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.
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.
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