Ever since my daughter inadvertently became fascinated with Tinker Bell and fairies, I have wished for a Christian alternative. There are Christian alternatives to so many other favorite secular characters and genres, but fairies? Not that I could find.
Enter The Lightlings. Wow! I loved this book from the get-go, when mother and child pray together at bedtime, which ultimately leads to addressing a fear of the dark. What ensues is a journey into a fanciful allegory where fairy-like beings, the lightlings, represent humanity from Creation through redemption. It's almost as if the entire Bible were summed up into one story book, and a beautiful story book at that!
Author R.C. Sproul's style is reminiscent of a time when children's stories were more simple and yet more enchanting, and certainly more inspiring, than what is so often found today. Justin Gerard's whimsical illustrations are the perfect compliment to this allegory, helping children to fully invest in the message.
As if I needed one more reason to fall in love with this book, The Lightlings ends with a series of discussion questions and Biblical references. Being blessed with a child who loves the Bible, I find this addition a wonderful way to further enhance the Lightlings experience!
This is the first I've heard of R.C. Sproul, but you can be sure I'll check out more of his children's books!
I received this ebook free from Reformation Trust Publishing for the purpose of providing my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review.
Charlie Cobb, like most boys and girls, did not like the dark. So he asked his grandpa why he and so many other people are afraid of the dark. Grandpa answered his question with a story about the King of Light and His people called the lightlings. This allegorical story portrays the creation, fall, the incarnation of Christ and salvation through Him.
This is another great children's book by Sproul. I personally did not like the illustrations in this one as much as the Prince's Poison Cup, but the book is definitely one that will spark children's interest and encourage them to desire to know more about God especially when followed with the questions and verses at the end of the book.
(Reformation Trust Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest critique.)
Have you ever wondered why stories have such power to move us? Why children sit mesmerized when they hear a fairy tale, and why people inevitably share their own personal stories when they get together?
Stories move us because we are part of a bigger story, "The Story". As Christians, we know the beginning and the end of that story, and all its major plot turns and twists. We don't know exactly how our life story will fit into it, but we have faith that it will.
R.C. Sproul has the gift of storytelling, and has written several stories for children. In "The Lightlings", Sproul tells "The Story" by means of an allegory. He casts the world as peopled by lightlings, children of the King of Light. He depicts the fall, and their flight into darkness. He then paints a beautiful picture of a baby full of light, who is to be the Light of the World. This allegory is applied to children well by Sproul's setting it as a story told to a child wondering why he is afraid of the dark. The answer is a tale told by his grandfather, and then applied to the child's own circumstances at the end of the book.
The story is beautiful and has numerous points of contact with the true Biblical story of creation, fall and redemption. At the end of the book, several discussion questions are listed with Biblical verses in a "For Parents" section. These points don't exhaust the allegory but open it up to those who may be more unfamiliar with the Biblical metanarrative depicted in the tale.
The illustrations by Justin Gerard are stunning. He captures light well, which is necessary in illustrating this particular story. The pictures are attractive to kids of all ages, and imagining the lightlings as fairies helps the story compete with other children's tales that remain ever popular.
Christian parents must seek to get as many Christian resources as possible into the hands of our children. This book will provide opportunities to discuss the Gospel with children of all ages, particularly those in preschool and elementary school. An audio version of the book is available, as is an animatic DVD telling of the tale. And if you like this story, Sproul has other allegorical children's books available as well.
I wish more children's books today were like "The Lightlings". The power of the story is not as often used as it should in capturing the hearts of our children. I cannot recommend this book more highly. If you have children, it is definitely a must have tool for the Christian parent.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by Reformation Trust Publishing for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
Charlie Cobb is afraid of the dark and is curious why. Charlie inquires of his mother as to why he fears darkness. Charlie's mother tells him that his Grandpa is coming over for lunch and that he needed to ask him this question. As soon as Charlie's Grandpa arrives he asks him about the origin of his fear. Grandpa responds to Charlie by telling him the story of the Lightlings. Grandpa explains, not all people are afraid of darkness, and that some people are afraid of the light. The story of the Lightlings is an allegorical tale which takes Charlie through redemptive history. The story tells of the origin of sin/ darkness and about a means of redemption from this darkness through putting one's faith in the son, who is the King of light. Everything at one time was full of light, until one of the Lightling sinned against the source of light and as a result was kicked out of paradise. Darkness came about as a result of this rebellion. Those who formally loved the light now fear the light and flee from it, but the story does not end there. Grandpa then tells Charlie about how a son was born to offer salvation to those who would cling to him. Those who cling to the son, no longer need to fear the darkness, but delight in the fact that the light will/and has already overcome the darkness.
The book is a great book for children! It is basic, has great pictures, and a clever allegory explaining redemption, and hopefully relieving a fear of darkness. The book explains many essential doctrines of the faith in understandable language for young kids. As a parent/student I appreciate theologians writing simple, yet solid material for children. Rc Sproul has mastered the ability to explain deep theological truths to all age groups. If you a looking for a book to read to your children, sunday school literature for young kids, a baby shower gift, or an upward gift (my church is currently doing upward basketball) for your players this would be a great choice. The book is relatively inexpensive and is a great tool for explaining the gospel on the bottom shelf to young children. Buy It, Share it, and Teach it!