Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough Brown

Posted June 21, 2024 by meezcarrie in Book Review, children, Christian, giveaway, picture book, Sharon Garlough Brown / 10 Comments

Not Finished Yet book review

Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough BrownNOT FINISHED YET: Trusting God With All My Feelings
Sharon Garlough Brown
Jessica Linn Evans
GENRE: Children’s Picture Book (Christian)
RELEASE DATE: May 21, 2024

Sometimes, you see, Wren and Gran didn’t paint flowers or clouds or birds or trees.
Sometimes they painted their feelings.
She and Gran called it “painting prayers.”

Gran’s art studio is one of Wren’s favorite places in the world. Not only is it where Wren and Gran paint, but it’s also where they talk about all the good and hard stuff of life—to each other, and to God. Join young Wren as she explores her feelings and discovers that God welcomes our honest prayers.

This gentle story by bestselling Christian novelist Sharon Garlough Brown, paired with exquisite illustrations from Jessica Linn Evans, will be enjoyed by children as well as the adults who read with them. Also included is a note from the author to encourage further conversation about the content.

There is much to love about Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough Brown, an endearing new picture book that encourages children (and adults!) to conversationally share their feelings with God – no matter how messy. To know that He cares. That He listens (not just hears). That He values our feelings. That He can handle our disappointment. And that one day He will make this broken world whole and beautiful, without anything sad or scary.

The illustrations in Not Finished Yet are just brimming with heart, and they help to create a soothing tone to the book, even when the characters are talking about hard things like mean girls, unanswered prayers, and disappointment (in ourselves and in God). The main focus of the book isn’t those sad or scary things, though, so don’t worry that it’s heavy or depressing. Rather, everything points back to the safety, security, and love that are found in a friendship with God – mirrored so beautifully in Gran and Wren’s loving relationship. Because they are able to talk honestly about what made Wren feel disappointed and (without dismissing her feelings) how God will one day make all the sad things go away, children can more easily make the connection that prayer is talking with God as we would a best friend or a beloved grandparent/parent. This is such an important concept for all of us to learn, and this book is a precious way to help teach it.

Bottom Line: Much like the Biblical psalms sort through the writer’s sometimes-raw emotions with honest acknowledgment, Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough Brown teaches children how to do the same with God in prayer. Not only that, it also shows them that prayer isn’t limited to church or kneeling by the bed or saying flowery words – a conversation between you and God can happen while you’re doing fun things like painting with your grandmother in her art studio. I really loved the depiction – both in the text and in Jessica Linn Evans’ sweet illustrations – of Wren & Gran’s relationship, and I so appreciated the content of this book. Definitely would make a good gift and/or a wonderful addition to any home, school, or church library.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 4 stars / loved it!

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Sharon Garlough Brown

Sharon Garlough Brown is a spiritual director, speaker, and cofounder of Abiding Way Ministries, providing spiritual formation retreats and resources. She is the author of the bestselling Sensible Shoes Series, which includes Sensible Shoes, Two Steps Forward, Barefoot, An Extra Mile, and their study guides. Sharon served as a copastor with her husband, Jack, for many years. They reside in West Michigan. You can connect with Sharon at her website.

Jessica Linn Evans

Jessica Linn Evans is an author-illustrator whose books reinforce wonder for creation, inspire adventure and invention, and encourage loyalty and friendship with the lovely. She is the author and illustrator of Penguin Sets Sail and the illustrator of Little Mouse Finds A Friend, Waiting Through Winter, and Solar the Polar. Jessica lives in the beautiful state of Idaho with her husband and three of her four wonderful children. Connect with Jessica at her website.

Not Finished Yet giveaway

IVP Kids is offering a print copy of Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough Brown & Jessica Linn Evans to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough Brown & Jessica Linn Evans with a child in your life?

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10 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough Brown

  1. Cindy Merrill

    I’m absolutely sure my aunt would read this book and add it to a children’s library.

  2. Melinda K

    I have a few great nieces and nephews that are learning how to maneuver big emotions (along with their parents), and I would love to share this book with them.

  3. Kasi Walas

    I want to read Not Finished Yet by Sharon Garlough Brown & Jessica Linn Evans with my niece Izzy because it beautifully combines engaging storytelling with important life lessons on resilience and growth, making it a meaningful and enjoyable read for both of us

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