I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a copy of How God Changes People in return for my honest opinion.
In the new 48-page picture book How God Changes People: Conversion Stories from the Bible (Christian Focus Publications, 2012), Carine Mackenzie explains to children how biblical figures came to follow Christ. Carine Mackenzie is the author of more than 150 books, many written about the Bible specifically for children. Natascia Ugliano illustrates the book with whimsical oil pastel paintings.
God Changes People is faithful to the biblical stories it retells, outlining the events in straightforward, interesting language, using paraphrased dialogue…..
The first spread of the book explains how we are converted–by turning from a life of disobedience and trusting in Jesus by God’s grace. Our conversion is accompanied by sorrow over our sin and faith in Christ. God’s Spirit then works in our hearts. At the end of the book, Mrs. Mackenzie explains: “It is important to realise that we are sinners and that Jesus Christ died to save sinners. Believing that, is the turning point in a person’s life. This is conversion.”
The stories told include conversions before and after the resurrection of Christ. We read the stories of: Nathanael, Andrew, James and John, Matthew, Nicodemus, The Samaritan Woman, Peter (his conversion), Zacchaeus, Peter (his denial of Christ), The Thief on the Cross, Peter (his restoration), Pentecost, The Ethiopean Official, Saul (this story covers two spreads), Paul (Saul’s new life!), Cornelius, Lydia, The Philippian Jailer, and Timothy. fter the stories, there is a brief section addressing God’s work in you (or the child you are reading to).
The end of each story has a sentence or two of application or explanation. For example, after the story of James and John, we read: “James and John faced difficulties too in their Christian life, but they persevered in the faith until the end.” At the end of Cornelius’ story, Mrs. Mackenzie writes: “Jesus has followers all over the world. He has commanded all men everywhere to repent.”
Each story is self-contained, with a title and Scripture reference on a 2-page spread. I appreciate that, as the text takes a full page. It’s nice to be able to read just a story or three at a time. Christian Focus recommends the book for 5-11 year olds.
You can find How God Changes People at
Amazon: How God Changes People: Conversion stories from the Bible
Christian Book: How God Changes People
More Christian Focus books for 4-7 year olds reviewed at Thinking Kids:
- 365 Great Bible Stories by Carine Mackenzie
- 52 Spurgeon Stories by Tony Hutter
- When God Says It – He Does It by Carine Mackenzie
- Words About God to Help You Worship Him by Nicholas Choy
- Colour the Psalms by Carine Mackenzie
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.