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Jesus and the Gift of Friendship

By Trillia Newbell, Illustrated by Kristen Howdeshell, Kevin Howdeshell

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Storybook by Trillia Newbell Teaches Kids to Embrace Jesus as Their Closest Friend and Provider

Friends are one of the greatest gifts from God and reflect his ultimate gift—Jesus! But what happens when the desire for friendship goes unmet? Where should kids turn in their moments of sadness? 

In this thoughtful children’s book, readers journey with Zeke as he suffers from missing a close friend and experiences rejection after inviting a neighborhood boy to play. With help from his mom and consistent prayer, Zeke develops an unlikely friendship and an important dependence on Christ. 

Jesus and the Gift of Friendship will spur hope and comfort in the lives of kids ages 3–6, teaching little ones to embrace friendship as a blessing from God and a reflection of Jesus—our dearest friend and ultimate provider. 

  • Written for Kids Ages 3–6: Jesus and the Gift of Friendship will encourage little ones to embrace Jesus as their closest friend  
  • Thoughtful Story with Gospel Truths: Teach kids about the love and comfort found in and through Christ
  • Rooted in Scripture: Provides a biblical application for a common Bible passage on friendship—John 15:12–15

Author:

Trillia Newbell

Trillia Newbell is the author of numerous books, Bible studies, and children’s books, including God’s Very Good Idea; The Big Wide Welcome; and Creative God, Colorful Us. Newbell is the acquisitions director at Moody Publishers and lives with her husband, Thern, and two children near Nashville, Tennessee.

Illustrators:

Kristen Howdeshell

Kristen Howdeshell is an illustrator and cofounder of the Brave Union, a freelance illustration team. Alongside her husband Kevin, their artwork is published in many children’s books including Seeds and Trees; The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible; and I Am the Storm. This husband-and-wife duo lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with their four children.

Kevin Howdeshell

Kevin Howdeshell is an illustrator and cofounder of the Brave Union, a freelance illustration team. Alongside his wife Kristen, their artwork is published in many children’s books including Seeds and Trees; The Moments with Jesus Encounter Bible; and I Am the Storm. This husband-and-wife duo lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with their four children.

Product Details

Title: Jesus and the Gift of Friendship
Published: September 12, 2023
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8548-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8548-7
Category: Children & Youth
Retail Price: $15.99
Binding: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Trim: 8.5 in x 8.5 in
Page Count: 40

Endorsements

“When my daughter was six years old, we moved cities. She had to leave all of her wonderful neighborhood friends, and it’s something we still grieve to this day. We’ve seen God answer our prayers for new friends, but it has taken some time—just like the child in this book. So it’s impossible for me to read this book without tears in my eyes as I see such a similar story play out. What a beautiful reminder that Jesus calls us friends. In those seasons when friendships are scarce, he sticks closer than a brother—and even provides the friends we need in his time! What a gift for kids to learn that they can entrust their need for friendship to the greatest friend of all.”
Quina Aragon, author, Love Made; Love Gave; and Love Can

Jesus and the Gift of Friendship is a theologically rich and engaging read for kids that will remind them that God is the giver of good gifts, listens when they pray, is always with them, and sent his Son so that they could be friends of God.”
Amy Gannett, Founder and Creator, Tiny Theologians; Writer and Bible Teacher, The Bible Study Schoolhouse; author, Fix Your Eyes

“We all need friends. We know the joy they can bring, and we hope to help our children develop lasting friendships. Trillia Newbell’s Jesus and the Gift of Friendship is a warm and welcoming way to talk about the gift of friendship with our children, as well as the pain of loneliness. This book’s engaging story and beautiful illustrations will help children learn how to make good friends and be a good friend.”
Melissa B. Kruger, author, Lucy and the Saturday Surprise; Vice President of Discipleship Programming, The Gospel Coalition

Jesus and the Gift of Friendship teaches us about friendship, along with the important value of bringing all our desires to the Lord—and waiting on his answer! I love that Trillia Newbell’s book shows how the example of Jesus as friend is used as a model for our kids. Children will learn that, even in times of loneliness, God is compassionate toward our desire for community.”
Phylicia Masonheimer, Founder, Every Woman a Theologian

“This book’s engaging story and beautiful illustrations will help children learn how to make good friends and be a good friend.”

Melissa B. Kruger

author, Lucy and the Saturday Surprise; Vice President of Discipleship Programming, The Gospel Coalition