Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tapestry of Grace Tuesday {book review - God's Names}

I would love to share with you, every now and again, about the lovely books that we come across within our curriculum. They are simply too wonderful not to share! I will pick out different ones, and also explain which area they relate to in the curriculum, as there are several different categories and levels involved. However, you don't need to use Tapestry of Grace in order to use these books.  I CAN tell you, though, that it is jam full of lovely titles. If you want to see the full book list for yourself,  you can go to the Bookshelf Central site, and search according to year group, unit, learning level and topic. You won't find specific details about which weeks they are actually used, but you can certainly see which books are used in a general sense.

Today, I will begin with one that is suggested as a read-aloud, for the lower 3 levels. When this book arrived, and I had a flick through, I was instantly excited about what I saw.

It's called "God's Names", by Sally Michael. It is published by P&R Publishing and endorsed by Children Desiring God.  Recommendations come from John Piper, to Tim Challies.

This beautifully illustrated book begins by encouraging the child to think about the significance of name. Why and how it is given to a child, and the different types of names you can have. It then goes on to explain that God is given hundreds of special names in the scriptures, to reflect the many facets of His person. This book covers 24 of these, as well as a chapter about how the child can know God personally, in salvation.

It covers many aspects of who God is and what He does for His children. Each name weaves in a Bible story which applies the attribute involved in the name. Many Bible stories are used to illustrate these truths, in a way that a child can relate to them. The language is simple, yet engaging.

Each story concludes with a scripture passage you can read to emphasise the truth, and also questions to make the child think more deeply, and are perfect as a springboard to further discussion. Sally Michael, who wrote the book, has also given suggestions for activities to reinforce the truth in the heart and mind of the child.

Today, we read the introductory chapter, which covered the theme of names. The activity was for the child to write their name out, and what it means. They were also to ask if they were named for any special reason. It was a lovely opportunity to explain why we chose their names.

This book ticks all the boxes for me. Excellent content. Engaging for the child. Beautifully illustrated. Spiritual application. What more could you ask for in a book?

It potentially has many uses, really. It could be used every Lord's Day, as a read aloud and Bible study tool. It would see you through half of the year, used like that. It could be used as a Unit Study, where you could dig deeper into the Bible stories used for each name, and learn about various aspects of life surrounding the characters in the lessons. For example, one story relates to Gideon - you could learn about torches, light, how animals drink, pottery, and many other things. You could turn each name into an element of a lapbook. There are many free lapbook templates available online, and you could even try and choose shapes that somehow relate to the story. You could write a mini-book on the names of God, giving a brief description of each name, and maybe thinking of other Bible stories that could relate to the name you are writing about. The possibilities are endless!

Above all else, it's simply a lovely book to share with your children, and to encourage them in the ways of God, and learning from His Word. If you want a quality book to add to your shelves, get this one.

As it says on the back cover,

"God has left his names with his people so they can know him...and through these pages your children can know him too".

(Whenever I write a book review, I will add the name of the book to my Children's Books page on the blog. You will find the tab for that at the top of the blog. It will link back to the post where I reviewed the book. I hope these reviews will be useful, and I will try and cover a wide variety of subjects and book types - from reference to fiction - Bible-based and secular.)


  1. Thank you for this. We have this book but I haven't used it with the children yet. Sounds like it should go to near the top of the list.

    1. It really is lovely, Sarah. Put it up there! :-)