Author: Andrew McDonough
Illustrator: Andrew McDonough
Publisher: Lost Sheep Resources
Age Range: 4 – 7
This is the third book of Andrew McDonough’s that I have read and reviewed. The three books, The Way of the Cross, Peter and the Rooster and Peter and the Big Breakfast describe the events of Easter in simple, child friendly ways. I love the bold colouring in these publications, and the simple yet effective illustrations that cleverly bring the characters alive.
For a few years now, I have lamented the lack of good children’s books that convey the stories of Easter in child friendly ways. This series of books does a wonderful job. In this book, Peter is given the opportunity to rekindle his friendship with Jesus, after having abandoned Jesus in “Peter and the Rooster”. I would recommend buying the two books together so that the stories can be read together.
Once again, we see the main characters going about their business in contemporary clothing that conveys something of how Andrew McDonough imagines their individual characters. While John perches on the end of the boat in his cool, dark sunglasses, James reads his fishing magazine, (Yes, I know that shades and magazines were not around at that time). Children will enjoy these playful additions to the illustrations. Meanwhile, Jesus busily prepares a fire and toasts up some fish for breakfast.
There is much scope to discuss with young children the meaning of the conversation between Jesus and Peter. The text itself does not explain why Jesus was asking Peter, “do you love me?” McDonough changes the second and third question to “are you my friend?” I understand that in these contemporary days of confusion it would make more sense to a 6- or 7-year-old to ask, “are you my friend” in preference to “do you love me?” If you have the prequel book, Peter and the Rooster, you can talk with your child or students about how Peter denied Jesus three times.
As in the other books by Andrew McDonough, the full scriptural passage is provided at the end. There are also hints provided at the end of the book about how to present this book and its message to young children.
More resources are available at Lost Sheep .com.au