Title: Blind Johnnie
Author: Velina Showalter
Major Themes: Blindness, Mennonites, Pennsylvania, Biographies, Picture Books
Synopsis: Though he was blind, Johnnie found many ways to be useful to his community and to glorify God.
My favorite kind of picture books has got to be biographies. A well-written, nicely illustrated picture book biography is worth its weight in gold. And, if it glorifies God and points people closer to Him, that’s even better. Blind Johnnie is one of those books. I ordered it along with school books last time I placed an order, and we enjoyed reading it together today.
Johnnie was born blind in one eye, and by the time he was 22, his other eye had gone blind, as well. He was tempted to feel sorry for himself, but then he realized that blindness was part of God’s plan for him, and started looking around for things he could do to be useful. One of his first occupations was making brooms. After that, he and his brother opened a general store, and he learned many other things he could do as well as sell all sorts of merchandise. Making ice cream brought many customers—and Johnnie learned how to push a wheelbarrow across a log bridge to get the ice! He had an insatiable curiosity; you’ll love the picture of him investigating a bridge that was being built.
Blind Johnnie is a great book to read with your children, and marvel at the abilities God gives to people who cannot see. Johnnie had many talents, and made use of them to help the people around him. He loved God, and was overjoyed to learn to read with his fingers so he could read the Bible for himself. This book not only has a great story to read, the pictures are amazing. They are realistic and lifelike paintings—my favorite type of illustrations! This book is a great addition to any home library.
Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12