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Children: Christian stories,Age 4-11

Christian Teaching and Fiction for reading aloud or reading by themselves. For Christmas, Easter and other Bible stories look in Children: Seasonal or Children: Bible Stories. For the older children, look in Young Peoples Books too.

The Mystery Of Pheasant Cottage



by Patricia St John


New reprints of children’s classics written by Patricia St John. Cover images designed to appeal to modern children and make a great set.

Lucy lives with her Grandparents in Pheasant Cottage and when other children ask where her Mother and Father are, she doesn’t know, she hasn’t asked, she has been happy and content with her life as it is. As she gets older she asks her Grandmother, but gets no satisfactory answer. When she meets a young lad Don, he encourages her to find out more, and as the story unfolds she uncovers the mystery around her.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (11/01/16)
Jacket
Publisher: Scripture Union (SU)
Published: 15 September 2015
ISBN: 978-1-785-06290-2
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Creatures Great And Small



by Jann Godfrey


This is a slightly novel take on a children's collection of best known bible stories. Rather than taking the common approach of simply going through a selection of the most popular, well known stories this book focuses on those with animals in them, hence the title of the book, ‘creatures great and small'.

The animal theme provides a fresh emphasis on familiar stories—the cock crowing when Peter denies knowing Jesus is described in far more detail than the crucifixion, for example. It also means that some stories are included that are not often found in other books of this type (the plagues in Egypt and the ravens bringing food to Elijah). The animal theme does limit the length of the book slightly however—there are only twelve short stories in the book. The stories are well told and nicely illustrated and this book would certainly be a good addition to a child's bookshelf—not perhaps as the only book of this type, but a good alternative option when choosing which book to read.



Review by Tim Hupfield  (25/07/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: September 2013
ISBN: 978-1-841-01715-0
Hardback
Price: £6.99

Polly's Little Kite



by Brian Maunder


A brilliant and cleverly woven allegorical type picture book. It is a tale about a little girl, her dad and the little kite they make. At the centre of the story (and in the centre of the kite!) is the cross, which is at it's heart. Instructions for making a little cross kite of your own are included in the back.
What's so good about this book is that it does really manage to convey in an easily graspable way how important the cross is to our lives. It emphasises how if we have the cross running through our lives we can survive many things, and how with the cross at the centre of our lives we can be resurrected and made new. What's more it does all of that without actually preaching, in fact it doesn't actually mention Jesus at all, just the cross running through the Kite-a brilliant allegorical tale that can even be used in any classroom or children's setting without fear.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (07/06/14)
Jacket
Publisher: New City
Published: January 2014
ISBN: 978-1-565-48528-0
Paperback
Price: £7.95

Mary Jones

- The Quest For A Bible

by Colin D Jones


The story of Mary Jones is retold here in a format that will appeal to younger readers. Each double page contains a full colour illustration in a contemporary style next to a brief re-telling of Mary Jones’ long quest for a Bible of her own, in her native Welsh.

The story is faithfully told, the only error being a howling spelling mistake on page 47. Overall this book would be a good way to introduce the story, which highlights the importance that reading and understanding the Bible should have for every young Christian.



Review by Alan Hill  (06/01/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: July 2013
ISBN: 978-1-846-25397-3
Paperback
Price: £6.00

VeggieTales: Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas



Written by Cory Edwards and Mike Nawrocki


As good as ever! These VeggieTales get to the heart of Bible stories and the Christian message. This time the Veggie crew show that all the trappings in stores, trying to encourage us to spend more and more, is not what the true message of Christmas is all about.

The theme of this story is 'Giving the love God gave to you' and 'Helping the Community all year long'. It takes a little girl to make Merry Larry, the Christmas elf in Spring Valley Mall, realise that there is more to Christmas than buying expensive presents surrounded by pretty lights and glitzy decorations.

This little girl is trying to help her elderly neighbour have a new house instead of the tumbledown one she has at the moment. Merry Larry mistakenly believes he has been given permission to strip his uncle's shopping mall of all its Christmas lights and light up the old lady's house to make people notice its dilapidated state. It works a treat and the neighbours rally round to help repair it. Back at the Mall, the Christmas crib is found in the storeroom and returned to pride of place as in former years.

