Trying to determine the best way to explain the gospel to my children has been an ongoing question for me. I want to be sure that they are accurately understanding what happened when Christ died on the cross for their sins, especially if it seems they are wanting to give their lives to Him.
That is why I was excited when I heard about Blotch: A Tale of Forgiveness and Grace by Andy Addis from B&H Publishing Group.
The book traces the story of Blotch, a boy who has spots on his skin, as does everyone around him. The spots increase as people do more things they shouldn’t. He goes on mini quest to try to determine how to get rid of the spots. In the process, he meets several different groups of people: the Hiders try to cover up their spots, the Pretenders act as if the spots do not exist, and the Pointers blame others for their spots. Obviously, none of these groups help Blotch get rid of his spots. Finally, he meets the King, who explains that he is able to take away the spots if only Blotch will acknowledge his wrong and believe that the King can help him. He does, his spots appear on the King while disappearing from himself, and he goes on to tell others that their spots can be taken away if the go to the King in belief. As he is leaving, he looks back and the spots that were on the King are now gone as well.
I thought it was a great story, and a great way to present substitutionary atonement in a way young children can understand.
The back of the book has a recommended family discussion guide. It recommends taking 5 days to read the book (one chapter a day). Each day’s discussion includes an activity to make the meaning of the story stand out to children, as well as questions to discuss with them. For example, the first day it has the family crumple paper into balls to throw at a basket, yelling “hit” or sadly saying “miss” depending on whether someone makes it or not. This is then tied into the idea of sin meaning to “miss the mark” of God’s standards. There is a section on “A Parent’s Guide for Leading a Child to Christ,” to walk them through the gospel and pray a sample prayer, if your child decides he or she is ready to turn to Jesus. It also includes follow up items for after a child decides to repent and trust Jesus.
There are great illustrations by Tatio Viana throughout this 64-page hardcover book.
While I have not read the book yet with my children, I look forward to doing so. If you are looking for a book to help explain the meaning forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice, I strongly suggest you consider Blotch.
*Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.