You Are Special
Max Lucado & Sergio Martinez
Crossway, 2007A confession: when Haley first gave my daughter the board book edition of You Are Special, I was suspicious. It took me awhile to sit down and actually read it. After all, it’s by Max Lucado, and I harbor in my heart and uncharitable and unwarranted suspicion of authors who become franchises.I stand corrected, and in need of Mr. Lucado’s forgiveness, because this is a simply charming book. Beautifully illustrated by Sergio Martinez, You are Special tells the story of Punchinello the Wemmick. The Wemmicks – small wooden people – spend their days constantly measuring one another’s worth through a system of awarding star and dot stickers. Poor Punchinello is covered in dots, and believes that to be the true measure of his worth as a Wemmick, until one day he meets Lucia, to whom neither the dots nor the stars will stick. What could be her secret? Punchinello gathers his courage and goes to meet Eli the woodcarver to find out.
Underneath the fairy tale setting and puppet-like appearance of the Wemmicks lies one of the deepest truths our children can hear: the only word that matters on their worth is that spoken by the One who crafted them, and His pronouncement is, “You are special because I made you. And I don’t make mistakes.”
You Are Special offers fertile ground for discussing with children the true source of self-worth, as well as the ways in which we sinfully take part in the dots-and-stars system ourselves. It is a delightful reminder to parents and children alike that the praise and judgment of others is worthless in light of the creative love of their Maker, and winsomely calls us all to trust in that love.