I Will Rejoice
Karma Wilson & Amy June Bates
A lot of books that Sarah and I review here at Aslan’s Library catch our attention because they’re deep. We love finding authors and artists who are gifted in expressing the beauty of the biblical narrative, who know how to craft a story that rings true to our theological ears, who don’t shy away from talking to children about things about life and Christianity that are tricky or mysterious or just plain hard.
The thing is, being a follower of Christ is just as much about living with hearts full of joy and gratitude to God each day as it is about taking time to delve into the depths of theological truth. It’s about learning how to do everything we do, major life decisions and mundane daily tasks alike, to the glory of our Trinune God. It’s about the joy of the Lord being our strength. Which brings me to today’s book.
I Will Rejoice, written by the prolific Karma Wilson, is a delightful peek into an ordinary day of one little girl’s life. In one sense there’s nothing particularly exciting about the storyline: she gets up, gets dressed, eats meals, plays with a friend, talks to her parents, and goes to bed. What is extraordinary about the book is that as the girl does each of those things she’s also rejoicing in the Lord and giving thanks for all of his blessings. In a society where dissatisfaction and greed run rampant, it’s truly a counter-cultural message.
I’ve seen other books that attempt to convey the same sort of theme, but this one succeeds where others haven’t because the pairing of Wilson’s not-over-the-top rhymes and Bates’ wonderful illustrations. I’m pretty hard to please when it comes to books that are written completely in rhyme, but I think Wilson gets it just right in I Will Rejoice. The refrain of the book is taken from Psalm 118:24, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” And that is exactly what I think this book will help our families learn how to do.