With the usual lively animation and jiggy songs, familiar and new, this will entertain and teach little ones as well as older addicts of the series. Complete with the usual bonus features including an extra song, this is delightful and highly recommended.



Review by Mary Bartholomew  (15/11/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: October 2013
ISBN: 506-0-256-82109-0
DVD
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

Pirates and Prisoners

- The Syding Adventures Book 2

by Mary Weeks Millard


Theo and Tyler are best friends who love having adventures, and in this book they are certainly not disappointed. Together they discover a sunken pirate ship, find an escaped prisoner in a secret cave and also face the move from primary to secondary school. Both boys are Christians, and their faith helps them to face their difficulties by praying and remembering God's word, even when their lives are in danger. In every instance their prayers are answered in the way that they had hoped, which could lead the reader to believe that this is always the case, but their example is always a good one to instil and reinforce.

This is an exciting story which would appeal to 8-12 year old boys and is part of a series of adventures featuring the "Two Ts".



Review by Paula Hill  (31/07/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: June 2013
ISBN: 978-1-846-25365-2
Paperback
Price: £6.00

A New Home For Lily



by Mary Ann Kinsinger & Suzanne Woods Fisher


The is the second book in a series about a little Amish girl growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania. An English child reading it would discover it is set in a world that is very different to their own, to the extent that they would either decide it was incomprehensible or would be full of questions about the lifestyle they had read about.

For this reason, I would suggest that the book could be used as a resource in a non-American setting by a homeschooler who wanted children to learn about a completely different lifestyle that some people still follow in 21st century America. The book is aimed at 8-12 year-olds, and is likely to appeal to girls. There is only one place in which God is talked about, although the Amish are God-fearing people. The authors have a lot of personal experience of this way of life so the book is full of events and customs which I am sure are accurate.



Review by Paula Hill  (11/06/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-800-72133-6
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Caravans and Castles (The Syding Adventures 1)



by Mary Weeks Millard


This children's book is set in a small West Country village. It is about the adventures of two ten year old boys who are having a difficult time at school: one for being from a wealthy background and the other from a Gypsy background. The two strike up a friendship and the excitement begins. Along the way the two discover the Bible and the Christian faith.

The Christian thread that runs through the book is well written although the way that the parents of the Gypsy boy are saved is rather bizarre. It would have been better if the local church had played a bigger role.

However the story is interesting, the morals sound and the lessons clear. It would make a good Sunday School prize and would be especially relevant for boys who have no Christian background.

Review by Alan Hill  (03/05/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-846-25364-5
Paperback
Price: £6.00

Escape from Danger



by Gill Jacobs


Naomi is a young girl living in Damascus during the Roman occupation. She runs away from her violent stepfather and her home and eventually finds herself living in Jerusalem with a family who are employed by a leading Pharisee called Saul. She becomes a witness to many of the events that we read about in the gospels and in the book of Acts, but they are given a new slant as they are seen through the eyes of an outsider.

Naomi's personal story takes her from unbelief to repentance and faith in this story aimed at older girls. Those who are familiar with their Bibles will enjoy recognising familiar characters, and those who are not will find out about the events surrounding the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the birth of the early church. A good Sunday School prize.

Review by Alan Hill  (03/05/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-846-25371-3
Paperback
Price: £6.00

VeggieTales: Little House That Stood (Also Good Egg of Gooseville)



Written by Cory Edwards and Eric Newman


Little House That Stood is a delightful mixture of parable and fairy story, with the message that faith among other things needs to be built on strong foundations. Three little pigs arrive in Cabbageville and order new houses from three different builders. Two of these builders have very odd ideas about building with inevitable results. This story is followed by the usual silly song, this time Happy Tooth Day utterly ridiculous but little ones will love it.

Good Egg of Gooseville the short film to finish is an imaginative tale based on the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty, but nothing like you have ever heard it before and with its own strong message of helping others.

