As a child, I learned so many important things from picture books. From Thy Friend, Obadiah I learned about compassion and friendship. From The Snowy Day I learned about joy and wonder. And from the adventurous Burt Dow, Deep Water Man I learned about the compelling combination of good humor and ingenuity. You probably have your own list of picture books that became deeply imprinted on your heart.
Given the power of story, it’s no accident that much of God’s Word comes to us in story form, or that Jesus used stories to reveal the kingdom. Here are some resources for using picture books to help build faith, both at home and in children’s ministry.
- Take a look at the Faith Formation Ministry team’s list of favorite Bible story books and Scripture-based picture books from our Children’s Ministry Toolkit.
- Check out StoryPath, a ministry of Union Presbyterian Seminary. This site offers hundreds of ways to use picture books in children’s ministry and beyond. There are book reviews, ministry ideas, suggestions for pairing picture books and lectionary passages, and more.
- Subscribe to the blog Picture Book Theology, which shares ways to use both secular books and “God books” in faith communities.
- Read the blog post Diversity: How to Help Kids See Themselves and Others in the Bible from the American Bible Society. It provides excellent help for ensuring that your picture book library depicts all God’s children.
- And if you’re not yet convinced of the transformative power of picture books, author/illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi shares 15 reasons Why Picture Books Are Important.