Cover image for Because nothing looks like God
Because nothing looks like God
Kushner, Lawrence, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Woodstock, Vt. : Jewish Lights Pub., [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL473 .K87 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BL473 .K87 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



"Where is God?"
"What does God look like?"
"How does God make things happen?"

With little hands, and big hands. With young hands and old hands, With your hands." Mixing sparks of curiosity and spiritual imagination, this wondrous book lights children's creativity and shows how God is with us every day, in every way. It is a vibrant invitation to children and their adults to explore--together--what, where, and how God is in our lives. Multicultural,

Nondenominational, Nonsectarian; Endorsed by Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish Religious Leaders

Author Notes

Karen Kushner is a clinical social worker and the co-author, with her husband, Lawrence, of a forthcoming picture book for children.

She lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-7. How do you know there's a God? What does God look like? Where is God? These philosophical questions can leave adults groping for simple, comprehensible replies. With responses drawn from the familiarity of youngsters' everyday experiences, the Kushners provide answers: God is "in worms turning leaves into earth." God is where people come together for hugs and kisses. "God is wherever we let God in." Children are reassured that although many things cannot be seen, their presence can be felt: cool breezes on a hot night and feelings such as pride, worry, and love. The answer to the final question, "How does God make things happen?" empowers children to do God's work: siblings sharing, playmates helping each other, people donating money or time to those in need. In their overzealous effort to portray the universality of the authors' concepts, the illustrations jarringly offer too-literal scenes and juxtapose pictures (e.g.. nighttime and daytime) with no borders to ease the transition. Glaringly intense colors accentuate, rather than soften, the stiffly drawn characters. It's Majewski's nature panoramas that are most effective in underscoring the meaningful messages in this valuable book. --Ellen Mandel

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lawrence Kushner (The Book of Miracles: A Young Person's Guide to Jewish Spiritual Awareness) and Karen Kushner (contributor to How to Be a Jewish Parent) tackle three big questions in this discussion-starter of a book: Where is God? What does God look like? How does God make things happen? There is no story here, just these three questions and the Kushners' sometimes profound, sometimes contrived, answers. God is "in the way people come together.... And in the Band-Aid fix-up after a fall." God is also "in birdchirp, frogsong and chattering squirrels,/ And in the fly caught in the spider's web." The Kushners are at their best in their refusal to simplify: "God doesn't look like anything.../ Because there is nothing to see." The last section takes a few theological shortcuts. The authors explain how God works by advising readers to "look at your town. One family gives money for people who lost their home.... Look in the mirror. Can you visit someone who feels lonely? Or pick up trash in the playground?" Kids who are sticklers for logic may not be convinced (What about the homeless families who are not helped?), but others will feel ennobled: God makes things happen "with little hands, and big hands.... With your hands." Parents who want help teaching difficult religious concepts will like the Kushners' method of bridging abstract ideas and concrete images. Majewski's (King Midas) uniformly cheerful but unevenly executed pictures mostly serve up tableaux of multiracial families in international settings. Lacking the sophistication of the text, the art threatens to dumb down the authors' ambitious presentation. Ages 4-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This gentle book is designed to be "the beginning of a continuing conversation between adults and children about the world and God." Nonsectarian and multicultural, the text suggests a divine presence rather than anthropomorphizing, by utilizing simple questions such as "What does God look like?" and "How does God make things happen?" to guide youngsters' understanding of this very abstract concept. The result is more a feeling than an answer, with God primarily represented by several easily understood metaphors such as the wonder of nature ("God is in-caterpillars chewing leaves from daisies,/And in worms turning leaves into earth"), and the loving cooperation of a family ("See sisters taking turns on the slide,/And brothers sharing a new game"). Clearly there is no way to explain certain aspects of God, thus parts of the text seem beyond the grasp of younger readers ("God is wherever we let God in"). However, because the Kushners' intent is to explore rather than describe God, there is room for children's own spiritual awareness to grow. Watercolor illustrations are simple, bright, and nicely textured, portraying people of all ages in friendly and caring situations. Similar in tone to Virginia L. Kroll's I Wanted to Know all about God (Eerdmans, 1994), this book provides children of many faiths with a bridge between the tangible and spiritual world.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.