I love these DVDs as can be seen from previous reviews. This is as good as all the others. Highly recommended.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (20/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: 2013
ISBN: 506-0-256-82092-5
DVD
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

The League of Incredible Vegetables

- A Lesson in Handling Fear

Created by Phil Vischer & Mike Nawrocki


Oh! I do love VeggieTales and so do my grandchildren, though most think they are too old for them now. When I received this DVD by accident (I am now retired - again) I was delighted with the opportunity to review it.

At the first 'oompah' of the introduction I was smiling and little ones would soon be singing along with the familiar opening song.

Junior Asparagus is afraid of all sorts of things, but when it comes to an emergency he overcomes his fears to thwart the plans of the evil Dr Flurry, he acts quickly and prevents a nasty accident. As a reward he is recruited as a Junior member of the League of Incredible Vegetables, a formidable force with many incredible suits and vehicles to help them in their quest for the vital piece of equipment Dr Flurry has had his penguins steal from Bumblyburg museum. It is not till after Larry's Silly Song halfway through that we find how the league gets on. Not too well to start with, but when Junior puts his trust in God and loses all his fears, he saves the day and becomes a full member of the League. Hooray!

As good as ever - well worth purchasing!

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (15/01/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: January 2013
ISBN: 506-0-256-82088-8
DVD
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

52 Spurgeon Stories for Children (Book 2)



by Tony Hutter


This is a second volume of stories about the life of C H Spurgeon written for children. These anecdotes are taken from his years as a pastor. Each story is two pages long and ends with a brief application and a relevant Bible verse.

We read of lessons from cats, dogs, boats and rings. We read of stories about unusual answers to prayers and exciting conversions. Spurgeon's wit and wisdom shines through.

Like the first volume, this book is best suited for a child who comes from a Christian home and has heard of Charles Spurgeon. It could therefore make a good Sunday School prize.

Preachers who give a children's talk before the sermon will find here an excellent collection of engaging and spiritually uplifting stories to use.

Review by Alan Hill  (10/01/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: November 2012
ISBN: 978-1-846-25357-7
Paperback
Price: £6.00

Riches in Romania



by Rebecca Parkinson


As a Sunday School teacher I am always on the lookout for good Christian books for children, and if this excursion into the market by Day One is representative then they have succeeded where others have failed.

The themes of sin, repentance and forgiveness are explored in a story that will appeal particularly to girls in the 8-12 age group (that's my assessment – I think it's better not to print such suggestions on the cover in case the book is to be given to a child whose abilities do not match their age).

The book also compares the affluence of Western Europe with conditions in rural Romania, thereby teaching some important lessons about materialism in a way that children can relate to. It would provide a good springboard for discussion about the issues involved.

On top of this, the story is well-written, which is not always the case with Christian children's books. As a result I read it with pleasure, which is always a plus if you are looking for a good bedtime story.

Review by Paula Hill  (30/11/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: 2012
ISBN: 978-1-846-25360-7
Paperback
Price: £6.00

How a Spider Saved a Man’s Life: and 51 Other Great Stories

- 52 Spurgeon Stories for Children

by Tony Hutter


This is a fascinating little book of anecdotes from the early life of C H Spurgeon. These stories are set in a bygone age and in homes where Christ was at the centre of everything. Each story is only two pages long and they have been written at a level suitable for 8 to 12 year olds.
We read about how a spider saved a man’s life, catching a fly and (my favourite) how a full size apple got into a narrow neck bottle. Each ends with a brief application and a relevant Bible verse.
It is a sad fact that the average child today is unlikely to find this book very interesting. However, a child who comes from a Christian home and has heard of Charles Spurgeon may well enjoy reading this book. It could therefore make a good Sunday School prize.
I suspect that the book will be of most use to preachers who wish to give a short children’s talk before the sermon. They will find here a small treasure trove of engaging and spiritually uplifting stories to use.

