Paul Writes (a Letter)

Paul Writes (a Letter)

A charming introduction to Saint Paul and his epistles Caldecott Medal-winner Chris Raschka breathes new life into the letters of Paul the Apostle with this inviting book. Each sumptuous page distills the main themes of Paul’s epistles into approachable, appealing language. Chris Raschka expertly depicts Paul’s sincerity and compassion, sadness and pain, giving readers a t...

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Title:Paul Writes (a Letter)
Author:Chris Raschka
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Edition Language:English

Paul Writes (a Letter) Reviews

  • Sandy Brehl

    In the case of Raschka's recent book, there has been a perfect pairing of artist, content, and publisher. A quick Internet search will link you to hundreds, probably thousands of books aimed at making Biblical content kid-friendly and accessible.

    But PAUL WRITES (A LETTER) is so much more than that. Raschka has produced a book that humanizes and energizes a character whose name graces Christian and Orthodox churches around the world.

    I can't recall ever seeing images of Paul that are not austere

    In the case of Raschka's recent book, there has been a perfect pairing of artist, content, and publisher. A quick Internet search will link you to hundreds, probably thousands of books aimed at making Biblical content kid-friendly and accessible.

    But PAUL WRITES (A LETTER) is so much more than that. Raschka has produced a book that humanizes and energizes a character whose name graces Christian and Orthodox churches around the world.

    I can't recall ever seeing images of Paul that are not austere, severe, and distant from modern life. A bit of digital digging on my part revealed that Raschka's Paul appears to be a more accurate portrayal of Paul than the many classic images would suggest. Post-conversion, he seemed to view his role as man-of-the-people. Paul was both Roman citizen and Jew, he traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean regions at a time when that was far from common, and he used letter-writing (in Hebrew, Greek and Latin) to sustain and expand a long-distance ministry. In all that, he seems to have foreshadowed today's globe-trotting evangelists and tele-ministry superstars.

    But in Raschka's hands, Paul's whiskered, balding persona is appealing and far from formidable. With slight shifts on facial features and posture, Raschka's Paul reveals a wide range of emotions: peaceful or puzzled, weary or worried, anxious or aggravated.

    The text is not a simple attempt to "translate" or "modernize" established Biblical language. Instead, Raschka has mined the extensive text attributed to Paul and extracted nuggets of wisdom that comprise a story, of sorts. This little book takes even the youngest readers on Paul-the-Disciple's life journey. The passage references at the bottom of each page allow easy referencing, but my feeling is that the blend of casual and classic letter-writing expressions used here should (and do) stand on their own merit. Each double spread begins, as letters should, with a "Dear Friends" greeting, including updates, plans, questions, and advice.

    The authenticity, simplicity, and heartfelt wording that Raschka utilized makes so much sense, and will be readily absorbed by even the youngest audiences. My favorite?

    There is faith.There is hope. There is caring for others. The greatest is caring for others.

    Words to live by, I'd say. Especially in current times. Raschka's short forward says that Paul used letter writing to change the world. Few could argue the point. But the success of this book is that it offers Paul's wisdom and comfort and advice in ways that invite repeated readings and reflection. It brings Paul into our laps and into our lives, at any age. With those messages comes the possibility that we,the readers, might act to change the world. After all, Paul's epistles are contained in ACTS. And it the ACTS of our ives to which Paul's letters are addressed.

    The endpaper maps are clearly labeled, but Raschka's style, the cheerful colors, and portrayal of charming villages, ports, and other details offer a delightful, intriguing, blurry-edged childlike feel to a corner of the world that, even today, suffers many trials and challenges.

    This was true in Paul's day, and in ours.

    In his corner of the world and in ours.

    Paul's words, and Raschka's book, offer hope.

  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    I’ve never seen a book like Paul Writes (a Letter), but I’m so happy it is now in the world.

    The wonderful two-time Caldecott winner, Chris Raschka, has taken the letters of the apostle Paul to Rome and Corinth, Galatia and Ephesus and Thessalonica, and the letters of Paul to his friends Titus and Timothy and Philemon and (possibly) the Hebrews and condensed each letter into a beautiful little jewel-like bite of wisdom and beauty, perfect for children and perfect for grownups who love simplicity

    I’ve never seen a book like Paul Writes (a Letter), but I’m so happy it is now in the world.

