Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Treasure Beyond Measure

A Treasure Beyond Measure is a modern retelling of one of Jesus' parables about Heaven. Author Melody Carlson uses upbeat rhyming verse to describe a man named Fred who finds a treasure map in an old carved box. He studies the map to decipher where this island must be, then quits his job and sells his house. He buys a big boat for his journey and packs it with more than enough food and stuff. Fred goes off to find his treasure.
Unfortunately, he encounters a big storm at sea. Fred, his dog and his treasure map wash up on an island, but it's the wrong island. He works and works (for the tourist industry) until he has enough money to buy a boat. It's not as big or as grand as the last, but it's good enough to get him to the right island. He is so excited when he finally gets there! But then someone announces that this is his land. Fred trades the man all that he has for a small spot on the beach. He digs all through the night until, finally, he finds his treasure.
Matthew 13:44 is quoted in the New King James Version on the last page of this book.
Illustrator Steve Bjorkman brings his signature style to these pictures. They are colorful, whimsical and full of fun little details.
What I Like: It's a great story! There aren't enough books about Jesus' parables, in my humble opinion. This one does a beautiful job relaying a story today's kids can relate to. I also greatly appreciate the Scripture being given with reference.
What I Dislike: The text doesn't say anything about Heaven. That's the point of Jesus' parable, yet it's not mentioned in this book until the quoted Scripture at the back. That's the only "big" dislike, but there are two "little" dislikes. The rhyme is forced in some spots interrupting the flow. Also, I usually really like Steve Bjorkman's illustrations, but some of these are too sketchy for me. They appear unfinished.
Overall Rating: Good
Age Appeal: 3-5
Publisher Info: Crossway Books, 2001; ISBN: 1581343434; Hardback; $9.99
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Special Info: See our reviews of other books by this author and other books with this illustrator.

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