Tuesday, September 9, 2008

All You Ever Need

All You Ever Need, written by Max Lucado and illustrated by Douglas Klauba, tells the story of Tobias, the owner of a deep well that provided clear, cool water to the people of the land. Water elsewhere was scarce, but Tobias, whom the villagers called the “Watermaster,” gave his water freely to anyone who asked for it. The watermaster had to leave his home for a short time; he put his servant in charge of the well. He told the villagers they could still get all the water they needed while he was gone.

But, the servant noticed most people did not thank him for the water, so he refused to give water to anyone who wasn’t grateful for it. Then, he refused to give water to anyone who was mean to his neighbors. He kept making up reasons for not giving the water freely to the villagers. This made the villagers angry. One day, a man in disguise showed up at the well, asking for water. The servant wanted the man to prove he was worthy of a gift of free water before he would give him any. The man, who was the master’s son, showed his face and said, “My Father sent me to share the water with all the people.”

Even though the word God is not used anywhere in the story, it’s clear the story is an allegory about God’s grace; It is given freely to anyone who asks, even if we don’t thank him for it.

The illustrations in the book are beautiful, rich, and life-like. They each cover one page of a two-page spread, with the illustration on one side and the text on the other.

What I Like: Everything.

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: Even though the publisher lists 9-12 as the recommended ages, I would have to say the story should appeal to everyone. Little ones would need to have the story read to them, of course, but the illustrations, and small amount of text on each page, should keep their interest and attention.

Publisher Info: Crossway Books, 2000; ISBN: 1581341342; Hardcover, $15.99.

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