‘Because Nothing Looks Like God’
By Rabbi Lawrence Kushner (Author), Karen Kushner (Author), Dawn Majewski (Illustrator)
"Where is God?"
“What does God look like?”
“How does God make things happen?”
With little hands, and big hands. With young hands and old hands, With your hands.”
Mixing sparks of curiosity and spiritual imagination, this wondrous book lights children's creativity and shows how God is with us every day, in every way. It is a vibrant invitation to children and their adults to explore―together―what, where, and how God is in our lives. Multicultural, nondenominational, and nonsectarian.
'This gentle book is designed to be "the beginning of a continuing conversation between adults and children about the world and God." Nonsectarian and multicultural, the text suggests a divine presence rather than anthropomorphizing, by utilizing simple questions such as "What does God look like?" and "How does God make things happen?" to guide youngsters' understanding of this very abstract concept. The result is more a feeling than an answer, with God primarily represented by several easily understood metaphors such as the wonder of nature ("God is in-caterpillars chewing leaves from daisies,/And in worms turning leaves into earth"), and the loving cooperation of a family ("See sisters taking turns on the slide,/And brothers sharing a new game"). Clearly there is no way to explain certain aspects of God, thus parts of the text seem beyond the grasp of younger readers ("God is wherever we let God in"). However, because the Kushners' intent is to explore rather than describe God, there is room for children's own spiritual awareness to grow. Watercolor illustrations are simple, bright, and nicely textured, portraying people of all ages in friendly and caring situations. Similar in tone to Virginia L. Kroll's I Wanted to Know all about God (Eerdmans, 1994), this book provides children of many faiths with a bridge between the tangible and spiritual world.'
(Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles)
'How do you know there's a God? What does God look like? Where is God? These philosophical questions can leave adults groping for simple, comprehensible replies. With responses drawn from the familiarity of youngsters' everyday experiences, the Kushners provide answers: God is "in worms turning leaves into earth." God is where people come together for hugs and kisses. "God is wherever we let God in." Children are reassured that although many things cannot be seen, their presence can be felt: cool breezes on a hot night and feelings such as pride, worry, and love. The answer to the final question, "How does God make things happen?" empowers children to do God's work: siblings sharing, playmates helping each other, people donating money or time to those in need. In their overzealous effort to portray the universality of the authors' concepts, the illustrations jarringly offer too-literal scenes and juxtapose pictures (e.g.. nighttime and daytime) with no borders to ease the transition. Glaringly intense colors accentuate, rather than soften, the stiffly drawn characters. It's Majewski's nature panoramas that are most effective in underscoring the meaningful messages in this valuable book.'
Age Group: 3-7