I have to admit. I want my little guy to grow up to have a heart that follows God’s own. I want him to dream big dreams, to fight sin with the sword of the Spirit, and to rescue the wayward with the One who came to save us from ourselves. I want him to be brave and strong and wise.
Though it’s great to dream dreams, it’s essential to put feet to those notions. I have to be intentional about walking towards those goals. The activities in our everyday should be purposed, creative, fun, and engaging. One of my favorite things to do with my son is to snuggle up with a few good books. When we’re reading together, we’re creating an emotional bond, promoting early literacy, developing language skills, and building character through good literature.
The following is a compilation of my favorite resources for the little heroes in our lives, particularly boys ages 2-8. Since boys tend to be quite active, engage them in helping you tell these stories. Use motions to keep them involved, ask questions, hunt for particular objects in the illustrations, and most importantly make reading about God fun and dynamic! Treasure your time together with your little hero, grand-hero, or that boy in your ministry who insists on wearing a cape.
God’s Wisdom for Little Boys: Character-Building Fun from Proverbs, by Jim and Elizabeth George: This book is a delightful compilation of rhymes that highlight character traits from the book of Proverbs. It is geared to little guys, ages 4-8, but the rhyming patterns would catch the attention of most 2 and 3 year olds, also. Judy Luenebrink illustrates the book with classic color paintings. My only critique is the lack of diversity displayed in the illustrations. However, it is still a fabulous resource that will instill wisdom in the youngest of boys, so that they may grow up to have a heart after God’s own.
I’d Be Your Hero: A Royal Tale Of Godly Character, by Kathryn O’Brien: This is a well-written conversation between a mother and her son. The son’s imagination takes him to royal places, where he embarks upon one adventure after another. As the boy dreams of fantastic feats, the mom affirms her son and utilizes scripture to help him pursue traits like bravery, perseverance, skill, and humility. The amount of scripture used in this book is incredible! I also love the illustrations by Michael Garland. They are fun, vivid, and whimsical. It is a must read for little heroes, ages 3-8.
The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale, by Angela Hunt: This may just be my favorite children’s book of all time. It weaves the classic folktale of three trees who dream of who they want to be when they grow up. There is a deep sense of sadness when their dreams do not materialize the way they had imagined. However, the trees each discover that God’s dream for them is bigger and better than their own. Little guys reading this will learn about the life of Christ and will hopefully grow to discover God’s purpose for them, in accordance with Jeremiah 29:11. This book is illustrated by Tim Jonke and perfect for boys and girls alike, ages 2-10.
What other good resources have you found particularly helpful for the installation of Godly character and wisdom in little guys?