Wednesday, September 11, 2013

PICTURE BOOK BLOG TOUR: The Not Even Once Club by Wendy Watson Nelson


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Not Even Once Club is an adorable and appealing way to engage children in a story that will help them choose for themselves to keep the commandments and to never break them. Not even once.
Children will meet Tyler, an energetic boy who is excited to make new friends in his Primary class. They have invited Tyler to join their special club, but first he has to pass the test and keep the club promise.
With illustrations from bestselling illustrator Brandon Dorman, The Not Even Once Club is a fun and engaging way for parents to help teach their children the importance of keeping the commandments. Included in the back of the book are additional teaching helps for parents and leaders.
Click here to download your free "Not Even Once" Discussion Questions.
Click here to download your free "Not Even Once" Certificate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendy Watson Nelson holds a Ph.D. in family therapy and gerontology. Prior to her marriage to Elder Russell M. Nelson, she was a professor of marriage and family therapy for twenty-five years. Sister Nelson has served as a stake Relief Society president, stake Primary president, and chaired the BYUWomen’s Conference. Currently, she is an institute instructor and visiting teacher. Sister Nelson was born in Raymond, Alberta, Canada, to Leonard David and Laura Byrde McLean Watson. For a complete list of Sister Nelson’s books and CDs, visit DeseretBook.com.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Brandon Dorman is the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Wizard. He graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, where he studied fine art and illustration. He and his wife, Emily, have three children and live in Washington, where he enjoys working as a freelance illustrator. His work has appeared in children’s books and on numerous covers, including Pingo, The Candy Shop War, and the Fablehaven series. See more of Brandon Dorman’s artwork at BrandonDorman.com.

REVIEW

A cute, beautifully illustrated book about the importance of obeying God's commandments. The book refers to specific LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or Mormon) beliefs so some background might be needed for those who aren't members. Tyler has joined a new Primary class and has been invited to join a club called the Not Even Once club.  This club is made up of children who have committed to 'not even once' try coffee, tea, alcohol, pornography, lie, cheat, steal, or dress immodestly. The story follows Tyler's entry into the club and 'passing' the test.  There is also a page at the back of the book for parents to help them discuss things with their children.  I also appreciated the mention of repentance since after all we all make mistakes. The illustrations are typical gorgeous Brandon Dorman. There's a reason he is one of my favorite illustrators.

NOTE: I have seen many reviews of this book that are negative because the authors think that the story leaves out any room for mistakes.  Here is my take on that topic.

I understand where the other reviews are coming from. After all, all people make mistakes, but does that mean we shouldn't try to keep God's commandments as well as we can? Yes, the Atonement is there because we need it and the forgiveness and sanctification that it offers.  But the Atonement also helps us keep the covenants we make at baptism and other times, helping us seek to keep the commandments. How is the promise these kids make any different than the covenants made at baptism and in the temple? Are these kids likely to reject each other completely if one of them messes up? I don't think so. Such promises/covenants help us to remember what God has commanded us to do. These are commandments, not requests, and the Lord doesn't include exceptions. He doesn't say, keep the commandments except when you can't.  Instead He makes a way for us to try again, to 'pass the test' the next time, to change through the Atonement with the Savior's help. As for nobody being able to do any of the mentioned things 'not even once' do we want to teach our children that it's okay to do any of those things mentioned in the book, 'just once?' I don't think so, those things generally have negative consequences and our children will be better off if they avoid them.

Please keep in mind that I'm not trying to offend anyone here. But I hate to see a good book so thoroughly condemned. The book could make for some great conversations between parents and children about obedience and consequences and repentance.

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