From Beth Lyon-Suhring on Storypath:
Posted on March 24, 2015
Follow this link to a review on Storypath – Connecting Children’s Literature with our Faith Story, a blog by Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond Virginia. The post includes excellent theological reflections on the book — PLUS a set of “Faith Talk Questions.” Check it out!
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From a happy customer (received by email)
Game changer – brought tears to my eyes. Dear David, I received your books and I wanted to write to tell you how wonderful the story truly is! Brought tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for signing both of the books you sent. I sent one to my granddaughters … I gave the other one to my UU Pastor today. She was ecstatic! At the beginning of our services we have “A Story For All Ages”…The children (and the adults) are read a story with a lesson … She is already trying to work the book into an upcoming sermon. We both thought of getting a father and daughter to read it together … Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this book. It is a wonderful uplifting story for all girls — they need stories like this to reclaim their spirituality — and brings back some Divine balance to the Universe. This is a game changer. Thank you!
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Posted on June 7, 2014. By Philip Ruge-Jones
Delightful, faithful, creative. This book portrays a conversation between a father and his daughter through which they help each other see the creative presence of God in light of the experience of little girls. The story is told in such a way that echoes of Genesis 1 can be heard by the attentive reader, but it is definitely not mechanically dependent upon it. Ricoeur promised us that good symbols give rise to new ways of thinking and this book’s extended symbol certainly does that. The illustrations are also beautiful and portray the little girl God in a globally aware way. I wish that this book had been available when my daughter was a little girl, but we enjoyed it together at a different level now that she is a mature, young woman.
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Posted on April 14, 2014. By James R. Ellett (reviewed by James’ wife)
Beautifully Empowering. Like all metaphor and language, it represents imperfectly the Divine. This book is an offering of metaphorical language to contribute to the endless endeavor of describing the indescribable, which so often minimizes, leaves out or demonizes the feminine. It’s a beautiful story of a rich storytelling time between a little girl and her dad that gives a counternarrative to the traditional Christian vision of Creator God as male. Girls, made in the image of God also, can find their identity in stories like these that offer expansive imagery to creation and Creator. I received it at my baby shower after putting it on our registry and cried with my sister as we read its tender depiction of God as well as the relationship between father and daughter. I hope for more stories like these that can line my daughter’s shelves, giving her an active sense of place and voice in the world and the Church as a woman.
From Heidi Neumark’s blog
Posted on March 29, 2014 by Heidi Neumark
A front-page editorial in a recent Sunday New York Times asks “Where Are The People of Color in Children’s Books?” Church libraries face the same challenge and such diversity as there is rarely gets extended to God who is almost always male and, in the case of Jesus, also white. I recall one book where a multiethnic group of children stand gathered around a manger that holds a very white baby Jesus. It is an image of diverse humanity paying homage to a white child. The outstanding exceptions are few and far between.
Happily, When God Was A Little Girl, written by David Weiss and illustrated by Joan Lindeman, can now be added to that list. The author responds to his young daughter’s questions about God by telling the story of creation using the image of God as a little girl doing an art project. The race, ethnicity and age of the girl change from page to page. The girl-child God uses all manner of paint, song, glitter, colors, darkness, light and clay among her creative tools.
People are created in “bunches” and “each one was a little different. Some were the color of deep, dark dirt; some looked like the pale sand on the beach. Some were boys and some were girls. Some were taller; some were shorter. Some were thin; some were round. And God thought they all looked just right!”
According to When God Was A Little Girl, all of creation is a work of art made by an art-project loving God. A child can readily understand their own creative inclinations and work as a reflection of being made in God’s image, both boys and girls. It is wonderful book to add to any church or home library and to share with a child near you. I hope it will inspire other creative efforts by authors and artists who are dissatisfied by the gender myopic, monochromatic palette that dominates so much of our public imagination.
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From the Persistent Voice, an online conversational blog about gender and justice host at Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, IA
– BOOK REVIEW By Donna Runge, Final Year MDiv
What a delightful book! As I started reading, I was immediately drawn into the conversation between the father and the daughter. So much so, that I found myself reading it aloud. The story of how God, who is a little girl, creates the world progresses as the father begins the story and builds on the questions and comments of his daughter.
It is an old story with a new twist! The book engages the reader’s own imagination in anticipation as the questions are answered. And as I read it I could also imagine myself reading the book to my own grandchildren and answering their questions. It is a book that engages young and old. Its message is simple yet profound in its creativity.
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From Green Church (Facebook page)
Posted on February 12, 2014 by Rebekah Simon-Peter, Methodist elder and author of Green Church, a summons to the “holy obligation of Christian greenness.
“An amazing children’s book arrived in the mail today: When God was a Little Girl. A gorgeous, beautiful creation/ecology tale, a retelling of the creation story you’ll not soon forget. Highly recommended for anyone interested in eco-theology.”
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From Covenant Presbyterian Church (Columbus, Ohio) newsletter
Posted on February 11, 2014 by Rev. Karen Ware Jackson, Associate Pastor
I got a new book today: “When God Was a Little Girl” by David R. Weiss. It begins, “tell me a story, Daddy… about when God was a little girl.“ As the father and daughter take a long car ride, he narrates a tale of wonder, creativity, and love.
“When God was a little girl, she liked art projects.” The world takes shape through glitter and clay and paint and giggling and song. Instead of speaking the world into existence – God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light (Gen 1:3) – this little girl God sings the world into being. “And the first word she sang, softly but very clear, was, ‘Love.‘”
The book continues to weave the biblical creation narratives from Genesis 1 and 2 into a beautiful story brimming with joy, rooted in connectedness, and rich with imagery brought to life by Joan Lindeman’s illustrations. My favorite image is the color of love – midnight blue. Why? “Because Daddy, that’s just like Love. It’s there, even when you can’t see it. Love always finds you in the darkness, and when it holds you close, you know you’re home.”
I’m sure if I were to give love a color, it would be something more trite like red or pink. We’re bombarded with pink hearts and red flowers as expressions of love this time of year. Of course, there is something to be said for love that warms the soul, a burning flame to light kindle passion and compassion. But leave it to a child to color love like the night sky: “the deepest blue you can imagine, even darker than black.” This is the Love that has existed from the very beginning, from which the world was created. This is the Love that finds us wherever we are – that reaches into our deepest darkness and wraps us in hope and home.
God – and God’s love – is ever so much bigger than we can speak. Sometimes, we have to sing midnight blue love into the world and into our hearts. Stories like this are so important because they break open our minds and make space in our beings, space for holiness.
“Daddy… (big yawn)… did it really happen like that?”
“Sure it did. It always happens just like the stories say… even when the stories tell it differently each time.”
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Posted on December 19, 2013 by Emily
“When God Was a Little Girl” is a sweet, earnest, and theologically provoking retelling of the creation story. Lindeman’s beautiful artwork complements Weiss’ words as he recounts a shared storytelling moment between father and daughter, God and people. The great gift of a book that presents God in the feminine and across races and cultures while delving deeply into a biblical story cannot be overstated. I am excited to take this book back to seminary to share with my peers as we discuss ways to present and represent the divine through art and story. Thank you, David and Joan!