Sometimes trying to decide on what prayer journals and devotionals to use is like trying to decide which brand of toothpaste to get. (Or maybe a more on point metaphor, trying to decide which anime you’ll watch first with a new season of anime upon us.)
Either way, it can be a difficult and stressful decision, particularly as a parent of young children, as I ask myself what would be good for my kids? Which one is most biblically sound? Which one will make the strongest impression on them? Speak to them the most on a heart level?
When author and illustrator Alexandra Stubbs graciously sent our family a copy of her prayer journal, I knew it would be a good fit for my kiddos.
The first sign I knew this was true was when all my kids were curious about her character, Emily, as illustrated on the cover.
While Emily is more of a mascot then a character, my oldest was very curious about her as he watched me turn the pages. When he asked what it was about, I explained how the book is a prayer journal for kids his age and that the “main character” on the cover is a guide who joins you on an adventure of prayer and learning about Jesus.
While my son did not say much (as he is very introverted in sharing his thoughts), I was very much impressed as a parent. It can be very hard to get my kids interested in books that are not related to their favorite graphic novels or, as it is with my second oldest, reading at all. Emily, however, breaks through the barriers where an uninterested reader becomes interested and wants to understand what makes her (Emily) so happy. And if it’s not the manga’style mascot’s sunny attitude that gains attention, it’s the bright and colorful pages that do.
Each of the pages are filled with art that brings a “lightness” and beauty to the reader. While some include a rainbow of colors, other have a beautiful theme of reds, blues, and pastels that I not only love, but which my kids enjoy as well. These bright colors are what instantly grabs the “viewers” and draws them into wanting to learn more.
Something else I loved about this journal and which made it “stand out” was that a child can write in this journal. Having it as a spiral notebook is perfect because it makes the journal more personal and not just “a book on a shelf.” It’s thus inviting for kids to use personally and actively.
The writing prompts leave plenty of space for a child to write. Some areas are a little smaller than others, but when I think of my son’s handwriting, it seems like it will be more then enough! One fun thing, too, is that some of the spaces are in different shapes, such as umbrellas, shoes, and dollar bills.
All the writing prompts are centered on scriptures, creating an atmosphere of journaling in finding growing in Jesus. The beginning pages center around the precious gift Jesus offers and our faith in Him, and it then dives into a variety of other topics, such as money, strength, the Holy Spirit, and leadership.
All said, I would highly recommend this is a prayer journal to parents and others who have younger children in their family. It’s a great book to work through together as a family or for a child to go through on his or her own. Colorful, scripture-filled, and inviting to anyone who reads it, regardless of age, Finding Jesus: A Prayer Journal is genuinely an engaging and helpful guide to help children grow closer to Jesus.
To learn more about the author and illustrator or to purchase copies, visit www.emilyandpoppy.com.
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