Who is the baby in the manager? It is Jesus, we tell children. But who is Jesus? What is he like? MaryAnn Diorio has written a picture book Who Is Jesus? which may help little ones with these questions. The book is different from many books on Jesus. It does not tell stories about Jesus from the Bible. It gives instances from children’s lives that show the kindness, gentleness, friendliness, love and mercy of Jesus. For example it asks on one page, “Is Jesus someone who laughs at you when you fall down and hurt yourself?” The next page answers, “No. Jesus doesn’t laugh at you when you fall down and hurt yourself. Jesus picks you up, brushes you off, and gives you a big hug.” On the following page is a Bible verse that supports that statement.

The illustrations by Kim Sponaugle are colorful and kid-friendly, though they might be a bit confusing at first. Parents will need to explain to children that the pictures are about what Jesus is like– not pictures of Jesus Himself, but depictions of people acting like Jesus. With that explanation I think children will be able to make the leap of faith. God will help them.

Who Is Jesus? is published by TopNotch Press, 2014.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) Two of her published works for children are Marty’s Monster and Jessica Jacobs Did What?  Her latest work is I Get a Clue, a mystery novel for girls 10-13. For several years she was a freelance reviewer of children’s and teen’s literature for the Focus on the Family website.