I Am God’s Paintbrush

Sandy Eisen­berg Sas­so; Annette Comp­ton, illus.
  • Review
By – September 19, 2011
Rab­bi Sas­so has com­ple­ment­ed her ear­li­er book, God’s Paint­brush, with this new tod­dler board book that could help a child estab­lish the rela­tion­ship between God and man, in the first per­son. I Am God’s Paint­brush intro­duces the con­cept that God is with­in all of us and that we are con­duits for God’s col­ors and paint­brush here on earth. The book is pre­sent­ed as serv­ing as an inter-faith, mul­ti­cul­tur­al, non-denom­i­na­tion­al and non-sec­tar­i­an for­mat. Sas­so begins by intro­duc­ing the col­ors in the world and then switch­es to music, song and dance. The change feels unex­pect­ed and out of sync with the over­all tone and title of the book, mak­ing it espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult to ini­ti­ate these hard to grasp con­cepts with young tod­dlers. A more con­sis­tent approach would have been to address only the devel­op­ing metaphor of col­or, paint­ing and paint­brush to God through­out the book rather than addi­tion­al­ly embark­ing on song and dance. Sas­so does return to col­or in the clos­ing two pages. The illus­tra­tions by Annette Comp­ton are rem­i­nis­cent of the Wood­stock era and are bright and abstract­ed water­col­ors that have a sense of child­like­ness. The inside cov­er pro­vides a state­ment to adults on explor­ing spir­i­tu­al­i­ty with chil­dren and fur­ther resource titles are also giv­en. In all, the book attempts to cov­er a vari­ety of needs: phi­los­o­phy, reli­gion, inter-faith, mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism; how­ev­er is not entire­ly suc­cess­ful in doing so. For ages 1 – 3.
Chris­tine Maas­dam holds a Mas­ters in Human­i­ties, cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in Muse­um Stud­ies and Cul­tur­al Prop­er­ty Pro­tec­tion. She is cur­rent­ly com­plet­ing her M.L.I.S. Her inter­ests are phi­los­o­phy and the impact of art and tech­nol­o­gy on culture.

Discussion Questions