Andrew McDonough's Cecil and Friends series of children's books are different than those I'm naturally drawn towards. The colors are bright, bold, and the art is uncompromisingly two-dimensional, computer-colored, cartoons with bold, black outlines. Normally I'm not too into that, but Andrew McDonough's offerings are just so unashamed, so quintessential to that style of art that I actually think they are pretty cute.
Not only is the art wild and brash, but in McDonough's Jesus and the Children also puts Jesus (complete with Old Testament clothing) into a contemporary setting. His disciples are an edgy, rough crowd (one even has a sailor-type tattoo, maybe he's one of the fishermen disciples?), and the mother and children who come to visit Jesus (as per the well known account of Jesus and the children) are very suburban looking.
When Jesus' disciples scare the children away, Jesus gets'angry! My two-year-old always loves jumping in on the angry part! ANGRY she growls in excitement! There's no doubt that she clearly understands the message of this vibrant picture book ' that Jesus loves the children and that God's kingdom is for the kids!
A section at the end of the book helps children to introduce and discuss this telling of Jesus and the children, and a page with the scripture (NIV) that the story is based on is also included making it easy for parents to take their children back to the source. There is also a funny, bonus illustration included that cracks my oldest daughter (8) up.
My children adore this quirky, offbeat, Bible-inspired story for children. My oldest reads it to my youngers (5, and 3), and they often ask me to read it for them as well. After all, who can ever get tired of hearing that Jesus loves them?