What are Hands For? | What are Mouths For? | Training Young Hearts – Abbey Wedgeworth

What Are Hands For? by Abbey Wedgeworth, Emma Randall
Also by this author: Held: 31 Biblical Reflections on God's Comfort and Care in the Sorrow of Miscarriage, What Are Eyes For? Board Book, What Are Ears For? Board Book, How Do We Know Christianity Is Really True?, What Happens When We Die?, Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?
Published by Good Book Company on September 1, 2023
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
Buy on Amazon

Practical help for parents raising kids on the foundation of the gospel.

Fun lift-the-flap board book that motivates small children to use their hands in a Christ-like way.

This helpful and engaging training tool will help parents to teach their kids that God didn’t make their hands for behaviors like snatching, pushing, or hitting but for positive actions like waving, clapping, praying, high-fiving, helping and serving.

Not only will children be encouraged to follow Jesus’ example, but they’ll also be reassured that he loves us no matter what we do. He can forgive us when we fail and help us to change.

This book is part of a new series called Training Young Hearts that addresses the attitudes of the heart that underpin behavior and explains how the gospel of grace enables us to change.

Parents, teachers, and other loved ones can refer back to these resources when specific behaviours need both to be corrected and to be connected to forgiveness, grace and growth.

Part of the Good Book Company’s Training Young Hearts series, What are Hands For? and What are Mouths For? are colorful and straightforward lift-the-flap style books meant to teach children to differentiate between positive and negative ways they can use their bodies.

The books are written in a formulaic manner: Five positive examples. Two negative examples. The example of Jesus. How Jesus can forgive us. What we can do to ask for forgiveness. How the Holy Spirit helps us. The end. This style offers a lot in the way of simple formatting and storytelling, but its honestly not very interesting. In the two-panel section of the example of Jesus, the same illustrations are used in both books and the only word change is hands/mouth.

What are Hands For? and What are Mouths For? lacks creativity and imagination—and may assign motives and accountability to young children in ways that are not accurate. While I fully agree that we should teach children not to lie, hit, snatch, or bite, the implication that these actions are always sinful isn’t entirely helpful.

Not everyone will agree with me on this—perhaps evangelicals most of all—but while there is certainly an appropriate age for talking about sinful behavior, I’m not convinced it’s the age where lift-the-flap books are considered an age-appropriate activity. Of course, we should teach children they are harmful behaviors and not encourage them, but the weightiness of the word sin—well, I suppose I probably have a different theology of sin than the authors and publisher. I’ll leave it at that

The lift-the-flap feature is utilized cleverly and in a way that adds to the books, which is the first thing I always look for in a lift-the-flap style book. But other than that, there’s not a lot of creativity or imagination here. This is a book parents buy because they want their kid to behave differently, not a book kids want to read. There are better ways to get the point across.