Friday, August 17, 2012

Book Review: How to Be a Bible Princess

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    The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17, ESV, emphasis added)

Catherine Mackenzie's book, How to Be a Bible Princess, is like a breath of fresh air for girls aged 5 to 11. Ms. Mackenzie shares the accounts of a number of Bible princesses, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses while making much of God and His work in each of their lives. From the outset of the book, Ms. Mackenzie makes it clear to her readers that being a Bible princess is about trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ to save them from their sins as opposed to status, power (being in charge), physical beauty, material possessions, etc. Through the example of many Bible princesses, this princess book calls the reader to live a selfless life, making sacrifices for the good of others and the glory of God.

How to Be a Bible Princess isn't a book about building self-esteem but esteeming God highly. It isn't a book about seeking glory for ourselves but of doing all for the glory of God. It isn't a book about self-confidence but confidence in what God has done for the believer in Christ's life, death, and resurrection. After all,  the reason that believers can be called children of God is because of Christ's finished work on the cross. He lived the perfect life we should have lived and died the death we should have died so that we might become heirs with Christ, having a restored relationship with our Heavenly Father.

My daughter, age nine, said that one of the things she most appreciated about How to Be a Bible Princess was how simply it is written. She found it very easy to understand. Her favorite story was of Jehosheba because she rescued baby Joash (2 Kings 11). "Jehosheba put her life on the line to save someone else" (pg. 50). In retelling accounts such as this, How to Be a Bible Princess will challenge its readers to count the cost of following Christ (Luke 14). Furthermore, each chapter of this book includes a few paragraphs of "Princess Tips", as well as, a few paragraphs which help the reader to "Think about Jesus". For example, we see that God used Jehosheba to "rescue a family line for another baby boy and another king...--a Saviour--Christ the Lord. The King of Kings" (pg. 51).

Ms. Mackenzie reminds girls that the things of this world (beauty, clothes, etc.) will pass away and encourages them to seek first the kingdom of God whose Word will never pass away. In the concluding chapter, Ms. Mackenzie writes:
"The princesses of the Bible have taught us that it's not being a princess that's important, it's being a child of God. It's not about being born into a royal family, it's about trusting in God and being part of his heavenly family" (pg. 122).
Catherine Mackenzie is a gifted author who consistently uses her gift for God's glory. Time and again, she points her readers to God's faithfulness in the midst of man's weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings. How to Be a Bible Princess is no different. Ms. Mackenzie keeps the Gospel central throughout the entire book resulting in a work with a depth which is woefully lacking in most other "princess" books. It is my joy to commend How to Be a Bible Princess by Catherine Mackenzie for the enjoyment of all little girls!

*Many thanks to Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!

Thanks also to the ladies @ the Fellowship of Reformed Homeschool Moms on Facebook for helping me articulate my thoughts concerning the latest princess fad!! ;)

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