Tuesday, September 26, 2017

CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW: The Holy Ghost is My Friend by Catherine Christensen


Get ready to shine a spotlight on the Holy Ghost! This unique picture book shares everyday situations and simple stories that teach children how to recognize the influence of the Spirit. When you shine a flashlight through the illustrated pages, you can discover how the Holy Ghost protects, comforts, directs, and witnesses of true gospel principles. A fun and illuminating book the whole family will love!


I have some rather mixed feelings about this book.  On the one hand, it does a great job of explaining some of the roles of the Holy Ghost and how He helps us.  On the other hand, the illustrations and first page part of the book imply that the Holy Ghost appeared at Christ's baptism as a dove (not to mention the cover).  I would have liked it to be clearer that the Holy Ghost descended as gracefully and gently as a dove, not in the actual physical shape of a dove. And that the dove signified the Holy Ghost's presence, but was not the Holy Ghost.  As Joseph Smith explains:

“The sign of the dove was instituted before the creation of the world, a witness for the Holy Ghost, and the devil cannot come in the sign of a dove. The Holy Ghost is a personage, and is in the form of a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of the dove, but in sign of the dove. The Holy Ghost cannot be transformed into a dove; but the sign of a dove was given to John to signify the truth of the deed, as the dove is an emblem or token of truth and innocence” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 276).

The other thing that I wish the book had included is a description of just who the Holy Ghost is, beyond being a friend such as a member of the Godhead, a personage in form, but who has no physical body. 

The book does a nice job of explaining some of the different ways the Holy Ghost can help and the ways to invite Him to do so. And the flashlight aspect of the book which brings a hidden picture to the surface followed by a following page that explains what the picture represents.  There is a page depicting a child being tempted that shows temptations as purple demon creatures.  I think I would have preferred a different picture here. 

Overall, the book works, but it could have been better.

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