Children's Books

Children's Books

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The Center for Open and Relational Theology recommends the books below. See a brief description, suggested age range, and quote with each book.

How Big is Love? by Amy Parker
Preschool – Kindergarten

Little Hedgehog is determined to understand just how love works. His curious questions will warm your heart, and his sweet story will remind you that love grows every time you give it away. Based on 1 Corinthians 13:13 concerning faith, hope, and love.

“’Mama?’ Little One asked through a yawn. ‘How big is love?’ ‘Well.’ Mama raised her eyebrows. ‘That is a good question.’”

God Loves Me More Than That by Dandi Daley Mackall 

Grade Level Preschool – 2 

A beautiful book about the expansiveness of the Lord’s love for little children, wider, softer, stronger, deeper, than we can imagine. 

“How much love does God have for me? More than the letters between A and Z. More than the bumbles in a bumble bee. God loves me more than that!”

That’s Where God Is by Dan and Ali Morrow 

Grade Level Kindergarten – 3 

A boy’s simple questions sparks a search for God that leads the boy/grandfather duo to nature, a friend’s help, and a sister’s kindness to find God. At the end the child says a simple prayer, inviting God more fully into his heart so he can be more like Jesus. 

“On Saturday my friends and I were running at the playground. Gavin fell down and scraped his knee. When Abbey saw she picked Gavin up and brushed him off. That’s where God is, I thought. He’s with us when we help each other.” 

When God Was a Little Girl by David Weiss 

Grade Level 1 – 2 

“Tell me a story, Daddy . . . about when God was a little girl.” Susanna’s playful request begins a whimsically profound tale woven between father and daughter. This imaginative retelling of Biblical creation sparkles with joy, its words and images offering gentle wisdom and genuine insight. You may never think about God, creation, or yourself in quite the same way. Wonderfully relational.

And the Earth and Water and Sun and Love, they all danced together while God sang. So, all afternoon God listened while the Human Beings sang names to every Plant and Animal in the Garden and learned the create the big song that mixed all the notes together. It sounded like the rainbow. The words fit together just like the colors in the rainbow, they made the whole picture look most beautiful.”  

Where Does God Live? By Holly Bea

Grade Level Preschool – 4

Hope is a little girl with a lot of big questions: Where does the sun go? Why does it rain? Where does God live? She asks her mom and her animal friends, but finally gets some straight answers form her beloved and wise grandmother who shows her to see God in all things. From this place, Grandmother encourages a simple, comfortable prayer of gratitude and love. 

All of a sudden and quick as a flash, Mrs. Fish jumped up high and came down with a splash. ‘Oh no, that’s not true! That can’t really be! I know that God lives in the stream here with me. This crystal blue water is lovely, I know. God lives here with me in the waters below.” 

Let There Be Light by Matthew Paul Turner

Grade Level Preschool – 2

God creates light but as light the light grows, it begins to show up in amazing places like chasing away shadows, or on a firefly. The most surprising thing is that this same light is inside each person, as a spark that you can grow and change the world with. 

“The day you were born, God said, ‘Let there be light!’ So beam light the sun; glimmer like a star. And wherever you go, dark will stop being dark.”

Where is God? by Patricia May 

Grade Level Kindergarten – 3

Where is God? answers how we feel and express God’s love for the world. Meant for younger children to connect the idea that wherever love is, God is. 

“You reveal God everyday. When you laugh, have fun, and play. Your spark within has always know, God lives right here you’re not alone. Everything you say and do expresses God inside of you.” 

The Boy and the Ocean by Max Lucado 

 Grade Level Preschool – 3

A journey of discovery and thanksgiving as a boy uses creation to learn about the unmatched love of God. 

“’God’s love is like the ocean, my little boy,’ she said. “It’s always here. It’s always deep. It never ends. God’s love is special.’” 

God’s Paintbrush by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso 

Grade level Preschool – 2

Through fantasy, involvement and imagination, the authors invite children of all faiths and backgrounds to encounter God openly through moments in their own lives―and help the adults who love them to be a part of that encounter. This book provides a gift of images that nurtures and encourages children in making meaning of their world.

“Sometimes the oceans make giant waves with white foam on the top. I imagine that pleases God, and God laughs. When the fizz on my favorite ice cream soda tickles my nose, it makes me laugh. Maybe it makes God laugh, too. What makes you cry and laugh? What do you think would make God cry or laugh?”

Even Then by Stacy Archer 

Grade level Preschool – 2 

A book about how God’s love is unconditional and does not depend on us earning it or buying it. Through imagination and questions, these two friends learn about God’s love for His children. 

“Libby, what if I came to school looking like a complete mess? Would you still be my friend? Would you like me any less? Caleb, its not about the clothes you wear, or the style of your hair. So yes, I would still be your friend, even then.” 

A Kids Book About God 

Grade Level Kindergarten – 3 

Who is God? Where do I go when I die? Is God even real? This book answers none of these questions, but it asks them all! It is a thoughtful book that enforces no views but stresses the importance of a healthy dialogue, curiosity, love, and wonder.

