Kidderminster Kingdom Tales

I bought all 5 Kingdom Tales in one volume, so I will review them as one book, though they are also available as separate hardcover books. The Tales are: Sir Humphery's Honeystand, Mrs. Beaver & the Wolf at the Door, Nicolas & His Neighbors, Cornelius T. Mouse and Sons, and King Leonard's Celebration. Sir Humphery's story tells of the ungrateful servant. Mrs. Beaver is the persistent widow begging for help from an unjust judge. Nicolas the dog learns the meaning of neighbor love at the paws of his Good Samaritan, a cat. Cornelius T. Mouse lives out fatherly love on both of his sons, and King Leonard throws a party which only the sick and poor decide to attend. Sound familiar? Each tale is a retelling of one of Jesus' fairy tales, otherwise known as "parables." Christopher Lane's versions have (very human) animals as their subjects, and all take place in the Kingdom of Kidderminster.

I LOVE these stories. My father read them to my sisters and I many a Sunday afternoon, and they still come to mind (with all their splendid illustrations) when I read or hear preached a parable which they re-told. Each tale ends with a parent's guide to help you explain the Biblical story to your child and discuss its Eternal significance. This could be used in a home school or Sunday school study on the parables. I used them yearly in my preschool classes. I hunted my copy down and paid only a few dollars for it-- I would have been willing to pay far more!

Themes? The parables of Jesus' themes: the Father's love for sinners, the nature of forgiveness, the call of the Gospel & Heaven, the need for persistance in prayer, the meaning of "loving our neighbor as ourself."

Bottom line? The stories which Jesus told can be understood by children (and their sleep-deprived parents) and should be counted precious by them.

Talking points:
-- How was this story like the Bible story we read?

Appropriate audience: clearly meant as a read-aloud. Reading- Grade 2 & up. Listening- age 3 & up.

Stars: 5. Eternal value is so clear! The theology is Biblical and solid, and the study notes are immensely helpful to intentional parents. The characters manage to come to life, even in a short presentation (the illustrations help!). The stories are creatively re-told without diluting their essence at all.