- Book Style: A cartoon history of the earth
- Reading Level: 3 (Reading Alone due to: Difficult vocabulary, words most children won’t know)
- Reading Length: 5-7 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Complex, lifelike
- Age Target: 4-10 Years of Age
- Author: Bryce Dodson
- Author’s Page: Bryce Dodson
- Book Purchase Page: DocDude’s Website – $14.95 USD
- Social Media Links: Facebook, Twitter
What is God? is what I would describe as a cartoon history of the earth. The story begins by telling us about Abigail who’s just attended church with one of her friends. She asks her mother what God is, and from there we move into an explanation of God and the beliefs surrounding religion. Once the author (Bryce Dodson) discusses religion, he moves on to discuss what science has learned in the time it has existed. From there, he explains many theories (briefly) and then lets the reader decide on his/her beliefs on this subject.
While the book is intended as a tool for parents raising their children as secular in a religious world, the author does a good job of explaining religion. Bryce takes the time to introduce the reader (and your little ones) to some of the basis from the Old Testament. He’s not simply writing this book to push the reader in the direction of science, he tries to present facts and then let an inquisitive mind make up his/her mind. I like that he brings this balanced approach to the book and I think it makes it a really positive tool for parents.
What’s really interesting to me is that this book isn’t simply a take on religion and atheism. It’s actually a great history lesson, and I love how it tells multiple stories about the history of our planet, the people, and the universe. What’s more, the author doesn’t spend a ton of time on each piece of history and yet still manages to keep young readers engaged. What I’m saying here is that the book doesn’t move too fast, and it doesn’t move too slow.
Finally, although it’s not the story itself, there is a pretty interesting glossary for you to work through with your child at the back of the book. It has all kinds of definitions of (what I’d call) pretty interesting terms and descriptions. I can’t say I even knew all of the items in the glossary, and I’m impressed by what the author has provided here.
These are nothing short of fantastic. Bryce Dodson has enlisted the services of an “art team” as he calls it. They are Amanda Smith and Will Kozak, and I must say that they have a very different style. Probably my favorite thing about the illustrations is how realistic they can be. Yes, the illustrations are still cartoonish, and they still stretch/bend things for effect, but ultimately the people look just like people. At first, I even wondered if they were pictures of people simply turned into a cartoon by software.
I’m told that’s not the case.
In any case, the illustrations are made interesting in a number of ways, and I think they’re the cat’s meow!
Bryce Dodson is not what I would call your standard children’s book author. He hasn’t spent 20 years learning about early child development, and he hasn’t built an empire based off of a few cute characters. Instead, he carries a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Masters in Education. Instead of wanting to teach children their ABCs, he’d rather share his love of the sciences with them.
Bryce is truly an independent author that’s decided to share part of himself with children (and the world in general). He found a gap in his own worldly experiences, and he’s filled it with this book. I wish more people would take that approach with kids’ books because I think there’s a lot to be gained by simply sharing perspectives from around the world.
If you’re a parent like me, then you’ve had difficulty having these types of conversations with your little ones. Personally, I can attest to just how difficult it is to bring a balanced conversation to my little guy and then have him be able to make up his own mind. This book does just that, and it does it with a great deal of style. The illustrations are nothing short of incredible, and I always enjoy a book that delves into the history of our little planet called Earth.
Now then, head on over to DocDude.com and purchase a copy of What is God? by Bryce Dodson!
Until next time, Smash, Crash, and Learn!