In February, I received a free copy of the ebook version of Amazing Animals by Design by fellow Crewmate Debra Haagen in exchange for my review. This book aims to fill a gap that Debra noticed when teaching her own children about creation and intelligent design. When she couldn't find a satisfactory explanation for why and how animals are the way they are, she wrote the book on it!
The book follows two children on their journey through a zoo. The children learn the answers to such intriguing questions as why elephants have trunks and why zebras have stripes. While I knew the answers to these questions, I did not know why a caracal (the animal pictured below) could jump up twelve feet in the air backward! Sorry, I can't tell you! You'll have to read the book for the answer to that question!
The premise of the book, told through a 24 page storybook, is that God created each animal in a special way so that it could do what it needed to do to survive - a theory often called Intelligent Design. The pictures are beautiful and the story is sweet. For very young children whose parents want a concise explanation of animals and their design, this book is a good place to start.
While my children liked the book, I think at 7,8, and 10 they were too old for it. Also, because I teach my children evolution, the answers to the questions were a bit simplistic. A word about my view on Creation: I absolutely believe that God created the universe and everything in it. I also believe, though, that it is beyond the capacity of our human minds to understand how God accomplished his creation. Whether it took a gradual 4.6 billion years, or a literal seven days does not matter: the important thing is that God created all of it. I am completely aware that many Protestant denominations firmly believe in a young Earth. The Catholic Church, however, does not speak specifically on a young or old Earth. All Catholics are required only to believe that which I stated above - that God created all. I actually think that evolution is further evidence of God's amazing majesty.
So, even though the book was too young for my children, that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be a wonderful jumping-off point for other families who want or need to have the Intelligent Design conversation with their children. It really is a charming story!
Amazing Animals by Design is available in ebook form for $7.99 or as a paperback for $8.99. You can join Debra's FB page for the book here. You can purchase the book here. This is just my humble opinion...for others, visit the Crew blog.