I love reading good children’s literature to my kids. I especially love it when a great narrative for kids comes packaged together with really good theology. Such is the case with Starr Meade’s Keeping Holiday (Crossway, 2008)—a book so satisfying narratively and theologically that we are re-reading it to our kids this holiday season. The best way I can describe it is to say that Keeping Holiday is part Narnia and part Pilgrim’s Progress for kids.
For just one example of the good theology that comes across in this story, consider the way that Meade communicates the doctrine of God’s self-sufficiency—and thus the creature's dependence on the Creator—as Penny Poinsettia explains to the two main children (Dylan and Clare) that they can’t give anything to the Founder that he needs and they possess:
“‘You can’t give him anything he needs,’ the perky plant continued. ‘He doesn’t need anything. You can’t give him anything he doesn’t have; he has everything. You can’t earn his gifts and you can’t pay him back for them. Think back to when you were little and you wanted to give a gift to your mom. Of course, she loved it that you wanted to give her a gift. But the only way you could do it was to go to your mom, ask her for some money, then use her money to go buy her a gift. When you gave it to her, she was delighted, wasn’t she? But, when you think about it, it was almost like a gift from your mom to your mom! That’s how it will be with the Founder. He’ll show you gifts he wants from you. But you won’t have what it takes to give them. He’ll give you all you need to give him a gift.’”
If you’ve got youngsters in your home (and even if you don’t), I highly commend Keeping Holiday to you. Reading it as a family, will definitely be “holiday” time well spent together. (As an added bonus, the image to the right is our daughter’s rendition of a “Darkness Dweller” inspired by the book.)
And as long as you’re thinking about the little ones in your life, consider getting a copy of Meade’s children’s Bible, Mighty Acts of God (Crossway, 2010) as a Christmas gift for them. I rank it at the top of my list of good children’s Bibles.
In the meantime, remember, as they say in town of Holiday: “You don’t find the Founder; he finds you. He’s not just the Founder; he’s the finder too.”