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by Lynn Tuttle Gunney
Illustrated by Jane Conteh-Morgan
This colorfully illustrated account of the life of Jesus will
delight young children, ages four to eight, with its simple text and lively,
full-color illustrations. These are the stories of the life of Jesus and his
lessons about love, kindness, peace, and tolerance. Meet Jesus is
respectful of the range of beliefs about Jesus, giving it broad appeal for
Christian and non-Christian families as well as those who aren’t religious at
all. The story is followed by discussion questions and the Bible
passages on which the story elements are based, so that children may further
explore beliefs about Jesus with their parents and teachers.
Lynn Tuttle Gunney teaches religious education to young children at
Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, CA. She is also the mother of
two young children and the principal of
Gunney Orchestrated Marketing Communications.
"I found Meet Jesus to be absolutely terrific. It fills a tremendous need in educational
material on religion for children. I can't wait to read it to my 4 1/2-year-old
—John Shelby Spong, author of Jesus for the
"For the first time in decades, here is a book for young
children that offers a Unitarian Universalist view of the historical Jesus."
—Christopher Walton, editor, UU World
"Taking a liberal approach intended to
reach a potentially broad audience that includes non-Christians, Gunney presents
a sweeping look at Jesus' life. The author focuses—employing summarized parables
and other lessons—on Jesus' role as an accessible and very human teacher rather
than on his divinity as the son of God. Jesus' birth, death and resurrection are
mentioned briefly in the accepted Christian contexts, including Christmas Day
and Easter. But rather than a Biblical timeline, young readers will likely come
away with a more general sense of how Jesus might have lived as a man sharing
new ideas about kindness, love and respect. The simple presentation can serve as
a discussion starter and impetus to further explore either the Bible or other
texts. Conteh-Morgan's cartoonish ink-and-watercolor illustrations keep the
overall tone of this volume cheery and light. Bible passage references are
"A very lovely way to tell the Jesus story to our young people. It's on my 'recommend highly' list."
—William Sinkford, UUA President
"Gunney’s book presents a straightforward and balanced
approach to a very difficult subject for children. Meet Jesus
will help parents and teachers who want to bring the biblical Jesus into a
contemporary context for their children. The text is clear and easy to
comprehend, the ilustrations are expressive and inviting. Great read!"
—Etan Boritzer, author, What Is God?
"This story opens a door for understanding and
having conversations with children about Jesus. Our children are growing up in
world of increasing diversity. They hear conflicting ideas and views about
Jesus. They need to have information and conversations with trusting adults as
they begin to explore the many images and stories they see on TV, read in the
media, and hear in the school yard. This book will help parents and teachers
engage with the issues. We feel the book fills a real need."
—Roberta and Christopher Nelson, authors of Parents as Spiritual
"Meet Jesus is a welcome addition to a liberal
religious education library, as well as a thoughtful gift to families with young
children. The story of Jesus’ life is simply told and includes three, well-known
parables. Author Gunney sets out to convey the importance of kindness and its
embodiment in Jesus’ life and teachings and certainly succeeds. The New
Testament documentation at the bottom of most pages and referenced at the book’s
end will be of interest to older children and parents, and the Questions to
Think About page is useful for reflection and discussion. Conteh-Morgan’s warm
illustrations complement the book’s text. Currently, our Timeless Themes class
uses this book as a very accessible supplement to the New Testament stories of
Jesus in its curriculum, but the book could also work well as a stand alone
title, especially for younger children."
—Kathy Strawser, director, Lifespan Faith Development, West
Shore UU Church
Meet Jesus ...recounts simple tales from Jesus' life, the parables he taught and the important moral lessons to be learned from him....Meet Jesus places emphasis upon the benevolent teachings of Jesus rather than religious dogma concerning his divinity....Simple color illustrations add a child-friendly touch to this picturebook especially recommended for church libraries.
—Midwest Book Review
"This small book presents the life of Jesus, from his boyhood until his death, and includes a number of his teachings and parables, all in clear, simple language. After the story of the Last Supper and Crucifixion, a few pages at the end explain that Jesus' followers have carried on his teachings, some saying that he was resurrected as the son of God, and others considering him a wise man who taught love, justice, and peace. The book concludes that the best way to celebrate Jesus' life is 'by trying to live as he did, with full hearts, loving words, and kind actions.' Ink-and-watercolor illustrations in a naive style brighten every double-page spread. Biblical passages are referenced in red type at the bottom of each page, with the full texts of those verses printed in an appended section. Clearly written, this offers an unusually good, simple introduction to Jesus and his teachings."
—Carolyn Phelan, Booklist (Copyright 2007 American Library Association)
For more information contact skinnerhouse @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Thursday, April 26, 2012.
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The Life and Lessons of a Beloved Teacher
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Publication Date: June 2007
Beautifully illustrated in full-color
For ages 4 and up
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