Also by this author: There's a Lion in My Nativity!
Published by Zonderkidz on September 27, 2022
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Parents and children both have big dreams—about their life and the wonders the future holds. I’m So Glad You Were Born celebrates those dreams as well as the wonder of everyday experiences like sweet and special snuggles and cuddles, fun times and learning times too!
New York Times bestselling author and FOX News anchor Ainsley Earhardt has created a picture book that celebrates ALL the dreams come true--a parent's, a child’s, and Creator God’s! I'm So Glad You Were Born is full of love and hope and has a sweet, playful message inspired by Scripture that will leave your child without a doubt just how thankful you are that they are in your life and that they were created to be extraordinary.
I’m So Glad You Were Born:
Will appeal to children as well as the adults who love them
Is a perfect gift for childhood celebrations including birthdays, baby showers, graduation gifts, communion, confirmation, and dedication gifts
Is written in sweet (and humorous) rhyme perfect for reading aloud
Features beautiful and fun illustrations by artist Kim Barnes
I’m So Glad You Were Born is an inspiring and loving message to your child, sure to become a go-to favorite for reading aloud as well as during bedtime snuggles!
When it comes to major Christian publishers, it can be difficult to know which of their offerings are truly Christian books. Of the three books I am currently reviewing from Zondervan, one is completely mainstream, with no mention of God or the Bible. Another is based on a Bible passage, and is all about God’s character. This one is somewhere in between. I’m So Glad You Were Born: Celebrating Who You Are is a bright, colorful picture book that celebrates children’s individuality, expresses gratitude for their lives, and mentions God as the creator and designer who has big plans for their lives. However, the faith content doesn’t feel integral to this book’s message, and just seems tacked-on to a self-empowerment theme.
There are many things that I like about this book. The text from Ainsley Earhardt has great energy, and the illustrations from Kim Barnes are diverse, colorful, and full of excitement. The book conveys a sense of joy and celebration, and the section about careers is remarkably well-rounded, mentioning jobs that people more typically consider along with being a pastor or “a loving caretaker.” The next page mentions being a mother or father as another worthwhile calling, and I appreciate how this book emphasizes both career work and family as important parts of life, instead of denigrating one to elevate the other. The book also has great social-emotional lessons about facing challenges and persevering.
“Follow Your Heart” Message
As lovely as this book is otherwise, I cannot get past this line: “God’s purpose for you is to follow your heart. Create a BIG LIFE that’s your own work of art.” No. No. God gives us dreams and passions to pursue, but there is a huge leap between that truth and the idea that God put us on this earth to follow our hearts. Good luck finding any Bible verse to support that idea. God’s Word makes it very clear that our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:7), that both good and bad things flow from them (Luke 6:45; Matthew 15:19), and that we should seek God’s wisdom instead of relying on our own judgment (Proverbs 3:5-7). Also, we can all see from personal experience and human history that following your feelings and impulses frequently ends in disaster. I consider “follow your heart” to be bad advice in any book, but it is especially egregious in religious books.
Even though many of the affirmations in I’m So Glad You Were Born are wonderful, it goes too far. There are so many lovely things about this book that I don’t want to rate it any lower than three stars, but I would only recommend it to people who don’t care that you’re not supposed to follow your heart, or to parents who want to revise that line as they read. Ultimately, I don’t think that this book is great for secular or Christian readers. There are too many distinct and specific references to God for this to appeal to many people who aren’t believers, but Christians can find better books that support their child’s self-esteem and emotional development without introducing unbiblical ideas. Even though this book is charming and encouraging in many ways, its one major flaw is a serious issue.