Go-To Counsel for Children with the “Wantsies” (Book Review)

Powlison, David (ed). Gus Loses His Grip: When You Want Something Too Much. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2019. 32 pages.

My toddler nephew loves his snacks. In our home’s pantry, he will find his way to the door, alerting us to the fact he wants a treat. The problem is not too much after his first snack bag, he is up and at it again. One is not enough; he wants more. When he doesn’t get it, his want quickly turns into a command with his foot-stomping the floor. At that moment, what is there to say? What lesson can help him see why maybe having just one more snack is not a good idea? After reading Gus Loses His Grip: When You Want Something Too Much, I can say the words said and lessons learned can be found in this book.

A Gripping Tale

Edited by the late David Powlison and illustrated by the artistic Joe Hox, this tale features Gus Raccoon and the grips sweets have on him. The rule of no sweets in the bedroom is broken by Gus (and eaten all in one night). While his Papa reads the Easter story, Gus’s focus is on the treats in his Easter gift. When his family shops at the market, Mr. Hogster is kind enough to allow Gus and his friend to sample his treats. Gus cannot help himself and stuffs his cheeks and paws full. Upon leaving the market, Papa reaches for Gus’s paw and his son’s problem is found out as the sweets fall to the ground. This leads to a conversation between Gus and Papa, who can relate, about always wanting more. Gus learns that even good gifts can become an issue when they are sought after and loved too much, having a grip on him.

A Go-To Guide

Gus Loses His Grip is go-to counsel for parenting and helping young children to think through what has a hold on their hearts. The section in the back entitled “Helping Your Child with the ‘I Wantsies’” equips parents in dealing with the issue, and the Back Pocket Bible Verses will encourage the kids with this particular truth of Scripture. Whether it is a toddler asking for more food or a preschool and elementary child wanting more and more time playing games and watching videos, this book will helps kids see how problems can arise, namely that whatever it is that has a grip on the child rather than the child having a grip on it. If you are a parent who wants your young child to not be controlled by things but compelled by the love of Christ, then Gus Loses His Grip: When You Want Something Too Much edited by David Powlison is a good place to start.

I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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