Author: Lauren Chandler
Author Website: https://laurenchandler.com/
Illustrator: Catalina Echeverri
Publisher: The Good Book for Children
Word Count: 828
This story is perfect for ages: 2-4, 4-6, 6+
Straight from Aunty LuLav
Goodbyes are NEVER easy, Forever Goodbyes, IMPOSSIBLE. But Someone came to make a Way to say Goodbye to Goodbyes forever!
In this incredible retelling of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11), we learn, that for Believers, Goodbye isn’t forever.
Goodbye to Goodbyes weaves together the resurrection of Lazarus and the Resurrection of Jesus showing that death for a Believer, is just a temporary goodbye. We see the hope of Heaven and that Jesus truly is the Resurrection and the Life!
This book is a gift to the body of Christ, to gently, lovingly teach our children, that in Jesus, lies the promise of resurrection and eternal life. HALLELUJAH!
WARNING! THIS IS AN AUNTY LULAV FAVORITE!!!
Scriptural Underpinnings & Positive Themes
THE STORY FLOW
Goodbye to Goodbyes begins with a celebration at the house of Lazarus, with Martha, who loved to “throw parties”, and Mary who “loved to sit and listen” and Lazarus who “loved his two sisters,” all allusions to Luke 10. Jesus, their friend, and the disciples are there with them enjoying the party. The joy and love are palpable!
As the story goes, Lazarus gets sick, Mary and Martha send word to Jesus – the miracle worker and friend. Jesus intentionally delays and Lazarus dies. Upon arrival, 4 days after Lazarus death, Jesus comforts Martha and she brings forth the idea of death being a “forever goodbye.” The disciples ponder, the family weeps, including Jesus, and Lazarus, hearing the voice of Jesus, comes forth from the grave! And another party ensues!
We learn – Jesus is the ONE Who can end the Forever Goodbyes, FOREVER!
I AM the Resurrection and the Life,
He who believes in Me, though he may die, yet he shall live!
– Jesus – John 11:25
JESUS SAYS GOODBYE
Lauren Chandler then shifts our focus to Jesus wishing His friends goodbye:
“Goodbye for now – but not forever.”
Chandler quickly moves us through Holy Week. with Jesus going to Jerusalem to die, but it’s not a Forever Goodbye! Jesus comes out of the tomb alive, just like Lazarus. She connects Resurrection Morning to Lazarus’s resurrection, showing children that just like Jesus, we can follow Him and arise.
Jesus then says another Goodbye, but it’s not forever. He is going back to Heaven. Chandler and Echeverri show us Heaven where we will see Jesus again and all of those that we love.
Chandler calls it:
“the land where there are no more goodbyes – not ever.”
Chandler wraps it all together in the application! Goodbyes are inevitable. She makes the distinction between short goodbyes like waving goodbye to a neighbor and longer ones, like when your parents take a trip and you stay with Grandma.
She then explains the longer goodbye of sickness and death. She explains that goodbyes are sad and it feels like it is forever, but that JESUS came to end all goodbyes forever.
The storytelling flows so naturally.
Catalina Echeverri catches the emotion and spirit of the moment in each whimsical illustration. You can feel movement on every page. When someone runs, you feel the urgency. When a group is sitting, huddled together, you feel the warmth between them. In the face and body of every character, you feel the joy, the sorrow, the worry. I NEVER get tired of Echeverri’s style and somehow, miraculously she keeps it fresh from book to book.
In Goodbye to Goodbyes, she uses a soft and muted palette, full of tones of pink, purples, peaches and soft blues. Mary and Martha flow with love from one page to the next. The scenes where Jesus weeps with them over the death of Lazarus, include tiny broken hearts, as clues to their pain. The illustration where Jesus calls forth Lazarus is glorious and joyful showing Jesus bathed in white light, from Lazarus’ perspective in the tomb.
Echeverri’s use of vignettes to move the story telling along is impeccable. I love the 2 page spread where she shows the messenger travelling 2 days to Jesus to inform Him of Lazarus’ illness. One vignettes shows the messenger with the background of day turning to night, then day again, showing the length of the trip. We see the message given, delivered, read, Jesus deciding to stay back, and the controversy of His decision, all in 2 pages!
Echeverri is an incredible partner to her story-tellers. BRAVO!
Goodbye to Goodbyes is very multiracial in skin tones, as all races are represented and shown in relationship, especially in the Heaven scene.
Jesus, the disciples and the people are dressed as Jewish people from that time period.
Each Children’s Book, published by The Good Book for Children, includes a brief explanation of the scriptures addressed in each story. So helpful for the one reading or teaching from the Book!
The End of the Matter5/5 waves
I gladly wave my Lulav again and again and again –
NOT to say GOODBYE – But to SHOUT
Goodbye to Goodbyes!
This is an AUNTY LULAV FAVORITE!