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WMU series helps teach basic Christian concepts to preschoolers

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–“Jesus went to church.”

“Jesus prayed.”

“Jesus said, ‘You are my friends.'”

“Jesus loves you.”

These are some of the messages of Good Things Jesus Did, one of a new series of books published for young preschoolers by Woman’s Missionary Union. The book is part of the Missions and Me Series.

Rhonda Reeves, editor of preschool resources for WMU, is the primary author of the series, along with co-author Jennifer Law, who was editor at New Hope Publishers from 1996-99.

The goal of the books, Reeves said, is “to provide teachers and parents materials that help teach the basic concepts of Christian education in very simple terms to babies through age three.” She also says older preschoolers learning to read will enjoy reading them to younger children.

Themes of the books center on God, Jesus, God’s creation, community, world, self, family, church, and the Bible. Each book addresses one of these topics and illustrates the lesson with words and pictures appropriate for younger preschoolers.

Bright colors and short sentences, characteristic of picture books, carry out each topic in an age-appropriate manner. For instance, in I Can Help Others the child is taught that God made many different kinds of people. Pictures illustrate that some of these people are sick and need help, and some are hungry and need food.

The book then leads the child to realize that everyone can help other people with needs. That naturally leads to pages illustrating that some people teach others about God and pray for others. The child is encouraged to know that they are also able to tell others about God and to pray.

In I Like to Go to Church, children will identify with pictures of children playing with blocks, singing, and listening to stories taught by a teacher. The strong message of love includes acknowledgment of teachers at church who demonstrate love by sharing Bible stories, and ministers who are friends and teach children about Jesus.

Each book is colorful and visually appealing to children, and includes a variety of races, ages, and ethnic backgrounds. Tim Robinson, a freelance artist, and Cheryl Totty, graphic artist for WMU, were the designers on the series.

Reeves believes this series of books will be useful for parents as well as teachers of preschoolers, and she envisions them being used in Mission Friends and Sunday School classes and in preschools as well as with children at home.

They will help parents and teachers alike acquaint children, even the youngest, with Christian concepts, she said. The can also be used for family worship times and prayer times.

Titles presently in print include: Thank You, God for My Bible, Tell Me About God, Families Are Special, I Like to Go to Church, I Can Help Others, Good Things Jesus Did, God’s Beautiful World and Myself. Plans are in process for books on community and the world.

Books in the Missions and Me series can be purchased through WMU by calling 1-800-968-7301 or visiting their online bookstore at www.wmustore.com. It is also available through LifeWay Christian Bookstore.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http:/www.bpnews.net. Photo title: MISSIONS AND ME.

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  • Sammie Jo Barstow