“We look ordinary, but really we are extraordinary!” Jacqueline Brown’s book teaches young children to appreciate the miracles of their baptism and of the Eucharist. There are two version of the book, one is the traditional bedtime story book and the other is a coloring book version. I recommend the coloring book version because the art style seems specifically designed for this purpose. Not just the art, but the words also reflect this. The cheery words accompany pictures of smiling kids at play or at prayer and the lessons are easily understood in the context of each individual page.
- Genre: Children’s Literature
- Audience: 0-5 years
- Themes: Baptism, The Eucharist, First Communion, CCE, Faith, Inner Worth, Self Esteem, God’s Love
- Year Published: 2020
The book starts out affirming a child’s innate worth as a human being and ties that to the child’s baptism as an infant. Then it takes their unseen extraordinariness and ties it to the unseen extraordinary nature of the Eucharist in an elegant way that speaks to the emotional heart of a child.
“the moment we were baptized—the moment God’s grace flowed into us, we went from being ordinary little kids to EXTRAORDINARY! Now our entire beings shine with radiance and strength! Most people can’t see this… but the angels can.”
The last part of the book encourages the reader to see God’s hand in all the ordinary details of life. Next to an image of the children’s parents picking up their kid’s toys it says, “Where others see hardship we see love.” And next to an image of Mary touching Jesus’s face as he carries the cross it says, “Where others see death, we see life.” Though the book is a tad long for a bedtime story (30 pages long), there is so much packed in each page that you need to finish the whole thing every night for your child to absorb some wonderful messages.
I’ll admit that at first the flat colors and simple lines of the illustration did not impress me. But as a child is the best critic for a children’s book, I tested this out on my 6-month-old, and in fact the bold colors held his attention very well. Some children’s books he is easily distracted from, but these illustrations seemed to calm him as he readied for bed at the end of the day. If your child is past the toddler stage, though, the coloring book may be more engaging. He or she will be delighted to personally color a bedtime story and if you also read it to him at night it can be an opportunity to instill confidence in himself, that a book he colored is worth reading.
Extraordinary makes a great gift for baptisms. It would also work for other Protestant denominations that perform infant baptism. Jacqueline Brown’s wise words will make children feel secure and loved by God and their family.