This book is part of a series "Adventures of the Sea Kids". I heard great things about this series while I listened to Dr. Meg Meeker's podcast so I looked up the book and was given a copy via BookCrash for my honest review. I really wanted to like this book but alas I felt it really fell short with the delivery of its message and the religious guilt associated.
Although the book's quality is fantastic (thick pages, solid hardcover, beautiful illustrations), I found the content to be a bit over the top. First of all I felt there was too many messages attempting to be delivered. There is an autistic sea kid, an injured sea kid, the message of what Easter means with Jesus, and "letting Jesus in your heart". I would expect it to be very overwhelming for a younger child to comprehend. I also felt that although it is indeed an obvious religious themed book, it had a very pushy and off-putting tone to it.
The Sunday school children were to hunt for eggs and whomever found the few eggs with crosses on them were to get a special present. Jimmy found two but was then bluntly pressured and guilted by the teacher into giving one of his eggs to the autistic kid who threw down his basket and pouted because he wanted a special present too. The message was to treat autistic kids with extra attention and exceptions than the other children and that didn't set well with me. Jimmy should have been allowed to come to his own decision to give up his second egg and been given praise regardless of who he shares it with. This part of the book reminded me of participation trophies which is a terrible thing.
Again with the autistic kid, when he has difficulty writing his card, others offer to do it for him. Instead of helping him work through his disability he is treated as being completely incompetent.
Second, I am not a fan of the notion of "Jesus take the wheel" when it comes to praying for miracles. It's fine to pray and ask God to help when someone is ill but to discredit anything else that may have helped save the child's life (doctors, nurses, etc) is ignorant. Yes, I guess you can assume that God's grace is in the medical staff but to just say we prayed and yay it worked! seems silly and lazy.
Overall the pictures were beautiful to look at and I could see the message that the author was trying hard to get through but I felt she really flopped. The pressure seen in this book is why so many run from religion and that is discouraging. Based on other reviews I am actually wanting to read to the other books in the series as many have written this was their least favorite because of the things I have mentioned here. I initially heard of this series off of Dr. Meg Meeker's podcast.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookCrash in exchange for my honest opinion.