Monday, September 10, 2007

The House in the Middle of Town

Just released in July, The House in the Middle of Town, was written by a favorite children's author, Crystal Bowman. The book is built on the foundation of Mark 13:31 where Jesus teaches that we should love our neighbors as ourselves.

Spun from a classic nursery rhyme, the story is told in two-two-one rhyming stanzas. In a house in the middle of town lives a grandma who cannot care for her home. She's old and tired. One day several members of the community come to help. Kids and parents alike work together to fix, clean, paint and rake. The mend the fences and mow the lawn. They even plant flowers and enjoy some lemonade. At end of the story they all take pride in the work they've done.

"These are the neighbors who worked very hard
To fix up the house and clean up the yard.
Tired and dirty, we're glad that we came
To help out a grandma in Jesus' name,
At the house in the middle of town."

The house in the middle of town becomes a welcoming place where the neighbors come together, out of service and love.

The illustrations by Joy Allen are sketchy, but saturated with color. The characters are friendly and represent several ethnicities.

What I Like: The lesson! This is a wonderful book teaching children the importance of serving others and working together in the community. I also like the author's note at the front of the book. There she emphasizes the point of the book and encourages parents to include their children in activities that can "put joy in a heart and smile on a face, and make someone glad to know Jesus' grace."

What I Dislike: There is nothing that I dislike, however, I wish the illustrations were a little more "finished" or contained more detail.

Overall Rating: Very Good

Age Appeal: 3-7

Publisher Info: Standard Publishing Company, 2007; ISBN: 0784720983; Hardback; $15.99

Buy it Now from Amazon for $10.87!

Additional Info: This book is wonderful for early readers because of the rhyming text, but select words are written in a curly-cue font that may be difficult for young children to decifer.

See our reviews of other books written by Crystal Bowman.

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