Book Review: God Is Just Like Me

We are made in the image of God. This is one of the first truths laid out for us in Genesis. Human beings are made in the image of God. And that is the heart of ‘God is Just Like Me’ by Karen Valentin. Follow a young Puerto Rican girl around New York City as she discovers how she is made in the image of God.

What I Love

First of all, can we just talk about refreshing it is to see a Latina-lead Christian children’s book. The joy I had as I saw the words ‘abuelo’ and ‘mamí’ on the page. It’s a small, but so significant thing. Also a dinner table shown with black beans and rice. I wouldn’t say this book is overflowing with Puerto Rico and Spanglish. But details like meals and names are such a beautiful thing to finally see represented in Christian Kids lit.

I want to address right away, I know some parents will feel uncomfortable with the title ‘God is Just Like Me.’ After all, we are made in God’s image, not the other way around. But I want to encourage you to not scroll on by. This lovely book really is all about how we are created in the image of God. In the pages we see a little girl engaging in contemplative prayer, seeing God’s hand in nature and the world around us. Much like Paul says:

‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.’

Romans 1:20 (NIV)

We see our little friend engaging with this concept from a Sunday drive with Abuelo, to hearing thunderstorms, and even dancing to music. This book encourages littles to see where God is in those everyday moments, and to ponder what creation can tell us about God:

-God created the whole world. Sounds like God likes to make things. Just like the preschooler that loves crafts.

-Thunderstorms are an art of God, and they can be so loud. Maybe God likes to be loud. I can think of a couple toddlers I know who LOVE to be loud.

-The birds sing along to music in the park. And God made the birds, so maybe God also loves music. Just like all of my kids.

This book wraps up with a beautiful message as Abuela pinches the little girl’s cheeks and coos ‘God made you just like your Mamí.’ This is something most of our littles have probably heard at one point or another. ‘You look like your Papí.’ ‘You act just like your uncle.’ Or, as my 4 year-old likes to say ‘me and Grandma are made from the same stuff.’ Being like someone in their family is something our littles are familiar with.

But our little friend follows up to her Abuela’s comment:

‘But God, you and I both know You made me just like You!’

We are made in the image of God.

What My Littles Love

Again, we are going to talk about why representation matters. My kids don’t call their father ‘Daddy,’ they call him ‘Papí.’ And if I had a dollar for everytime a confused stranger at the park (child or adult) made a comment…well let’s just say I’d be rich. When you are used to seeing the words you use in the books you read, these details may not feel like much. However, these are words we rarely see in kids lit (much less Christian kids lit). When my 4 year-old hear the main character went for a walk with her ‘Mamí and Papí’ the look she gave me was priceless. It means more when you can see yourself in the character. And when this character is saying they are made in the image of God, that means that’s a message my littles are absorbing too.

My 6 year-old also made a comment about the food illustrated (she’s the one that drew my attention to it). She exclaimed: ‘They’re eating arroz con frijoles!’ (Red rice is low-key her favorite food). That lead us to go back and look at what other food they were eating. Again, this may seem like a small insignificant detail. But when it’s always mashed potatoes and gravy shown at the family feast in Christian kids lit. Let me tell you, seeing arroz y frijoles is enough to provoke una grita de celebration from my tiny humans.

Click here to get a copy of ‘God is Just Like Me’ by Karen Valentin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close