Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Books We Wish Were In Print: Stories Jesus Told

Here at CCBR, from time to time we like to feature books a little beyond our normal focus. With that in mind, we're featuring out of print books we think deserve to still be in print. Perhaps, if parents and kids are fortunate, some publishers will take note of our postings. But even if they don't, we hope this feature will give you the opportunity to explore some terrific books that can still be purchased used.

And so, without further ado, let's get the ball rolling!

Sadly, there aren't many good children's books featuring the parables of Jesus. But Stories Jesus Told by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen not only covers this topic, it does it exceptionally well.

Very young and older children alike will relish the story of the lost sheep, the precious pearl, the two sons, the house on the rock, the ten silver coins, the camel going through the eye of the needle, the good Samaritan, and the rich farmer. Each story is told in simple yet engaging language, making use of humor where appropriate. While each story is closely based on the biblical parables (and, in fact, each story not only includes a Bible verse reference, but also a complete biblical quote of the parable), the authors are not afraid to flesh out the stories to make them more interesting to children.

For example, in the story of the ten silver coins, the woman enjoys counting her money occasionally. But one day, her cat jumps off her lap while she does so, scattering the coins. We see her search high and low for a missing coin, creating quite a ruckus, only to discover it's been hiding under the sleeping cat.

The illustrations in Stories Jesus Told are also unique. They are realistic, and show people in Bible-era attire, but aren't afraid to mix things up for extra interest. The woman who finds her missing coin, for example, calls her friends on the telephone, and the man who sells all his possessions in order to buy a precious pearl ends up selling his refrigerators. This may sound odd, but it works beautifully.

What I Like: Absolutely everything! This is an outstanding children's picture book. My daughter has loved it since she was two years old, and it's one of the few Christian books she requests over and over again.

What I Dislike: Nothing, really. But it's good to note there are some British-isms in the book. Mostly, this is in the spelling of a few words, but in the story of the good Samaritan, we do meet a very British-looking judge (white wig and all) and bishop. It doesn't bother me or confuse my daughter at all, however.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: There is no recommendation from the publisher, but I'd say 2 - 8.

Publishing Info: Gold'n'Honey Books, 1994; ISBN: 0-88070-633-3; hardback

Buy NOW as a hardback from for $10.90 and up

OR order a different edition for $5.93 and up.

1 comment:

Leaving Babel said...

I could not agree more with the post. Please bring this book back!! The illustrations and short text make this an outstanding book for missions trips involving children. Easy to translate and children love the pictures. The messages are outstanding and, quite frankly, it will cause the adults to think a bit as well. If it were more readily available I would give one to the parents of young children I know.