Recently, I received a copy of the book, How Do We Know God Is Really There by Melissa Cain Travis.
The book is available through Apologia Educational Ministries. There are many ways to learn more about them.
- Their website is http://www.apologia.com
- Their phone number is 888-524-4724
- Their FaceBook Page is https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
- Their blog is at http://blog.wordpress.com
- Their Twitter page is https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
- and their Pinterest page is http://pinterest.com/apologia/
Apologia is most well-known for their elementary through high school level science courses. Many years ago, I taught a cooperative class of homeschooled and private school students using their Biology book as our core.
This direct address for this book is http://shop.apologia.com/books/367-how-do-we-know-god-is-really-there-.html At this link, you can purchase the book for $16.
So what is this book? It is a good physical quality, hard cover book. The website describes it as a read-aloud picture book “designed to introduce kids to important questions of the Christian faith in terms even pre-readers can understand.”
I believe the book is simple enough for the intended audience to understand the beliefs it shares. The pictures are simple and are enjoyable (the book is illustrated by Christopher Voss), with a picture included on each two-page spread throughout the book.
I would expect that most families would read the story together, checking to see if the children got the point as they went. A good reader or older child could read the book independently. Younger children may like looking at the pictures in their free time. Some families may investigate further by looking up information about certain planets, scientists, creation history, etc. There is only one scripture cited; but families could also look it up in a couple Bible versions to better get the sense of it. They might also find other topically-relevant scriptures.
I did have a problem with the sentence structure and combinations throughout the book, especially on the second page. I wouldn’t have said “They would” at all, much less several times. Sometimes, it seemed the book was written by a young person. I feel bad mentioning this though as writing isn’t my best subject or ability either. However, I also didn’t publish a book. I simply believe children’s literature, though it may have a different goal (in this case, being informative regarding faith and science), should be a good model, or at least not a poor one, for our children. In my opinion, the issue was to the degree of being distracting.
I also think the book would have been better if it were:
- either shorter as it really took awhile to get into and was wordy;
- or if it was a simple chapter book, maybe three chapters, going just a tad further.
One additional section to add would be a letter to parents. In that, I would include a little more science to help parents answer questions or go further as well as give resources (scriptural, online, or other books).
I think it handles the question of “but where did it come from” very well. Physicists have known for a long time that “Another theory…will be needed to explain the original creation of the universe.” Of course, creation itself tells of it’s Creator.
I think it was wise for the materials not to take a position regarding old and young earth creationism also as it will make it more palatable for both groups.
DISCLAIMER: Generally, I would leave my review to the above. However, I do feel the need, since this is primarily a book regarding religious belief, to address the fact that my family will not be using this publishers books about faith, whether each one, individually, is theologically sound or not, as we do not believe the same as their company does about many matters of spirituality.