- Book Style: A tool for parents of toddlers and children
- Reading Level: 3 (Reading Alone due to: Difficult vocabulary, words most children won’t know)
- Reading Length: 5-7 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Realistic and yet fun
- Age Target: 4-10 Years of Age
- Author: Bryce Dodson
- Author’s Page: Bryce Dodson
- Book Purchase Page: DocDude’s Website – $14.95 USD
- Social Media Links: Facebook, Twitter
What is God? is a storybook for toddlers and children that’s intended to help curious minds understand atheism and religion/God. While the book is intended as a tool for parents raising their children as secular in a religious world, the author does explain both “sides.” The author, Bryce Dodson, has written the book with the idea of presenting facts to young minds and then letting them decide what they believe. As a result, this drives children to question a number of things and is therefore a positive tool for parents.
The book uses a story to get its message across. The story is a collection of:
- An extremely shortened history of earth
- Parts of the Old Testament, and…
- Some very prominent scientific theories
The story begins with our young protagonist, Abigail. She’s just come back from church with one of her friends, and asks her mother what God is. Her mother doesn’t know, so they decide to ask Doctor Dude and Dawnie (a pretty cute dog). From this point on, Doctor Dude and Dawnie run through an explanation of God and religion. Once Abigail has a good understanding of those topics, Doctor Dude and Dawnie move on and discuss multiple scientific theories. After all of the explanations, we learn that Abigail will attend church again to gather more facts (in order to make her decisions).
Probably my favorite part of the book is that it isn’t a simple explanation of what Atheism is. As I said before, the book is meant to be a tool for Atheist parents in a religious world. With that goal in mind, it’s easy to imagine the book being one-sided and simplistic. Instead, Bryce has provided an extremely balanced book that explores both sides of the “God vs. Science” story. He’s teaching children to think instead of believe everything they’re told, and I love that it drives our young ones to think.
Now, when I tested this book on my toddler, I found him becoming interested in the history found in the book. He wanted to know more about the Big Bang Theory (not the show, silly), and he wanted to understand how God controlled the weather. He was interested in the story as a result of these historical references, and I think that’s really powerful when we talk about kids retaining information.
Finally, another unique thing about the book is that it contains a glossary. It’s evident that the author wanted readers (children) to be well informed about the topics in the book. From the Dawkins Scale to Theism, the author has provided a number of topics of conversation for you and your toddler. The depth of knowledge that can be given to your little one is immense, and I think that gives the book some staying power.
The author has employed a team of artists who’ve illustrated the book. Their names are Amanda Smith and Will Kozak, and they have put together some incredible illustrations. My little toddler was completely in awe at certain spots in the book. He loved pointing at the planets, the animals, and the characters. He was constantly asking why the characters were so happy, and he laughed a few times at the dog (Dawnie).
All this to say the illustrations are fantastic.
The epitome of an Indie author, Bryce Dodson has struck out on his own to create and publish this book. He’s done so with the express goal of sharing his love of the sciences with toddlers and children all over the world. As he’s spent his life in the sciences (a BSc in Biology and a Masters in Education says so), Bryce isn’t someone you would think would naturally write a children’s book. He has a different background, but I have quickly come to a point where I like this different background showing up in literature for children.
His different background has created an inquisitive mind, and it’s that trait that he’s imparting on children.
Simply put, This is a fun book that explores what most parents would regard as a difficult topic. The way it addresses the topic of religion/atheism is balanced and enjoyable, and the illustrations are nothing short of stunning. The author has created a great tool for parents to have a difficult discussion in a fun way, and he’s done so at a very reasonable price. The book is $14.95 USD on DocDude.com!
Thanks for reading…with your toddlers,