By Danika Cooley
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: CF4Kids (February 20, 2016)
Reviewed by Rev. William Boekestein
“Mommy, where do babies come from?”
If this question were asked by a sitcom child, the camera would likely pan from an innocent-looking kid to an awkward-faced adult sputtering halting attempts at an explanation, all to the sound of canned laughter.
Some of us have found ourselves in this situation in real life. If you haven’t yet, you probably will. If you are a parent, your kids will ask this question. It is only a matter of time.
Of course, it is an entirely fair question. Some young children have visited a newborn sibling in the hospital. They realize that this new person used to live in her mother. But how did she get there? Good question!
The difficulty is coming up with an age-appropriate and honest answer. Danika Cooley offers a biblical, colorful, conversational, and tactful answer in her fully illustrated hardcover book, Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth (Christian Focus Publications, 2016). Wonderfully Made reads like a skillfully combined science book, daily devotional, and personal story.
The first page of the book tackles the most delicate part of the question: How does a new life begin? Taking cues from God’s revealed will for procreation, Cooley frames the answer in the context of both a sovereign God and a loving union of a husband and wife. “When your dad and I joined together to show the special love we have as a husband and wife, a cell from your dad, called a sperm, was able to swim to a cell in me, called an egg.” The illustrative sketch feels partly anatomical and partly astronomical, well-capturing both the intimacy and mind-blowing beauty of the start of a new life.
From cover to cover, Jeff Anderson’s illustrations help to show the universal human experience of reproduction by featuring a host of characters from diverse walks of life exploring the wonder of conception, pregnancy, and birth.
The nearly two dozen quoted Scripture verses stress God’s masterful role in the development of new life. With God’s help, children will come away from Wonderfully Made with deep awe over His creative power, profound admiration for His fatherly care, and a strong desire to praise their maker.
The book is recommended for ages 2 to 6 (read to me) and 8 to 11 (read myself). When we read the book my four kids spanned that age range and everyone liked it.
“Where do babies come from?” can be a challenging question for anyone to answer. But Danika Cooley provides readers not only with clear factual answers but also worshipful reflection. You might consider having Wonderfully Made in hand when you are next asked this question!
Rev. William Boekestein pastors Immanuel Fellowship Church in Kalamazoo, MI. His most recent book is Shepherd Warrior, a young adult biography of Ulrich Zwingli (Christian Focus, fall 2016).