The Four Children's Books

by Justine Fischbach

After having ploughed my way through the Ruth Rieder childrens books, here is my opinion...

Marble Palaces and Painted Barns

As in all her books, the illustrations show a mother with a huge wad of hair behind her head and all females wearing skirts reaching to their feet, whether it be their nightgowns or daily attire. Even the doll, that Rieder's daughter receives as a birthday gift in this book, is dressed accordingly.

Despite the UPC's claim to biblical purity, Rieder devotes an entire book to her daughter's birthday, something that cannot be found in the Bible and most certainly has pagan origins. The whole book is about "painting" and how we do not paint the rest of God's creation (e.g. animals, plants) as it would imply we do not like it as it already is.

The examples given are ludicrous and completely over the top, for example, elephants painted with pink dots and this is supposed to relate to women wearing make-up. Rieder conveniently forgets that although we do not paint trees and animals, we do prune trees and groom animals. Does this suggest that God's work was imperfect or is it not just something he has left up to us to decide upon?

 When Rieder's daughter receives a make-up kit from one of the non-church kids at her party, her mother goes on to lie to her, telling her the Bible says she is a marble palace. Why would she want to cover beautiful marble with paint? The scripture referred to actually says (KJV for the UPC's sake) "that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace". It is part of a Psalm (144,12) by David who asks in the previous verse that they might be "rid of strange children" so that their daughters may be…etc.

Rieder also tells her daughter that she is perfect in every way and this is God's doing. I wonder if she would be making such statements if her child had a harelip, for example, and if she would then allow for corrective surgery or if the child would have to live with this so-called perfection.

At the end of each book, Rieder includes a "Kingdom Kids Quiz" to complete the indoctrination. All in all the book is designed to make children completely despise and mock anyone who "paints" themselves, which is of course a true reflection of Christ's character, wouldn't you say?!

Angels Watching Over Me

In this book Mom Rieder explains the wonderful and enlightening "truths" of long hair to her youngest daughter. After prayer that her daughter will put on the armor of God and be protected she then goes on to explain that her uncut hair "creates a covering of safety for us and our families" (p14). She has power on her head because of the angels; this means there are big strong angels watching over her all the time (p15).

Well, it's bad luck for the little boys then, seeing as they don't have this power on their head; I guess there's no one watching over them. Rieder goes on to explain that because of these angels "nothing can come close to harm you at any time when you are in the will of God" (p17), implying that if harm does come to you in the form of illness, accident, whatever you just are not in the Will of God! Those apostles and first martyred Christians must have really been off track.

Rieder goes on to say that her light is continually shining for Jesus when her school friends see her uncut hair. Well I guess they just fall to the floor in repentance when they see those split ends. Who could resist?

Then comes the issue of men's hair, has to be short as Corinthians says. Rieder's daughter admits she always has to laugh at men with long hair and thinks they are silly (not the hair, but the men themselves!). Mom explains that "God makes her feel that way". Once again we see Christ's love shining through. That a small child can mock adults in this way is such a great testimony for God and His Word wouldn't you agree?

God's Jewels

In this book, Rieder's oldest daughter receives a pearl necklace from their "unsaved" grandmother. Although Granny knows they don't wear jewelry, Mom explains that she doesn't understand as she is not baptized in Jesus' name and has not received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Angel wants to know why she can't wear the necklace so they look at some scriptures, Ezekiel 28:13. Well, of course Lucifer became proud because he was covered in these jewels and Angel realizes if she were to wear the necklace she too would be come proud. The fact that they are already so proud of their hair and unpainted faces doesn't seem to come into it.

Jewels draw attention to us and not God and that's why God "commands" us not to wear them in 1. Tim 2.9 and 1. Pet 3.3.

Anyone spot the command cos I can't?

Kingdom Clothing

It's the end of the summer holidays and Rieder and her kids have to go and buy new school clothes. They try out a new store, which to their dismay does not seem to stock skirts. Mom explains most girls don't know they are supposed to wear dresses and explains that they should choose skirts long enough to cover their bodies. She goes on to equate this to God making the first clothes for Adam and Eve although where the Bible says that Adam wore skin pants and Eve a skin skirt to her feet, she neglects to say.

Over lunch Mom teaches more on these wonderful truths and how because of the now infamous Deut. 22:5, God feels very sick, almost like throwing up (p19) if girls don't wear skirts. What a terrible thing to tell a child!

Rieder goes on to point out the restroom signs and how they are used all over the world. This is the "proof" the kids want for their school friends. Upon returning home they tell their male cat that he can't dress like a girl because he's a boy! The cat meows in agreement (p23) despite the fact that there is no difference to be seen between a male and female cat, guess God must be throwing up already.

When Dad (a very withdrawn figure in all these books and most certainly not the head of the household if you ask me) comes home, the girls show him their new frump skirts and explain they wear dresses cos they don't want to make Jesus sick. Poor little Jesus, that a simple decision on our part can make him physically ill, guess he's not so divine after all.

Warning: keep your kids away from these books unless you wish them to become judgmental and proud.

For further information and additional reviews of her books, go here.


August 23, 1997
Page Added November 30, 2002
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