Book Review: Sophie and the Heidelberg Cat

Scripture instructs parents to teach the truths of God to their children (Deuteronomy 6). That commandment is non-negotiable. The question of how to do this, will be different in every family. Deuteronomy 6 provides a guide, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (v. 7). One great way to teach children is through a good story. There are many resources out there that help parents do this. In 2019, Crossway published a great book that teaches children the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism. The book Sophie and the Heidelberg Cat is by author and pastor Andrew Wilson, with illustrations by Helena Perez Garcia. 


The story centers around Sophie, a little girl who is upset by the fact that her sister has broken her dollhouse. The reader finds Sophie crying in her room because she has gotten angry with her sister and has yelled at her parents in the aftermath. As she sulks, she has an encounter with the cat next door, who so happens to be a talking cat. Throughout the remainder of the story the cat takes her on a journey through the neighborhood and speaks the truth of Scripture to her. By the end Sophie feels much better and is ready to make up with her family and trust in the Lord by His grace. 


In a whimsical story form, the book walks through the first question and answer of the Heidelberg catechism (1563). Question: What is your only comfort in life and in death? Answer: That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ… Throughout the story, the Heidelberg’s cat (pun most definitely intended by the author) reminds Sophie that she cannot be good on her own merit, but must trust in the work of Jesus for salvation. Each aspect of the book is well thought out and provide a unique way of teaching children the doctrines of Scripture. One excellent feature of the story that cannot go unnoticed, the name of the Heidelberg’s cat: Grace.

Sophie and the Heidelberg Cat is a wonderful way to teach the doctrine of grace to children. It is written in a way that they can relate, and have probably experienced. The illustrations by Helena Perez Garcia are beautifully rendered and provide an excellent visual to the story being told. I would highly recommend this book to parents who are seeking a fun way to teach their children the truths of Scripture. It is very well done and would be a great addition to the family library.