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Library : Book Reviews > Just the Way You Are

Just the Way You Are
By: Max Lucado
Illustrated by: Sergio Martinez

Review by: Robin Hatfield

     The title, Just the Way You Are, is a phrase every child needs to hear. Max Lucado has retold a beloved story to capture young hearts. Children need
to be assured that they are loved, just as they are. The story begins as a king learns of a family of orphans. He makes an announcement that he would
come for them and become their father. This was such exciting news. Even more anxious than the children were their fellow villagers. They wasted no time telling the children that they would have to impress the king because only those with great gifts to give would be allowed to live in the castle. The comments worried the children, so they set out to prepare their gifts. One of the boys could carve, one of the girls was a talented painter, another girl chose music as her gift and the older boy would impress the king with his knowledge. The last child, the youngest, could not carve, paint, sing or read well. She was saddened to think she had no gift. The young girl spent her days at the city gates, caring for travelers' animals and speaking kind words to the villagers and strangers alike. She had a good hears. Many days later, a man in travelers' clothes came to the gates and the girl agreed to feed his donkey. She looked closely at the traveler, just as she did every time she met someone. His eyes were deep and his skin was leathery from the sun. She asked if he needed rest, and he sat on a bench and fell asleep. The girl sat down and watched him as he slept. Moments later, she was watching his face when he awoke. He asked what she wanted and she replied, "Nothing, it is good to be near you". Then he told her he must be on his way and they would talk more when he returned. He was searching for some people. It wasn't long before the man returned and the girl asked
if he found those he was seeking. He told her that he had, but they were too busy for him. He began describing the busy people: a wood smith, an artist, a musician and a scholar who had left for a school in the city. The girl knew at once who this man was-he was the king! He explained that he liked to be among his people in plain clothes sometimes. People were always trying to act a certain way around him or were always asking for things. Suddenly the girl was ashamed for not having a gift for him-the king told her that she had given him the best gift of all, her heart, her kindness and love. This is a timeless story and can be shared time and time again. It is a wonderful way to reinforce to your child just how special he or she is! I highly recommend this Max Lucado book.

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