Book Reviews

Book Review: The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross (Carl Laferton)

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The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross: A True Story of Why Jesus Died and Rose Again

Main Story and Illustrations

Carl Laferton brings your children through the Garden of Eden and up to the new creation in this superb, colorful book. He states that “the world was full of laughing and playing and smiling and fun,” and the illustrations match that to boot. Birds fly and sing different tunes, a sheep sleeps on a lions mane, elephants spray and laugh in a river (Pishon?). Adam and Eve swim speedily through another river (Gihon?) with dancing and singing frogs (Michigan J. Frog?), a back-floating hippo and crocodile (gharial?), and synchronized fish (Dory?) dancing around a sea turtle. Under the ground are some of the precious stones of the earth (Gen 1:12). There is plenty for your kids to look at. You could spend a long time on this page looking at each animal and talking about what they are doing.

  • Why is the dog-creature hiding behind a tree in plain sight?
  • How did the ant-eater get up into the tree?
  • Is the counting lemur playing hide-and-seek with the dog, and why can’t he count correctly?

I’m actually enjoying writing about this now. It’s quite clever and will be loads of fun for you kids. You probably won’t even finish the book. That’s okay. You can pick it back up tomorrow.

Echeverri makes the garden of Eden look beautiful. Even the tree of the knowledge of good and evil doesn’t look like any ol’ tree. It basically glows and looks enticing (along with every other tree, really). But upon sinning and not being able to live in the garden anymore, the world grows bland, dull, and brown.

The next pages show the glowing cherubim with their lightsaber-esque swords drawn to keep people out of the garden and how people “STILL kept sinning because they didn’t want God in charge.” The picture of people in their sin is in dull brown again, with broken hearts, weeping, and yelling. It is not the ideal. God told his people to build a tabernacle, and inside of it was a curtain with angels on it telling the people to KEEP OUT of the Holy of Holies where God’s presence was.

The pages that present sin are colored in dull brown, as sin sucks the life out of everything. The dreadfulness of the cross is sown on a page that is dark brown. Christ’s crucifixion looks like it took place inside of a dust bowl. Jesus was innocent and his death unjust, and these pages are the darkest of the book. But through Jesus the curtains are torn, and the glowing angels step out of the way for man to enter God’s presence through Jesus. We will be brought back to the beautiful garden, and we will be with Jesus, just as he planned.  The books ends by telling your kids that they can start thanking Jesus today for what he did.

This book helpfully guides kids from the garden, to the tabernacle, to the cross, Jesus’ resurrection, to God’s presence, and finally to the new creation. The final page briefly summarizes the Bible story so that you can explain it to your kids. Jesus promises that he will return for his people. He is the only way (John 14: 3, 6).

Highly recommended. 

  • Series: Tales That Tell the Truth
  • Author: Carl Laferton
  • Illustrator: Catalina Echeverri
  • Age Range: 3-6 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: The Good Book Company (February 23, 2016)
  • Take a Look Inside
  • Other reviews in this series:

Find it on Amazon and the Good Book Company!

Buy the Coloring Book too!

Disclosure: I received this book free from The Good Book Company. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.

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