The Tallest of the Smalls is a children’s parable from Max Lucado. It is a companion text for children which pulls themes from chapter two of Lucado’s newest adult book – Fearless. I have read Fearless and loved it so I was very excited to get this book and share it with our daughter. The illustrations by Maria Monescillo are delightful. They are very colorful and engaging. They also provide a lot to look at for young eyes as well as eyes with more life experience. Of particular note are the pictures of the main character Ollie with Jesus. They are very skillfully done.
The basic theme of the book is that you matter no matter what. A terrific message that I felt was presented in a bit of a heavy handed manner. The use of the power and influence of the peer group was well done, but the development of the story could have been stronger. Lucado actually wrote a book that I found to be better developed a number of years back – You are Special.
The Tallest of the Smalls is enjoyable to read and presents a powerful message, but it did not live up to the standard of Fearless.
While this complimentary book was provided for review, no other compensation was given. All remarks are my personal and honest opinions.
What Difference Do It Make – Stories of Hope and Healing is the follow up to the tremendously popular Same Kind of Different as Me. I enjoyed the first book overall and felt that the book had been well thought out and organized in a manner in which the reader really could enjoy the richness of the story. I particularly liked the use of alternating point of view.
What Difference Do It Make did not live up to overall enjoyment of the first volume by this duo. The alternating point of view format is still used which I liked, but the book seems a bit scattered and not as well organized. A lot of material is re-hashed from the previous book. Ron shares about his family background and specifically details about his relationship with his father. To me the highlight was getting to learn more about Denver, his experiences, and his art. I loved the fact that there are actual examples of his art work with the book – what a treat!
The other highlight from the book was the use of reader’s personal stories. They kind of reminded me of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” stories. They were a touching addition, and I would have enjoyed reading more of them. Overall I thought the book was an enjoyable, uplifting read, but it didn’t quite measure up to their first effort.
While this complimentary book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers, no other compensation was given. All remarks are my personal and honest opinions.