Deborah and Jael by Lucy Rycroft || Book Review
If you’ve followed me for a while you may be aware of my bugbear with children’s Bibles oversimplifying stories. And of how we so often see the same stories over and over again. In fact when I started thinking about how I might want to write a book one day (pre-Cold Cups of Tea) one of the things on my list was ‘Bible stories that don’t often get told’.
(Maybe one day I will still write one – any publishers reading this do feel free to send me a message 😉 )
Anyway, I was chuffed to see that Lucy had chosen to write about a lesser known Bible story. Tick. And one about women. Even bigger tick!
The book tells the story of Deborah & Jael (from Judges in the Bible) who God used to save their people. I love how the story focuses on their wisdom and bravery – two traits I love to be able to discuss when it comes to female Bible characters!
Bits I loved…
- The choice of story
Like I said above I love being able to have a book written for kids which is telling a different Bible story. AND I loved that it was about women.
- The illustrations
I wrote recently about wanting to diversify my bookcase in my Black Lives Matters post and I even got rid of a Bible which only featured white people and massively over-simplified stories. Deborah and Jael is beautifully illustrated by Beth Aulton. I particularly enjoy the facial expressions! And, as a whole the images are far more representative than any of our current Bible story books.
- The bits kept in
I loved that the story finishes with the people praising God. Often I find myself having to add in that part of a story so I loved that it was already written to prompt conversation with my kids.
- The bit kept out
How Sisera dies is summarised with the line, ‘oh yes, Jael made sure that Sisera wouldn’t be mean anymore’. I loved that I could leave it simply as that or choose to add detail. (Obviously Big bro asked right away!)
Bits I was less sure about…
- The rhyming
I don’t know why but I just don’t love a rhyming book generally. I found at times it made a point not seem quite as clear. However, Big bro absolutely loves rhymes and often has me playing rhyming games with him. So, whilst I wasn’t totally sure of the rhyming it was a hit with him. And at any point it was clear it simply led to more conversation which I love. (Hence why I titled this bullet point ‘bits I was less sure about…’ rather than didn’t like!)
I’m really looking forward to reading this book lots with the boys in the future – I’m also going to order copies for our godchildren! If you want to connect with Lucy you can find her blog at The Hope Filled Family, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
And of course you can buy Deborah and Jael too!