BOOK REVIEW: When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

YOU, you... God thinks about you.
God was thinking of you long before your debut.
From early on, children are looking to discover their place in the world and longing to understand how their personalities, traits, and talents fit in. The assurance that they are deeply loved and a unique creation in our big universe is certain to help them spread their wings and fly.
Through playful, charming rhyme and vivid, fantastical illustrations, When God Made You inspires young readers to learn about their own special gifts and how they fit into God's divine plan as they grow, explore, and begin to create for themselves.
'Cause when God made YOU, somehow God knew
That the world needed someone exactly like you!

I was so excited to be able to get this book for review from Blogging for Books to be able to review.  A friend of mine had recently gotten it for her family and had such great things to say about it.  The first thing that stands out to me before even reading the words is the illustrations.  Oh my gravy but are the so whimsical and inviting.  They complement the words so well while also engaging you into a second story all their own.  The words were just as inviting and encouraging, the rhyming was spot on though the repeated You at the beginning of some pages were a bit awkward.  Not overly awkward but just 'off' if that makes sense.  From the Meme perspective this is a complete win and one that I hope grows with us through the years.  

However, we all know that even when the grownups like the book that doesn't always translate to the little ones so I went to them for opinions as well.  With four Minnions of Mischief to chose from I went to the middle two this time.  Squirt (2) doesn't quite have the attention span to get through a book this size though she seemed to like to try to grab the pictures off the pages.  Munchkin at 8 (almost 9) thought about it and decided to pass on the review part as this is truly below his reading level.  So MooMoo (6) and Goobie (4) were more than willing guinea pigs.

MooMoo had trouble expressing what she thought about the book.  She had trouble settling into the story and following along while also trying to read independently at the same time.  She seemed to be drawn into the story the pictures told more than the words and to me that is a great marker of the story within the story.   She didn't really have an idea of whether she loved/liked the story or not but did express that she liked the parts where the girl was drawing and making things.  I think from the six year old perspective it's a bit of a mixed review.  When she read her part of this review she's like but I like the book.

Goobie had a lot of trouble settling in to the book as well.  He was too busy trying to convince me that he should be Munchkin and his brother Goobie.  Somehow, I think he totally missed the point of the story :)  He was taken into the pictures and as we got into the book the pages with less words and (to me anyway) more impact to the words he became more engaged.  He officially gave it an I liked it review.

I have to wonder if it was just poor timing for reading this gem with my Minnions of Mischief.  Though I have to agree, after reading it multiple times now, that perhaps the first part is a bit too wordy with the poetry for this age group and became more successful as the story developed and there was less to get through allowing more to focus on.the message.  It does however, allow for repeated conversations about individuality and how God chose us, before we were born, to be who we are.  In my house being a weirdo is a complement.  This book helps, in our own zany way, to reinforce that.  

As stated above, I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Blogging for Books.  I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

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When God Made You
About Matthew Paul Turner
Matthew Paul Turner knows all about career transitions. As the former editor of CCM magazine, Christian entertainment's premiere publication, Matthew got his auspicious start stuffing envelopes after graduating from Belmont University. He is the author of several books, including the Christian pop culture tour-de-force, The Chrsitian Culture Survival Guide (Relevant Books). Matthew and his wife, Jessica, reside in Nashville, Tennessee.

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About David Catrow
David Catrow's favorite subject in school was math. Why? Well, Mr. Hirsch's class was where Catrow did some of his best drawings! Catrow's zany illustrations have illuminated over 30 books for kids, and his editorial cartoons are syndicated in more than 900 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. Not bad for someone who started out as a pre-med major at Kent State and later worked as a paramedic for ten years. During this time Catrow also worked as a freelance artist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon-Journal. Art finally emerged as his definitive career, and he's never stopped since.

This amusing illustrator and his wife, Deborah, live in Ohio and have two children. When asked what would be the one thing he would like to learn to do, Catrow replied that he'd like to learn to catch a Frisbee with his teeth! It's this same offbeat sense of humor that truly colors his art. There's no doubt that Catrow's work has brought chuckles, smiles and even smirks to the young and old.

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