Book Review, Non-fiction Books

When I Am Afraid by Debbie Duncan & Anita Belli

When I Am Afraid, written by Debbie Duncan and illustrated by Anita Belli, is the encouraging, faith-filled story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. A part of the God Cares series published by Lion Hudson Limited, this clear, straight-forward story is true to the original Bible story. The engaging illustrations draw the reader in with fantastic detail and rich colours.   

This series provides families with an opportunity to explore Bible stories while addressing real emotions and age-appropriate responses for children. When I Am Afraid couldn’t come at a better time. With a focus on dealing with fears while building resilience, bravery and the ability to cope with the unknown, this story helps children to face their fears and understand what trust in Jesus is all about. Step by step through the story, children see that the disciples were afraid even though Jesus was with them – that being afraid is normal. They also see how Jesus trusted God and how he cared for the disciples even though they had forgotten he was there with them and would keep them safe. When they asked him for help, he didn’t hesitate. The image of holding Jesus’ hand through life is reassuring and will help children to grow in their faith and trust in Him.

Following the story, the “Time to Talk” section provides questions to help children think about the key messages of the story or to help an adult guide the conversation. “Your Prayer Space” allows children to personalise a prayer linked to the story while the related Bible verse gives further food for thought. The “Advice for Parents and Carers” section is practical and incredibly helpful for guiding children through their fears and into a more positive frame of mind. Finally, the resources and websites provided are current and give parents extra support if required. Where many books of Bible stories stop at just the story, this series provides families with a complete package of support and resources for dealing with difficult situations in life.

Recently, my own children looked at this Bible story in a school assembly. At the end, they sang a fun, memorable song linked to the story. It’s one of those songs that starts at a normal volume then is repeated very softly and then VERY LOUDLY with actions to match!

“When it’s stormy, when it’s stormy, when it’s stormy all around,

I am weak but He is strong. He rows my boat when things go wrong.

When it’s stormy, when it’s stormy, when it’s stormy all around,”

Other books in this series:

Readers:

God Cares When I am Strong: Friends in the Fire

Chapter Books:

God Cares When I Feel Down: Jonah and Other Stories

God Cares When I am Anxious: Moses and Other Stories

Thank you to NetGalley and Lion Hudson Limited for this beautiful book! It will be published in July 2020.

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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