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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Renz Affirmations: God is Good and So am I, written by Larenz Tolson and Raykel Tolson, and illustrated by Jasmine Mills, is a Christian children's picture book that follows a little boy as he recites a series of positive scriptural affirmations. The book begins with an introduction to what affirmations are and their importance, before leading into the young child in his room saying the first of many affirmations. With each affirmation is a full-color visual illustration depicting the boy in an everyday situation that embodies what he is saying, enhanced through the knowledge and assurance that God is present in all things, and we are as He is in every way. 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.' Matthew 19:14
Renz Affirmations carries a powerful message that I admit I was not initially expecting from a book that's so small. Larenz Tolson and Raykel Tolson do well in leaving no room for doubt that affirmations are effective, empowering, and enhancing in a child's life. They are also necessary as children grow up, particularly when faced with adversity and in situations where they might truly be the only ones to respond in a Godly manner. This is where the strength of the message lies, and where the artwork by Jasmine Mills turns the message into a tangible, fully realized portrayal. The boy and his family are black, which is an important distinction for me as a man of color and equally important to my children, who enjoy reading books where the kids look like themselves. The engagement was instantaneous when my youngest noticed that the grandmother in the book was wearing a dress just like she has. Overall, this is a fantastic book and makes for a wonderful addition to the bedtime rotation.