Review by Alan Hill  (16/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-846-25288-4
Paperback
Price: £5.00

Books Ablaze

- And Other Historical Stories You've Got to Hear

by Irene Howat


This is a book like no other when it comes to talking through history of Christianity with your children. Where most other books for children will focus on bible stories, or alternatively, tales relating to current issues, Books Ablaze, focuses on some of the less well told stories of the history of the Christian church. It does not hold back on some of the more gruesome details, but in a way that excites children’s minds rather than overwhelms them. My daughter has come back to me a week later after reading a story and talked through with me what she would do if the rulers told us we couldn’t be Christians or we would be killed. The book allows children to consider some of the costs and challenges of having a faith and learn about some heroes and villains of history, that they may not have heard about otherwise. A great read, but maybe not just before tucking them in to bed.

Review by Barry Mason  (03/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: CF4Kids imprint of Christian Focus
Published: 2012
ISBN: 978-1-845-50781-7
Paperback

Dixons and the Wolf

- Topz Secret Stories

by Alexa Tewkesbury


Another great book from the Topz stories range; though this time they are secret stories from the rival gang, The Dixons. I think one of the things I love most about this series is that in many ways they don't pull their punches – oh don't get me wrong – that’s not to say they are too gritty or inappropriate for the age range of 7-11 but rather that they are totally appropriate for that age range. They deal with issues and concerns in a meaningful and heartfelt way, they are books most kids are going to be able to empathise with.
This one addresses the issue of a split family home, of feeling abandoned and all the emotions that brings up. It deals with projection of those feelings on others and it deals with the need to love and be loved, and it also deals with taking care of animals.
The interactions between the rival groups, the inclusion of how prayer and talking to God can and should be natural and everyday, just flow so well throughout this book. The story of Rick, Sarah, and the dogs Gruff and Jack/Wolf works so very well and is a great book to help develop an understanding of why perhaps some people act the way they do.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (20/06/12)
Jacket
Publisher: CWR (Crusade for World Revival)
Published: 05 May 2012
ISBN: 978-1-853-45691-6
Paperback
Price: £6.50

The Big Book of Faith Questions



by Gill Hollis illustrated by Marcin Piwowarski


Clear answers to children's questions.
Beautiful illustrations enhance simple but profound answers to over 100 questions kids ask about the Christian faith.
Even difficult issues, such as sin, suffering and the purpose of life, are covered simply but scripturally.

Review by publisher  
Jacket
Publisher: CWR (Crusade for World Revival)
Published: April 2009
ISBN: 978-1-853-45507-0
Hardback
Price: £7.99

VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men

- A Lesson in Handling Hurt

Created by Phil Vischer & Mike Nawrocki


The DVD has no UK ISBN, the ten digit reference is needed for our website database. The order code for the UK is 820759 Editor
What a fun way to end a Friday afternoon – relax with a Veggie Tale DVD! That’s what I did, and very enjoyable it was too. Even if they are intended for young children, adults are allowed to watch them too!
The DVD starts with a bonus short film entitled Lenny & the Lost Birthday. Lenny has his dates wrong and thinks everyone has forgotten his special day, but of course 2012 is a leap year!
Robin Good and his band of friends live in the ‘faraway town of Bethlingham,....their mission: to help by fundraising from the rich and giving to the poor’ but straight away you know it is not going to be a straightforward repeat of the familiar Robin Hood story. When Robin refuses to go along with his friends ideas to rob the rich instead of asking them nicely, the friends go off without him, but as you would expect their plans go awry too, and the Sheriff of Bethlingham and bad Prince John who wants to be king, get mixed up in the story along with a load of hams – watch and see. Great entertainment and a useful lesson to be learnt on the way.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (04/04/12)
Jacket
Publisher: VeggieTales distributed by Authentic Media
Published: 03 March 2012
ISBN: 9-990-00052-2
DVD
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

Joshua Talks to God



by Christiana Alberichi illustrated by Terry Kole


Price – £8.99 plus £2.50 P&P
I could imagine reading this to my grandchildren when they were younger and being asked to read it again and again.
From the start it is different to other children’s books by almost immediately entering into a ‘dream’ world in which Joshua hears God speaking, and the reason does not become apparent till the end.
Joshua is bored! It is raining and he longs to go outside but his mother can’t cope with how dirty he would get and sends him up to play in his bedroom. At the top of the stairs he feels odd and then ‘AHHHHHHH screeched Joshua’ and the strange happenings begin.
The illustrations show his confusion admirably as Joshua finds himself in a weird place where nothing is quite normal, foreign animals pass by and girls and boys come forward to meet him and make friends with him. He has heard God’s voice whispering comforting words to him but is till very uncertain about his situation, until......
But then you need to read that for yourself!

