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Paul Writes (a Letter)

What’s a review carnival?


EBYR Reviewers are always hard at work churning out thoughtful critiques of our latest titles. The EBYR Review carnival features their work and lets you take a closer look at what people are saying about our books.

We invite you to read the condensed reviews below and if any catch your interest, we’ve provided links to their full review on Amazon or the reviewer’s personal blog.


What the EBYR Reviewers are saying . . . 


SB effusively praises Paul Writes (a Letter) saying . . . “[A] perfect pairing of artist, content, and publisher. . . This little book takes even the youngest readers on Paul-the-Disciple’s life journey.” Read the (very thorough) full review.

carinval at night

Invented in 1890, Gale Ferris Jr’s steel wheel is a staple of American carnivals. It was America’s direct answer to France’s Eiffel Tower. American engineering meets French art. Fittingly, the ‘steel wheel’ was later dubbed the Ferris Wheel. Also Fittingly, Ferris hailed from America’s “Steel City,” Pittsburgh, PA. (Source: The Smithsonian)

Stuart Dunn follows with an informative overview:Paul Writes (a Letter) is a beautiful hardcover children’s book written by Chris Raschka. It is approximately 40 pages long and contains an illustration style that can best be described as watercolor.

Paul Writes (a Letter) begins with an introduction (for adults and children) on who Paul was . . . then treated to two-page spreads on each of the Epistles (or Letters) that Paul wrote in the New Testament. I did not find any problems when reading this book aloud to my son. I was pleased that instead of trying to summarize each Epistle, the author chose a passage that reflected the main message instead. He helped distill it to a succinct and approachable level, which is perfect for children who would otherwise squirm through this part of the Bible.

With a like-minded perspective, Deb Nance writes . . . “Chris Raschka, has taken the letters of the apostle Paul . . . and condensed each letter into a beautiful little jewel-like bite of wisdom and beauty, perfect for children and perfect for grownups who love simplicity.”

Cathy Morton also sees the book as an outstanding resource for children in the church context. She explains: “This book would make a great Sunday school read-aloud to show how parts of the Bible were written and compiled while giving insight into the human Paul and his real-world journey.” Also, Don’t miss Cathy’s thoughts on Raschka’s artwork in this book.

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Filled with all the exhilaration of a topsy-turvy roller coaster ride—carnival food is also just as likely to make you a bit ill. But whether it’s snowcones, deep-fried Twinkies, or old-fashioned corn dogs and caramel corn, it tastes reeeeeally, really good. Corn dogs have been a carnival regular since the late-1920s. Invented by immigrant German sausage makers in Texas who struggled to sale their sausage, these innovators added a corn batter to sweeten the sausage and make their native entree look like American corn ears.

But as Amanda Caverzasi points out . . . “For readers without biblical reference, a forward explains that Paul was traveling the world while writing these letters. . . ” She continues . . . “In warm bold colors, Raschka depicts Paul, seated at table, always with paper and once with a friend. With Paul’s words boldly drawn around Paul and onto the second page of each spread, it is Paul’s words, which are sometimes quoted, sometimes paraphrased, that capture the reader’s attention.”

Further helps aid the young reader’s biblical literacy and visual grasp of Paul’s world. EBYR Reviewer Roland Ivy points out these pedagogical aspects: “Chapter and verse references run along the bottom of each spread. Some letters share Paul’s emotions, travel plans, and friends, but they also condense Paul’s teaching into easy to remember short phrases or sentences. . .

Skee Ball

Skee Ball is a very popular carnival game. It was invented by Joseph Simpson of New Jersey in 1908 and in 1909 “alleys” appeared similar to today’s idea of a bowling alley. Today, Skee Ball is typically one game among a smorgasbord of challenges found at any carnival.

Vibrant maps of Paul’s travels cover the endpapers, but the interior illustrations are in muted primary colors that create the feel of Biblical times. The first page of most spreads shows Paul, as an aging bearded man, writing at a desk. The words of a hand-written letter and simple motifs to indicate setting complete each spread.”

Finishing off this whirlwind ride through Chris Raschka’s Paul Writes (a Letter), EBYR Reviewer, Jane, pulls together all the high-flying feels:

“I really enjoyed reading this book with my children. It’s a quiet-time, snuggle-up-together, open-ended conversation-starter. The approachable wording is an apt introduction to Paul’s writing for kids. (I found it encouraging to my own heart as well :-)) But my favorite thing about this book, by far, is the warm, vibrant artwork. Chris Raschka masterfully weaves Paul’s biography throughout this book in the illustrations. (And gets a big bonus point for the art-history fact at the end!!)


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