The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross (Tales That Tell The Truth #4)

The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Carl Laferton, Catalina Echeverri
Also by this author: Jesus and the Very Big Surprise: A True Story about Jesus, His Return, and How to Be Ready, Jesus and the Lions' Den: A True Story about How Daniel Points Us to Jesus, Goodbye to Goodbyes: A True Story About Jesus, Lazarus, and an Empty Tomb, The Friend Who Forgives: A True Story About How Peter Failed and Jesus Forgave, God's Very Good Idea: A True Story of God's Delightfully Different Family, The Storm That Stopped, The One O'Clock Miracle, The Christmas Promise, The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song
Series: Tales That Tell The Truth #4
Published by The Good Book Company on February 23, 2016
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
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five-stars

This beautifully illustrated hardback book takes children on a journey from the garden of Eden to God's prefect new creation.
Retelling the Easter story through a Bible overview, children will discover that 'because of our sin, we can't go in' but because of Jesus' victory on the cross, an even better garden awaits us...

Children’s books are everywhere.

Children’s retellings of Bible stories are everywhere.

And the quality…well…in my experience, the quality ranges.

How are we supposed to sort through it all?

Early on, with my kids, I developed some guidelines for choosing a children’s Bible storybook.

  1. Is the story biblically accurate?
  2. Is the story relationally applicable?
  3. Does the story’s language/vocabulary fit the intended audience?
  4. Are the illustrations diverse?

And whenever somebody asks me for a practical example of those four guidelines, I inevitably point them toward Tales that Tell the Truth. There are currently ten books in the series (the latest upcoming June 2020) along with a variety of supplemental materials like coloring books that accompany each volume. The series has a variety of authors with illustrator Catalina Echeverri providing a cohesive stylistic design.

The Garden, The Curtain, and the Cross | Tales That Tell The Truth

The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross is a sweeping epic that details God’s relationship with humankind. From the Garden to the Cross—and the Curtain that separated the two—Carl Laferton takes readers on a journey through history to show how a broken relationship was restored.

I’ve read a lot of children’s Bible storybooks. I’ve never read one that put the curtain of the Holy of Holies into central focus. And yet, it’s that veil that serves as a visual metaphor for the separation between God and humanity due to sin. As such, it’s the perfect visual focus point for an illustrated children’s bible story book.

The first few panels set up the central conflict. Adam and Eve live in perfection in the Garden. (Sidenote: they are illustrated with tribal tattoos and drawings which is just lovely and thought-provoking.) But then they do a terrible thing. They decided they didn’t want to do what God said. They decided they wanted a world without God in charge. This, Laferton writes, is called “sin.” And because of that sin, the people could not live with God in the garden any longer.

The central panels tell us the sweep of all human history—with all its sin and pain and strife. The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross illustrates that beautifully as the stylization changes to a more muted and less vibrant color palette. The central refrain becomes: It is wonderful to live with him, but because of your sin, you can’t come in.

But then…but then….comes Jesus. And upon his death, the curtain tears. The thing separating God from man rips from bottom to top. The cross paves the way for a return to Eden. We know all of this theologically, but placed here in such simple terms and stunning illustrations makes it come to life more powerfully than I’ve ever seen before.

five-stars