Monday, October 21, 2019

The Moon is Always Round

The Moon Is Always Round, Jonathon Gibson

It’s not often that a children’s book brings me to tears, but that is just what The Moon Is Always Round does each time I read it. Gibson has written a heartfelt book teaching children the truth of God’s goodness, in the midst of especially hard times.

Dedicated to his son Benjamin, the little boy in the book is meant to be him. Told in the first person by the little boy, he and his dad have a game they play when they look at the moon. Whatever shape it looks at any point in time, when Daddy asks “what shape is the moon”, little Ben always replies ,“the moon is always round”, and it means that “God is always good”. It’s their little catechism to talk about no matter what things look like and though it can sometimes be hard to see, God is always good.

When Dad told me I was getting a little sister, the moon looked like a banana.
But Dad said, “The moon is always round.” 

When the mummy’s tummy looks like a watermelon, the moon looked like a shrivelled orange, but dad still says that the moon is always round.
Even when I was told that my little sister wasn’t coming to live with us after all the waiting, Dad said “The moon is always round.”
When the little sister can’t come home, and little Ben asks why, Dad replies: “I don’t know why. But the moon is always round.”

When they are at the funeral they remind each other that the moon is always round, and that means that “God is always good”.

There are helpful instructions at the back to talk to children about the moon and Good Friday, explaining the story behind the book, and giving a little catechism about the moon.

The illustrations by Joe Hox perfectly match the feel of the book, and it’s particularly the mother’s face at various points of their loss that keeps moving me to tears.

I am so thankful that Gibson found a simple, yet profound way to explain God’s goodness at all times to his own son in the midst of their family’s loss, and that has now chosen to share it with others. In many ways it deals with a very specific subject (the stillbirth of an infant), and so would be a very helpful resource if that were needed for your own family situation. However, the idea of God being good in all circumstances, even if we don’t understand them, is relevant for young children across a whole range of circumstances, and many parents and children will benefit from this tender, gentle, yet honest story.

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