, there remains a kingly grace about the young boy. What follows is a series of teachers and adults challenging the young man as they slowly realize that there is something special about him. He kindly informs them that he is already what he will become.

The times when the various characters finally give in to their emerging faith and accept him are the book's truly moving moments. The obstacles that face the Son of God seem to slowly melt away, and everyone takes comfort in his presence. This is an excellent book with valuable moral lessons for all children, regardless of their faith. Despite its main themes, it is not an overtly religious story. Rather, it is about one child's courage to express and defend his value and equality.

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