Summertime provides an ideal opportunity to explore the world around us, and this year as most of us stay close to home we are perhaps appreciating our environs with fresh eyes. A recent release from Isaiah Books reflects this perspective, telling the story of humanity’s redemption from a bright new point of view: The Creator’s Love Story by Madeleine Carroll and illustrated by Jen Olson.
I have shared my love of Carroll’s work before (more than once) and I am very much impressed with this title from her own publishing initiative. She tells the familiar story of Jesus, from the Annunciation to the Resurrection, in a new and compelling way. She never mentions His Name, referring to Him as “Redemption” or the “Carpenter” as she poetically leads readers through recognizable moments in His Life. We know them well and yet, with her guidance, we see them afresh.
With an emphasis on observation, so that readers easily feel themselves in the earthly Presence of our Savior, a single sentence on each page invites readers to identify moments like the Nativity, the Baptism, the Last Supper, and the Crucifixion. These descriptions are beautifully written to evoke a theme of the Love at the heart of the divine plan of salvation, which even a very young reader will not fail to recognize.
Each bit of text is paired with a corresponding illustration, warmly painted in soft natural colors. The scenes are instantly discernible to any believer. The features and gestures of each figure are kindly and open. I appreciate that a range of skin tones is portrayed, many of them appropriately darker than we are used to seeing in Christian art.
The simple format of this book – with a clear traditional font and gentle, uncluttered pictures – is just right for allowing little ones to absorb the story without distractions. The length is ideal for even very little listeners, but the text does not trivialize its Gospel message; children can explore the great themes of our faith, and will emerge with an enriched understanding of God’s love for them.
There is a pure joy in stripping this well-known story down to the basics, for we are perhaps ourselves seeing Our Lord as our children see Him: one who came and lived in this beautiful, troubled, dusty world as we do, but one who planned from the Beginning to make right what is wrong. Christ here is not merely healing a blind man long ago; He is lifting us up, for all eternity. Oh, to have the trust of a child!
The Creator’s Love Story is a strikingly beautiful book to read aloud, and an outstanding choice for gift-giving. I would read its lovely words to the tiniest infant, and young souls will not have outgrown it when they reach the age of making their First Communion. I would recommend it for any Catholic family with children under the age of ten or twelve.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this book, you will find it through the Amazon affiliate links posted above. Or, I have a limited number of copies available at $9 each with free shipping via media mail to the continental United States. Please email me at ashleycanterbooks (at) gmail (dot) com for details. Payment accepted through PayPal. Thank you!