Friday, April 3, 2015

LDS BOOK REVIEW: Practicing for Heaven by Brad Wilcox


ABOUT THE BOOK

David hates practicing piano. He's frustrated by how hard it is and all the mistakes he makes. With his mom's help, he comes to understand how that's all part of the learning process. She also uses the moment to help David comprehend more about the Atonement: Christ has paid the price so that we can learn and improve. We aren't earning our way to heaven—we're practicing for it, and Christ is willing to help us every step of the way.

Practicing for Heaven also includes teachings tips for parents who wish to teach children of all ages about the Savior's Atonement and grace.

Practicing for Heaven: The Parable of the Piano LessonsABOUT THE AUTHORS

BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader's Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

WENDEE WILCOX ROSBOROUGH graduated from BYU with a BS in Home and Family Living. She once served on the planning committee for BYU Women's Conference and has also spoken there with her father, Brad Wilcox. She lives with her husband and two boys in Provo, Utah, and loves to read, write, travel, and play the piano when her sons allow her a few spare moments.

Practicing for Heaven: The Parable of the Piano Lessons
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

BRIAN CALL studied illustration at Ricks College and BYU. His illustrations have graced the Ensign and Friend magazines, as well as the children's books Illustrated Book of Mormon Stories and Illustrated Bible Stories for Latter-day Saints. Brian currently teaches in the art department at BYU-Idaho. He lives in Ammon, Idaho, with his wife and six children. Brian's children play the piano beautifully, but he never could put down his paper and pencils long enough to practice.

REVIEW

Practicing for Heaven is a beautiful book with a powerful message.  I especially related to the piano analogy because I used to play myself and I was also a reluctant practitioner.  I love how the mother sits down with her son and explains to him the importance of not giving up when things get hard or when it seems that all one does is make mistakes.  Not only is the text beautifully written and perfect for sharing with children, but the illustrations are gorgeous and wonderfully highlights the text. The story points out the importance of teaching children about the atonement and how the power of the atonement provides strength to overcome our sins and weaknesses.  I loved the idea of 'practicing for heaven'. Because Jesus died for us he has the right to ask something of us and that he does it to help us become like him so we can be ready to live in heaven.  I find this a wonderful way to help children understand an important doctrine.  The authors give additional information at the end of the book about ways to help teach children about the atonement including additional resources.  A beautiful book all around!

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