Charlie is a shy kid who hides behind the cleanup sink at school. However, after his teacher asks him to be her helper, he springs into action when the fire coral stings his friend Bernie. Charlie goes to bed a little bit early because he wants to make sure he gets a goodnight's sleep. He wants to be a good helper for Miss Stella. He had decided that it was way more fun to be a helper than to hide behind a sink! Before he falls asleep, Charlie prays, "Dear Jesus, thank you for my great first day of school, and thank you for my mommy and daddy, all my new friends and for Miss Stella. Help me to always help others. Amen." Charlie learns he can overcome his shyness and be a servant like Jesus.
A Servant Like Jesus by Lee Ann Mancini is an adorable children’s book that uses sea creatures to teach children important lessons about themselves and others. Each sea creature is adorable and unique while looking like the creature it is supposed to. The illustrations are beautifully done with how the scenery is kept realistic (for fiction) and how the fish are made to look cute so as to pull in young readers. The characters personalities are crafted to allow readers to understand and empathize with them. The story line was made both interesting and easy to follow.
The fact that young Charlie learns to “come out of his shell” in order to help others and the fact that he learns how much fun it can be to be a helper can be inspirational to young children especially those who are shy, introverted, and special needs. After reading the book the character Charlie reminded me of some of the autistic children I have worked with; I was left wondering whether that was done on purpose or not. The way the Charlie is very shy and how he hides from the others until he is given a task that gives him purpose is very similar to those with autism.
I was gifted a copy of this book by the publisher or author.