The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song A True Story about how God uses People to Save people

Wave the LuLav 3/5 waves

Author: Bob Hartman

Illustrator: Catalina Echeverri

Publisher: The Good Book for Children

ISBN: 9-781784-984403

Word Count: 832

Published: 2020

This story is perfect for ages: 2-4, 4-6

Straight from Aunty LuLav

Do you hear it?
A sound is breaking forth from the deepest prison cell!
It is the sound of prayer and worshiping Jesus!

The story of Paul and Silas in prison – Acts 16 – is retold
through the lens of evangelism.

Scriptural Underpinnings & Positive Themes

The voice of the storyteller guides us through this retelling of the story of Paul & Silas in prison in Philippi. An interesting feature the author uses, is asking the children to “Listen.” “Do you hear that?”

He engages the listeners and takes them to the place of the sound. Whether it’s the snores of the jailer, the praise of the prisoners, the rumble of the earthquake, or the splishing and splashing of baptismal waters, the sounds of the story carry us through.

The word count is a bit high, but the story is told in present tense, which keeps us flowing along.

The author chose to emphasize the evangelistic side of the story, teaching children, to Go and Tell about Jesus! This is beautifully spoken and illustrated in the book. The last page encourages the children to Go and Tell others about Jesus! This is definitely a word for the times in which we live!

Bravo and well done!

But – when I think of the story of Paul and Silas in chains in prison, and how God responds to the sound of their prayers and praises with an earthquake, I stand in awe of the power of  Prayer and Worship. I feel a little torn about which story line to follow, in this retelling.


Catalina Echeverri is one of my favorite children’s book illustrators. Her illustrations tell the story as an equal partner to the author’s words, often adding depth to underlying spiritual aspects of the story. This book is no exception. Soft tones flood the pages and draw us in.

One LOVELY concept she uses throughout is the Dialogue Box of people explaining the Gospel of Jesus.  She uses three symbols within each box – the Cross, the Empty Tomb, and the Dove for the Holy Spirit – encapsulating the Gospel. BUT she does not stop there! At the end of the book, we see 7 scenes of people telling the Gospel, Africa, the Middle East, American Church, Prisoners, etc. The SYMBOLS are ALL the same, but each is depicted in a different color tone.

A BEAUTIFUL and SENSITIVE way to illustrate, the GOSPEL is the SAME – it never changes – but it’s transmitted in many languages and many cultures. BRAVO!!!!

Another element she uses throughout, is a ribbon flow of color, a symbol of singing and praising God. It is the sound of worship, in yellows, oranges, pinks and greens.  Our first peak of this Worship is Page 2, where the the ribbon of color tickles the feet of the sleeping Jailer. The Ribbon, weaves us through pages 3 and 4, down into the darkest part of the prison. Eventually, we locate the source of Worship, Paul and Silas singing praises to God and praying in their prison cell. Toward the end of the book, the Ribbon of Worship appears again at a praise and worship session at the Jailer’s house. This time, even the instruments have their own praise sounding forth!


The Earthquake scene is excellent; so much movement, so much expression throughout!  Thank you Catalina!

And – I love the mice!

A Pause

OOHHHH!   I HATE to put a Pause in any of the books I review. But precision with words is a stickler for me.

The book is classified as a “True Story about how God uses PEOPLE to SAVE people.”
It is so important, to teach our children that we as people – SAVE  – no one.
We are servants and sheep. It is only Jesus Who saves.

Extra, Extra

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 Matter
3/5 waves

The illustrations shake it up – but overall –

3 waves of the Lulav for

The Prisoners, the Earthquake and the Midnight Song.

Publisher: The Good Book for Children
ISBN: 9-781784-984403
Word Count: 832
Published: 2020

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