The Sower – Scott James and Stephen Crotts

The Sower by Scott James, Stephen Crotts
Also by this author: Where Is Wisdom?: A Treasure Hunt Through God's Wondrous World, Inspired by Job 28, The Door on Half-Bald Hill
Published by Crossway on April 26, 2022
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories
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Beautifully Illustrated Children's Book Celebrates God's Creative Cultivation

From creation to final restoration, Scripture paints a vivid picture of God as a gardener--sowing seeds, planting gardens, and bringing life through the power of his word. The Sower introduces this biblical imagery to young readers to help them understand the story of redemptive history and look forward to future reconciliation.

Vibrant illustrations complement the book's lyrical style to engage a child's imagination and display God's cultivating work in creation and in the hearts of his people.

Ideal for Children Ages 5-10: Introduces the grand story of redemption in an artistic, imaginative way
Introduction to Biblical Theology: Traces the theme of God as a gardener, cultivator, and vinedresser throughout the Bible
Engaging and Elegant: Vivid illustrations by Stephen Crotts inspire wonder at God's creative work in our hearts and in the world

This picture book combines lyrical text and unique, earthy illustrations to share the gospel story with children. Unlike some books, which focus on simple language and concepts, The Sower takes a metaphorical approach, using imagery from Scripture to write about God as the sower and the gardener who creates and nourishes life, and who rescues his people even after they turn away from Him. The book emphasizes God’s love, Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, and the way that God tends to His people and creates fruit in their lives.

I enjoyed Scott James’s eloquent writing and descriptive language, and the illustrations from Stephen Crotts are unique and detailed, with a natural color palette and distinct style. This book is best for elementary-aged readers and older, due to the metaphorical language and sometimes abstract illustrations, but it could also be a great family read-aloud that includes younger children who will learn to understand it in time. The book will also appeal to many adults who enjoy well-crafted picture books, regardless whether they have children.

I would especially recommend The Sower to Christian children and adults who are so familiar with the gospel that they lose a sense of its wonder. This book’s unique approach to the redemptive story and vivid use of metaphors can help readers view the story through a different but deeply biblical lens, encouraging them to see God as a gardener and to connect with the nature metaphors used in Scripture. This book is different from any other Christian picture book I have read, and I appreciate the author’s and artist’s creative approach.