This children’s book by Esau McCaulley explores how God has uniquely designed each of us in the way we are made, inspired by Psalm 139: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
These ideas are explained to a girl named Josey Johnson who is preparing to sing in the church choir. Her hair has personality, which means it changes all the time. The description of her hair also describes her own personality, which has her interacting with family members in different ways. I loved how the book explains to young readers such as my daughter that there are societal pressures around her that cause her to be discontent with her looks, including her hair. As her hair is braided, Josey is told that God didn’t make any mistakes when he made her and that she is a work of art.
The second topic is that of Pentecost. Pentecost started off as a Jewish holiday (they still celebrate it today) 50 days after Passover (when God judged the firstborn sons of Egypt because Pharaoh would not let the people go, and the Angel of Death passed over the houses of the Israelites). Josey learns, too, that Pentecost was the day the Holy Spirit came. She is singing in church on Pentecost Sunday and wears a red dress because it resembles the fiery tongues that landed on each person.
McCaulley does a great job bringing the teaching to a child’s level. Josey asks questions that children would ask (“Did they burn up?”). The author makes what could be a very complicated concept very accessible to little people.
When I read this to my daughter, I could see in her eyes that she saw herself in the pictures and in Josey. She understood in a new way that she is a work of art from God and that God is still active in this world today. In spite of body image issues and world challenges, God is still at work not only inside of her, but in this world. My 8-year-old daughter might not understand all of it now, but if she can see the “art” in herself and others, it’s a start in the right direction. I recommend this book for any little girl to soak in these truths. (IVP Kids)