Sammy and His Shepherd by Susan Hunt (and illustrated by Cory Godbey) is a delightful story centered around the 23rd Psalm. The book tells of Sammy – a sheep who is tended by a loving and protective shepherd who befriends another sheep on the other side of the fence. The sheep across the fence has no name and is very neglected and sickly. Sammy soon sees what it is like not to be under the loving care of a kind shepherd. As the story progresses, the sickly sheep ends up in the care of the good shepherd and is loved as he should be.
At the beginning of each chapter Hunt features a line from the 23rd Psalm and then her main character – Sammy – lays out the focal concepts of that line in fun, witty, and heart-tugging conversations with his friend. The chapters are short and energetic enough to capture the imagination of small children. At the end of book there is an interactive portion for deeper knowledge of what the book captures in fictional tales. There are 3 parts to the interactive portion that includes: “The Bible Tells us…” – where there is a cross-reference to a New Testament passage on the specific topic of the chapter and a brief explanation of the passage’s message. The next part is “Something to talk about…” – where it gives pointed questions that pick out the main biblical themes to live by, drawn from each chapter. The last part of the interactive section is “Something to do…” – where there is a practical action brought out that can be shown in one’s life, which is taken from the moral focused on in each chapter. The entire story and the activity section is a wonderful way to teach children deep biblical truths that they can easily understand and apply to their daily lives!
I also found the illustrations completely enrapturing and perfect – very much displaying what the reader’s mind would imagine! The beautiful colors and lovable characters portrayed are sure to be a winner in any child’s eye. This book will be a wonderful tool in a parent’s library to help their child gain a deeper knowledge of the love that Christ bestows upon his “sheep” – his beloved children.