Do you love the Where's Waldo books? Do you love Jesus? Then you'll really love Winston Rowntree's Finding Jesus. Just like Martin Hadford did for Waldo, Rowntree creates crowded scenes and places Jesus there among the masses. He's at the grocery store, shopping mall, campground, concert, airport, really anywhere you would go. Hey, that's a pretty good theological point! As Rowntree says in the introduction, "if you look closely enough, somewhere in the blur of people J.C.'s waiting for you to spot him."
Rowntree's illustrations are full of funny details. I prefer looking at the pictures for the little funny scenes and jokes, and just happening across Jesus. If you just look for Jesus, you miss out on lots of the humor. I was a little bothered by the number of people who look like Jesus. At times, I wasn't sure whether I had found him or not. Of course, that's part of the game, but I need a little more certainty in my life.
Rowntree, a cartoonist and cracked.com columnist, is apparently "a non-religious person" doing "a harmless, lighthearted novelty book that barely involves Jesus." I have no idea what his true religious background is. I have no idea if he published this book to mock or honor Jesus. I'm taking it at face value: In our crazy, chaotic lives, whether we are shopping, working, relaxing, or partying, Jesus is there among us. He wants to know us, and although he may seem elusive at times, he truly does want to be found. As Rowntree reminds us on the back cover, Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find."
Thanks to Blogging for Books and Three Rivers Press for the complimentary review copy!