“A long time ago, God made all sorts of things …”
And thus begins the book, Image Bearer, recently written by Ellie Sanazaro and illustrated by Madison Kay.
If you are a parent of young children and you have any desire to teach a meaningful, Biblical message about disability and inclusivity, this book is for you.
Here’s what you need to know about the book—
1. The synopsis
This book exists to teach kids a biblical view of disability.
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Inspired by this verse, Image Bearer is a 24-page, hardcover, illustrated book that aims to show how EVERY child is wonderfully made in the image of God. Each page introduces you to topics including autism, Down syndrome, mobility devices, feeding tubes, communication devices, facial differences, and more.
The book features illustrations inspired by real kids who God made wonderfully unique.
2. The message
“You reflect who God is! You are wonderfully made and undoubtedly his!” (page 9)
With a gentle, positive tone and colorful, vivid illustrations, this book helps the reader understand that everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made no matter what they look like.
Each page includes helpful explanations in footnote format to accompany the pictures and answer any questions your child might have. For example, “Ivy is using a feeding tube called a G-tube. It brings food directly to her stomach” (page 14).
One of the most profound lines in the book happens toward the end and summarizes the book nicely—
God had a plan for you
long before birth,
so don’t ever doubt
if you’re life contains worth.
3. The takeaway
Sometimes the simplest truths are also the most profound.
This book is great either for introducing and discussing the topic of disability and inclusion or for giving your child the gift of identifying with someone on the printed page. At a time when we could use more theologically-rich, stereotype-busting kids books featuring children who daily overcome and persevere, Image Bearer is a gift.
The last two pages are the cherry on top as they feature the photos and bios of the 14 incredible kids who inspired the book. (Side note: If you can get through them without crying, you’ll do better than I did!)
I recently sat with my 3 kids individually (ages 2, 8, and 13) to read this book. Each child was captivated by the images and had great, age-appropriate questions that we could then discuss in a safe context that didn’t unnecessarily exploit or embarrass any child or parent.
Better, we were able to discuss in a purposeful and celebratory way that every child matters, and every child deserves the dignity of our kindness, acceptance, and respect.
When God says we are made in His image, He makes no exceptions, and neither should we.
Want to share this beautiful book with your kids?