*The Sower by Scott James

The Sower employs biblical allegories of seeds and planting to recap the story of the Bible and its effect on human history—and on us.

*The Sower by Scott James, illustrated by Stephen Crotts. Crossway, 2022, 34 pages.

Reading Level: Middle Grades, 8-10

Recommended for: ages 6-up

In his Foreword, Andrew Peterson recalls his early love of the natural world and how God must love it too: “because he’s like a gardener who delights in our delight.” Just as the gardener’s work only ends when the garden does, so God’s creative work continues, from the very beginning right down to the present day and beyond. Here’s the beginning:

Once there was a Voice in the darkness. Full of light and life, it was the Voice of the Sower. With a word, he sowed seed, and a garden grew. . . Ever generous, the Sower chose to share his garden. With a word, he sowed seeds, and a people grew.

It’s a familiar story: the people rebelled and the garden grew desolate, but the gardener never gave up—and eventually the Sower himself arrived to take on human brokenness and become a seed (John 12:24). But the story doesn’t end there. The Sower continues to plant seeds of life into human hearts, transforming dry reeds into fruitful vines. “Redeemed by the Sower, they became sowers too,” planting seeds for a future garden where they will live with him forever.

This isn’t a children’s book, but children will be drawn to its gentle rhythm. The simple, largely symbolic illustrations by printmaker Stephen Crotts are earthy and evocative of the theme, using patterns of leaf and vine and plowed soil. Words and pictures together make a lovely read-aloud for family devotionals, or a gift for an art-minded graduate.

Overall Rating: 5 (out of 5)

  • Worldview/moral value: 5
  • Artistic/literary value: 5   

Read more about our ratings here.                 

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Janie Cheaney

Janie is the VERY senior staff writer for Redeemed Reader, as well as a long-time contributor to WORLD Magazine and an author of nine books for children. The rest of the time she's long-distance smooching on her four grandchildren (not an easy task). She lives with her equally senior husband of almost-fifty years in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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