In Max Lucado’s story, three people, a ship’s captain and two young boys, Argo and Arion, are shipwrecked on a gray and desolate island. Several years after the shipwreck, the captain sails away from the island, leaving the boys behind. Before he leaves, he tells them, “I am going away for just a short time. I’m going to Bluestone to prepare your place. But I will come back and take you to be there with me.” He also tells them to remember what he has taught them and to be ready for his return. He gives them brief instructions, one of them being to stay out of the island’s forest. The captain is gone for some time, and of course, one of the boys, Argo, wanders into the forest while the captain is gone. When the captain returns, Argo is hesitant to greet the captain, as he knows he disobeyed the captain’s commands. But, the captain welcomes both boys onto the boat so they can set sail for their new home in Bluestone.
What I Like: Although it is a bit gloomy, the artwork is beautiful in its detail.
What I Dislike: I generally enjoy Max Lucado’s books. This story parallels the story of our lives on earth while we wait for Jesus to return and take us home to Heaven. The writing, itself, is flawless, and the artwork extraordinary, but I think the story falls short of his usual style and clarity. I like the idea of a story that is an allegory for the promise of Jesus’ return, but the setup for this story was a bit vague. There is very little background given at the beginning of the story as to how the three were shipwrecked or how long they’ve been on the island. When reading the story, I kept wondering why the captain was able to leave the island by himself and was not able to take the boys with him. That was never explained and it seemed odd that the boys would be left there by themselves.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: The publisher suggests 4-8 as the age group for this book, but I think it would be more like 6-12.
Publisher Info: Crossway Books, 2007; ISBN: 1581347561; Hardcover, $15.99.
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Special Info: Read our reviews of other books by Max Lucado. Visit the authors’ website. Read our reviews of other books illustrated by Justin Gerard. Visit the illustrator’s website.