Created in His Image: Three Books That Introduce Theology of the Body for Tots

Interest Level:  Ages 2-5

EVERYBODY HAS A BODY, GOD MADE BOYS AND GIRLS

“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” -Psalm 139:14

Review and Comments:

Everybody Has a Body is a book that helps very young children begin to understand God’s plan for his sons and daughters. The story explains very simply that our bodies are created alike in many ways and yet God created boys and girls to be different in special ways.  God loves us the way he created us, and we love ourselves and others as special creations of God.

The simple message in this book will be easily understood by young children in this age group.  Parents can help their children by reminding them often that God created them to be boys and girls in his image -always remembering that God saw what He created was good.

This book received an award from the Association of Catholic Publishers.  The author, Monica Ashour, “was also recognized with an honorable mention for First Time Author of a Book by the Catholic Press Association.” [Pauline Press Books and Media]

EVERY BODY IS A GIFT, GOD MADE US TO LOVE

“The human body includes right from the beginning…the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of his being and existence.”  -Theology of the Body [January 16, 1980]

Review and Comments:

Every Body is a Gift continues the story of God’s plan for his children.  St. John Paul II once wrote that because we are made in the image and likeness of God, the only “adequate response to another person is love. “  This profound statement is explained more simply by saying “God made us to love.”  The story illustrates very familiar examples that children, even toddlers, will recognize as simple expressions of the love they see every day in their own families.  These examples become lessons to show that God created everybody to be a gift to be shared.  This can be done by simple selfless acts such as playing with a sibling or sharing a toy.  This book is a valuable resource for parents and teachers and a wonderful introduction to God’s plan for his children.

EVERY BODY IS SMART, GOD HELPS ME LISTEN AND CHOOSE

“Man is precisely a person because he is master of himself and has self-control. Indeed insofar as he is master of himself he can give himself to the other.” – Theology of the Body [August 22, 1984]

Review and Comments:

The third book in the series explains that God created “our bodies to be very smart.”  Our bodies know when we need certain things such as food or sleep, and we should respond to those needs.  The message goes a step further however.  It explains there are times when we have the capacity to choose to wait. The idea of waiting for things that we want as a sign of being a big girl or a big boy will appeal to young children. The last sentence of the book is a very simple prayer that can be added to a child’s prayer life.

These wonderfully written board books were given to me by Pauline Books and Media in exchange for an honest review.  I applaud the author for taking the beautiful message of the Theology of the Body and making it appropriate for a young child’s journey to understand God’s plan for us all.  Parents, grandparents, and teachers will find these books are wonderful lessons about what it means to be created in the image of God – an important foundation for a child’s future.  While the world is telling us who we should be, God’s plan is perfect, and a child should learn this truth from the seeds planted by his or her parents and family.  This series of books will help parents begin this journey.

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Most beginning readers will be able to read the stories on their own. Younger children will enjoy the engaging illustrations while listening to the stories.

 Possible Issues:

There are no issues with these books.

 Further Discussion:

  • Continue the series with the Theology of the Body Series for Kids ages 5-8: (Click on the pictures for affiliate link)
  • Read the book entitled God Made Wonderful Me! By Genny Monchamp is an excellent book that also tells very young children the story of how wonderfully God created them.

 

 

 

  • Everyone Has a Body explains that parents were once boys or girls. Show your child pictures of yourself (grandparents, aunt, uncles) when you were a child.
  • Trace the outline of your child’s body and fill in your child’s facial features and clothing. (or make a gingerbread style outline for a smaller scale)IMG_4601
    1. Write a prayer next to the different parts of the body talked about in the book. (Examples: Thank you, God, for my arms.  Thank you, God, for my legs.)
    2. Write at the top or bottom of the paper -Thank You, God, for making me a boy. Help me to be strong.  Or Thank You, God, for making me a girl.  Help me to be gentle.
    3. Display this picture for use at prayer time. Add other thank you prayers to the diagram. (Example:  Thank You, God, for my eyes.)
  • Trace adult hands. Put the hands together, palms up.  Glue a picture of your child “in the palm of God’s hands.”
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    1. Write this verse from Isaiah 49:16 close to the hands – “See, upon the palms of my hands I have engraved you-”
    2. This verse could be memorized by a child of three or four.
  • Make a “Cheerful Giver” poster.
    1. As a family, make a list of acts of love your child can perform as a gift to others.
    2. Trace your child’s hand and use it as a pattern to make as many as needed. Glue the hands on the poster.
    3. Write the family’s ideas on the hands – one on each hand.
    4. When the gift has been given, write the date on the hand or put an appropriate sticker on the hand.  [Examples: angel, Jesus, heart]
    5. This could also be made into a scrapbook with pictures of your child performing the acts

Catholic Resources 

  • Genesis 1:27God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. “
  • Job 12:10 “In his hand is the soul of every living thing, and the life breath of all mortal flesh.“
  • CCC 299 “Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: “You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight.”The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the “image of the invisible God”, is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the “image of God” and called to a personal relationship with God. Our human understanding, which shares in the light of the divine intellect, can understand what God tells us by means of his creation, though not without great effort and only in a spirit of humility and respect before the Creator and his work Because creation comes forth from God’s goodness, it shares in that goodness – “and God saw that it was good. . . very good”- for God willed creation as a gift addressed to man, an inheritance destined for and entrusted to him. On many occasions the Church has had to defend the goodness of creation, including that of the physical world.”
  • CCC 355 “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.”Man occupies a unique place in creation: (I) he is “in the image of God”; (II) in his own nature he unites the spiritual and material worlds; (III) he is created “male and female”; (IV) God established him in his friendship.”
  • CCC 357 “Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.”
  • The “Theology of the Body consists of 129 general Wednesday audiences delivered by Pope John Paul II during the first five years of his pontificate. John Paul II digs deep into the meaning of being a human person based on Scripture. As a person with a body and soul, made in the image and likeness of God, we find the meaning of life through finding out what it means to image God and what our bodies have to do with it.”  Read more here.
  • 1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
  • 2 Corinthian 9:7 “… God loves a cheerful giver.”  [This is a good verse to memorize or use on a poster about loving actions.]

All of these books can be purchased at Pauline Books & Media or you can click on the pictures to purchase them from our affiliate link at amazon.com.

 

 

 

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