Kregel Publications, Lois Rock, and Lorenzo Orlandi have combined efforts to create a delightful children's book about Jesus and his teachings. Each two page spread colorfully shows the everyday life of the time while also telling about Jesus's life. At least one lift the flap is found on each spread; many pages have two. One the first page the shepherds have arrived at the door of the stable; when opened, Mary and Joseph look admiringly at the Christ child, as do the animals. I love that children are present on so many pages, going through their daily routines -- walking to get water with Mom, playing a game on the stone pavement, going to school to learn the Scripture and even playing hide and seek with the pup. On the pages showing Jesus going to Zacchaeus's luxurious home for dinner, a trio of young children are hidden behind the window, sneaking a peek at the feast. The inclusion of all these children will help modern children make connections to those times and to what Jesus's presence meant.
The text is simple but never silly and doesn't skip over the trial and the crucifixion, and the last flap shows the women finding the empty tomb. I think there should have been one more two page spread, showing the Risen Christ and the early church which follows, but I still feel this is an excellent book for young families to read together. Its large format (about 9 x 11 inches per page) makes it an easy book to share for story time. Pages are sturdy as are the flaps. Creative adults will be able to have youngsters hunt for something special on each page, varying those hunts on each reading.
I received a copy of THE TIMES OF JESUS from Kregel Publications for review purposes.