When the clay passes a mirror, he now sees himself as a beautiful teacup. He can hardly believe his eyes. "I guess all of that trouble was worth it after all. Look how much I've changed."
The King is thrilled with the gift. He lovingly whispers to the little teacup: "I am truly sorry you had to suffer so much, my friend. You see, it was the only way to change you. Oh my beautiful one-of-a-kind ... you were never intended to be just an ordinary piece of clay."
The author includes a "Discussion Page" at the back of the book to explain the symbolism in the story: the clay represents us; the old man represents life; the King represents God. The author also gives the Gospel message and Scripture on a "Final Thoughts" page.
The illustrations by Denise Armstrong are a mix of old world style and modern whimsy. They're delightful.
What I Like: The story is great. Too often we think, if God loves us, life should be good and easy and comfortable. This book offers a nice reminder of why we encounter troubles. My kids clearly identified with the clay. They were so worried for him when they saw the fire coming! The author does a great job personifying this character. The dialog is cute, definitely drawing kids into the story.
What I Dislike: The metaphor gets confused in a couple spots and the focus isn't terribly clear at the beginning of the book. Also, I think $20 is too much to pay for a children's book.
Overall Rating: Upper side of Good.
Age Appeal: Amazon says 9-12, but I would say 4-8
Publisher Info: WinePress Publishers, 2007; ISBN: 1579218768; Hardback; $19.99