cover image God's Paintbrush

God's Paintbrush

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. Jewish Lights Publishing, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-879045-22-4

Books for children that deal with spirituality are often a dicey proposition. Here Sasso, the second woman to be ordained as a rabbi, undertakes an ambitious project to help readers define for themselves the nature of God and their own connection to God. Using a variety of images--some from the natural world, some from everyday life, all of them well within a child's frame of reference--the author presents a series of simple scenarios (a friend moving away; the ticklish quality of fizz on an ice cream soda) and then poses related questions (``How can you be God's friend?'' ``What do you think would make God cry or laugh?''). Commendably, Sasso doesn't presume to answer the questions but instead allows readers to ponder and formulate their own answers. However, the (somewhat lengthy) text presents an anthropomorphic view of God that may not fit in with some readers' beliefs. Compton's watercolors, though vigorous and multicultural, are somewhat amateurish. Overall, some will find this well-meaning book and its joyous spirit helpful, while others might consider it inappropriate. Ages 4-9. (Dec.)