"God Made Me" - A Baby-Sized Version of the Creation Story
- Annabelle Robertson Entertainment Critic
- 2004 21 Jul
Genre: Children, Animated
Rating: Not rated
Released: July 2004
Run time: 30 min.
A fun, new video series for babies has just been launched by Integrity Publishers, and it promises to entertain and educate babies – or you get your money back.
Created by producers, directors and puppeteers whose credits range from the Baby Einstein® video series to Emmy Award-winning public television programs, Broadway musicals and even theme parks, babyfaith’s first video, “God Made Me” is a baby-sized version of the creation story. The video is narrated by Jodi Benson, a Broadway and screen actress who is best known for the lead voice in Disney’s animated film, “The Little Mermaid.”
Although simplified for young minds, the text is faithful to the biblical narrative of Genesis. It introduces the concept of God speaking and creating the world in easy-to-understand terms, and it begins in the beginning:
“On the first day, God said, “Let there be light.” The video then moves through the other six days when the world came into being. On the second day, we learn that God said, “Let there be a great big sky.” God created “seas, earth and plants on the earth” on the third day and “a sun, a moon and lots of stars on the fourth day.” The fifth day brought “fish and birds.” The sixth day gave us “animals and people.”
And, of course, on the seventh day, “God rested.”
Each “day” is illustrated by hand puppets and brightly-colored objects that include plastic cups, balls and blocks. Interesting sounds and snippets of lullabies and hymns accompany the images that cross the screen. Colors are a dominant feature of the video, and they are easily distinguishable. We also see a few babies, cooing and grinning. The words, “God loves me” repeat occasionally.
A plush board book accompanies the video with similar text, along with words that encourage interaction for older children. For example, babies are encouraged to “wave goodnight to the moon and stars” and “pat the silly puppy.”
Before watching the video, I read the book to my 21-month-old daughter, and she very much enjoyed it. In fact, the book has become a staple in our little library, and Dorothea enjoys looking at herself in the mirror and hearing the words, “God made you! God loves you!” Just yesterday, I discovered her in the crib, peering into the mirror and saying, “You! You!”
She also liked the video, although she became impatient each time the screen wiped “blank.” This happens throughout, usually with a particular color highlighted. And, each time, Dorothea grew visibly annoyed, communicating that she wanted something else to happen.
She perked up each time a baby came onscreen or whenever a puppet did something interesting. However, the overall pace of the video was fairly slow and the actions were very basic, which clearly frustrated Dorothea. The narrated voiceovers were also limited, with Benson speaking only occasionally. In between, the video offered snippets of music, but unlike other videos such as Baby Einstein®, they were short and infrequent.
As a result, Dorothea lost interest well before the end of the video’s 30-minute runtime.
The creators of the series recommend that parents watch the video with their children, and I found this very enjoyable. I just added my own narration when Dorothea became frustrated at the lack of activities or sounds.
“God Made Me” seems to be an excellent tool for introducing children to the creation story and the concept of God’s love for us. My sense is that, although the video was created for babies aged 0-24 months, it is far more likely to entertain babies 18 months and younger. The board book will interest children of up to 24 months, however.
“God Made Me” and “God Made Animals” were released this month by Integrity Publishers. The third video and book of the series, titled “God Made Animals,” will be released in November.