I'd Choose You by John Trent Christian Children's Book Review
A Great Way to Show Parental Love
I'd Choose You by John Trent, PhD. (Word Publishing, 1994) is a children's picture book every parent needs to have for their home library, even though it isn't as well-known as classics by Eric Carle (the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar) or A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh). If you believe, as I do, that words have great power to affirm and build up children, then this book is a must-read, must-own title.
Most parents, at one time or another, have had the painful experience of watching their children be rejected by their peers or picked last for the team. These experiences which can be so painful for kids are an unfortunate reality of growing up. As parents we can't prevent our kids from having these experiences, but we can affirm their place in their families, letting them know just how much we love them.
Little Norbert the Elephant had a very bad day at school. He was picked last for the team, had to sit alone on the roller coaster (they ride roller coasters instead of buses in Norbert's school), and Norbert was embarrassed by Heidi the Hippo. But Norbert's mom knows just what to say to help her child feel loved and comforted.
John Trent uses I'd Choose You to teach parents how to give their children "The Blessing". As Trent describes in the "A Note to Parents on Blessing Your Children", the blessing contains 5 key elements:
- Appropriate, meaningful touch (a big, loving hug)
- Spoken words of affirmation
- Attaching high value to someone
- Picturing a special future for your kids
- Making a genuine commitment to include the blessing as part of their lives.
Trent's book uses a simple story that kids and most adults can relate to. The story's animal characters are appealingly drawn doing silly things. Illustrator Judy Love uses a modern picture book style to show humorous details like Norbert's Mommy's hausfrau dress, or the elephant door knocker on the door of Norbert's house, or peas flying toward the reader when Heidi the Hippo sends the cafeteria tray flying. Each scenario depicted is just a little bit silly, which keeps the mood of the story light. For example, Florence the Flamingo twirls gracefully on a frozen pond, while an onlooking giraffe lays with his legs splayed on the ice.
The text of this story is a little heavy-handed in getting its message across, but its heavy-handedness is eased by the delightful and detail illustrations.
I find that my toddler responds quite positively to this story, and though he is not a naturally affectionate child, this book helps him to open up to the idea of a big hug. I enjoy reading this book to him, and remind him that I'd Choose Him, too. The story and the hugs always put a big smile on his face, which makes me feel like a good parent! I'd choose I'd Choose You by John Trent for lap reading or bedtime reading.
The Blessing, an Old Testament Concept
The principle of The Blessing comes from the Old Testament, as Trent describes in his foreward to parents. The concept of reinforcing a child's worth transcends religion, however, so if you are religiously unaffiliated or not a Christian, I would still check this book out.
Be aware, if you are a caregiver in a public non-religious environment, that this book refers to God within the text of the story.
(Excerpt from I'd Choose You)
"And if I could honor one child who has an exciting and wonderful future...and if I could teach him each day that he is God's special gift, especially on those days when he doesn't get picked...Guess which one I'd choose every time?
I'd choose YOU!"
- parental love
- self esteem
- bad day
- believing in your kids
- The Blessing
- I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt (Cartwheel, 2004, ISBN 0439634695)
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney (Candlewick, 1996, ISBN 07636001)
- Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (Firefly, 1995, ISBN 0920668364)
- I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak (Cartwheel, 2005, ISBN 0439673631)
- So Much by Trish Cooke (Candlewick, 2008, ISBN 0763640913)