PHOENIX — The Bible reveals very little about Jesus's young life. Between his infancy and the start of his ministry, we only see him once — as a 12-year-old in Jerusalem. According to Luke 2:41-52, he stays behind with the priest in the temple, amazing them with his understanding of the Scriptures. When his frantic parents finally find him, Jesus is alarmingly calm. "'Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?' But they did not understand what he was saying to them" (Luke 2:49-50 NIV).
We can only image what passersby must have thought of this odd exchange between a boy and his parents.
In her new children's book, "Daniel Mouse at the Temple," Libbie Randels places a country mouse in this scene.
Many years ago, Daniel hid in a shepherd's bag and found himself in a stable in a small town called Bethlehem. There he saw a baby who filled the place with peace and joy. What happened to that baby? Since then, Daniel has shared the story with whoever will listen.
When Daniel's cousin, Sydney, visits from Jerusalem and talks about his life under the stone steps of the temple, traveling to the big city sounds like another wonderful adventure. But the real excitement begins when Daniel sees a familiar boy listening to the rabbis and asking them questions.
"Daniel Mouse at the Temple" allows children ages three to 10 to see young Jesus through his eyes as Daniel learns more about what made that boy so special.
This is Libbie's second book in a series. After "A Christmas Story: Daniel Mouse at the Stable," children in her children's church program wanted to know what happened next. Her hope is that, through following Daniel's adventures and the life of Jesus, readers will see that "You are never too small to be part of something big."
Author Libbie Randels and illustrator Lindsey Bell are both members of Christ Presbyterian Church in Goodyear, Arizona. Libbie earned a bachelor of science degree in Music Education and has been involved in children's education and ministries for more than 40 years. Libbie wrote her first book after searching for a different way to tell the Christmas story. Lindsey was one of Libbie's students who became a children's church helper and, at age 12, sketched pictures while Libbie told the story of Daniel Mouse.