Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Carol O’Casey
Publisher: Cladach Publishing
“This book is not a field guide to identify what we see as much as it is a field guide to God – helping us to become better acquainted with the Creator through his creation. Nature is complex,” Carol O’Casey reiterates in her book, Unwrapping Wonder – Finding Hope in the Gift of Nature.
At two hundred and twenty-four pages, this paperback book written by a Christian biologist and pastor’s wife is targeted toward those who want to learn more about the amazing creations God made and placed on earth. With no color photographs but a few scattered black and white illustrations by Matthew Kondratieff, it is more of an in-depth spiritual/scientific textbook than a visual picture book. This reader wishes all pronouns of Deity were capitalized for reverence.
Author O’Casey has separated her book into five parts of God’s gifts in nature: those from the field, the air, the deep, the mountains, and the desert. Each part has three to five chapters about a particular creation such as a plant seed, leaf, or tree trunk scar to insects, birds, fish, and toads. Within each chapter, the object is dissected, explained, and correlated to the Bible with each ending in a “Wondercise” physically relating to the topic. There is also a discussion guide covering each of the twenty-two chapters, notes, and an author biography with no topical index.
It is obvious in nature that our God is an awesome God. The writer takes a small insect like a cricket and explains its minute features where chirping can announce the temperature or explains how leaves have nucleus-free sieve cells but are paired with a companion cell. She shows the butternut tree leaf producing a small heart-shape scar to seal its wound when shedding and tells how every pound of bees’ honey requires four pounds of nectar.
As the dragonfly, hummingbird, blue morpho butterfly, bioluminescent organism, caddisfly, American Dipper, lichen, and spade foot toad along with flowers, trees, and plants cycle through life, each creation, great and small, show us how God is a living, forgiving, merciful, and gracious Being.
O’Casey writes with understanding, humor, and sincerity as she blends Biblical stories and characters, “worthship,” prayer, and dealing with charge, risk, and the unknown in our lives through what we see that surrounds us daily. This mish-mash of interesting specimens reminds us of God’s wonder, love, and eternal hope as we are reminded to bask in His creative glory.
This book was furnished by Cladach Publishing in lieu of an unbiased review.