Name of Book: Am I Making God Smile?
Author: Jeannie St. John Taylor
Illustrator: Jeannie St. John Taylor
Publisher: Kregel Kidzone
Audience: Ages 4-8
Summary: Nothing is going right for Erik. His breakfast milk is spoiled; he loses his perfectly polished rock for show-and-tell; and he has to be partners with the class dork, Chuck, for a class project. But instead of getting mad, Erik learns how to make bad things good by keeping a good attitude and being kind to others. He knows that his positive response to each difficult circumstance makes God smile.
Literary elements at work in the story (Genre/setting/characterization/plot/theme/point of view/style): The brightly colored quirky illustrations invite children to want to read this book. Written from little Erik’s point of view, the reader can get inside his head and understand his thoughts and feelings throughout his day. The reader can relate to the conflicts that this boy faces and can appreciate the good, even though difficult, decisions he makes along the way.
Theological conversation partners: Through the innocence of a child, the author demonstrates how God can permeate our lives, so everything we say and do can be done with intention to bring joy to God and others. The book is about seeing the blessings in all of life’s situations. What brings joy to God brings joy to the boy as he seeks to make God smile in everything he does. The author concludes the book with a note for parents and references Zephaniah 3:17b, “He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he calm all your fears.”
Faith Talk Questions
- Think about a time when something didn’t go your way, maybe your breakfast milk was spoiled or you lost your favorite stone. What happened and how did it make you feel? How could you have handled the situation to make God smile? If you didn’t handle the situation in this way, then know that God does forgive you and helps you learn from your mistakes.
- God wants to be a part of our everyday lives. God delights in every good decision we make, and loves us even when we stumble. Make a list of things that delight God.
This review was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Amanda North.
Am I Making God Smile? by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.