A Book About Acceptance: “The Way God Intended Me To Be” Review
Acceptance means valuing differences in others. Understanding about acceptance & compassion is a vital part of a child’s development. Tolerance & empathy are qualities that children learn over time through observation & practice. We can support our children to learn about acceptance in a variety of ways, for example through structured play. We can also use props to create a discussion about it. This can be done through, for example, circle time or certain children’s books.
Recently I was asked to review one such book, written by Dola Fashola & illustrated by Jamie Cosley. I must admit I was a little sceptical when I saw the title of the book contained the word ‘God’. I am not a religious person & am not really ready to introduce this concept to my daughter. However, I was still keen to give it a read & was actually quite pleased I did. Rather than an introduction to God & religion, the book is actually all about acceptance. Something I am always very aware of embedding into my daughter as she gets older & becomes more aware of differences.
“Join Joshua & Jael on their journey as they discover & accept they are made just the way God wanted them to be.”
The story follows the protagonists, Joshua & Jael, who are brother & sister. When they are out, many people mistake them for twins. This is something they find quite upsetting as actually, they wish they were twins like their older siblings. Whenever they ask their parents why they aren’t twins, they would reply, “Because that’s not what God intended.” Not happy with this explanation, the children try & become twins via different methods, like wearing the same clothes. Of course, this doesn’t really work out especially when Joshua doesn’t want to wear his sister’s lollipop shirt.
Seeing that there is no real way to become twins, the children slowly learn to accept that actually, they don’t need to be twins. They just need to be themselves. Exactly the way God wanted them to be.
Looking through the book, I enjoyed the illustrations. The colours used are bright & bold throughout. It follows a consistent theme of text on a bright, circular background followed by an illustration on the next page.
There is a decent amount of text on each page, making it a good length for a bedtime story. At 3 years old, my daughter understood & enjoyed the story. Therefore I would recommend this book for ages 3 years plus. I’m not sure a younger child would be able to understand the message it is conveying, however, I’m sure they would enjoy looking at the bold illustrations.
The author has attempted to rhyme the story throughout, which is always a hit with children. However, there are some small sections of the story that shows no attempt to rhyme. I found this a little odd as I believe that, in this type of short story, you should either rhyme all the way through or not at all. I guess this is down to personal taste though.
The language used is generally simple & appropriate for early readers. It introduces some trickier words which are a great talking point, for example, “disagreed” & “intended”.
Overall, The Way God Intended Me to Be is an enjoyable story with a clear moral that older children will understand. We need as much literature & opportunity to learn about acceptance of others as we can. This seems to be particularly true in the current climate we seem to be living in. If showing respect for others were easy, our world would be a very different place. Therefore we must demonstrate to our children the values of kindness & compassion that we continue to learn as adults. This book is a great place to start for our young children.
You can get your own copy of The Way God Intended Me to Be from Amazon
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**We were sent The Way God Intended Me to Be book for the purpose of this book about acceptance review. All thoughts & opinions are our own.