Even young child wants answers to the hard questions about God and suffering. In The Moon Is Always Round, seminary professor and author Jonathan Gibson uses the vivid imagery of the moon to explain to children how God's goodness is always present, even when it might appear to be obscured by upsetting or difficult circumstances.
In this beautiful, full-color illustrated book, he allows readers to eavesdrop on the conversations he had with his young son in response to his sister's death. Father and son share a simple liturgy together that reminds them that, just as the moon is always round despite its different phases, so also the goodness of God is always present throughout the different phases of life.
A section in the back of the book offers further biblical help for parents and caregivers in explaining God's goodness to children. Jonathan Gibson reminds children of all ages that God's goodness is present in the most difficult of times, even if we can't always see it.
Jonathan Gibson (PhD, Cambridge) is ordained in the International Presbyterian Church, UK, and is associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is coeditor with Mark Earngey of Reformation Worship, contributor to and coeditor with David Gibson of From Heaven He Came and Sought Her, and Covenant Continuity and Fidelity: A Study of Inner-Biblical Allusion and Exegesis in Malachi. He is married to Jacqueline, and they have two children: Benjamin and Leila.
Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa where he doodled whenever he wasn’t spading thistles or feeding pigs. Everyone knew by his crooked hay rows that he would choose art over farming. Joe earned his BA in Art and Education from Dordt College and his MA from the University of Nebraska. Today he lives with his wife and four children in Pella, Iowa, where he illustrates and teaches art. Joe has illustrated all of the Good News for Little Hearts series.
“It is with the greatest pleasure and sense of privilege that I commend this book about Leila, Jonny and Jackie Gibson’s precious, stillborn daughter. As I held Leila’s tiny lifeless body in my arms, I wondered what great things God would do through her brief, mainly hidden, life in this world. May this beautiful and poignant reflection, from a loving and devoted father, bring God’s compassion and comfort to many. She being dead yet speaks—Leila the Evangelist!”
Ian Hamilton, Former minister of Cambridge Presbyterian Church, England
“The Moon Is Always Round offers gentle instruction to the hearts of our children when life in this world has broken their hearts.”
Nancy Guthrie, Author of What Every Child Should Know about Prayer
“When our children were growing up, we sought out books to read to them, and a little later, books that they could read themselves. Many of them they wore out, unselfconsciously memorizing prose and poetry alike. The Moon Is Always Round has now been added to the ‘must-read-and-cherish’ list, not only because it is a good story and a true story, but because it is an important story that they will need to think about all their lives.”
D. A. Carson, Author of How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering and Evil
“It’s always best to rely on what we know to be true, rather than be guided by feelings. It’s an important lesson, especially for boys and girls, and Jonny Gibson teaches it in his wonderful, new book for children, The Moon Is Always Round. Through a tender, yet tough story—and beautiful illustrations—Jonny provides a heartwarming guide to any parent shepherding their child(ren) through times of loss and grief. I give a hearty thumbs-up to this special book!”
Joni Eareckson Tada, Author of A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God’s Sovereignty
“This sweet and touching book is wonderfully simple without being at all simplistic. The metaphor of the always-round moon will stick with children and parents alike. The lesson here is a profound one for any family wrestling with grief, but it is also a needed reminder for every Christian who may ever doubt the goodness of God.”
Kevin DeYoung, Author of The Biggest Story
“When we experience a deep loss, it’s easy to doubt God’s goodness. But that is exactly when we need to be reminded that God’s tender, personal love for us never changes. Kids need to know that just as much as anyone else, and this beautiful book will give parents a way to help them understand that truth. But don’t think this book is just for kids. Anyone who has experienced a deep loss will be comforted by this book’s simple reminder that the moon is always round.”
Libbie Groves, Author of Grief Undone and Becoming a Widow
“Most Christian children’s books get too preachy. They say too much and see too little—like a bad sermon. Not this book. Jonny Gibson has given us a modern-day psalm for children that takes us into the depths and points us to faith in God. Thank you, Jonny. Well done!”
Paul Miller, Author of J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life and A Praying Life