Essentially, this book offers a devotional per page spread that teach a spiritual principle that relates to some aspect of the animal world. For example, the first lesson is entitled "Eggs, Polliwogs, and Frogs." You receive about two paragraphs of information on the life cycle of a frog, followed by a paragraph of personal application. In this case the lesson is explained in this manner:
"God makes all things grow and change. Just like the polliwog, you will get bigger and grow stronger. One day you may even be as tall as your Daddy or Mommy. Every day you are learning new things. God has wonderful plans for you as you grow up."The second page of the spread offers a fully illustrated scene depicting the animal in focus, with a few random facts about the frog. Lastly, it includes a scripture verse for memorization. In the case of the lesson on frogs, the youngster is encouraged to memorize Luke 2:52 which says, "So Jesus grew both in height and in wisdom, and He was loved by God and by all who knew Him."
This book appeals perfectly to Bookworm1 and where he is at and we are excited to read through it with him. The following animals/lessons are included in this book:
Ants = Small people can do big things too. Additionally - ants are hard workers.
Geckos = When we are hurt or frightened, we can run to God for help.
Sea Otters = Little children are active and we need to rest and take care of the bodies God gave us.
Dolphins = We have been given friends that we need to learn how to respect and treat well.
Cuckoo Bird = We need to learn to share and be kind to one another.
Penguins = a lesson in patience
Bears = Learning about God and the world around us helps us to grow as people.
Bats = We need to have sensitive ears that learn to hear what God might be saying to us.
Wildcats = We need to control our anger.
Gorillas = Families love and protect one another.
Owls = We do not need to be scared, but need to put our trust in God.
Beavers = a lesson in endurance
Rattlesnakes = God warns us to avoid dangerous things.
Whales = "I will sing to the Lord because He has been so good to me." Ps. 13:6
The Oxpecker and the rhino = We need friends.
Aardvarks = We have special gifts and abilities.
Hippos = Proverbs 29:11
Spiders = Lies are like webs; we need to learn to tell the truth.
Porcupines = Be kind one to another.
Monkeys = Practice makes perfect and we need patience while we practice doing new things!
As you can see, there is plenty to learn from and grow with. I also like this book because it is easy to add additional materials to the devotional. You can stick with the basic one page lesson (which reads more like a story, than a "lesson") or you can tack on additional verses, videos or books about the specific animal that you are focused on. I believe the title of the book gives a very accurate time estimation if you want a quick and short lesson to read through in the morning as everyone is eating breakfast or perhaps following dinner. I think the information provided makes this book most suitable for ages 3-6, although it likely appeals to children on the fringes of that age range as well.
I've let Bookworm1 poke around the book a bit and he has enjoyed the artwork by Amy Wummer. The back of the book describes the illustrations as being whimsical and I suppose they are that, but Bookworm1 is happiest when a picture is accurate and these drawings are detailed enough to satisfy. I have not let Bookworm1 see the page spread about the whales, because I'm afraid that when he discovers it, that will be the only page he wants to read. Personally, we're of the opinion that the entire book is worth some attention, although there's certainly nothing wrong with learning to sing praises to God all day long. Heh.
We are positively delighted and excited by Five Minute Devotions for Children and therefore I am even more excited that Ideals Books has offered an extra copy of this book to one of you! Would you like to win? Simply leave a comment below. This contest will be open through Thursday, February 18th and is open to U.S. Residents only.
I really think that this is a magnificent resource and so I offer my heartfelt thanks to Ideals Books for providing it for parents to use. If this one sounds good to you, you might be interested to know about My Big Book of 5-minute Devotions which includes 40 short stories. We'll definitely be looking into that one for ourselves after we're done with this one!