P&P in the UK £2.50

Visit the publisher's website:www.abelapublishing.com

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (17/03/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Abela Publishing
Published: 11 November 2011
ISBN: 978-1-907-25647-9
Paperback
Price: £8.99(plus P&P)

Runaway Train

- Mallenford Mysteries

by Kathy Lee


Luke has a problem that he can’t talk about with anybody for fear of sounding selfish, but it does get him down at times. His Dad has left home to live with a new partner leaving his Mum to cope with a very ill daughter and Luke. Amy has cancer and so needs a lot of his Mum’s attention and he does understand, but just sometimes he longs for his needs to come first, for his Mum to give him her full attention.
When the opportunity comes for Amy to have potentially life saving treatment in America, Luke goes to stay at the home of his new friend Dylan who is in the care of foster parents June and Vince, an older Christian couple who do all they can to make both boys feel at home.
Dylan seems obsessed with ghost hunting and spends time on the internet looking for ‘facts’ and locations to explore. Luke is not sure about this at all but gets drawn into several adventures culminating in a really serious one and the solution to the puzzle of the ghost train so many people have heard and been frightened by.
Kathy Lee cleverly brings into her stories many ethical issues which youngsters need to think about while creating a very enjoyable tale.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (24/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Scripture Union (SU)
Published: 16 February 2011
ISBN: 978-1-844-27505-2
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Never Give Up On Your Dreams

- Faith Finders

by Mary Weeks Millard


Mary Weeks Millard has been amazingly courageous to take on such topics as disability, failure, discussing faith with children, and family politics all within the same book: topics that most people find easier to just avoid. However, Millard not only addresses these topics, but wraps them all up together within the major discussion point of the year - Olympic & Paralympic sport. Because the story addresses such intense issues, it is advised that the book be read with parents of primary aged children, and used as an opportunity to discuss the story as it unfolds and where God fits into it. Children are keen to learn and understand the world around them. This story gives a platform for parents to explore the aspects of failure and how to respond well, how life can be unfair, but how we can respond to it, and most important of all how we are able to find God in the midst of it all. This story can help a parent prepare their child for disappointment with life, with themselves and even with God and see an example of how to grow stronger in response to these experiences.

Review by Barry Mason  (11/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-846-25271-6
Paperback
Price: £5.00

Veggietales: Happy Together!



Created by Phil Vischer & Mike Nawrocki


The ‘ISBN’ is purely for our data base, to order from TMD quote code 820669 Three short stories for the price of one, linked together by Larry the Cucumber and Bob Tomato with the usual talk and silly songs.
A Story of Friendship – Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler, with Bob Tomato as the unappreciated Dr Watson
A Story of Family – The Grapes of Wrath about forgiving and being forgiven
A Story of Faith – Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen, the Bible story as you have never seen it before!
I agree with what it says on the cover,’ Over 80 Minutes of Happiness’ which could easily be broken into ‘short bites’ for younger children.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (02/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: VeggieTales distributed by Authentic Media
Published: 2011
ISBN: 9-990-00050-6
DVD
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

