So…shortly after I published my little book The Messiah last Saturday…I had a brilliant idea.
Or at least I thought it was brilliant.
I printed out a copy and handed it to my eight-year old daughter and said, “Hey you! Wanna read daddy’s book and tell me what you think about it?”
I winked. She blinked.
“You wrote a book?”
“Well…yeah…kind of. It’s short! Short sentences. Short paragraphs. Short chapters. Short book. You could read it in a half hour.”
“I can read one of my chapter books in a half hour.”
“Well then,” I said, “you could read this in fifteen.” I shoved the stack of papers into her hands.
She eyed the book then the computer where the American Girl website beckoned, back at the book then up to me.
“Do you think you could do it soon. Like before the end of the week?”
Looking at the computer she said, “Sure.” She smiled. “Thanks, daddy.” She squeezed my hand, placed the book on our couch and skipped to the computer to finish her conversation with a doll named Felicity.
I really didn’t want to be too pushy, but the following day I asked my daughter, “So, get a chance to read the book.”
This went on until today, five days later. I was home early after a routine doctor’s appointment, grabbed The Messiah off the counter and sat down on the couch. My daughter was on the computer.
“Hey, you want to read this together.”
“No thanks, daddy.”
“Okay,” I said.
I flipped to the first page and was surprised to see eight question marks. The second page, which was a very short page, I found four more question marks.
“Hey sweetie, do these question marks mean you don’t understand these words?”
She looked over her shoulder. “Yep.”
My wife walked in. “Yeah, that was a tough book.”
“Oh. Oh.” I stuck out my bottom lip. “So it’s not really a good book for children to read?”
“Eh, no,” my wife said.
I sighed. My hopes that I could suggest The Messiah as a children’s devotional dashed. I really thought I keyed the thing down.
One thing my wife is REALLY good at is translating adult stuff into child-sized language. Me, I just screw up my eyes and say, “Confront means…you know…get in some one’s face and tell them they’re wrong.”
“Proverbial? Well, it’s like metaphorical…figurative language…not really happen–you’re not getting this are you?”
That’s usually how I do it.
Anyway, this is not to stop you from using The Messiah as a children’s devotional if you so wish. It’s just not recommended if they’re under 10.
By the way, are you any good at translating adult stuff so children can understand? How do you do it? How do you explain words like “proverbial,” “liberal,” “systematic,” redemption” and “scandalous” to a child under ten?
And am I to believe children don’t know what “scandalous means? Am I demanding too much? Share your thoughts. Brutal and all.
Download a copy now. But don’t give it to a child for goodness’ sake.