Near – Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago

Near Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago
Near: Psalm 139 by Sally Lloyd-Jones, Jago
Also by this author: Little One, We Knew You'd Come, Known: Psalm 139, Happy: A Song of Joy and Thanks for Little Ones, Based on Psalm 92, Strong: Psalm 1
Published by Zonderkidz on January 5, 2021
Genres: Children's
Buy on Amazon

A board book paraphrasing Psalm 139 for little ones.
God is my Father who made everything.
And I am a little explorer of the wide world.
He is near me
And he protects me.
He sees me
And he knows me.
He is strong
And he looks after me.He is with me—always!

God is my Father who made everything. And I am a little explorer of the wide world.

From its very first lines, Near, a children’s reflection on Psalm 139 from Sally Lloyd-Jones and Jago. You might know Lloyd-Jones and Jago best from The Jesus Storybook Bible, which has sold over two million copies. Both are in signature form, using their respective artistic giftings to create an immersive, emotional experience that captures the heart of God’s nearness to us.

The opening panel, which includes the quote I opened this review with, shows a vast expanse of mountains, fields, and streams, on the left, three children (and their cats!) look over the world from a red and orange hot air balloon. It’s a sweeping introduction to a beautifully illustrated and perfectly written story.

From the mountains to the cities to space, Near teaches young kids of God’s comforting omnipresence. Whenever you go, no matter where, God is near. What captured my attention at first was the book’s cover. My son loves all modes of transportation and spaceships are at the top of a lengthy list. But inside, you’ve got trains and balloons and racecars; you’ve got sandy deserts and snowy landscapes; you’ve got jungles and cities; you’re taken high above the earth and deep underwater. It’s a captivating exploration of creation that ends with a return to home and a quiet readiness for bed.

The final panel envisions the three children (and their cats!) all having finished their day of exploration and returning home for a good night’s sleep—along with the assurance that, here too, God is present and he loves us.

Near is colorful and captivating. I love reading it. My kids love looking at it. It’s become an immediate classic in my house. I think it will be in yours as well.