Young children are concrete thinkers. Until the early elementary school years (the age range for moving to the next stage varies from 7 – 11 years old), your children are basically unable to think in abstract or hypothetical ways. Even beyond that age, there may be bits and pieces of information which are still incorrectly processed in concrete ways. So when you say “It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.”, they think it is literally true.
Which brings me to my latest book review. Meeting Moses by Robert Chasin and Matt Roussel is a new children’s picture book that aims to teach kids about the life of Moses. The authors do so however, by introducing a modern character named Max who travels to Egypt during the time of Moses in a time machine. The book itself has great illustrations which look like they came from a quality animated movie.
While the story of Moses is mostly accurate (I question the idea that Moses ever believed he wasn’t Jewish.), I have a huge problem with Max, the time machine and characters being told their “future”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the time travel genre in general. My daughter loved the Magic Tree House books when she was little. My issue is mixing fiction with Bible for young concrete thinkers.
After a young child has read this book, their concept of the story of Moses will be extremely muddled. Some kid named Max told Moses about what he would do. When Pharaoh asks Max what “the gods” want to tell him, Max tells Pharaoh about the future and what people will think about the pyramids centuries from now. Later, Max “wisely” does not argue with Ramses (who probably wasn’t the Pharaoh when Moses was little), when Pharaoh laughs at the idea there is only one god.
Perhaps an older child would be amused and not confused by the book, but this is a picture book written for young children. The saddest part of mixing fiction with the telling of Bible stories is that you send the not so subtle message you believe the Bible stories are fictional, too. Why would anyone want to base the entire way they live their life on a fairy tale?
I beg everyone who thinks they have to make the Bible more exciting for kids by adding fictional characters and situations (like Jesus under the Sea) to stop! You are making it even more difficult for this generation of children to accept God and become active Christians. The Bible has more than enough excitement, adventure and weird things in it already. Read it with the fresh eyes of a child. They are already amazed with what it contains. Please stop confusing them by adding a layer of fiction on top of great truth!
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links are included for your convenience.