Title: Good Good Father
Authors: Chris Tomlin and Pat Barrett
Illustrator: Lorna Hussey
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Summary: Grammy Award-winning music artist, Chris Tomlin, and Pat Barrett (Housefires) team up to tell the story of a little bear named Tucker whose life is forever changed when he learns just how great the King’s love is for him. When Tucker’s friends need help, he journeys to see the King who lives in a castle where the door is always open. Along the way, Tucker encounters a variety of humorous animals filled with ideas about what the King is like. Then finally, he meets the King who runs to him with open arms.
My thoughts: My kids were first gifted this book in 2016, right after it was released. (My kids were at the time 6, 5, 3, 2, and brand new.) We read it aloud. I thought it was a cute book that played on the song “Good Good Father,” but my kids were not overly interested. The book went on our shelf and did not get pulled out again until I wanted to feature it on this blog.
I asked my oldest (10) to read it and tell me what he thought. After he read it, he handed it to me and said, “Mom, it made me want to cry.” Why? “Because God is such a good Father.” He understood the theological implications. He recognized himself in Tucker who wanted to help others but having that feeling of needing to give something to the King. He saw the characteristic of God and knew that all the King wanted was him.
Though this book is marketed as a read aloud for 4–8-year-old children, the truth is this book is for older children recognizing that God is their Father in Heaven who loves them no matter what.
Parent tip: Talk about this book with your kids. They may not get the symbolism… parallelism… metaphor… whatever you call it. Help them make the connection. What bothered Tucker? Who could help Tucker? Who does the King represent? How did the other animals describe the King? Could you describe God in that same way? Why did Tucker want to give the King a gift? Have you ever felt like you needed to give God something? What was the perfect gift that Tucker brought?