The Story of Us – Mitali Perkins, Kevin and Kristen Howdeshell

The Story of Us Mitali Perkins
The Story of Us by Mitali Perkins, Kevin Howdeshell, Kristen Howdeshell
Also by this author: Forward Me Back to You
Published by Beaming Books on September 20, 2022
Genres: Children's
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four-half-stars

Air. Water. Earth. Fire. Critically acclaimed author Mitali Perkins paints a sweeping picture of the biblical redemption story in this luminous, lyrical picture book. At the beginning of all things, Creator uses the four elements to make humans. When creation falls into chaos--resulting in greed, war, and devastation--Redeemer comes to fix the mess, using air, water, earth, and fire to rebuild what has been broken. Ultimately, at the end of all things, Restorer arrives, calling us to partnership and eventually bringing lasting peace to all creation and healing to the earth. Through expansive, lyrical text from Mitali Perkins and stunning illustrations by Kevin and Kristen Howdeshell, this thought-provoking work of art invites readers to ponder their own relationship to nature and the Divine. The book is a perfect way to prepare for Disney and Pixar's upcoming Elemental film (June 2023) and creates a space for good family conversations about caring for the earth, the "why" of natural disasters, and God's unfailing love.

Air. Water. Earth. Fire. In Greek philosophy, these were the four elements that comprise the Universe. Using that concept, The Story of Us offers a Creation retelling that purposefully connects humanity intimately to the universe in which they were created. They were for Us. We were for Them. Critically-acclaimed author Mitali Perkins exults over the Edenic paradise, highlighting humanity’s connection with nature, in poetic and powerful language that is accompanied by some incredible illustrations.

But then…We said: “No, Creator!” We said: “No Creator.” And with that, we went from being in harmony with Creation to fighting against it. Perkins emphasizes the struggle with nature, the tragedy of natural disasters, the attempts to subdue the earth and rule it through technological advances. It’s poignant and harsh.

But…One day, Redeemer came…And the script flips again, as The Story of Us speaks about how Jesus’s use of the natural elements in his healings and ministry foreshadowed a day when we would brought back into harmony with Creation.

There’s a lot going on in this book. A lot of unpack. And it works on multiple levels. Your youngest kids will be drawn in by the enrapturing illustrations, done by Kevin and Kristen Howdeshell. Those slightly older and beginning to read will find The Story of Us accessible with a few challenges that will add to their vocabulary. And those of all ages can have conversations about the theme of The Story of Us and humanity’s connection with nature.

In a world that seems increasingly disconnected from nature, or whose encounters with nature are more of the subdue/dominate kind instead of nurture/love, The Story of Us is a reminder of how we are part of Creation and that we are meant to both join with creation and join with the Creator in collaborating together a world of flourishing.

four-half-stars