God Made Me in His Image: Helping Children Appreciate Their Bodies – Justin S. Holcomb, Lindsey A. Holcomb, and Trish Mahoney

God Made Me in His Image: Helping Children Appreciate Their Bodies by Justin S. Holcomb, Trish Mahoney, Lindsey A. Holcomb
Also by this author: God Made Me Unique: Helping Children See Value in Every Person
Series: God Made Me #8
Published by New Growth Press on August 30, 2021
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational

Bodies can be confusing and sometimes embarrassing to children. But with this simply told, beautifully illustrated children's book by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Christian parents can teach kids the truth about how God made their bodies in his image and the human body is good.
One day, a group of students and their teacher travel to a zoo safari park to learn all about the different animals. During a fun jeep ride around the park, the guide shares fascinating information about lions, rhinoceroses, elephants, buffalo, and more, pointing out distinctive characteristics and information about each animal's body and how those qualities make the animals special. The teacher helps the children reflect on their own body image and how they were created uniquely in God's image.
A part of the God Made Me series, God Made Me in His Image invites young children to ponder the doctrine of creation, learning how God made them in his image and how truth influences the ways they think and feel about their bodies.
This powerful, colorful book addresses the topic of body image from a Christian perspective, to help children understand their feelings, provide information about the topic, and offer extensive, practical strategies to Christian parents. Letters and notes to parents or caregivers are included in the back of the book to help facilitate discussion.

This picture book and teaching tool explores perceptions of body image, helping children learn that they are made in God’s image and therefore have dignity and worth, no matter how they feel about their bodies. The book has two main characters, a boy and a girl, who feel dissatisfied with elements of their appearances and discuss this on a class trip to a safari park at the zoo. Their teacher talks to all of the children about what they had been learning from Genesis about God’s creation, and she explains what it means for God to have made us in His image.

During the zoo trip, the children see different animals and learn about them, recognizing that each one has a unique design and is valuable regardless of its differences. The story also touches on the effects of illness and injury, saying that people and animals can still be happy and have good lives even when some things don’t work correctly. Overall, the book emphasizes the dignity and value of God’s creation, while also distinguishing humans as uniquely made in God’s image. At the end, the authors summarize facts about the African animals introduced during the zoo scenes and include two pages with notes for parents and caregivers. The first note provides context and statistics for body image issues, making it clear that this is a tremendous, pressing problem for both girls and boys. The second note suggests ways that adults can help children foster a positive view of their God-created bodies.

God Made Me in His Image: Helping Children Appreciate Their Bodies is a quality resource for Christian families, schools, and churches, and even though I had expected elements of this story to feel forced, the informational content and narrative fit together smoothly. Although this book is much wordier than the typical picture book, the text from Justin and Lindsey Holcomb feels natural and realistic, and Trish Mahoney’s colorful illustrations are very appealing, especially in her playful depictions of animals. As a side note, I want to mention that the back of the book mentions sexual assault and sex trafficking in relation to the authors’ justice work, and parents of precocious children who read author bios should be aware of the questions this could bring up. However, the book as a whole is appropriate for caregivers to read aloud to young children, and for older elementary-aged kids to read to themselves.