Maybe God Is Like That Too

Jennifer Grant, illus. by Benjamin Schipper. Sparkhouse Family, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5064-2189-6

The nine biblical Fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—form the foundation of this story about a boy’s attempts to “see” God in the city where he lives with his grandmother. (Between the central child-grandmother relationship, urban setting, and theme of observing one’s surroundings while contemplating big, existential questions, the book seems to position itself as a religious counterpart to Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop on Market Street.) In her first book for children, Grant (Wholehearted Living) follows her young narrator, a boy with big eyes and swoopy brown hair, through a single day, where events like joyfully playing on a swing set, quietly reading in a classroom, and noticing a neighbor’s gift of fresh-baked bread all shape the boy’s sense of God’s presence. “That’s what kindness looks like to me,” he thinks as he watches a doorman help a man in a wheelchair enter a building. “Maybe God is like that too.” Schipper’s cheerful, screenprintlike artwork capably evokes the energy of a moderately gritty, moderately diverse cityscape. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)