Caleb’s Lamb by Helen Santos
The long-running children’s show Sesame Street once wrote and filmed an entire episode around Big Bird’s search for a real name. Every one else had names (Bert, Ernie, Oscar, etc.). But “Big Bird” is just a description, not a name. The episode never aired because the theme did not make sense to children. Isn’t “Big Bird” his/her/its name? Why search for another name? Doesn’t the old name work just fine?
Communicating to children is no easy task and yet is one of the most critical tasks for Christian parents. And this is because there are no more important (or often more difficult) concepts to explain to children than the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ.
Caleb’s Lamb by Helen Santos will help parents succeed in this task.
Set in the Old Testament era of the plagues in Egypt and the Passover, this 93-page chapter book is the story of a young boy named Caleb and his reluctant life as a shepherd. He does not like sheep and hates being a shepherd. The sheep are dumb and high-maintenance, and a burden for the young boy. One day a pregnant sheep wanders into the wilderness and Caleb is sent to find her.
After a dark night alone he finds the ewe dead. But hidden safely in a thatch of thorns he finds a newborn spotless lamb. He takes this weak and famished animal home. From here the book focuses around Caleb’s relationship with his beautiful new lamb.
In the end, word spreads to the shepherds of the coming exodus. God is coming to kill the firstborn male of every house. The race begins for the Jewish people in Egypt to sacrifice a spotless lamb as God’s judgment draws near.
Caleb’s Lamb is very well written. There are multiple themes throughout the book including life in Old Testament times, life as a shepherd, the often-repeated significance of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac, and especially the blood required to atone for sin.
The book was full of plot-line twists and vivid imagery. It will prove an excellent bedtime read for young children and a very helpful homeschool resource for older children. But most importantly, the book is filled with references to the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ in a storyline well-suited for children and useful for Cross-centered parenting.
Topical Index: no
Textual index: no
Reading level: Child. Great reading for younger children and written for an udience of readers in the 9-11 yr. category.
Publisher: Reformation Heritage
Where this book fits into my library:
(1) Children’s books > Fiction > nature of the atonement
(2) History > Life in Old Testament times
(3) Shepherding > The nature of
Book review: Caleb’s Lamb by Helen Santos, 1892777703, 1-892777-70-3