Wise Words: Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life

Wise Words: Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life

At first glance, this appears to be a collection of 18 fairy tales. But closer inspection reveals fairy tales unlike those of the "Grimm" tradition because they draw upon Biblical stories and proverbs for themes, plots, characters, and principles. However, none of the stories seem to be clear allegories for any single Bible story, but rather a mixture of many.

For example, in the story "Ivy and the Prince," Ivy is first lured into forbidden territory (parallels with Eve) by a rabbit which is transformed into a dragon as soon as both step past the dividing thicket. Ivy is rescued by a handsome young prince who kills the dragon. The prince leaves her with a token but returns to his golden castle in the clouds. No one knows when he will return. The story proceeds through mixed metaphors about the prince knocking at the door, having oil in their lamps, and the prince's eventual, abrupt arrival and rescue of Ivy.

The publisher suggests the book for children ages five to twelve, but I have reservations about the ability of children to sort out the metaphors without becoming thoroughly confused about the original Bible stories and their meanings. On the other hand, these stories are thoroughly enjoyable and offer wonderful opportunities for unraveling Biblical analogies for those willing to take the time. I would recommend reading and discussing them with older children, perhaps up through the teen years.

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Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring the Proverbs to Life

Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring the Proverbs to Life
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Instant Key

  • Religious Perspective: Protestant
  • Grade Level: grades K-12
  • Suitable For: group or family

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