Book Review: "When God Made You" by Matthew Paul Turner

Jon Stephens

5 Stars

October 10, 2017

As a pastor and a father of a young daughter, I deeply care about the books she “reads” (she’s only 2½) and has read to her, especially the books that speak of God. I want my daughter to have an understanding of God that reflects the beauty, love, wonder, passion, and creativity we see of God in scripture. I also want her to see herself and her neighbor in compassionate and grace filled ways, as seen in how Jesus loved and called us to love.

So it matters to me what books will fill her bookshelves and be found on her nightstand. If I’m being honest I approach most Christian children’s books with an expectation that they are going to be just awful. The thing that bothers me the most about many of the Christian children’s books I have seen is the poor theology they contain and the dumbing down of the message of the Bible.

When I received this book, When God Made You to review, the gloves were off. I was ready to mercilessly pick it apart and tell you why you should never read it to your children. But instead, after reading it I couldn’t wait to read this with my daughter and I hope it becomes one of her all time favorites!

When God Made You is written by Matthew Paul Turner who has written numerous books, including: Hear No EvilChurched, and The Coffeehouse Gospel and is illustrated by David Catrow who has illustrated more than 70 children’s books.

This book is beautiful in every way. The writing is poetic, the theology is rich, and the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. Visually this book is stunning and unlike any other children’s book I have seen. My daughter couldn’t take her eyes off the pages as we read the story together.

The main theme of the book is celebrating and holding onto the fact that we are all uniquely created by God and we are to live and create and love in the fulness of our God ordained uniqueness. Turner writes in a way that inspires. Not only does my daughter love the story but as an adult I was taken aback by the depth of the writing. This is a book that young ones will enjoy and even as my daughter gets older I want to continue to unpack more of the beauty found in these pages.

I so badly want to quote the entire book for you, but since that breaks way too many copyright laws, here are a few of my favorite lines:

‘Cause when God made you, this much is true, the world got to meet who God already knew.

Discover. Explore! Have faith but love more.

‘Cause when God made you and the world oohed and aahed, in heaven they called you an image of God.

A you who views others as sisters and brothers and lives by three words: love one another.

Buy this book for your son or daughter, your niece or nephew, your grandson or granddaughter, your neighbors kids, or your friends who just had a baby. When God Made You is a rare find in Christian children’s literature. It’s a perfect combination of excellent writing, really sound theology, and unbelievable artwork.

To see a trailer on the When God Made You, click HERE.

To see a great video of the author Matthew Paul Turner talk about the inspiration of When God Made You, click HERE.

To visit the authors personal website, click HERE.

Publisher recommended age range for this book is 3-10 years old. 

** I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.