Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Moon Is Always Round

by Jonathan Gibson; illustrated by Joe Hox
32 pages / 2019 / New Growth Press

The Moon Is Always Round is, I believe, the first picture book that put tears in my eyes. Jonathan Gibson tells the simple (true) story of how he, his wife. and his three-year-old son Benjamin waited excitedly for the arrival of a baby sister for Benjamin. The story is told in Benjamin's voice, with the persistent refrain from his Dad that "the moon is always round."

We do not learn until the end what that means. When Benjamin realizes that his sister will not be coming home, he is asked by his father at the funeral of the stillborn child, "What shape is the moon?" When Benjamin answers, "The moon is always round," Jonathan Gibson's further question - "What does that mean?" - is answered by Benjamin, "God is always good."

Gibson's story reminds us that God is always good, even when, as with the moon, we cannot see the full picture. This profound and poignant lesson is reason enough to read this book, on your own, and with your children, but Gibson uses the last three pages to

  • give children a clear understanding of the meaning of the moon's always being round;
  • show how Good Friday is the supreme example of God always being good (even when we can't see it);
  • give the detailed story of his use of the expression "The moon is always round" with his son, including where he first encountered those words; and
  • provide a "Catechism" for young readers or listeners about the meaning of the expression.

If you believe, as I do, that the moon is always round, and God is always good, and that Jonathan Gibson can help remind you and your loved ones of those facts, you can get his book here, and here in Canada.