Since around February I’ve been enrolled in a great scheme with B&H Publishing that enables me free access to new books each month – I can request a book that intrigues me so long as I post my honest thoughts about it. It’s been a great tool for my ministry to allow me to pick up books that seem like they would be useful tools to put into the hands on my parents.
This month’s offering intrigued me – a devotional coloring book. In the last few years it seems as if coloring in got a whole bunch of excitement. My mum (mom) has many “adult coloring books” – lots of geometric patterns and flowers etc. They’re everywhere. I love it – as a former school teacher and now Children’s Minister coloring is always welcome for me. In fact, I used to write letters to my now wife, Kaicee, and on the back I’d draw a pattern and color it – I found the process hugely relaxing, and a great time for reflection. That’s exactly why Rachel and Jacy partnered and made this book – their story is lengthy, but insightful, here.
I think there are great opportunities to develop more content like this – not coloring books just for kids, or just for adults, but designed for family use. As the publisher correctly says – kids crave attention, and adults, namely exhausted parents, crave refreshment. This book is designed in such a clever way, that I believe it does exactly what the vision set out to achieve. Kids LOVE coloring, and I have realized this more and more in ministry over the last year – we deviated from coloring because you don’t want to be seen as childcare that puts papers in front of kids to do, but we found having them engage in coloring activities provided a great atmosphere of calm to discuss the learning deeper.
The book is like a flip book, designed to be placed in the middle of parent and child, sat opposite from one another. Each double-page spread has the same scriptural influence, and the illustrator has done a fantastic job in making the children’s coloring page more accessible for littler hands and minds, while making the adult page more complex in coloring demand! Both pages feature the verse highlighted, with the adult page offering a several paragraph application/devotion that can be reflected on, but would also put parents in a place to discuss the verse with older children.
I truly think this is a well-done and neat idea. Practically, the design is perfect, although I have yet to test it to see how two individuals coloring out of one book simultaneously would work…
Many different versions of scripture are used, presumably for readability, which could provide a talking point for some. I like it, and I think it could provide some fun moments of calm and meaningful conversation at home.
– Jared Simpson