A children’s book turns to the Bible for answers to life’s questions.
Brizendine (Heart Thoughts, 2017, etc.) is a great-grandmother and retired postmaster who lives on a cattle ranch in Florence, Texas. She answers 23 “why” questions children are likely to ask their parents—whether springing from innocent curiosity (such as “Why doesn’t Tommy’s dad live with Tommy?” and “Why do bad things happen?”) or the testing of boundaries (“Why do I have to take a bath?”)—with references to Scripture. For instance, for “Why can’t we have summer all the time?” she prescribes Genesis 8:22, in which, after the Great Flood, God promises that the world will adhere to predictable rhythms: “Planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter.” Descriptions of the seasons include the fun activities that each one allows. “Mommy, why do I have to do what you tell me to do?” entails a lesson on obedience, specifically commanded in Ephesians 6:1: “Children, obey your parents…for this is the right thing to do.” Parents have wisdom from their lived experience, the author asserts, and can protect their children from painful mistakes. Explanations of tough concepts like death, divorce, and sin are clear and traditional, never patronizing or misleading. Impressively, the answer to “Why do bad things happen?” is about the best that can be offered—even to adults—to account for the problem of evil: “God is with you when you hurt.” Everyday metaphors are carefully chosen to be meaningful to kids: “Resting your heart is like taking a nap in God’s lap,” and “Think of bad words in your mouth as vinegar. Think of good words in your mouth as candy.” Best of all, Brizendine finds a perfect role model for questioning: “Jesus asked God why…giving us permission to ask why.” Each question-and-answer unit is accompanied by a cute cartoon drawing by Lambright (Susie and Friends Coloring Book, 2016, etc.) on the facing page. It’s religious indoctrination, sure, but it’s pretty safe and well-presented stuff.
Rather than snapping “Because I said so” to the next irksome “why” question, Christian parents can give a thoughtful, biblically sound response taken from this sweet work.