We all want to feel chosen. Feel accepted. Feel loved.
But we all have smudges, scrapes, and scars that can make us feel so imperfect and unable to be loved.
This feeling is expressed through Audrey Bunny, one of the characters in the new picture book, Audrey Bunny by Angie Smith (BH Kids, 2013).
The book begins with conflict on the first page as the bunny seeks belonging and love and has been waiting for a long time. (Don’t we all know what waiting feels like?) Audrey isn’t perfect though. She has a smudge over her heart that can’t be removed.
When Audrey Bunny is finally picked by sweet Caroline, Audrey feels like she has to hide her smudge in case Caroline discover she’s not perfect and sends her back to the store.
“If she could only keep her mark hidden, Caroline might actually believe she [Audrey Bunny] was perfect too.” – Audrey Bunny, by Angie Smith
I get this. I feel like God can’t really love me unless I am perfect. How could He when I fail so often?
Audrey Bunny ultimately learns her Caroline loves her even with the smudge, and, in fact, the smudge is what adds to Audrey being Audrey.
My son has special needs, and multiple things are “wrong” with him. One doctor even describes his condition as a “mistake” in his genetic make-up.
But my son is not a mistake. He loves relentlessly and without judgment. Some of his quirkiest characteristics are caused by his special needs, but they’re also things that make him so uniquely and amazingly him.
My children also aren’t scared to be uniquely them. They don’t cover up their smudges. When they’re sad, they show it. When they’re happy, they show it. When they’re upset, they show it. They are wholly themselves without feeling like they have to hide any of their “imperfections.” They love and they know they are loved.
This book helps me consider even more, how do I help them be confident in who they are and know they are always loved by their Creator (and their family)?
Though I don’t know the specifics of that answer yet, I know it’s founded on love, a love that comes from God.
Though this picture book is a bit too long in word count for younger ages and most picture book manuscript standards, the story is beautiful and lovely. My children enjoyed the realistic, soft-lined illustrations. The book includes a page with discussion questions and written activity to further learning. Audrey and Caroline’s story will cause parents and children to consider how we can embrace each other’s beautiful imperfections as a continued remembrance of how God loves our uniqueness.
I’d love to know: How do you help your children remember they are uniquely and wonderfully made?
Disclosure: I received a copy of this picture book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I received no other compensation.