The Barber Who Wanted to Pray



by R.C.Sproul, paintings by T. Lively Fluharty


This is a retelling of a story of something that happened 500 years ago. A story about a barber, Master Peter and his famous customer Dr Martin Luther.’
As R.C.Sproul tells it, Mr McFarland is leading his family devotions one evening when one of his daughters asks him how she should pray. This gives him the opportunity to tell this tale from long ago. How a barber asked Dr Martin Luther, to teach him to pray. Dr Luther responded by writing a letter that has become the book A Simple Way to PrayDr Luther then takes this back to the barber shop and goes through what he has written explaining it carefully to Master Peter. The story within a story helps Mr McFarland’s children and ours to understand more fully what is required of us, adults and children alike.
At the end of the book, The Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer and The Apostles Creed are clearly set out.
The words alone of this book would have been worth reading, but what makes it really lovely is the art work of T. Lively Fluharty. Using a well known portrait of Dr Luther as a guide he has painted him into scenes of the book as he surely appeared at the time. A gift book to be treasured by all the family.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (02/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Crossway Books from IVP
Published: 16 September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-433-52703-6
Hardback
Price: £10.99

Veggietales: Live! – Sing Yourself Silly



Created by Phil Vischer & Mike Nawrocki


Code for ordering from Trust Media Distribution is 820679. The ISBN shown is purely for TGBS data use.

I know little ones will enjoy this! They were there in the audience at this live show, dancing and jigging about in the aisles and down at the front of the theatre: Mums, Dads and children were all singing along to the songs, quite a sight. The excitement was caused by seeing their favourite Veggie characters up on the stage leading the songs, accompanied by dancers who many of the children were endeavouring to copy. Great fun, great entertainment, and as usual a message in there as well, this time about sharing.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (04/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: VeggieTales distributed by Authentic Media
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 9-990-00048-4
DVD
Price: £9.99 (incl VAT)

The Good News Must Go Out

- Stories of God at Work in the Central African Republic - Hidden Heroes

by Rebecca Davis


Back in Finland Margaret Nicholl Laird’s mother had wanted to be a missionary. She travelled to America intending to go to Bible college but instead she married and raised a family. As she and her family got older she prayed that one of her children would answer the call in her stead. When Margaret tentatively told her mother what she wanted to to do she expected resistance, instead her mother greeted the news with delight and enthusiasm. After training Margaret was sent out to the Central African Republic and this book is stories of her life out there.
She met and married another missionary and together they brought the word of God to a people who had previously lived as cannibals, and who lived in fear. Her nursing training meant that she was able to help many people, but it was the couples teaching about our Lord which won the love of the people who came to them. Some of these people taught their fellow villagers and so the word spread.
When Mr Laird died, his wife thought that would be an end to her work in Africa but God had other ideas, and back home in America Margaret Nicholl Laird spoke about the work they had been doing and told her listeners that God had laid on her heart the need for a hospital for her beloved people of Ippy.... and the money came rolling in.
This is a book about hardship, about strange people and places, but above all about wonderful faith. Well worth reading.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: CF4Kids imprint of Christian Focus
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-845-50628-5
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Living in Hope



by Mary Weeks Millard


Having read the prequel I Want To Be An Airline Pilot and thoroughly enjoyed it, I read this book as soon as the postman brought it – though I was supposed to be doing something else! Living In Hope is just as good and a clever title. The children we met in the first book now live in ‘Hope Village’, a special village built by a charity for children without parents, to continue to live independent lives but with an adult nearby to help if needed. Individual houses, with the children’s basic needs and a communal tap nearby. (There really are villages like this in Rwanda; there are so many children whose parents have died in the war) Shema no longer has a long walk to fetch water for his family, and now he is being sponsored to go to school, a next step to his longing to be a pilot.
Shema’s big sister Ishimwe is now twelve and has to act as mother to her two younger brothers. The family make friends with the children next door and the story unfolds with a bully boy, a football match, gorillas, a nasty man and a happy ending. Fast moving and really interesting as it tells of life in Rwanda as it is now.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (19/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Dernier Publishing
Published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0-956-90430-0
Paperback
Price: £5.99

True Gold

- An Olympic Adventure

by An Olympic Adventure


Originally published 1992 and it’s easy to see why this book has been republished this year, since it is set at the time of the Olympic Games in London. Alongside the story of a young Scottish medal contender Cliff Rennie has added a tale of international smugglers and death threats, adding even more excitement. When my son saw me reading this book he immediately recounted the plot of one of the author’s other books Offside in Ecuatina which he received about 20 years ago as a Sunday School prize. I think that’s a pretty good recommendation for any writer!

