In a follow-up to his earlier effort, The Oldest Bedtime Story Ever (2012), author/illustrator Morse turns his eye to a child-friendly summary of the New Testament.
Starting with the Gospels, readers are taken on a tour through the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The book begins with accounts of his birth, childhood, and ministry and culminates with his final days in Jerusalem and the Passion narrative. Morse highlights the ongoing influence of Jesus’ teaching through the Acts of the Apostles, highlights from the Epistles, and a brief overview of John’s apocalyptic Revelation. The collage-style illustrations, set on bright, solid-colored backgrounds, utilize papers and textiles from around the world, perhaps a nod to the global message of the Gospel. Though Morse highlights the legalistic hypocrisy of the Pharisees that Jesus spoke against, the gospel he presents here is still works-based rather than offering salvation through faith alone—ironic, considering this message comes in his discussion of Paul, who preached salvation by grace. Some readers might even accuse Morse of flirting with heretical Arianism, which holds that Jesus was created rather than an eternal person of the Godhead. Despite theological issues that cautious readers might take issue with, overall this is a well-written and accessible synopsis of the key points of the Gospels and other New Testament writings.
An enjoyable read if not theologically universal. (Religion. 4-8)