The Plans I Have For You by Amy Parker (Book Review)

We were recently given the chance to review a copy of a delightful new children’s book: The Plans I Have For You by Amy Parker.  From the first time I read it, I was thoroughly charmed.  The book conveys a powerful, important message for children about how God wants to use them, no matter what careers they may choose.  The simple rhyming text by Parker and cheerful, colorful illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton capture readers’ attention on every page.

The title of the book comes from a familiar verse from the Bible: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” Jeremiah 29:11. It’s a verse that is often thrown about with little regard for its original place in Scripture, so I was a bit wary when we first received the book.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that apart from being printed on the inside cover, the verse doesn’t appear in the actual text of the book, where it would most likely be used out of context in a way I don’t care to model for my children.  Instead, Parker explores the deeper idea that God knows our futures and He does indeed have plans for each of us.

The book is told as a message to children from God.  Its main idea is that whatever career they may choose, God has a plan to use them, whether that be as a nurse, a zookeeper, and entomologist… whatever!  “You are my hands and my feet there on Earth.  I’ve given you a purpose— it’s been there since birth!”  Throughout the book, children are pictured using their talents in various ways (painting, cooking, dancing, playing sports or musical instruments) and encouraged to do the jobs God is counting on them to accomplish.  “Remember that I, who made the whole world, made YOU.  And there’s nothing that, with my help, YOU can’t do!”

I would have loved at least one picture of a mom tackling the monumental task of discipling her children, but I’ll settle for the part about finding your passion and trusting God to “send you BIG jobs to be inspired about!”  I think the message of this book is so important for children to grasp.  It’s not just pastors and missionaries who do God’s work.  Doctors, construction workers, and scientists are all used by God for specific purposes as well.  Amy Parker has done wonderful job of sharing God’s heart in an exciting way that I hope will stick with my children in the years to come as they learn about the plans He has for each of them.

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