I Forgive You
by Nicole Lataif
Illustrated by Katy Betz
Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2014
Forgiveness - both asking for it and giving it can be a hard concept for children, and even adults, to understand and follow through on. "I Forgive You: Love We Can Hear, Ask For, and Give" by Nicole Lataif is a children's story with an important message. She begins by telling children that they do a lot of things right, but when they make a mistake, God is always ready to forgive them. She also points out that forgiveness can still mean that there are consequences for our actions.
Lataif encourages children to forgive their friends and to put their friends before things. She acknowledges that forgiveness can often take time, but that not forgiving is the scariest choice. We all need to ask God to help us forgive when we have been hurt or are angry. "Not forgiving is like having an elephant in your heart. He grows and grows. He gets heavier and heavier until . . . CRACK! He breaks your heart."
The book ends with a children's prayer to both forgive and be forgiven. Both children and adults need to hear and be reminded of the message of this book. The illustrations by Katy Betz will definitely appeal to young children, and the words will be heard by children and adults at whatever level they are currently at. "I Forgive You" carries a big message in a little package.