“I mean, how do you talk about something as big and wild as God?”  

What is God? by Etan Boritzer 

Grade Level 1 – 7 

What is God? is a fantastic introduction to the ideas of God and religion. Some of this imagery includes looking up at the stars, standing on a mountain, praying from your heart, reading a holy book, or the feeling that connects all of us together. 

“When people of all religions pray to God, we are really praying for that feeling, the feeling which connects all of us. When we pray to God we are praying for that feeling to come to us and to everyone we know. Maybe even to all those people we don’t know. So that we can all be happy together or apart. And if you really want to pray to God, you can just close your eyes anywhere, and think about that feeling of God that makes you part of everything and everybody.” 

God Gave Us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren 

Grade Level Preschool – Kindergarten 

A book about the different kinds of love between families, friends, and parents but that all these kinds of love come from God. We participate in the love of God any time we show love.  

“It’s something deep within us, something I can’t totally explain—only that God is love, so he created us to love. He ties us all together like the strings on our snowshoes, heart to heart.” 

Old Turtle by Douglas Wood 

Grade Level 1-3

Simple yet profound, Old Turtle is a children’s book about ecology, peace, and the interconnectedness of all beings. A beautiful story about how God is connected to all of it. 

“Who is God? Is He a wind that is never still? Is He a rock that never moves? Is He high above or here among us? Venerable Old Turtle answers quietly: God is all of these things.”

Mr. and Mrs. God in the Creation Kitchen by Nancy Wood 

Grade Level Kindergarten – 4

In a space without beginning or end, celestial spouses Mr. and Mrs. God putter in the Creation Kitchen, first roasting Sun and Earth in their enormous oven, then whipping up Earth’s creatures in between marital tiffs, finishing off with two jut-jawed humans and speculations about “how they’ll turn out. A fun story about God as male, female, and a playful creator in the universe. 

“‘Its time for something beautiful,’ said Mrs. God. She looked around. She took several handfuls of fins and tails from the boxes. Then she got a big bowl and filled it with all the colors she loved. Next she mixed it all together and emptied the bowl into the bluest waters on Earth. ‘Perfect,’ she said. ‘Come see.’”

Maybe God is Like That Too by Jennifer Grant 

Grade Level 1 – 3 

Every child wonders where God lives or what God is like. Grandma invites him to pay attention to where he sees the fruit of the Spirit. The boy sees God in the kindness of a doorman holding the door for a man using a wheelchair, in the patience of his teacher helping him tie his shoes, and in the love, faithfulness, and gentleness of his grandma.

“Wherever there’s patience, kindness, and goodness, God is there too. When you see faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, that’s God’s Spirit at work.” 

God Got a Dog 

Grade Level 5+

An award-winning author and illustrator team up to create a lyrical celebration of where the divine meets the mundane, and ultimately what it means to be human. In this small book of poetry, God decides to “try out” different activities and experiences of humanity, and the results are by turns thought-provoking and inspiring. When “God got a boat,” she is surprised to discover how much sense her creation makes, far more so than looking at Earth from far away. And after “God went skating,” it’s clear that the occasional invincibility God feels is matched by a willingness to try new things. Seeing God in new ways allows children to think about their relationship to him or her differently. In this interpretation, God and humans are cocreators of an evolving world. 

“She sat in the boat and was surprised how much sense it all made. All the little houses and the green trees and all the tidy cities and all the sky and all the land, it all made sense. She was surprised. Because, really, She’d just been winging it.” 

God’s Dream by Archbishop Desmond Tutu 

Grade Level Baby – Preschool

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has a vision of God’s dream, which he shares here with the youngest of listeners. It involves people who reach out and hold each other’s hands, but sometimes get angry and hurt each other — and say they’re sorry and forgive. It’s a wish that everyone will see they are brothers and sisters, no matter their way of speaking to God, no matter the size of their nose or the shade of their skin. 

“Each of us carries a piece of God’s heart within us. And when we love one another, the pieces of God’s heart are made whole.”

In God’s Name by Rabbi Sandy Sasso 

Grade Level Preschool – 2

All the people of the world set out to find God’s name … and each of the many seekers is sure that he or she alone has found the right name, the only name, for God. Finally, they come together―and at last learn what God’s name really is. Love. This is a spiritual celebration of all people of the world and their belief in one God.

“The farmer whose skin was dark like the rich brown earth from which all things grew called God Source of Life. The mane who tended sheep in the valley called God shepherd. The tired soldier who fought too many ways called God Maker of Peace.” 

Jesus Showed Us by Brad Jersack 

Grade Level Preschool – 3 

This book focuses on what we learn about God’s love through Jesus. Each page shares a gospel story like Jesus washing feet, the woman at the well, the good Samaritan and through it we learn about God’s love. Not an angry God, or a distant God, or a magical genie God, but a God who loves and wants everyone to have a seat at the table. 

Communion is God welcoming us to His table. Jesus shares God’s table which is a banquet of love. When we eat at God’s table, God shares Jesus with us and Jesus shares God’s love with us.”