Written by Amy-Jill Levine & Sandy Eisenberg | Illustrated by Margaux Meganck | Reviewed by Jeff Fox-Kline
Who counts? 100 Sheep, 10 coins and 2 Sons is a children’s book co-written by New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine and children’s book author Sandy Eisenberg Sasso with illustrations by Margaux Meganck. Published under the Flyaway Books imprint from Westminster John Knox Pres, Who Counts? is at the front of a rising tide of Christian children’s books with an emphasis on multicultural artwork and artists, with “themes of diversity, inclusivity, self-esteem, kindness, compassion, and care for our world”.
Who Counts? tells the parables from Luke 15 without commentary or framing, the stories simply speak for themselves. By divorcing the scripture from its scriptural context, the authors allow the stories to speak for themselves. The art is lush, particularly the natural scenes of the shepherd searching for the lost sheep. While the stories can be read out loud without the art displayed, the opposite is also true. Merely viewing the art sequentially tells all you need to know about the story. The language is simple without being repetitive or simplistic and the lessons are digestible, but reward revisiting. Finally, the inclusion of a parent and teachers guide in the back helps to add depth to the stories and provides new dimensions to explore with young readers. As a bonus – if you don’t want to read the whole book before bedtime, you can simply read one story and leave your young one feeling satisfied (your mileage may vary on this, though).
These stories are drawn and adapted from the recently published Growing in God’s Love Storybook Bible, but the artwork and presentation of the stories are so attractive that you shouldn’t let that dissuade you from getting this book. If you appreciate the stories found within Who Counts? you should not only look into Flyaway Books, but also into getting a copy of Growing in God’s Love.