Wonderfully Made (Book Review)
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)
This familiar passage is only one of the many from Scripture woven through Danika Cooley’s new book Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth. I’ve never seen a book quite like it, and I wish I’d had it to read with my children through my past few pregnancies.
Wonderfully Made is told from the perspective of a mother teaching a child “how you grew inside of me,” starting with a brief, discreet mention of conception (see pictures below), and continuing with descriptions of a baby’s development.
However, Cooley doesn’t just stop once the baby comes into the world. “Now you know how your body was born, let me tell you how your spirit can be reborn.” On the last page, the mother shares with her child how to be reborn by repenting from sin and trusting in Christ. She also talks about how we are adopted by God, so even though this book might not be a perfect fit for families whose children have come to them through adoption, I think it could be a good discussion starter, and this final concept would help tie it back in to their own family’s history.
The beautiful color illustrations by Jeff Anderson dominate each page, so my children all wanted to snuggle close to look at the pictures as I read. It was little long for us to read all in one sitting (I had my three children from ages 4-8 with me), but there’s so much information I found it helpful to spread it out anyway.
I have been a fan of Danika Cooley’s work ever since I discovered Bible Road Trip, her 3-year Bible survey curriculum for preschool through high school, and this latest offering has only reinforced my respect for her thoughtful, studious approach to teaching her children (and helping me teach mine). I was impressed and blessed by this God-honoring peek into a mother’s womb. Each page features a Scripture verse related to life before birth, and the book is a valuable tool for teaching children about how God values every life, no matter how small. On her website, Cooley has even made posters, Scripture memory cards, and a lapbook available for free to subscribers to her blog. Wonderfully Made is more than just a book of information about how babies develop in utero; it is a declaration of praise to the exquisite artistry of our Creator.