Also by this author: God Made Me Unique: Helping Children See Value in Every Person, God Made Me in His Image: Helping Children Appreciate Their Bodies
Series: God Made Me #2
Published by New Growth Press on September 2018
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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This beautifully illustrated children's book invites kids to explore God's design for ethnic diversity and challenges readers both parents and children to learn and live out counter-cultural, biblical views, fostering a lifelong celebration of diversity for the glory of God. Designed for four- to eleven-year-olds, God Made Me and You by Shai Linne is the second book in the God Made Me series, starting with God Made All of Me by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb.
For the first twenty-three years of my life, I lived in a small town that was 95% white and attended a church that was 100% white. Upon the completion of seminary, I moved to a larger metro area that was 56% white and a church that was less than 1% white. An older German lady. And now me.
Suddenly I had to deal with ethnic diversity. Not only that, but in certain prominent contexts of my life, I was now undergoing the experience of a minority. And it was life-changing. Five years later, I still work in a predominantly Asian church and am the adoptive father to a Black son and we’re pursuing further adoptions.
It wasn’t that I was uninterested in racial reconciliation before. Simply that I hadn’t yet really been confronted by those issues. I celebrated ethnic diversity, but I hadn’t experienced it. In the years since, I’ve actively looked for resources that celebrate diversity—children’s books especially. Let’s have a brown-skinned Jesus. Let’s see variations in skin tone or children with disabilities. Let’s let our literature reflect what our world actually is.
Shai Linne’s God Made Me and You is exactly the kind of book our children need—particularly those whose cultural context might make diversity more of a struggle. (Though it certainly isn’t a substitute!)
God Made Me and You
The story follows Ms. Preston’s class. Ms. Preston is late and unsupervised children don’t always make wise choices. Two boys begin to tease other kids for a variety of reasons. When Ms. Preston shows up and learns of the situation, she uses it as a teaching moment.
God Made Me and You teaches that the whole human race is descended from Adam and Eve. Ms. Preston begins with the diversity of God’s creation. He made so many different things! So, of course, he would make people to be different as well. Short and tall. Curly hair and straight. Light sin and dark. Different color eyes. Some born deaf or blind.
The book pinpoints sin as the beginning of racism. And now, because of the presence of sin / People hate for silly things like color of skin. But it also offers a solution in Jesus. Shai Linne points to Revelation 7’s promise that the church of heaven would be all people of all nations and languages.
Illustrations / Text
Trish Mahoney’s illustrations are particularly eye-catching. In a book about diversity, she paints a well thought out picture that goes beyond just ethnicity and skin color. One little girl has a birthmark on her face. Some are in wheelchairs. Some have braces. It truly is a celebration of diversity.
One of the weakest points, I felt, was that the book uses rhymes throughout. Rhyming books are fine, but this is a serious topic and it’s quite substantial. At twenty pages, this is a lengthy poem
God Made Me and You is a must have for your children’s bookshelf and your church’s library. Racial issues have always been relevant, but especially today in an age where many people think we’re past all that, this book stands as a resource to get your child to understand and celebrate diversity.