Books to inspire a love of creation and the Creator
In the last post I talked about 8 ways we can help children to love creation and the Creator. The 8th way mentioned was reading great literature which inspires a love of creation and the Creator. Keep reading for some suggestions of books my children and I have enjoyed together and I also share some of the books that have personally inspired me to engage with God in creation this month...
An obvious classic but one that children love! We have a Spanish version and I watched a father and daughter share this book for the first time today - the smiles and engagement on both their faces was beautiful to watch. I still remember as a child the wonder of how a caterpillar transformed into a butterfly reading this book.
A book showing all the details of Noah’s journey through the flood without words. A great book to look at together with children small and big to help you imagine what it would have actually been like to be Noah and his family on the boat and looking after the animals. This book has actually moved me to tears with its tenderness and the joy Noah and his family must have felt when they finally found evidence of land and life on earth again!
Stunning illustrations and beautiful summer adventure story about a boy who reluctantly visits his grandma for the summer in the woods near the river and ends up falling in love with the river and the animals he interacts with on the raft he discovers.
Taking me back to my English roots, I love this story of how Mary Lennox from India is transformed from a spoilt, unhealthy girl into a compassionate, loving friend through the finding and replanting of a secret garden and the help of animals. Not just for girls, I read it earlier this year with my three boys and they enjoyed it too! The film is also stunning.
Louis is a trumpeter swan who can’t trumpet naturally, so his father steals a musical trumpet for him so he can learn to communicate and win over the love of his life. The character of Sam, a boy who befriends Louis, inspires children to find their own discoveries in nature and to have compassionate interactions with animals.
Wilbur is destined for the slaughter house unless something can be done. Thankfully his friends, including Charlotte the spider come up with a plan to celebrate him and help the humans see how wonderful he is. A fun tale to encourage children to think compassionately about animals.
Nothing like the film, where the context and plot are totally changed, this hilariously impossible tale about Mr. Popper’s adventures with a family of Penguins is laugh-out-loud funny.
A heartwarming story about a shepherd boy, Peter and his adventures caring for the sheep on a mountain with the help of his trusty dog.
These of the books I have been reading over the last month of two which have inspired me to engage further with God in creation:
As I shared in an earlier post this month, Jonathan Merritt's book has helped me to recognize the privileged responsibility we have as Christians to care for God's creation and has helped me think through ways I can worship and love God by caring for the things He has made that are in my realm of influence.
One of the most shared posts this month on creation was on what the celtic christians can teach us about meeting with God in creation through 'thin places'. This book has been like a friend who understands this month as I have met with God outside - although it has not been something I have done intentionally much before this month, it is soothing to read about Christians who found this normal practice!
I read this book before this month and it was part of the inspiration to include creation in one of the spiritual disciplines this year. This book is not all about Creation, but in it Brian Zahnd does have a chapter focused on being outside with God. It encouraged me to start reading the Bible outside in some of the contexts of the Bible passages and I have found this a refreshing practice this month.
Not a specifically Christian book, but a reader recommended this book to me after reading the post I wrote about why I now love the sea. I bought the book that night on audio and listened to it twice through - once walking along the beach the next morning and once again to highlight various passages. I loved her simple joy of experiencing the sea and the metaphors of shells she uses to share her wisdom. I found this book helped me to enjoy the beach more seeing it through the eyes of someone else who enjoys it and I found the simplicity of her writing about her encounter with the sea inspiring.
Now of course when we are talking great literature, there is of course a huge amount of inspirational material in the Bible itself. I went through the Psalms in preparation for this month and found that 85% of the Psalms have reference to some aspect of creation and half of those use creation to praise God or reveal something about Him.
I will leave you today with Psalm 8 which has been on my lips many a day this month:
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This September has been a month where I am intentionally getting outside into creation to meet with God. It is part of a year long embracing of grace through different spiritual disciplines. You can read more about the year here, and more about this month's focus on creation here. Stay tuned for the final post of creation this month and the reveal of the next spiritual discipline coming up in October!