When I saw that Théa Rosenberg, writer of insightful book reviews at Little Book, Big Story and Story Warren, had contributed to a new book on selecting children’s literature, I knew it was a must-have for my shelf. I expected nuggets of wisdom and helpful resources, similar to her book reviews I’ve so relished. What I didn’t expect, was a book so beautifully curated that it offers not just practical resources on selecting books for kids, but actually an entire philosophy that weds literature, parenting, and our discipleship in Christ.
Certain resources on children’s books have become staples for Christian parents over the years. Honey for a Child’s Heart leaps to mind, as does Jamie Martin’s Give Your Child the World. The teams at Redeemed Reader and Read-Aloud Revival reliably offer invaluable guidance to parents who long to enrich their kids’ lives through books, but for whom the sea of titles with questionable content seems hard to navigate amid the constraints of a hectic life. I presumed Wild Things would follow these same traditions, with lists of books for parents to peruse and glean recommendations.
Wild Things does offer such lists. Each chapter includes five recommended books that capture the principles discussed in the preceding pages.
But to my delight, I quickly discovered that this book offers something even more precious, something fresh, unique, and direly needed. Wild Things isn’t so much a collection of book reviews as it is a compilation of essays on how to approach children’s literature through the lens of faith. The scope is broad and comprehensive, with forty-five discussions on topics as varied as graphic novels and reading with your grandkids, but each essay dives deep, with the Gospel the throbbing heart at the center of each exposition. This isn’t a book to dip into, but rather to savor. The essays are poignant and beautifully written, and meant to be mulled over rather than rapidly consumed.
I’ll be grateful to have this title on my shelf, for inspiration when the days of shepherding little ones grow hard, and for fresh ideas on how to enliven our moments with literature, for His glory.
Wild Things and Castles in the Sky is available now wherever books are sold.