I have a confession to make. I enjoy children’s books. In particular, I enjoy reading children’s books that relay the glorious and wondrous message found in the pages of Scripture. Even more specifically, I truly appreciate authors who present this glorious and wondrous message in a manner that does not present what is found in Scripture as simply neat stories, but rather engages the reader in the truth of Scripture noting along the way these are real events that took place in real history with real people involved all to the glory of God. Such an effort has recently been published by Kevin DeYoung in the delightful book The Biggest Story: How the Snake Crusher Brings Us Back to the Garden.
Let’s begin with the title of the book. Normally the title of a book is intended to be catchy, stating something that catches the eye of the passerby or these days, someone scrolling through a website. Now there is nothing wrong with a well thought out title. I will submit the title of this particular book is fantastic as it captures the very heart of the gospel message first declared in Genesis 3:15. Jesus is the snake crusher and the message of the gospel in large part is the plan of God to redeem His people back to the Garden. So to find a children’s book that gets right to the core of the gospel message on its very cover is quite exciting.
In ten short yet wonderfully written chapters, DeYoung walks the young reader through the pages of Scripture, stopping along the way to investigate the major events, and why they are of note. The illustrations in this book are very well done and will assuredly grab the attention of the child (or adult for that matter) who reads this book. Characters such as Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, David, and of course Jesus as well as major biblical events such as creation, the flood, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the birth of Jesus, and the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are all covered.
DeYoung repeatedly drives home the important gospel message that God is working His divine plan to bring His people back to the Garden through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Jesus conquered sin, death, and the grave thus fulfilling the promise God made way back in Genesis to be the one that crushed the head of the snake. This is the biggest story that could ever be told. Such a story needs to be relayed to our children at the youngest age possible and continually into adulthood. To understand what God has been doing in history to bring about this gracious and merciful plan of redemption is of the utmost importance. Far too often children’s books, especially ones that interact with Scripture, fail to drive home this fundamental message of the gospel. DeYoung hits the mark with this book and I highly encourage parents with young children and congregations to purchase this book and to read it to your kids over and over. DeYoung gets both a gold star and an A+.