Review by Paula Hill  (16/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: CF4Kids imprint of Christian Focus
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-845-50655-1
Paperback
Price: £5.99

You Are Special



by Max Lucardo, Illustrations by Sergio Martinez


You don’t know what a Wemmick is? Then you must read this book, meet Punchinello and the other wooden people carved by Eli the woodworker and find out what they get up to. Max Lucado tells a charming story that children will enjoy, but that has a serious message for us all. The illustrations help to make this a very special book. An ideal present.
See also the sequel You Are Mine another story of Punchinello and the Wemmicks.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (28/11/04)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: November 2004
ISBN: 1-859-85542-3
Paperback
Price: £7.99

John Calvin: After Darkness Light

- Trail Blazers series

by Catherine Mackenzie


Not much is known about the early life of John Calvin, but Catherine Mackenzie has done her research well and has used it to tell the story of the great reformer’s childhood, conversion and subsequent life. She manages to weave in plenty of his own words and in this way also provides a simple introduction to the doctrines of grace, which were fundamental to Calvin’s beliefs and practice. The story also contains plenty of excitement and should engage young readers, so it would provide an excellent introduction to reformed doctrine, which is also summarised at the back of the book using the TULIP acronym. Finally, a series of questions helps the reader to reflect on incidents in Calvin’s life. A good book for a thoughtful reader, which could be given to an adult who wants to find out about what some refer to as “Calvinism”.

Review by Paula Hill  (16/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: CF4Kids imprint of Christian Focus
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-845-50084-9
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Ignatius of Antioch – The Man Who Faced Lions

- Heroes of the Faith series

by Sinclair B Ferguson illustrated by Alison Brown


This is the first book of the series and starts with a brief overview of Jesus’ life and teaching, introduces the reader to his disciples and particularly to John, who as an old man came to know and befriend both Ignatius and Polycarp, young men at the time. This book tells the story of Ignatius, who had become ‘Bishop’ or ‘Elder’ of the Christians in Antioch. When the new Roman Emperor, Trajan, decreed that all those found to be Christian should be punished, the Christians of Antioch feared for their lives. When the opportunity came for Ignatius to stand up to the visiting Emperor, Trajan was furious and shouted that he must be taken to Rome to be thrown to the lions for the entertainment of the people there.
Ignatius was pleased to die for his Lord and God, but the journey to Rome was long and arduous and amazingly he was able to meet with his friend Polycarp at Smyrna and other Christians too, and on his journey he wrote letters that Polycarp collected after his death, and their contents have been preserved to this day.
There is a timeline at the back of each book that helps to set the scene, for the men portrayed in this series are true Heroes of the Faith whom Christians of all ages should know about and they should honour their memory. These excellent books will help young people, to do just that.
Others in the series are Polycarp of Smyrna – The Man Whose Faith Lasted and his pupil Irenaeus of Lyons: The Man Who Wrote Books

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
Published: December 2010
ISBN: 978-1-848-71094-8
Hardback
Price: £8.00

The Mystery of the Deserted House



by Mary Weeks Millard


Joe and his younger brother Matt are in a gang called ‘The Whistlers’ with Matt’s friend Spike; they have worked out a series of whistles to send messages to each other.
They had always been aware of the house in their road that stood deserted in it’s overgrown garden, but it was not until they accidentally kicked a ball into it’s garden while on their way to the park, that they began to think seriously about it, and why it had been abandoned; they decided to explore and try to find out.
It was towards the end of the Easter holidays so they had time to carry out their plan, after all, no-one seemed to care about the place so no-one could object to them going inside for a look around could they? To their surprise, it looked as if the occupants had left expecting to return, as apart from the layers of dust everywhere, it appeared lived in. They were intrigued and determined to discover what had happened.
Spike’s parents took him to church and talked about God all the time. At the beginning of the summer term Spike decided to join the Christian Union at school, to find out more, but when approached by bullies as he left, he prayed urgently for help, and whistled the gang’s distress signal. It was Joe, now a prefect, who came to his rescue, and berated them. Joe thought about things more deeply than the others and decided he would go to church with Spikes family to see if he could find out more about this God they believed in. Come the summer holiday and with time to explore the deserted house again, the Whistlers found themselves in a situation they had never expected........
As you can tell, I enjoyed this and found it a good read.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Day One Publications
Published: June 2011
ISBN: 978-1-846-25272-3
Paperback
Price: £5.00

