Charlie and the Preschool Prodigal (Crossway, 2024)

Note: Periodically I’ll post book reviews to serve as a resource for readers looking for recommendations. I plan to include books for adults as well as kids’ books. Very few of these reviews will be on new releases. If you’re like me and are about two to three years behind on your reading, then this section is for you! You can find other book reviews here.

Charlie and the Preschool Prodigal

Charlie and the Preschool Prodigal
Ginger Blomberg
Crossway, 2024

Charlie and Eddie are your classic older brother/younger brother archetypes of the Luke 15 parable, "The Prodigal Son." Charlie is neat and orderly, a rule-follower of the strictest kind. Eddie is messy and chaotic, a rebel without a cause. When Eddie decides to run away from home, his daddy is understandably panicked. Eddie quickly learns that independence—especially for a toddler—is not all it's cracked up to be. Charlie, on the other hand, learns an important lesson about grace.

Charlie and the Preschool Prodigal takes an important parable from the Bible and inserts it into a set of circumstances to which young kids can relate. Through Charlie and Eddie, readers learn that no matter our behavior, everyone is in need of a grace from a loving father. This book can help parents teach their children about the love of their heavenly Father and the grace that comes through Christ. I recommend this book as a great supplement to regular Bible reading with your children.


  • My kids love this book. They find the Eddie character funny, which I realize isn't exactly the point. However, I appreciate any element of a story (particularly one that teaches a biblical lesson) that draws my kids in and causes them to repeatedly return to a book. It only increases the opportunities for me to talk with my kids about the lesson the book is trying to teach.

  • The book, rather than giving all the answers, calls kids and adults alike to critically consider the consequences of sin and the free gift of grace that is offered to all older and younger brothers.

  • There is a "Note to Grown-Ups" on the last page that makes the Prodigal Son story accessible to the adults reading this story to young children, reminding us, too, of the gospel that saves "wild" and "tidy" children alike.

  • Because my kids find the Eddie character funny, I have some minor concerns that my kids will emulate some of his behaviors in the book. "Minor" is the operative word here, though, as it's really up to me to show them what is and is not appropriate behavior.

  • Though I appreciate the "Note to Grown-Ups" for how it might help adult readers apply the Prodigal Son story to their own lives, I would've appreciated a paragraph and/or some discussion questions that helped guide conversations with my kids about the story.

Who Should Read This Book:
This book is a helpful resource for parents and teachers of preschool-age children who desire to instill biblical truths in their kids in a compelling way. Christian parents of young children are most likely to pick up this book and read it to their kids. However, this book may make a good gift for parents who are interested in the gospel but have not yet believed, or for parents who send their kids to church but don't regularly go themselves.

Favorite Quotes:
"Eddie could make trouble. He ate crayons. And ants." (This is my kids' favorite quote. They laugh every time.)