Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review #112: Tales of the Kingdom

Dad:  What do you have to say about "Tales of the Kingdom"?
Isaac (age 13):  It's a very good "family book."  It's a good book for families to read together.
Gracie (age 11):  It's for all ages.
Dad:  It's one that people will want to read over the course of many days.
Gracie:  There are many stories in this book.
Lily (age 8):  But they are all about the same persons.
Gracie:  "People."
Lily:  The stories are kind of like parables of the Bible, only these are about now-a-day persons.
Gracie:  "People."
Dad:  Tell me what a parable is...
Lily:  In the Bible, Jesus uses parables - like the Parable of the Lost Sheep.  There was this shepherd who had 100 sheeps...
Gracie:  "Sheep."
Lily:  But he lost one.  So he left the 99 sheeps...
Gracie:  "Sheep."
Lily: ...to find the lost one.
Dad:  Why did Jesus teach in parables?  Was that necessarily a true story about a real shepherd?
Lily:  No.
Dad:  So what was the point?
Gracie:  So we can learn that God cares about all his children.  Or "childs."  Lily would say "childs."
Dad:  So the purpose of listening to a parable is...
Lily:  To learn stuff.
Gracie:  Learning through a story you can relate to.
Dad:  So that was a biblical parable.  Now let's talk about "Tales of the Kingdom."  The first time we read through this, years ago, we read a chapter every night before bedtime.
Gracie:  The second time we read it, you read it in front of our Sunday School class.
Dad:  Yep.  Every so often I spend some weeks reading through the book before our Bible lessons.  I've read through the book 4 or 5 times now in Sunday School over the last 10 years.  It's a book I would highly recommend to people looking for quality moral stories with great writing.
Gracie:  And the pictures in this book are AMAZING.  They have such cool borders and details.
Isaac:  The stories are about this kid named Scarboy who lives in the Enchanted City.  This evil ruler guy, the Enchanter, hates the sun -- so he makes everyone sleep in the daytime and wake up at night so he can use his fire and magic.  Scarboy's parents die, so he's going to become the Enchanter's slave and he has to get branded.  So he tries to run away with his little brother.
Gracie:  What was the little brother's name?
Dad:  Wasn't it "Little Brother"?
Lily:  Small Child.
Dad:  Little Child?
Isaac:  Small Person.
Gracie:  Teenie Weenie Little Boy.
Isaac:  So Scarboy and his brother run away to this place called Great Park.  I bet it's great.
Gracie:  Great Park is a place for outcasts.
Lily:  It's a good happy place.
Gracie:  With trees.  Enchanted City didn't have trees.
Lily:  The good king is there, and he disguises himself as an old beggar.
Dad:  Who is your favorite character in Great Park?
Isaac:  Caretaker is awesome.  He wears a tree-hat.  He has all these cool little pockets and a hat with a tree on top of it.
Gracie:  My favorite is Princess Amanda.
Dad:  She's my favorite too.
Gracie:  Princess Amanda is a girl who wears overalls and sneakers.  Scarboy thinks she's crazy.
Lily:  But she's not.
Isaac:  She can spit with perfect aim.  She can knock rocks off of fences.
Dad:  We talked earlier about parables.  Give me an example of one of the parables in this book.
Isaac:  Every year these dragons come and lay eggs in Great Park.  And every year the kids have to find the eggs like in an Easter egg hunt and give them to Caretaker.
Lily:  They had a sign that said you are not allowed to keep the eggs.
Isaac:  But this one year, Princess Amanda kept one.  She figured, "What harm could a little tiny baby dragon do?"  And she loved it.  She never told Caretaker about it.
Lily:  She wanted a nice pet.  She had a little hideout in a tree-cave.  But the dragon got too big for it, and she couldn't hide it there any more.
Isaac:  Over a long time it grew bigger and bigger, and finally it got too big for her to control, and it burned down half of Great Park.
Lily:  Princess Amanda almost died by the dragon.
Dad:  Since these are "lesson stories," does that mean they are lame?  Are they boring?
Lily:  No - they are awesome!  They are very adventurous.
Dad:  That dragon one is so exciting.  You don't know what is going to happen.  And it doesn't wrap up nicely -- Amanda doesn't get out of it perfectly fine, does she?
Gracie:  She becomes bitter.
Lily:  She becomes evil.  She has to go to Mercy because she gets all burned up.
Dad:  So what could somebody learn from that parable?
Isaac:  You could learn about lying.  You might think that one little lie won't hurt.  But it can lead to more and more until it gets too big to handle.
Dad:  The book never comes out and says, "This teaches you about the dangers of sin..."  Do you think it needs to?  Do you think kids are smart enough to make the connections?
Gracie:  Some kids are smart enough.  But some kids are little dummies.

Caretaker, by Isaac

Enchanter's Burner chasing Scarboy, by Lily

Princess Amanda and the dragon, by Gracie

Authors: David and Karen Mains
Illustrator: Jack Stockman
Published, 1983: Lamplighter Publishing
Like it?  Here it is


Heidi Noel said...

I am going to look for this one. I have never heard of anything like it.

LinWash said...

I'm so glad you reviewed this one. I read it years ago and loved it!

Rose said...

I'm going to look for this one, too. I really want to start reading more books before bed (especially ones with PICTURES! Yay visual learners club!) in the mix of the all the classics I'm reading for Philosophy/English/History.