Zoo Girl



by Rebecca Elliott


For children 5+ this is the story of a sad little girl who has no family and feels, alone and friendless. At the Zoo she feels part of the family of animals and when the group she has come with, leave without her she has a grand time playing with the different animals and finally falls asleep cuddled up to a tiger, where she is found by the Keeper and his wife. They call for a lady to take her away, but she doesn’t want to leave the Zoo, and anyway the keepers want to keep her, so she stays in the zoo, and spends her days feeling wanted and playing happily with the animals.
The story is told with a minimum number of words, it is the illustrations that tell more. There is a dreamlike quality to the whole book, and as it says on the cover it is ‘a heart-warming tale of lost-and-found love and belonging. For an adopted or fostered child this could mean so much.
Rebecca Elliott’s books are special. I loved this one.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: 17 June 2011
ISBN: 978-0-745-96270-2
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Friends and Heroes

- Episode Three plus exciting extras

Created by Brian D. Brown & Eric J. Danenberg


The price includes UK post and packing, but check on line for special offers.
Portia being the niece of the Roman governor learns that a huge war ship called Leviathan is approaching Alexandria and is intended to be used to crush the rebels in Galilee. She tells Macky who tells his family. Rebecca and Leah’s father is one of the rebels fighting the Romans, what can Macky do to help.
He explains the need to stop the ship sailing, to his clever friend Sollie, who needs a couple of Bible stories about David, to convince him that although they are small there must be something they can do.
Sollie’s plan seems to work but: OH Dear! Things don’t go quite according to plan!
This first series of episodes has already been shown on TV where they entertained and taught many children. Now they are available to interest many more children. Highly recommended.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (22/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Friends and Heroes Productions Ltd
Published: 2007
ISBN: 505-1-347-11002-5
DVD
Price: £15.00

Friends and Heroes

- Episodes 1 and 2 plus exciting extras

Episode 1 story by Brian D. Brown & Eric J. Danenberg, Episode 2 by Eric J. Danenberg


The price includes UK post and packing, but check on line for special offers.
Episode 1 is the first of a mammoth production of 39 episodes in three series, telling the story of Macky and his friend Portia. This first episode sets the scene of what living as Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, a port under tight Roman control is like in the ancient world of the First Century. Macky, lives with his father and mother, and when he finds two little girls, refugees from Judea, he helps them escape from the Romans who are chasing them. Their father is an old friend of Macky’s father, Samuel the silversmith, and together he and his father persuade Macky’s mother to take Rebecca and Leah into her care. This puts the lives of the family at risk, as the Romans continue to search for the girls.....
Episode 2 introduces Portia to the story. A high born Roman girl with a mind of her own, who is saved from injury when Macky stops her runaway horse and slowly an unusual friendship develops as both children learn about the other’s situation.
These animated stories are absorbing to watch as Macky and his family and friends get into all sorts of scrapes and have exciting adventures, but each give an opportunity for them to be reminded of a story from the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New. Cleverly the animation of these stories is different to that of Macky and his family and friends and so make the point that these are not historical fiction, but biblical truth.
There is so much more to Friends and Heroes than three series of DVDs! (Series one: Alexandria, Egypt – 69AD, Series two: Jerusalem – 70AD, Series three: Rome - 71 AD) If you look at their website you will find links to many resources to help individual families, churches and schools get the maximum benefit from these delightful stories.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (19/07/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Friends and Heroes Productions Ltd
Published: 2007
ISBN: 505-1-347-11001-8
DVD
Price: £15.00