Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Today's read... Whistlestop Tales by Krish and Miriam Kandiah

My daughter and I just finished up a semester of ancient world history, which made today's book, one I was excited to get. Not only does it cover Bible stories, but I found it exciting that it also points out the countries where the tales took place. It was fun seeing which tales take place in Syria, Iran, and other places...since we just 'visited' them these last months. Plus, this one is said to feed in a little humor and tons of fun illustrations. 

Around the World in 10 Bible Stories
by Krish and Miriam Kandiah
Illustrated by Andy Gray
Nav Press
Middle Grade Religious
ages 7 to 10

Discover exciting Bible stories from around the world to inspire you on your own adventure with God!

The Bible is filled with stories featuring rich, cultural diversity. In the Bible, we meet an Iranian queen, a Syrian spy, an Italian soldier, and a Sudanese senator, to name just a few of the many ethnically diverse people that God has woven into his grand redemption story.

Whistlestop Tales features ten Bible stories that illustrate how God uses people from all over the world to accomplish his purposes. Each story begins with a closer look at the modern-day country where it took place to help anchor the characters in their original context and cultures, providing a new perspective on the lives of these brave men and women. These action-packed stories will encourage children to live out their own unique adventures with God.



By weaving in a little fun, a bit of people knowledge, and some cultural tidbits, these lesser-known Bible stories are told from a slightly different perspective.

This book contains ten lesser-known Bible stories, including the tales of Ruth, Ester, Lot/Abrahm, and more. The author begins the entire book with a note to the reader, which makes it a bit more personal. Then the stories start...and they are anything but boring.

While each tale does center on a Bible story, it also does a bit of a cultural introduction to today's countries, where the Bible stories took place. For example, Ester lived in what is now Iran. The author gives a few insights into some interesting or fun aspects of today's country (in Ester's chapter it's the hospitality of the Iranian people), and then, dives into Ester's story. Not only was it interesting to learn the small bits about each place, but it was a great way to connect modern times with the more ancient ones.

The stories themselves are quite imaginative and do build in a lot around the story as to people's behaviors, thoughts, and actions, but the main plot does stick on the general course of the original. Instead, the characters come to life in a way today's reader can identify with. Lot is gossiped about, the Egyptian princess (Moses) finds her father (Pharaoh) annoying, or a centurion calls fisherman a 'stinky pile of festering fish guts'. It packs in humor and relatability, which makes them fun to read...and still, stick to the main gest of the stories well.

The illustrations bring the characters to life. The facial expressions, quirks and situations come across with a gentle, comic flair without going over-board. It's fun to see Haman stewing or Saul's wanted poster. And these things aren't easily forgotten.

I found this a lovely way to introduce some Bibles stories, which are often overseen. The way it connects to modern day life both on the comic as well as geography/cultural end is original and well done. Plus, it's just fun to read.

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