When I first heard about Lucy Rycroft’s children’s book about Deborah & Jael I was so delighted, great characters, feminist slant, bible based, what more could I want?! As a mother I have found it difficult to find good bible based books for my kids that aren’t too twee or only focus on the favourite characters like Joseph or Noah. I have 2 daughters and a son and have wanted all of them to hear the key messages of the bible, but for the girls particularly it’s been hard to find things to show them that women are celebrated in the bible. As teens now it’s even harder, there is a lot of stuff out there that is very ‘Proverbs 31 woman’ focussed and not enough about strong women, brave women, world changing women.
So I am so pleased to see Deborah & Jael published. Author & blogger Lucy Rycroft says that after reading Sarah Bessey’s ‘Jesus Feminist’, she responded to a side comment the author made about the lack of children’s books about the women of the Bible. So she started messing around with a rhyming version of the story of Deborah and Jael, which fascinated her from the moment she realised it existed! I’m sure many women will have found the same fascination, in a book that so often celebrates the men here was a revered female judge, and an unlikely hero grasping victory with a tent peg (honestly, if you don’t know the story go look it up in Judges 4!).
Deborah & Jael is a lovely book, with wonderful brightly coloured illustrations from Beth Aulton, and cleverly written rhyming story. It highlights the key part of the story, showing Deborah as wise and strong, and Jael as clever, but whilst it highlights the female characters, most of all it gives God glory.
Lucy hopes that young children would be captivated by the strong of these two strong, dynamic and quick-thinking leaders, and that they would know God has great plans for their lives too… as well as seeing that gender is not an obstacle to God’s purposes for their lives.
Lucy also hopes this will be the first in a series of children’s books on biblical women, which is super exciting, so let’s watch this space!
To find out more about Lucy and her writing, check out her blog The Hope Filled Family.