Adrienne Camp, who is best known as the spouse of Christian music artist Jeremy Camp, teams up with her daughters in her debut picture book.
Two blonde-haired, blue-eyed white girls are invited on the trip of a lifetime. After fundraising by a variety of means, the girls set off for Uganda and are immediately wrapped in love from the native Ugandans whose lives are “so hard and deprived.” Though their lifestyles are quite different, the girls realize that they and the “less fortunate” share similar dreams for the future. As they prepare to head home they also acknowledge that there is still much work to be done for the people they have met on their journey. Despite the glowing praise from African American evangelist Priscilla Shirer on the front cover, the book borders on disaster, from the renderings of the stiff, bug-eyed children to the stumbling verse: “Our hearts were burdened to think of all they go through. / We take things for granted, having so much while they have so few.” What images and words do ring out through the haze with any clarity speak less of sharing Christ’s love in the developing world and more of white-savior poverty voyeurism. There is no evidence of anything more than the shallowest of cultural exchange, and in fact the book is emblematic of the many concerns thoughtful leaders have expressed regarding short-term mission trips.
Self-congratulatory tourism masquerading as evangelical humanitarianism. (Picture book. 4-8)