Monday, July 21, 2014

Bob Hartman's More Bible Tales: The Unauthorized Version

Bob Hartman's More Bible Tales: The Unauthorized Version, written and illustrated by Bob Hartman is the third book in the author’s series of Bible tales. This one is a collection of Bible stories told from unusual perspectives. For instance, the story of Noah’s ark is told from the perspective of Noah’s dog, and the story of Judas is told by his nephew.

The word “unauthorized” in the title refers to the opposite of the word “authorized” or “official”. These are stories that are told from the point of view of someone (or something) that is not mentioned in the Bible.

As can be expected from such a collection of stories, there is humor involved. As the author says in the Introduction to the book, “I tried to tell the stories in a way that would be true to the original, but also in a way that would bring out the humour in them.”

The pencil sketched illustrations are cartoonish in nature, but they are very expressive and work well with the text.

What I Like: I like reading stories like this, being able to hear a well-known story from a different character’s point of view. It provides a whole new perspective to the story

What I Dislike: Having said that, some readers might see these stories as being irreverent. I don’t believe that is the author’s intention, but you might feel otherwise.

I had read one of Hartman’s earlier books in the series, Bob Hartman’s Old Testament Tales, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked most of the stories in this edition, too, but not all of them. The one about Noah was told from the point of view of Noah’s dog. That’s not a problem. But, according to the dog, the ark hadn’t even been built yet (the story took place before the building began), but at the end of the story, the dog gets on the boat. How could he do that if the boat hadn’t been built yet? Little inconsistencies like that in a story bother me.

Overall Rating: Very good.

Age Appeal: Ages 8 and up.

Publisher Info: Lion Children’s Books, 2013; ISBN: 9780745964355; Paperback, 95 pages, $8.99.

Special Info: The book was published in England so the text reflects the British way of spelling and speaking. For instance, “humor” is spelled “humour” and “Mom” is known as “Mum.”

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