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The Gardener and the Vine

Note: I am a member of a group of reviewers of Christian books. I thought of sharing this new children's book with you because I think it is a nice resource help for telling Bible stories to kids. This picture book of The Gardener and the Vine by Andrew McDonough, I like it very much.  I haven't seen a children's story book about this teaching of Jesus - The Gardener and the Vine ever published.  This book gives us a fresh story to tell to children about a truth that is a bit difficult to explain but with the aid of this book, it becomes much easier and fun, too. You can browse a portion of the book by clicking the book cover icon below. I also made the accompanying lessons like Memory Verse and Kids Activity, as I usually do in each post (Please see below after the book description).

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

Andrew McDonough

and the book:

Zondervan (January 15, 2010)
***Special thanks to Pam Mettler of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***


Andrew is the creator, writer, and illustrator of the Lost Sheep series. Way back in 1989 as a young Bible college student, Andrew was asked to give the dreaded “children’s talk” at a large church. Andrew possessed one talent: he could draw sheep. He bought some overheard projector sheets and drew up the story of Cecil and the Lost Sheep. The congregation loved it, so Andrew continued to draw stories to use with kids and adults. Other student, pastors, and teachers started borrowing the stories.

Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (January 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310719461
ISBN-13: 978-0310719465


The story of The Gardener and the Vine can be found in the teaching of Jesus in John 15:1-8 and the grafting imagery is taken from Romans 11.

REFLECTION:  (You can use these simple questions and answers to discuss the lesson to the kids.  Having the book above really simplifies the presentation of this lesson to the kids)

1.  Who is the Gardener? (God, the Father) What does the Gardener do?  (Takes care of the Vine in the garden, makes sure that the branches are clean and attached to the vine to bear fruit.  He can also graft into the vine any branch so that it will also bear fruit). 
2.  Who is the true Vine? (Jesus) What does the Vine do? (Bears fruit)
3.  Who are the branches? (We are)  What does the branches do?  (Bear fruit also)  Can the branches bear fruit if it is cut off from the vine?  (No)
The branches need to remain in the vine so that they will bear fruit.  Just like branches, we need to trust the Gardener (the Father) who gave Jesus to die for our sins.  We also need to trust Jesus (the true Vine) to enjoy a fruitful life.

MEMORY VERSE:  John 15:1, 5
I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener.  I am the vine, you are the branches.

I Can Bear Fruits.  Using purple colored paper, ask the children to draw 1-inch circles (at least 10 each, more is better) and cut them out (You may have to do this for very small children) then paste them onto a bond paper forming a cluster of grapes.  You can draw a leaf on top of the grapes if you wish.   Then write this line above or below the picture "I Can Bear Fruits."

Jesus is the vine, we are the branches.  On a piece of cartolina, draw some vines like the 2nd picture to the left .  Then, print out leaf templates (these are maple leaves but it looks close to grape vine leaves) cut them and ask the kids to color and write their names on one leaf.  After that, ask them to glue the leaves one by one onto the vine on the cartolina.

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