When Halle gets new braces she has trouble saying some words. This irritates her brother Henry and one day he teases her in front of their friends and really hurts Halle’s feelings. Now Henry has this nagging feeling inside that he can’t make go away. He tries to just be nice to Halle, but that doesn’t help anything. When he learns from Mrs. Bixby about guilt and what God wants us to do after we sin, he gains the courage to make things right with God and with Halle. Part of the Good News for Little Hearts series, Henry’s Big Mistake offers concrete, grace-based help for understanding why we feel guilty and what to do when we feel it.
Edited by Lauren Whitman, Henry’s Big Mistake helps young readers learn that confessing your sins to God is the only way to make guilty feelings go away and stay away. A special section at the end of the book includes a parent help page and the Bible verses referenced in the book are also available as a tear-out page.
This colorful, beautifully illustrated children’s book invites children ages four through seven into Henry Hedgehog’s world. They will learn alongside him how they can go to God for forgiveness and also go to the one they have hurt—instead of trying to be better or covering up their mistakes.
Henry’s Big Mistake: When You Feel Guilty is part of the Good News for Little Hearts series for ages three to seven, bringing gospel wisdom and biblical counsel to families. Based on CCEF’s model of hope and help, each story focuses on an animal family’s real-life issues, encouraging young readers toward a growing relationship with Jesus in the midst of challenging circumstances. Each individual story guides parents toward meaningful conversations with their kids, based on what Scripture has to say about living by faith in everyday life.
With vivid illustrations by Joe Hox and a story children can relate to, even the youngest child will be engaged. Henry’s Big Mistake, along with all of the Good News for Little Heartsbooks, will become a lifelong gift for parents and children, as well as teachers, biblical counselors, and anyone hoping to provide concrete, grace-based help for young children.
Lauren Whitman, MA, is a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF), where she has served for over a decade. She also serves as the developmental editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling and is the author of A Painful Past: Healing and Moving Forward and A Biblical Counseling Process. Whitman, her husband, and their two children make their home in the Philadelphia area.
Joe Hox was raised on a farm in southern Iowa where he doodled whenever he wasn’t spading thistles or feeding pigs. Everyone knew by his crooked hay rows that he would choose art over farming. Joe earned his BA in art and education from Dordt College, and his MA from the University of Nebraska. Today he lives with his wife and four children in Pella, Iowa, where he illustrates and teaches art. Joe has illustrated all the Good News for Little Hearts series books.
“Guilt is one of the hardest feelings for children to process because they are so desperate to stop feeling it and often do almost anything to avoid facing it. This simple, relatable story provides a great way to help your children identify guilt they feel and turn to the Lord and others for forgiveness.”
Alasdair Groves, Executive Director, the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF); coauthor of Untangling Emotions
“The concepts of guilt and forgiveness are difficult ones for young minds to grasp and for adults to explain. Lauren Whitman captures these complex emotions so well! Reading the story out loud is a must—you will hear what I mean. My four-year-old wanted me to read it again as soon as I finished. That is the highest praise for any children's book.”
Irene Sun, Author of Taste and See and God Counts
“Do you remember those days or weeks or months in childhood that were spent running from guilt? I sure do, and they were miserable! Lauren captures well the gnawing misery of guilt and our inability to simply cover it up. But then she wonderfully points children to the freedom found in confession and forgiveness. I'm so glad I can sit down with my children and help them understand themselves and our great Savior better through the tale of Henry's Big Mistake.”
Nate Brooks, Assistant Professor of Christian Counseling, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC; lead counselor, Courage Christian Counseling
“Honest, real, and very practical—we can all identify with Henry's struggle. Guilt is a common struggle our kids experience and this resource helps our young ones turn to Christ for answers. Read this to your children and be personally encouraged with words of hope.”
Julie E. Lowe, Faculty and counselor, the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF)
“These books are a uniquely different genre from classic children's bedtime reading. They are counseling books to help children. They provide a creative avenue for children to consider how their faith is intimately relevant to their struggles. This is what makes this series of books so significant.:
David Powlison, (1949–2019) was Executive Director of CCEF and editor of the Good News for Little Hearts series
"When our children were little, we read to them constantly—and had these books been available, they would have been among the favorites. With the simplicity and engaging charm of the Peter Rabbit stories, yet with the quiet grace of Christian insight, these stories stamp themselves on young minds. Text and pictures support each other tellingly. These books are destined to become favorites for young families."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical School, Deerfield, IL; cofounder of The Gospel Coalition
"I love these books. My daughter Kim who struggles with a disability loves these books. She giggles all the way through them—catching all the subtle humor. I read them to my grandkids. We especially love the drawings. I buy copies for all my grandchildren. What more can I say? They are fun!"
Paul E. Miller, Director of seeJesus; author of A Praying Life and J-Curve: Dying and Rising with Jesus in Everyday Life
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Henry’s Big Mistake is a book that helps little learners understand how to handle situations when they feel guilt. It’s an important lesson for children to learn because we all end up hurting people inadvertently, or even intentionally. In Henry’s case, he gets frustrated with his sister, Halle, when she can’t speak certain words correctly after she gets braces. When Henry finally can’t contain his irritation, it spills out as an insult in front of their friends. Henry ends up doing what most of us do. He feels badly, so he decides to treat Halle nicely to make up for it. But it doesn’t help his guilt, nor does it repair the damage done to his relationship with his sister. Henry learns through his teacher that guilt results from sinning. Equally as important, apologizing to God and the person he hurt will allow his guilt to go away. Henry’s simple apology to his sister is a great model for children. It’s short and sweet. There’s no big, long explanation. He doesn’t try to explain away his actions like many people do when they apologize. Henry’s apology to God is a step that many people miss, but it’s an important part of growth as a Christian. The books of the Good News for Little Hearts series (like this one) have a moral lesson, but they still contain adorable, fun, and lovable animal characters and an entertaining plot. Henry’s Big Mistake would be a nice addition to a classroom or family library. It can help build a solid foundation of humility, love, and character for Christian children.
A new release from the Good News for Little Hearts Series is Henry's Big Mistake: When You Feel Guilty. In this tale, Henry feels guilty after teasing his sister and learns more about why we feel guilt and what we can do about it. Gently presented with a Christian worldview, this story is relatable to children and beautifully illustrated. Additional support for parents who desire to discuss the text more fully with their children is provided. While this complimentary book was provided for review by New Growth Press, no other compensation was given. All remarks are my personal and honest opinions.
Henry's Big Mistake is a fun and inviting book that draws you into this new chapter of Henry's life. The interesting storyline and wonderful pictures make this book a great tool for teaching kids of any age how to conquer guilt.