Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tell Me the Story

Tell Me the Story, written by well-known Christian author Max Lucado, is a collection of short stories that illustrate the truths of the Bible. There are six stories in all, each preceded by a Bible verse. The first story, titled “In the Beginning,” takes its quote from Genesis 1:1 (NIV). Other stories use quotes from various parts of the Bible.

According to the blurb on the book jacket, the stories are “tiny slices of the larger story of God and His people.” The first story is about the Creation as told by the angel Michael. It offers a unique perspective on how and why the universe was created. “Morning” is about the Crucifixion, and “Warfare” is a story that illustrates how the angels protect us in our everyday lives.

The illustrations, done by award-winning artist Ron DiCianni, are few but they are masterpieces of exquisite detail, full of color and light.

What I Like: I like the variety of the stories in the book. I also like the nuggets of wisdom imbedded in each story and the beautiful illustrations in the book.

What I Dislike: This book is not promoted as a collection of previously published stories, so readers might feel short-changed when they realize they’ve read a story before - or at least a version of it.

There are at least three previously published stories in this edition. One of them, titled “Too Late,” is basically a rewrite of the author’s Coming Home. The version in this collection is somewhat different from the original, though, as the author changed the ending. However, he didn’t change the characters’ names, the location, or the basic premise of the original story.

This book's “The Fall” was previously published as Because I Love You. “Into His Presence” was previously published as Just the Way You Are. However, I don’t know if either of these has been rewritten, since I have not personally read the original versions.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: 9-12 is the suggested reading level for this book. But in the introduction, Max Lucado says, “These stories and paintings are for children from six to sixty who desire to see God.” I don’t think children as young as 6 would find much of interest in this book. I’d say you’d have to be at least 9 or 10 to even begin understand most of it. This book is geared more for the older set, teenagers through adults.

Publisher Info: Books, 2005; ISBN: 1581345232; Hardcover, $16.99.

Special Info: Visit the author’s website. Visit the illustrator’s website. Read our reviews of other books written by Max Lucado. Read our reviews of other books illustrated by Ron DiCianni.

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