    The wonderful two-time Caldecott winner, Chris Raschka, has taken the letters of the apostle Paul to Rome and Corinth, Galatia and Ephesus and Thessalonica, and the letters of Paul to his friends Titus and Timothy and Philemon and (possibly) the Hebrews and condensed each letter into a beautiful little jewel-like bite of wisdom and beauty, perfect for children and perfect for grownups who love simplicity, all accompanied by delightful little illustrations.

    Wouldn’t this book make a great Christmas present for some of our favorite little folks?

    Are you worried that this might water-down the words of Paul? Be assured that this is not the case at all; instead, Raschka seems to magnify the words. Paul, I think, can be a little tricky for young people, but Raschka is able to not only share the thoughts of Paul, but he is also able to successfully share Paul’s quirks including his mood swings.

    Here’s a little sample, if you’d like to compare for yourself:

    First read Ephesians 4:26, 4:28, 6:1-4, and 6:21. Then set those words up next to these from the book:

  • Kim

    I needed this. I know that Paul's epistles are more intricate than Raschka's portrayal of them here (and I love them for that), but I'm so grateful to have these simple messages to comfort and chide and reassure me until I make time to dive more deeply into the books. "You refresh the very hearts of the saints," Paul (and Mr. Raschka).

  • Cate Morton

    Chris Raschka uses gentle hues in his pictures and calligraphy and clear, friendly phrasing in his presentation of the apostle Paul's letters to make this biblical figure accessible to today's children and adults. This book would make a great Sunday school read-aloud to show how parts of the bible were written and compiled while it gives insight into the human Paul and his real world journey. Calmer than some of Raschka's other offerings, I highly recommend this book.

  • Sarah

    Hooray for a children's picture book about Christianity by a Caldecott award winning author and illustrator! This book simplifies the apostle Paul's epistles for young children. Boldly colored illustrations accompany the text offering readers a visually appealing aspect to their learning.

  • Darlene Ivy

    In a series of letters, writer and illustrator Chris Raschka continues to spread the message of the Apostle Paul in Paul Writes (a letter). A one-page introduction outlines Paul’s calling to share the teachings of Jesus and each subsequent spread summarizes the messages of one of the New Testament books attributed to Paul. Chapter and verse references run along the bottom of each spread. Some letters share Paul’s emotions, travel plans, and friends, but they also condense Paul’s teaching into ea

    In a series of letters, writer and illustrator Chris Raschka continues to spread the message of the Apostle Paul in Paul Writes (a letter). A one-page introduction outlines Paul’s calling to share the teachings of Jesus and each subsequent spread summarizes the messages of one of the New Testament books attributed to Paul. Chapter and verse references run along the bottom of each spread. Some letters share Paul’s emotions, travel plans, and friends, but they also condense Paul’s teaching into easy to remember short phrases or sentences.

    Readers familiar with Raschka’s illustrations will recognize his simple outline drawings and color blocks. Vibrant maps of Paul’s travels cover the endpapers, but the interior illustrations are in muted primary colors that create the feel of Biblical times. The first page of most spreads shows Paul, as an aging bearded man, writing at a desk. The words of a hand-written letter and simple motifs to indicate setting complete each spread. 


    Intended for an audience of children six and up, Paul Writes (a letter) is a good introduction or summation to Paul’s journeys as part of a Bible study. It would be interesting to see the letters young readers would write after their study of Paul.

  • Amy

    Chris Raschka uses the life and letters of Paul to remind us of important things we need to remember in relating to others: love, grace, care, strength, honesty, purity, and patience. He uses Paul’s words as cautions as well: reaping what you sow, loving money, picking fights, etc. A great way of giving present day language to Paul’s letters. The illustrations are amazing!

  • Jenny Lopez

    First off, this book is beautiful. The illustrations aren’t fancy, but they are colorful, warm, and inviting. The perfect accompaniment to Paul’s Letters. Chris Raschka does a wonderful job of introducing Paul and his teachings to children. While not thorough or deep, he manages to make Paul approachable, relatable, and a genuine friend. Pulling out the core of the versus and the translatable thought for young minds, I can see this as a book that we keep forever. Well done!

  • Jillian

    Very interesting book - it takes the loooong letters of Paul and distills them down to a couple key concepts and ideas, easy to digest and remember.

    My favorite is definitely II Thessalonians, when the illustration shows Paul downing a glass of wine while telling them to stop being busybodies.

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